This is the only primer that works for me. Makes my face feel soft and makes my foundation last all day. It's a little pricey but it works, and you only need a small amount.
My skin is still extremely oily and getting more sensitive as I age. I also get the occasional cystic pimple. On top of that, the climate here is hot and humid 70% of the year. I haven't had success w/other primers or sunscreens, mainly because I can't stand the way they feel under make-up... Suffocating and, in the case of the primers, ineffective (for me). Based on reviews here, I gave Prep + Prime SPF 50 a shot and got two generous samples that I've used over the past two weeks. What a pleasant surprise! The gluey-looking white cream seems to liquify on contact and acts as a very nice canvas for concealer and Studio Fix (or other) powder foundation. I probably am not applying heavily enough to claim the full SPF benefits, but am thrilled that my oil breakthrough appears to be reduced by about 50%. My redness stays reasonably well covered all day, too. So far, no break outs or reactions. I'm actually looking forward to buying a tube this weekend.
UPDATE 2012: I wrote the following review during a time when I had very oily skin that broke out frequently. Since then, my skin has normalized, and I find this primer too heavy. But I still think it's the best thing I ever used when my skin was having acne troubles.
This is my new HG sunscreen. It's the only non-oily sunscreen that stays reasonably matte all day without feeling heavy. (And I've tried a lot, including Neutrogena Dry Touch.)
And, of course, it's a primer, and a very good one at that. With this primer, I'm able to use my not-so-favorite foundations. This stuff makes them look better and last longer. It actually has a mattifying effect, but no chalkiness -- so unusual for a sunscreen product.
Seriously, I can get through a whole day of work and a workout at the gym and only have to blot once if at all. That has never happened for me before!
Despite my 5-lippie rating, there are some downsides:
1. It is really hard to wash off. I'm used to using creamy mild cleansers or mild castile soaps. But now I'm having to use a foaming detergent-based cleanser to get this stuff off.
2. It is slightly drying (or maybe my skin is dryer because I'm having to use a stronger cleanser). I developed some dry scaly patches around my nose shortly after I started using this. An oil-free moisturizer seems to have solved the problem so far.
I relied on smashbox's photofinish light for a while and realized it wasn't doing as good a job as I would have liked.
Based on some reviews I read here on Mac's prep/prime spf 50, I gave it a while. OMG. This glues that make up onto your face like no one's business. I wear my make up from 530am -5pm with no trouble. It doesn't fade off from sweat either. (When I go straight to the gym from work)
I use this with Mac's prep/prime transluscent powder which I'm sure helps 100%, this is officially the best primer --for now.
I used to not wear primers thinking that it's unecessary. But after getting tired of retouching make up that just disappers after a couple of hours, I have decided to go on a search for a good primer. I have used smashbox photofinish light and the face shop's green base but have not been satisfied as my face felt greasy since i still had to use sublock underneath. Then after reading about the reviews for MAC prep and prime spf 50, I got it even though it's quite expensive. But after using it for almost a month, it's definitely worth it. My make up stayed on all day and it did not break me out. I only needed to blot a couple of times as opposed to almost every hour. I have very oily, acne prone skin and this has helped not to aggravate it. My face felt less greasy because I did not have to put on sunblock since this has spf. Although I think that I have to put more of the product to get the protection. So far this is the best I have used so far. I will definitly repurchase!
I'm one of those people who pretty much rely on foundation spf thinking it's enough. Before summer I had my skin checked out and turns out the random dark spots on my face were sun spots. I always wore sunblock on my body, but again never bothered to on my face if my foundation contained spf. To prevent my skin from popping any more sun spots I went on a search for sun protection. I have tried chemical and physical sunblocks. While some worked better than others I was annoyed at the fact that I had to add an extra step in my daily makeup routine (moisturizer, primer, foundation etc). Then I remembered the MAC Prep & Prime containing spf so I searched for primers with spf. I was going to go for the shiseido, but went with MAC instead since it's easier to return if it doesn't work out.
When I saw the tube, I was expecting it to be a lot bigger :/ I figured 1oz is the same size as my foundations and those have lasted me awhile so I should be ok for a few months. When first applied it feels almost greasy, but it blends in well. I use 2 pea size amount for my entire face and neck. It doesn't give a white mask of any sort and dries nicely. It hasn't caused me to breakout or cause any skin irritation like other sun protections have so I decided to stick with it. As a primer I wouldn't say it kept my foundation on longer, but it has kept excess oil at bay. I normally use 2-3 blotting paper no matter what foundation I use, but with this underneath I've only used 1 blot paper in an 8 hour day of wear. It doesn't feel heavy which is what won me over and doesn't accentuate dry spots.
I still wear my Kanebo SPF PA primer, but when my skin is on the drier side I use the MAC SPF primer instead. The downfall to this product is the packaging. While it's pretty with glitter on the covering, it's hard to tell how much is left on the tube. The tube is also hard so when I start running out I will have a hell of a time squeezing out what's left. For $30 I wish there was more product in an easier squeezing, see through tube.
This product does what it's supposed to do. My make-up stays intact throughout the day. Typically without it, my t-zone would be glaringly shiny and my make-up is faded by the end of the day. I just blot a little bit on the places that are prone to fade or get oily. I'm almost done with my bottle of Mac Prime + Prep, and realized that my skin is gradually getting worse. I get red spots or break out at the places I usually apply my primer. I would rather blot my face all day with oil blotting sheets than having my real skin get worse. Same situation with my sister, beware.
I was sceptical about spending $40CDN on this primer, since I've never used a primer before, and this was my first ever purchase from MAC. I went ahead and tried it since the return policy was reassuring. When I put it on my face, it didn't seem to make a difference, and it didn't really make my foundation blend better. However, after 4 hours, I looked in the mirror and my make-up might have even looked better then it did when I applied it! I have very oily skin, but this primer helped it look almost shine-free. After 6 hours, all I needed to do was blot around my nose and t-zone and apply a tiny bit of powder in those areas, and my skin looked perfect again! Also, the sunscreen is a good bonus. People say that since you only apply a tiny amount, you don’t get the full SPF 50 protection - but that’s fine with me since I’ve never had a sunburn, I just want to protect my skin from sun damage/dryness/aging. Overall a great product.
I bought this because I was going on holiday and wanted a primer with spf so that my m/u would stay on and I wouldn't have to use sun cream. I really like this primer- my make up stays on all day and I hardly ever need to touch up with blot powder, which I used to have to do twice a day. My make up stayed on in the pool as well, and I didn't get burnt needless to say :)
The only reason I didn't get 5 lippies is that I have combination skin and I think it has made my skin on my cheeks dry and flaky. It's not bad enough to stop me using it though- I'm hooked!
NO!!! WTF???? Why change the formula? WHY!!!???
New formula is garbage. Heed my warning oilier sisters:
Do not purchase. This once awesome product no longer keeps facial oil at bay. I'm so disgusted.
And yes, other reviewers are correct. The new formula smells terrible. What an egregious error has been made. I'm actually going to write a letter to MAC. I suggest that all loyal buyers of this now awful product do the same.
YES!!! HG for me!
This product might not work for some, but it did for me. My skin is sooooooo oily. Usually my face shines like a lantern within two hours of makeup application. I'd be a wealthy woman if I could sell the sebum my face pumps out every day. Prep+Prime has brought my greasy days to an end.
At first I was afraid to use P+P because it seemed so heavy coming out of the tube. It;s pretty thick and white when applied, but you just put it on, spread it out evenly with the fingertips, and it dries invisibly. A pearl-sized amount is enough to cover the grease zone (forehead, nose, cheeks; application to the eyelids keeps shadow in place and crease free almost all day). Apply concealer and foundation as normal and VOILA, near perfect makeup all day long!
Be sure to wash off completely at night-- the product seems to act as a barrier between skin's oil and makeup, so it's pretty hardcore. It definitely creates an additional "layer" on the skin.