Even If Pressed, I’d Have Trouble Finding Fault with MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder

Published in: MAC Makeup, Product Reviews

mac prep prime transparent finishing powder pressed

Sometimes I wonder whether MAC has my house bugged or if they’ve recruited Tabs as a spy. I’m serious. The company always seems to know my secret makeup desires, even when I haven’t shared them on the blog.


It’s uncanny. Take MAC Prep + Prime Loose Powder, for instance, and how many times in reference to it I’ve said, “I wish MAC made a pressed powder version of this.”

Maybe I just watch too many cop shows, but when I heard that MAC planned to add a pressed version of Prep + Prime to their permanent line next month, the first thing I did was glance at Tabs.

“Are you spying on me?” I asked.

Of course he didn’t answer… Typical behavior for a spy. 🙂

I can’t say for certain that this was a case of corporate cosmetics espionage, but honestly, who cares? I’m just glad I might not have to wrestle with jars of the loose powder to get Prep + Prime’s glowy, airbrushed look on trips anymore.

mac prep prime transparent finishing powder pressed closed

mac prep prime transparent finishing powder pressed open

mac prep prime transparent finishing powder pressed

They’re calling it MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finished Powder/Pressed ($23 US, $27.50 CDN), and when it comes out next month (in North American MAC stores and counters Aug. 18, and internationally this September), it’ll be joined by five other products, each of them being added to the permanent line, but all together comprising the new MAC Prime Focus Collection.

As for the new pressed version of Prep + Prime, pores and fine lines have reason to be afraid. Very afraid. Because like the O.G. one, it’s transparent, which means it gets along with a wide range of skin tones. Don’t worry about that summertime tan. No matter how dark I get in summer or how much of my tan I’ve lost by winter, Prep + Prime Loose always matches my skin tone, and the new pressed one behaves exactly the same way.

Except that this cute compact likes to travel. No loose powder mess here. I’ve tried it atop MAC Studio Sculpt, Face & Body and Mineralize Satinfinish foundations (I like buffing it in with a kabuki brush like the MAC 182 Buffer Brush), and I get the same soft focus, non-ashy, flawless look I get from Prep + Prime Loose. Lovely in pictures AND real life.

With this pressed version, I feel like I have finer control over the amount of powder I apply. Like most pressed powders, it lays down sheerer layers of product than most loose powders do, but it’s still easy to build up in layers (applying with a puff increases the coverage per layer).

Prep + Prime isn’t afraid of a little oil, either, and should be fine for skin from dry to normal. If you have very oily skin, though, you might try a 50/50 blend of Prep + Prime and MAC Blot. That’s what I do on my oily forehead, and it keeps the shine at bay all day long.

Thanks, MAC. I’d be hard pressed to find a flaw with MAC + Prime’s new pressed version. Consider me a fan.

Now all I need – wait, I should say this out loud in front of Tabs (in case he really is a MAC spy): “Now all I need is a Fluidline version of Powersurge and a Turquatic Shower Gel and Bath Lotion.”

Did you get that, Tabs? Don’t forget to tell MAC. 🙂


PRICE: $23
AVAILABILITY: Coming to MAC counters and stores August 18 in North America and internationally this September

You might like Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder/Pressed if…

  • Your want a single go-to powder you can use any time of year (summer tan or not)
  • You’re looking for a powder to wear in real life, pictures and/or video
  • You’re concerned about fine lines and visible pores
  • You want the convenience of a compact
  • You like it when your skin glows

The entire MAC Prime Focus Collection includes…

  • MAC Prep + Prime Fortified Skin Enhancers SPF 35 ($30 US/$36.50 CDN) in…
    • Adjust — a light, neutral peach
    • Illuminate — a pale lavender
    • Neutralize — a pale yellow
    • Recharge — a bronzy orange
  • Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder/Pressed ($23 US/$27.50 CDN)
  • Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder/Loose ($23 US/$27.50 CDN)

So long, Monday!

This is my favorite part of Mondays – ya know, when they’re almost over. 🙂 Tonight I plan to reward myself for making it through the day with some (hopefully) hot shirtless vampires in True Blood. I missed it last night, so I’ll be catching up tonight (I can’t wait to dish!).

How was the rest of your day? What did you have for dinner?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 40 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Heidi says:

    Oh, I like the sound of this! Anything that will de-emphasize my pores and just starting to be noticeable nose-to-mouth lines would be very welcome!

    I was in the mood for soup tonight, a light soup, so I sauteed some onions and garlic, added a package of Trader Joe’s Soycottash (soybeans, red pepper, corn), a quart of veggie broth, simmered for 15 minutes, stirred in some miso — done! So yummy.

  2. Samantha says:

    Ooooh! I love your blot + prep + prime finishing powder idea for oily gals. I’m definitely gonna use it!

    And tonight I ate country fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, and sweet corn:) yum! A typical midwestern meal! Probably not the best for me, but it’s great comfort food after a stressful Monday!

  3. Vijaya says:

    This post is quite funny: I was thinking just the other day that I *really* wanted to press a finishing powder I loved.
    Vijaya recently posted … Aqua Blossom Mint Mocha Lip Balm

  4. Denise says:

    This sounds like photoshop in a compact. I can’t wait!
    Denise recently posted … What’s in the Unicorns Dream Swag Box?

  5. Allison says:

    I was at MAC 2 weeks ago and they let me know this was coming in. It is just what i was looking for!!!

  6. Nichole Clark says:

    I must have. Just today I was complaining about my need of a new pressed powder since I’ve hit pan on my old one AND it’s too light on me in the summer.
    I had been craving Polish food all week and today was cooled down enough to indulge without it feeling too heavy {gotta love the schizophrenic weather patterns of the Pacific Northwest!}. So I made bitki, pierogi, & mizeria…and it was delish. I may never eat again though!

  7. Tracy says:

    This sounds amazing!!! I can hardly wait for it!
    Tracy recently posted … Consonant Body Skin Care Citrus Bergamot Organic Body Lotion

  8. gio says:

    This sounds wonderful! Can’t wait to try it!
    gio recently posted … What Are The Best Sunscreen Ingredients?

  9. Kayleigh says:

    Ooooh I WANT!!! This guy’s going on my wishlist!! <3

  10. kimberly says:

    Wow, me wants it!!!

  11. Nina says:

    oh im so happy for a pressed version of this! im totally getting it!

  12. Chris25 says:

    Because of you, I am a MAC Blot Powder convert. I seriously never thought I’d love a MAC powder this much. I am curious to see if this would work on me, but I have so many different powders to try out: TF Primed and Poreless, E.L.F HD Powder, Ben Nye Banana Visage. Maybe I’ll get around to trying out P+P Pressed someday. 🙂

  13. Arianne says:

    As soon as I saw the press release for this I had really high hopes that it’ll perform well. I had tried a sample of Prep + Prime loose powder before and liked it. But honestly for everyday, I can’t be bothered with loose powders (in case I sneeze, yanno). 😉 I’m so happy it gets an A+ from you. It sounds totally worth it.
    Arianne recently posted … Giorgio Armani Fall 2011 Jacquard Collection Reviews, Swatches.

  14. I am so excited for this! I love the effect of loose powders but hate traveling with them. This will also be easier on my kit because I won’t have to deal with potential spills!

  15. Stephanie says:

    Does it give you a white cast in flash photography?

  16. Shontay says:

    I wonder how this compares to my beloved mufe hd. I have plenty of it left but I would love a similar pressed version. I might check this out but I hope it won’t break me out.

  17. Kim says:

    Pore minimizing sounds awesome! I’ve always been a bigger fan of loose powder than pressed but it looks like MAC has a great option either way. 🙂

    I’m glad I didn’t spill anything about TB in yesterday’s comments. What did you think?

  18. Sheena says:

    This sounds great, especially for the warmer weather when my skin tends to get oily and dewy quite easily. Can’t wait to try it!

  19. Juji says:

    *Happy dance*

    MAC Prep + Prime loose powder is my favourite! I’ve been thinking it would make the ultimate pressed powder for touch ups during the day.

  20. Kristen says:

    You’re wearing such a cute hoodie! Do you mind sharing where it’s from?

  21. Victoria says:

    Does the MAC Prep + Prime pressed powder break you out? MAC’s Studio Fix Powder Foundation breaks me out and I wonder if it’s the same for this one… Also, does the powder give you that ghost face in flash photography? Otherwise, this powder sounds great!

  22. Naj says:

    Ahhh, I need something like THIS! I have 2 refills of pressed powder foundations, and they are too light for me now because I’ve gone swimming too many times. Any idea what I can do with them before they expire?

  23. shanna says:

    Hi I wanted to know what are you wearing on your lips?I love how it looks natural thanks much =)

  24. Jenna says:

    I’m intrigued! I’m currently using Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. Do you know how this compares?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jenna,

      I have and use a couple of MSFs too. The texture of Prep + Prime seems slightly more fine and it melts right into the skin. I think the effect is also a touch more glowy than MSF. They’re both great powders, though.

  25. shanna says:

    Thanks for your quick response Karen .I will be heading over to MAC to try it out =)

  26. April says:

    My MAC wish would be for the packaging for the powders, blushes, eye shadow, would be different, the clear top always pops out and leaves me with an open container!!!!


  27. Gauri says:

    Must have the finishing powder!! I ♥ M.A.C & have tons of their stuff. Ridiculously priced Prep + Prime Transparent Finished Powder: must be mine!!
    Gauri recently posted … 5 Ways to Transition Your Beauty Regimen Into Monsoon

  28. Johana says:

    I have never used MAC before but this sounds very interesting. I get oily especially now in the summer, I’m currently using BE mineral veil but i still get shiny and oily. I was going to try IT Cosmetics bye bye pore powder, how would you compare these two products and in your opinion which is better.

  29. Angela says:

    I know this post is old,but I was wondering if anyone who has purchased this could tell me if it came with a puff or the clear plastic sheet that most powders come with? I just received this in the mail and it didn’t include the puff or plastic sheet so I am wondering if I got a product that may have been returned.

  30. ManilaJen says:

    Hi Karen! I had the loose version of this and unfortunately spilled it all over our apartment floor (sucks, yeah) I’m thinking which to get, the pressed version of this or Mac Blot. I really like the finish and oil control of Prep+Prime on me. But just in case Mac Blot is better. Help? Thanks so much!

  31. Azreen Bhai says:

    Hi! I’m new to your blog and was stalking all these interesting posts of yours. Just wondering if you’ve tried the NARS Light Reflecting Loose/Pressed powders? Or the MUFE Loose Translucent powder? And if not, is there any particular reason or just that you haven’t gotten around to it. Thanks!

  32. Karen loved your review

    I’ll buy the MAC Prep + Prime Loose Blot Powder and the mac because my skin is very oily and shiny

    Laughed a lot here with the spy, ah think the mac is reading his thoughts, will soon have the lotion Turquatic and the credits and merits will be by Karen <3

    Kisses beautiful!

  33. Natalye says:

    I would like to try this, it sounds great!

    Natalye recently posted … theBalm: Bahama Mama Bronzer Review and Swatches

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