MAC Prep+Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF 35 Review


The idea of flawless skin with or without makeup is universally appealing. Who doesn’t want fresh, luminous skin with a visible glow?” – MAC Cosmetics

PRODUCT RATING:★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

PRICE DETAILS: 1fl.oz./30ml $30 (Plastic squeeze tube)

QUICK REVIEW: A Western spin on an Eastern staple, M·A·C Prep + Prime Beauty Balm SPF 35 provides high daily SPF, a luminous finish and long lasting makeup base – without the gray cast.

MONSTER BITES: What is BB Cream? BB Cream, also known as Beauty Balm, Beblesh Balm, Blemish Balm or Blemish Base has been made popular by its wide demand and use in Korea – but originated in Germany where dermatologists used them to help patients protect and cover sensitive skin, post-laser scars, acne and blemishes. BB Cream normally have a SPF and other skin care properties which makes them stand apart from other makeup primers and tinted moisturizers.

the REVIEW (3/4/2011): M·A·C Beauty Balm is a multi-functional product that serves as a color perfector, face primer, UV protector and lightweight hydrator for all skin types. With its creamy but featherweight texture and a “universal shade” (a light slightly pinkish beige) that is best suited for light to medium skin tones, M·A·C Beauty Balm protects skin and masks minor skin imperfections while keeping skin natural and luminous. It has a faint scent from the sunscreen, but it is not offensive and fades quickly.

My experience with M·A·C Beauty Balm was a fortunate one, since it is only available through select travel-retail (Duty Free Shops) and we are fortunate to have one readily accessible here in Hawaii. I’ve only tried a few other BB Creams (Calificar Derma Blemish Cover Balm & Dr. Ci Labo BB Perfect Cream) but so far, I prefer the texture and results of the M·A·C Beauty Balm. Its important to note that it is not an oil control product, although it does seem to help keep foundation (I use Jane Iredale PurePressed Base) in place regardless of the circumstances. I’ve had it on since 8am this morning, ran two miles and its now almost 9pm and my skin still looks fresh. Yes – the PurePressed Base is genius, but I think the Beauty Balm helps give it a little extra luminosity and smoothness.

Note: M·A·C Beauty Balm is now available online and at M·A·C counters!

Personally, I experienced almost no reaction to this product in spite of my allergies to some sunscreen products. The only time I had a reaction was when I applied it to already irritated skin – but every other time it worked without a hitch. I would have given this product a higher rating because I think the texture is superior to the other BB Creams I’ve tried, which tended to be a little pasty and obvious, if it came in another darker, yellow based shade and had just a little more coverage. Otherwise, M·A·C Beauty Balm SPF 35 is worth the search.

HOW I USE M·A·C BEAUTY BALM SPF 35: It took a few applications, but I’ve found the best way to apply Beauty Balm is to apply your skin care (I use Origins Vita-Zing Energizing Moisturizer in the morning) first, then use small rice grain sized amount of product in your target areas. My “trouble zones” are my cheeks (spots from surfing and having babies) and forehead – so I concentrate on these areas. Its important to take the time to thoroughly blend the Beauty Balm into the skin until the product is imperceptible, but the effect of a slight glow and perfection is left behind. Follow with any other foundation, powder or leave skin bare. I use this with Jane Iredale PurePressed Base which has an SPF 20 and the results are amazing.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: “The idea of flawless skin with or without makeup is universally appealing. Who doesn’t want fresh, luminous skin with a visible glow? M.A.C delivers long lasting illumination for all skin types with M·A·C PREP + PRIME BEAUTY BALM UVA/UVB SPF35 PA+++. Beauty Balm is the ultimate multi-tasking product functioning as a color perfecter, face primer, UV protector and light skin hydrator.
While M·A·C PREP + PRIME BEAUTY BALM UVA/UVB SPF35 PA+++ was developed to perform a multitude of tasks, the ultimate result is the same: flawless skin. Use it as a makeup primer, to provide a subtle glow and correct color imperfections, while at the same time providing UV protection of SPF 35. Apply to skin before foundation for a smoother application and enhanced wear throughout the day.
The lightweight, creamy formula of M·A·C PREP + PRIME BEAUTY BALM UVA/UVB SPF35 PA+++ glides on effortlessly and forms a protective barrier against external aggressions, making it ideal for use in conditions that may cause stress the skin. Apply it to freshly cleansed skin and it immediately evens out and illuminates the complexion, making skin imperfection less noticeable.” -MAC Cosmetics
RECOMMENDED APPLICATION: “Smooth evenly all over the face or to the desired areas after moisturizer with finger tips, sponge or brush.” -MAC Cosmetics
MAC BEAUTY BALM SPF 35 INGREDIENTS: Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.40%, Octisalate 4.00%, Oxybenzone 2.50%, Titanium Dioxide 1.10%, Zinc Oxide 3.50% Other Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Glyceryl Sterate, Behenyl Alcohol, Trioctyldodecyl Citrate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, PEG-40 Stearate, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caffeine, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Urea, Sodium Hyluronate, Squalane, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract,/Extrait D’orge, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Glycerin, Lecithin, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Cholesterol, Trehalose, Sodium PCA, Oryzanol, Ammonium Acryloydimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Sucrose, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Xanthan Gum, Polyquaternium-51, Isopropyl Titanium Triisosterate, Silica, Aluminum Stearate, Linoleic Acid, Stearic Acid, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphensin, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Mica, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891) <ILN36505> (from MAC Beauty Balm SPF 35 Box – Cosmetic Monster is not responsible for any misprint of ingredients.)

Where to buy MAC

Previously only available in travel retail locations (like Duty Free) and Asian markets, MAC Beauty Balm is now available online at and other MAC counters and stores.


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