MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm Compact Swatches & Review

MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm Compact

MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm Compact SPF 30 is the latest collection to be added to the permanent line.

These compacts come in three light shades right now (Extra Light, Light and Light Plus). As mentioned they come in a shiny black mirrored compact and have a creamy formula. The finish is semi-translucent, and happily they contain a broad spectrum SPF 30. But remember, always wear a sunscreen or moisturizer with sunscreen under your makeup, because unless you seriously cake it on, you aren’t getting enough protection with just the makeup.

And that’s my spiel on that. 😉

MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm Compact 2
Extra Light, Light, Light Plus

MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm Compact 3
Extra Light, Light, Light Plus

MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm Compact Swatches
Extra Light, Light, Light Plus (NC20 skin)

Extra Light is a pale alabaster shade.

Light is a pale ivory shade.

Light Plus is a light beige. This wound up being the best shade for my skin tone because it isn’t too whitened or pink, and it had enough warmth in it to match me best.

Wearing MAC Prep  Prime Beauty Balm in Light Plus
Wearing Light Plus (also MAC Ice Mineralize Eye Shadow, MAC Brow Duo in Brunette, MAC Stay Warm! Tinted Lip Balm, MAC Black Ice Pro Longwear Eye Liner and MAC Launch Away! Powder Blush)

There were some good things and bad things about this Beauty Balm for me.

First off I am not really a fan of the compact form of a BB Cream. I prefer a tube because I like using my fingers to apply it normally, and a compact isn’t really conducive to that. It does come with a sponge applicator, but I don’t really like using them.

Light Plus does actually match my skin really nicely, but it tends to settle into my fine lines after just a few minutes of wear. Even once I smoothed it out, an hour later there were more. Not a fan of that.

It does a great job of making my pores much less visible and definitely helped even out my skin tone and redness. I didn’t feel it covered quite as much as I might normally like, but it is a bit build-able. It doesn’t feel dry or heavy on me at all.

Overall: I think rather than using this as my go-to BB Cream I would probably use it more as an on-the-go compact in my bag for touch ups. Since this shade matches me really well I could probably use it over other BB Creams or foundations I have in small doses if I need to.

Availability: MAC.

Pricing: $30.00 for 0.28 oz.

How do you feel about a BB Cream in a compact form?


Note: MAC is not cruelty free.

Disclosure: The product(s) in this post were provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR company for consideration. For more information please visit my legal page.

Do you like this product?

7 say yes!
11 say no!


  • January 4, 2013

    Interesting concept. It’s nice to see MAC put out light colors.
    Phyrra´s last post…DermOrganic Leave-in Spray Therapy Treatment ReviewMy Profile

  • January 4, 2013

    This review was really helpful! I don’t understand why this would be so pricey?!?! And a compact BB cream doesn’t make much sense. You’re right about that!

  • January 4, 2013

    I’m interested in these but like you I don’ like digging my fingers in products. And they are all light shades. I wear MAC NW25 so I’m guessing I should also grab Light Plus?

    The price would be worth it if it performs great. I’ve been meaning to get the Bobbi Brown BB but maybe I should give the MAC ones a try first…
    Shadowy Lady´s last post…On My Nails – Nicole for OPI Modern FamilyMy Profile

  • January 4, 2013

    I was excited to hear your thoughts on the BB compacts, but it’s too bad they settle into fine lines! I was really curious because I never really heard about BB creams that even came in a compact.

    P.S. You look really fresh and pretty in that photo! :)
    Swatch And Learn´s last post…Urban Outfitters Green Holo Swatches & ReviewMy Profile

  • January 4, 2013

    Wow! I think that’s the prettiest picture I have ever seen of you! Your skin looks fantastic, and your makeup is just perfect. <3

  • January 4, 2013

    *sigh* Why can’t BB creams come in more colors!!!

  • January 5, 2013

    Thanks for the review, I was really curious about these. But they pretty much matched my expectations. =( Also come on MAC, I might be a snowman but I feel for my darker sisters in this collection. They need to have a better shade range.
    Adeline´s last post…Review: Que Bella Deep Cleansing Aloe Vera MaskMy Profile

  • January 6, 2013

    I think it’s great that MAC released such pale shades. It’s interesting that they’re trying something a little different, given all the BBs out there right now, but I do think I’d prefer a tube for this type of product. It’s like how I prefer LM Tinted Moisturizer in a tube, but I still think the compact is kinda cool
    Catherine (@bcrueltyfree)´s last post…NUDE PEACH Blush ComparisonMy Profile

  • January 7, 2013

    I don’t get it. What makes this product a BB? lol What other benefits do they have besides SPF? How long did it last on your skin? Certainly looks good in photos!

    • January 7, 2013

      Well it includes a primer, SPF, blurring pigments, anti-aging & moisturizing ingredients and it’s tinted. It lasted all day for me (10 hours or so).

      • January 9, 2013

        Yowsers 10 hours! I need to check this out. The compact will be good for touch ups. Good one MAC. :)

  • January 8, 2013

    They sent me Light Plus which is a little too light for my NC30 skin 😉