4.20.2012

MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother Primer Review

MAC's recently-released Prep + Prime Skin Smoother primer ($30) is okay, but I'm not crazy about it. It has no major performance flaws or problematic ingredients, but it's expensive and the texture just does not feel quite right.

MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother Primer
MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother Primer

MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother is housed in a compact instead of a tube, which is unusual for a primer. The compact looks big, but the net weight is only 0.35 oz. Too Faced Primed and Poreless costs $30 as well, but you get one full ounce of product. One ounce of MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother would cost $85.71!

That's quite pricey, but I am often willing to throw down substantial amounts of money for products that I love. Once I used MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother, I realized that this one is just not worth it.

My Experience
As the directions recommend, I used my fingers to spread the solidified primer onto my skin. MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother is silicone-based so it was slippery and easy to apply. The primer is successful in improving your skin's appearance - my face looked more even and smooth. However, the primer also feels somewhat greasy. Once it sets, MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother has more of a satin finish than the soft powder finish I get from Too Faced Primed and Poreless.  People with dry skin might prefer MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother, but my skin is naturally oily and looks better with a powder finish.

MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother wears well under foundation. My pores were minimized and my foundation looked smooth, even, and pretty. The primer did manage to absorb oil for a little while, but I desperately needed to blot after about 3 hours.

MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother Primer
MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother

Ingredient Breakdown
Ingredients-wise, MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother is fine but not particularly impressive. In addition to silicones, the primer contains silica and nylon-12 to absorb oil. Unfortunately for oily-skinned folks, these ingredients are far outnumbered by the multiple skin conditioning ingredients, emollients, and thickeners that contribute to the moist texture.

MAC has been touting the antioxidants in this primer as a major selling point, and the Prep + Prime Skin Smoother does contain a few potent ones like coffee extract and phellodendron amurense bark extract, which contains the anti-inflammatory quercetin. Barley extract, sandalwood extract, and hydrolyzed yeast protein are also included, but research has not conclusively shown that these have beneficial antioxidant properties when applied topically.

MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother also include two peptides at the end of the ingredients list. Peptides are good for anti-aging, but the amount in MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother is likely too low to be very helpful.

Bottom Line
MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother is very expensive for what amounts to nothing more than a basic silicone primer. If you have dry skin and have trouble with powder-finish primers, than you might want to give MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother a shot. Otherwise, I'd say give this one a pass.


6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the honest review :) I'm a new follower now :D

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks for the follow :)

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  2. I just purchased this myself and I'm thinking similar things as you. Having oily skin, this felt ... odd, on my skin. Didn't really absorb into my skin, but my foundation and concealer applied well over it. Washing my face, it felt like the makeup wouldn't budge. Don't know if it's the Smoothing primer, but had to wash my face twice to get the makeup off. Liked your review!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, Kate! Do you think you're going to keep MAC Prep + Prime or return it?

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    2. I think I'm going to return it. I have the Hourglass oil-free primer (which I love) as well as many other samples of primers I can fall back on. Just wasn't impressed with the MAC Prep + Prime Smoother - It felt nice going on, but oil slick face in hours.

      Did you keep yours or return it?

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    3. I took it back. It didn't compare to Too Faced Primed and Poreless for me. I also have a sample of Hourglass new No. 28 Primer Serum that I've been using. I reviewed that here if you're interested! http://reviewsbeauty.blogspot.com/2012/04/hourglass-no-28-primer-serum-review.html

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