MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder

Filtered by hair type : Other
MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder


71 reviews

88% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$


Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Silica, Mica, Zinc Stearate, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol

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Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

i absolutely cannot wear makeup without this anymore. i dont even know how i wore it before this product came into my life! sounds lame but its the truth! i used to be a complete greasy mess about a half hour after my foundation application. and that was using the revlon colorstay foundation which is supposed to keep the oilys at bay... forget about when i would use macs studio fix powder.... awesome coverage, but total pizza face in 15 minutes. but with this stuff.... whole different story. pores (oh excuse me, cavernous craters) on my face are smoothed over, foundation is no longer "sticky" (dont know if anyone else has that problem with with colorstay), and i'm not a grease pit all day! this REALLY just sets everything beautifully.
last week i had a horrible breakout and absolutely needed to PILE on the foundation/concealer to hide all the volcanos on my billboard to the world. So i did the concealer thing, than packed on the colorstay, put the prep and prime powder on, (still was not happy with the coverage) so i put studio fix powder over that, THAN put another dusting of the prep and prime powder again. MY FREAKING GOD. flawless. seriously. i knew in the back of my head that in an hour when i looked in the mirror i would be a freakish mess, but holy crap, EVERYTHING was in place, NOTHING budged, i had NO pores showing, NO redness showing. wow. and i know it was all due to the prep and prime. cause ive tried that colorstay/studio fix combination before and it was totally not pretty a little while later. i also tried this combination the next day, skipping the prep and prime after the colorstay and just applying it as the last step, and did not notice the same results. dont get me wrong, it was still a great finish and had nice lasting power, but it def was not the same affect as the day before with all the smoothness and lack of pores/oil.
i am a bit generous with the application of it... not overly, but i dont just apply a pin head size amount of it. i pretty much just dip the tip of the brush in and start putting in on my nose and forehead, than dip again and do my chin than dip again and do my cheeks (dab a little on each side) and thats it. the first day that i got this stuff i put it on VERY sparingly (hey i just spent 20 some dollars on this shit, im gonna make it last was my motto) and found that it did nothing for me (hey i just spent 20 some dollars on this shit and come to find out, its shit!) but i wanted it to work for me so the next day i decided to pack it on (not really, but was more generous in application) and that really did the trick.
the only con i can find to it is that i dont really like the smell of it when i put it on and the "dust" gets into the air and i get a whiff of it. i dont know what it is, it just smells like it would be bad for you to be inhaling, like its a chemical of some sort. so when i put it on, i make myself look like a total moron and hold my breath and close my eyes untill the "dust" in the air settles. what whatevs, this shit could be arsnic for all i care, it does what its supposed to and it doesnt let me be a walking mirror. also, i havent had any adverse affects like breakouts because of this. wheeee.
also wanted to add that if you are having any problems with your moisturizer being to greasy, this tones it down and makes skin look instantly matte. which is great if you need a heavy moisturizer for dry skin, but hate the way it looks.

24 of 24 people found this helpful.

on 12/28/2010 12:28:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Other, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I was trying to find a cheaper alternative to Make Up For Ever's HD powder which is 100% silica but at $40 it was just too pricey. I read about this on MUA and because MAC gets so much love and because it looks exactly like my beloved MUFE's powder, I bought it and gave it a try. Took me some time to realize that this was the culprit of some of the WORST acne breakouts I've ever had IN MY LIFE!!! In my life. Seriously. I was at the MAC counter for another product when I asked to read the ingredients for this powder, lo and behold, high up on the list was CORN STARCH. So this isn't "exactly like MUFE" as they say on the boards. Plus, corn starch is known to be a feeding frenzy for all kinds of bacteria on your face. Yuck yucky yuck!!! Went back to MUFE's 100% silica powder. Expensive but at least I don't look like an 8th grader.

16 of 18 people found this helpful.

on 12/28/2010 9:34:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

HG! I really do not like powder at all as I have dry skin and it looks cakey. The only powder I had was LM translucent, which was OKish, but not amazing. Well, MAC did the miracle. The Prep + Prime powder cannot be detected and does not cake. It is supernatural and glowy. I have now started using powder! This and the F&B are my staples. Great product.

Note: if you have dry skin this does not accentuate dry patches and does not set into lines/pores. it has a slight shimmer, which cannot be detected, but imparts a nice glow.

If you have oily skin be careful as it contains corn as the main ingredient and it may accentuate problems with acne.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

on 5/7/2010 9:28:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Oh yeah this is pure witchcraft. It casts a spell of invisibility on my huge pores. No makeup product has impressed me the way this has. It doesn't do much for oil control and works nowhere else but on my forehead. So it makes about 25 percent of the pores appear less visible...I would have settled for 5. Great product

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I really love this product as it mattifies my oily skin without looking caked on any dry or flaky patches. It also doesn't turn orange after about an hour!
I use a kabuki brush to buffer it in and when I do this my pores look reduced which is a HUGE plus for me and this means that I can wear MSF without my pores looking huge.
Im not sure if it helps to keep my makeup on longer, although I was working with pre-school kids earlier and my makeup looked just as good as when I put it on.
I dont like the packaging, the lid never seems to go on right, and I would love a compact version to carry about with me but I guess beggars cant be choosers!!
I would highly recommend to anyone with oily skin who has enlarged pores and probelms with powders turning orange.
I am paler than NC15 for reference.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Dark, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I actually went to the MAC store intending to buy Prep + Prime Refined Zone, only to discover that they were completely out and only had this powder in stock. The MA gave me some good news: I was mistaken in thinking Refined Zone would control my oily t-zone better than the Finishing Powder. Desperate (I was buying this to use for prom), I quickly bought the powder and hurried home to test it out. Turns out it was smooth and clear. I didn't see too much of a difference but I liked the slightly matte but not dull appearance of my skin.
However, when prom came around it was a miracle saver. I did my makeup myself and my skin looked great all night! Even in pictures taken around 5 A.M. Of course, through the dancing part, I got oily but it wasn't embarrassing or over the top.
Now, I use a small amount everyday on top of my liquid foundation and I loveeee it! It smooths everything out and no matter how much I use it doesn't get chalky (my NW45 skin makes sure it passes the test). It just gives a slight glow. For those who like to have a nice, healthy glow minus oiliness/shininess, I definitely recommend this powder! For the results, it is definitely a well-priced product (this coming from someone who always buys drugstore makeup!) :)

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Just looked at the reviews from users with dry skin like I have. Guess I'm the odd man out on this. Absolutely hate it and am throwing it out after using it three times. The pros: it's not expensive and is very finely milled. The cons: sucks the very life out of my skin, making it look flat, dry, and lifeless and exaggerating any and every tiny flake in sight.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

on 2/8/2015 6:39:00 PM

Age: Unknown

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

MAC Prep + Prime is my #2 powder pick. It gives me perfect polish and very slightly whitens my face. I use it when I want to be fancy.

My #1 pick is RMS "Un" Powder. It's absolutely invisible with great performance (blurs imperfections, mattes shine). RMS gives me a very natural and believable look.

Powders I like less than the above:
- MUFE HD Powder goes a bit white for me and I'm very pale. It also catches on dry flakes.
- Laura Mercier Loose Translucent is more beige than white and blends into my skin pretty well but I think gives an overall dull appearance.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

on 8/16/2010 11:06:00 AM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I'm over 60 and have been extremely impressed by the overall finished look I get by applying this product before foundation. No question-this is a keeper and will remain a staple regardless of the foundation used.

5 of 6 people found this helpful.

on 10/17/2011 3:27:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Other, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Other, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I tried this because it seemed like a super neutral product: transparent, not made for one skin type, and it even claims to be invisible. It's pretty blatant that it's MAC's version of Make Up For Ever's HD powder as well: finely milled, lotta silica, transparent.

PRO: SUPER finely milled. I can't detect any "grains" in it, like those beads that disappear when you put your brush on them. The amount you get is pretty good too. So far it seems like it's lasting a long time. Only 3 ingredients. I like that it's loose because it transfers the easiest to any tool (brush, puff, etc). Loose powders are cheaper and easier to make which should reduce their cost as well. I quite like using this powder over moisturizer/sunscreen. I have dry skin but somehow all moisturizers give me a sheen, magnifying pores/lines/etc. This powder takes away the shine but in a completely transparent way, it doesn't look like there is anything on my face!

CONS: When I put it on top of foundation, it can make it look dull. The finish may be called "natural" matte, but is too much and looks dry/UNnatural instead. I use Studio Sculpt (a pretty dewy foundation) and after I put this on top of it, it is flat and lacking dimension. I also need to use more than I feel like I should to set things too. I don't pack it on, but I definitely need to go back for more for different sections.

OTHER: In pictures, I think this is "invisible" looking and truly transparent. The overly matte finish isn't totally noticeable then. But since humans don't work/live in places that can double as a photoshoot 24/7, how it looks in bad light is more important to me, and there it's too matte/dry looking. This powder also makes the skin feel dry, not a sucked out moisture way, but a "I put some powder on my face! See how dry and smooth it feels?" way. It just makes things feel "set". It only leaves a white cast if you use too much or don't press it in. It's a WHITE powder after all. Also, while the cornstarch may feed bacteria, how much can it really do that? Logically, it will be sitting over a layer of moisturizer or foundation, and it's washed off every day, so it's got a bit of things in it's way. I also really need to address the packaging, because it sounds a lot worse than it is in other reviews. Yes, sifter has a lot of holes so a lot can come out, but in my experience, I haven't had problems like that and I have them all uncovered. Just a couple taps and I get enough, not TONS. Also, the powder can easy go back below the sifter. Put the cap on and give it a tap. I like simple, minimal packaging and this is it. Cheap. One final thing, this stuff works as a primer too! Tried using it before foundation a couple times and interestingly enough, MAC lists this under primer, NOT powder, on their website, so there must be something to that after all. But it feels weird to put a liquid over a powder so I won't be experimenting with that any more.

OVERALL: I'm gonna try Maybelline Mineral Power Finishing Veil, Photoready's Translucent Powder, or MAC Careblend next. I don't want shine, but I like a little "glow" and P&P removes it. Too matte for my dry skin. And while it works good on bare skin, it is way too expensive to use it just for that. I'd say it's better for normal-slightly oily skin or those who use really dewy foundations and want to neutralize the the finish. Once it mixes with oils too, it will probably appear neutral and not matte anymore. A lot of the people who say it doesn't control oil that much, I think that is kinda on purpose, otherwise the finish may be less transparent.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

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