Skip to main content

Prep and Prime with MAC

Prep and Prime with MAC
Team LF
Writer and expert6 years ago
View Team LF's profile

When it comes to achieving that flawless makeup look, primer should be at the top of your list. When it comes to priming your skin, MAC has the biggest range known as Prep and Prime, designed for you to get the most out of your face base.

What are the MACronyms?

  • BB - Otherwise known as a Beauty Balm or BB cream, products with these titles provide skincare benefits as well as light coverage. They help to beautify your complexion and come in the form of creams and compacts.
  • CC - This stands for colour correcting, and helps to even out uneven pigmentation in your skin. If you notice you have redness in your complexion or dark under eye circles, a CC product will help to counteract these colours and leave your skin even and flawless.

MAC Prep and Prime Beauty Balm SPF 35

Think of MAC's Beauty Balm as the tinted moisturiser you never knew you needed. While most tinted moisturisers offer limited coverage with reduced longevity, the Prep and Prime BB is designed with priming agents in mind; blurring out imperfections and keeping your complexion looking flawless all day.

The lightweight formula has a natural matte finish, which helps to control oil production and keep your skin healthy and shine-free. Silica and Laminaria Saccharina Extract keep sebum production at bay, which is great for anyone with a blemish-prone complexion as it means the product won't break you out. Although the formula does have a matte finish, the inclusion of optical pearlised pigments add a subtle luminosity so your skin looks healthy and glowing rather than flat and chalky.

With an added SPF of 35, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays, this tinted moisturiser is perfect for the warmer months, as it will offer your skin essential protection against environmental aggressors, all while keeping your complexion gorgeous!

Shades: Extra Light, Light, Light Plus, Medium, Medium Plus, Medium Dark, Dark, Dark Plus, Deep Dark.

MAC Prep and Prime Beauty Balm Compact SPF 45

If you prefer a cream formula to a liquid, the Beauty Cream Balm in compact form is the perfect option.

Formulated with a blend of conditioning ingredients, which work to hydrate and nourish the skin ready for an even coverage of foundation, the primer creates a beautifully flawless canvas.

Optical pigments also add a pearlescent luminosity to the complexion, which helps to add a subtle glow and a little energy to dulling and fatigued skin.

Offering UV protection, the primer is a brilliant product to take with you on holiday to bolster your regular sun protection and keep your skin extra safe.

Shades: Extra Light, Light, Light Plus, Medium, Medium Plus, Dark, Refined Golden.

MAC Prep and Prime Colour Correcting SPF 30

This 3-in-1 product provides UV protection, priming agents and an even complexion thanks to its hard-working and unique formulation.

The colour correcting tinted face primer contains a blend of Hyaluronic Acid to moisturise the skin and keep it healthy and hydrated throughout the day, alongside a blend of antioxidants including Vitamins C and E to keep it protected against environmental aggressors.

The tinted primer is suitable for all skin tones, but especially those with problem or lacklustre skin as its non-acnegenic formula means it won't break you out or cause irritation.

Each shade has a unique blend of light-reflecting pigments, which boost the skin's own luminosity and leave it glowing and healthy.

  • Adjust - This peach shade is ideal for waking up tired skin tones and fatigued complexions, making it the perfect travelling companion.
  • Illuminate - Like its name suggests, this shade is a light lavender colour that adds radiance to a dulling complexion; perfect for a little pick-me-up!
  • Neutralize - This banana yellow shade helps to even out your skin tone and reduce the appearance of pigmentation and blemish marks on the skin.

MAC Prep and Prime Colour Correcting Compact

If you have issues with sallowness or an uneven skin tone, a colour correcting product is your beauty best friend. This one from MAC contains a blend of softly coloured shades which, when blended together, leave your complexion looking flawless.

The finely milled powder feels weightless on the skin, but provides enough coverage to leave your skin glowing and gorgeous. Reducing shine and oil production on the skin, the powder is even great to wear as a top coat to foundation if you have combination skin and suffer from excess oil.

  • Adjust - If you have a fatigued or dulling complexion which looks lacklustre, this soft peach shade will add essential energy and life back into your skin.
  • Recharge - This dark peach shade is perfect for counteracting any purple tones in your skin, charactertised by dark under eye circles and caused by tiredness and genetics.

MAC Prep and Prime Colour Correcting Loose Powder

If you like the feel of a powder over a cream or liquid formula, the Colour Correcting Loose Powder is perfect. As it is a loose powder, it can be used to set your makeup, as well as using it as your face base if you want something with a more natural and lightweight finish.

The powder itself contains Silica, which helps to absorb excess oil on the skin's surface to leave your complexion even, healthy and shine-free, as well as Mica to add a little radiance to lacklustre complexions.

  • Illuminate - If you have pigmentation on your skin or an uneven tone to your complexion, this sheer lavender shade will brighten and even out.
  • Recharge - This shade is perfect for literally "recharging" your skin and re-energising it if you have a lacklustre complexion. It's also great to use on yellow toned and darker skin tones.

MAC Prep and Prime Grapefruit and Chamomile Essential Oil

You might not immediately think of an essential oil as being an essential part of your priming routine, but this one from MAC is here to change your mind.

The oil itself is infused with Grapefruit to energise and awaken the skin, alongside Chamomile to soothe any irritation and redness within your complexion. It can be used mixed with moisturiser for a hydrating boost, on its own to create a moisturising base, or mixed with your makeup for a quick fix primer solution on a busy morning.

MAC Prep and Prime Essential Oils Stick

If you suffer from dehydrated or dry skin, MAC's Prep and Prime Essential Oils Stick is something you should always keep in your makeup bag.

This multi-purpose balm is ideal to use on parts of both your face and body where you have flaking skin that needs an instant repair. Used in conjunction with your regular primer, it helps to eliminate the dreading "caking" of makeup due to dry skin, so is essential all year round when your complexion goes through seasonal changes.

MAC Prep and Prime Face Protect SPF 50

This supercharged SPF 50 primer is ideal to use in the summer months when your skin needs extra protection against UV rays and damaging environmental pollutants.

Formulated with Zinc Oxide, which shields your skin from both UVA and UVB rays, this lightweight moisturiser helps to keep your skin youthful, glowing and healthy. It is infused with a blend of antioxidants which energise the skin, while its non-acnegenic formula means it won't break you out or cause irritation; perfect for the summer months when your skin can get quite spot=prone with all the products needed to keep it safe and healthy.

MAC Prep and Prime Fix +

A lightweight spritzer, the MAC Prep and Prime Fix + has been designed with hydration in mind. The spray contains a blend of Pro Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E to nourish and moisturise the skin, while Chamomile and Cucumber soothe irritation, and Green Tea and Caffeine energise your complexion and help to protect against free radical damage.

You can use it both with and without makeup, and it makes the perfect mist to take with you while travelling to ensure your skin is constantly hydrated.

MAC Prep and Prime Highlighter

This highlighting pen has been designed primarily to boost your skin's natural radiance and add a gorgeous healthy glow.

Although it's a radiance boosting highlighter, the formula is extremely long-lasting and provides a constant glow throughout the day. It can be used both before foundation to add radiance underneath your face base, or over your foundation for more of a luminous glow and highlight effect.

Its formula feels silky and lightweight on the skin, blending easily so you can create a natural and glowing effect.

Shades: Apricot, Bright Forecast, Light, Light Boost, Medium, Medium Plus, Dark, Dark Deep, Radiant Rose.

MAC Prep and Prime Moisture Infusion

If you have dehydrated, unbalanced, damaged or dry skin, MAC's Prep and Prime Moisture Infusion Cream is the perfect antidote. Infused with Sodium Hyaluronate, Vitamin E and Red Algae Extract to hydrate the skin, it also contains Aloe Butter to soothe and Caffeine to energise tired complexions.

While priming agents are needed in oilier complexions to help keep them mattified and the face base in place, the common mistake most people with dehydrated skin make, is thinking they don't need one. If you have damaged or dry skin, a primer will help to soothe your skin and keep it perfected throughout the day so you don't get flaking or creasing of your foundation or tinted moisturiser.

This one from MAC helps to keep your foundation looking fresh, healthy and glowing by keeping your skin plumped up and hydrated.

MAC Prep and Prime Natural Radiance

This creamy formulation is ideal for those looking for a little more glow in their makeup routine!

The priming moisturiser is packed full of hydrating and moisturising ingredients guaranteed to improve your radiance and combat lacklustre skin. It contains Sodium Hyaluronate, Rosemary Extract and Shea Butter to moisturise, Chestnut Seed and Willow Bark Extracts to keep the skin clear, Vitamin C and Tangerine Peel Extract to provide antioxidant protection, Caffeine to energise the skin and Silica to mattify it.

As the cream is non-acnegenic, it is great to use on all skin types as it won't block the pores or cause your skin to break out.

  • Radiant Pink - This shade works wonders on fair complexions thanks to its rosy and pearlised finish, leaving skin glowing.
  • Radiant Yellow - This colour is brilliant on darker skin tones, helping to neutralise pigmentation and add a beautiful radiance.

MAC Prep and Prime Transparent Finishing Powder

The Prep and Prime Finishing Powder is a translucent product designed to keep your skin shine-free and your makeup flawless all day long.

Formulated with Silica and Corn Starch, the fine powder helps to control oil production on the skin's surface and prevent unwanted shine from appearing on your skin, especially in oilier areas such as the T-Zone.

A blend of special optic powders and Mica help to blur out imperfections and add a hint of radiance to the complexion so your skin looks dimensional rather than flat and chalky; it's the perfect powder for that flawless finish.

MAC Prep and Prime Lip

If you find your lipstick doesn't stay on as long as you would like it, add a lip primer into your makeup routine.

MAC's Prep and Prime Lip contains a base of Vitamin E, which helps to keep the lips nourished and conditioned, thereby minimising fine lines and flaking so your lipstick looks flawless all day long.

The lip primer needs to be applied all over the lips, and into the edges and creases so that the whole of your skin becomes hydrated and stays healthy, ready for your lipstick application.

MAC Prep and Prime Skin

MAC's Prep and Prime Skin is a cult classic everyone should have in their makeup bags to ensure their complexion looks flawless.

It is formulated with a blend of botanical extracts, to hydrate, smooth and keep your skin healthy. Sodium Hyaluronate moisturises, Green Tea Leaf Extract provides antioxidant protection and helps to soothe irritation, Grapefruit Extract improves your skin tone by sloughing away dead skin cells, and Algae Extract works to keep your complexion even. The overall cocktail of good-for-your-skin ingredients is what makes MAC's Prep and Prime such a popular beauty tool.

The actual primer itself is a gel-like lotion that feels lightweight in texture and blends easily into the skin to make a perfect canvas for your face base. As it is non-acnegenic, it won't cause breakouts or any irritation on the skin, making it great to use if you have a sensitive complexion.

MAC Prep and Prime Skin Refined Zone

Anyone with oily skin will know the struggle of finding a primer that helps keep their makeup in place all day.

MAC's Prep and Prime Skin Refined Zone has been formulated to gently exfoliate the skin as it primes, helping to unblock pores; regulating and balancing your combination complexion.

Although it applies as quite a "wet" formula on the skin, it dries down instantly to a smooth canvas, improving skin tone and reducing shine and sebum on the skin's surface.

You can even use the Skin Refined Zone in conjunction with other Prep and Prime products from the MAC collection, so that you know you have the very best canvas for your foundation to go on top.

MAC Prep and Prime Skin Smoother

If you have ageing and mature skin, or a complexion that shows fine lines and wrinkles, MAC's Prep and Prime Skin Smoother is the ultimate arsenal in your beauty bag.

A blend of peptides and antioxidants help to keep the skin healthy and radiant; maintaining its natural barrier function, while Silica helps to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles to even out your complexion and soften the appearance of the skin.

The primer provides a silky matte finish, that glides and blends easily onto the skin for a perfect application.

Enjoy this? Try our best MAC foundation guide.

Team LF
Writer and expert
View Team LF's profile
Our team of beauty experts cover everything from makeup to skincare, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the LOOKFANTASTIC blog, and find all your essentials in one place.