Makeup

We Tried It: MAC's New Beauty Balm

Can yet another BB cream deliver on its promise?

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BB creams may seem old hat to anyone up on beauty trends. You've probably been there, done that already. But I've tested many, many brands' versions of BB creams all with the same results. I walk into a store, see those double Bs, get all excited as I read the nine different promises the product claimed to fulfill, but inevitably leave empty-handed and unsatisfied. In my experience, they've all been no more than a thick foundation, cleverly packaged and re-named. Then I tried MAC's new Prep+Prime BB, $30.

BB creams in general are supposed to do the work of an array of products in your beauty kit, all in one solitary tube. They typically offer the benefits of moisturizer, primer, foundation, concealer, sun protection and some sort of anti-aging component. First, I tested MAC's Prep+Prime BB as a moisturizer. I have combination skin, but I never ever skimp on my moisturizing routine. It took a few minutes of pep talking myself into skipping my face lotion (I wear Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Combination Skin) and wore just the BB. I was shocked when, hours later, my skin didn't feel drawn or taut. MAC's formula was thicker than other watery versions I've tried in the past (including Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB). The consistency felt similar to sunscreen, so I only needed to apply a dime-sized amount.

But it was after five hours rummaging through the Rosebowl Flea Market in 80-degree weather that I realized this product was a godsend. My makeup rubs off and separates when I'm just sitting at my desk. Yet somehow, when I looked in the car mirror, my makeup was still perfectly in place and my skin showed no signs of sunburn. Primer? Check. Sun protection? Check. (But it's only SPF 35, so I would still pair it with sunscreen.) I found my new cosmetic staple in the form of one (!) sparkly black tube.

My one warning about this BB cream: don't buy it online for the first time. I wore Medium Dark and thought it was the perfect match, but when I went on MAC's website, Medium Dark looked much, much darker. (For reference, I'm normally an NW25 in MAC concealers.)

Do you use a BB cream? Do you think it does everything it promises to?

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