These MAC Prep+Prime Highlighter Pens Should Really Be Called PERK+Prime! Miracle Workers

Published in: Eyes, Face, Guest Post, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Product Reviews

MAC Prep+Prime Highlighter Pens

Ta-da! Using the MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter pens ($26 each) to “pep up” my under-eyes

I’m guessing that by now you’re all getting tired of hearing me bang on about how tired I am.

But really, it’s a vicious cycle. I recently read a meme on Facebook (don’t judge me) while scrolling through my feed during the wee hours of sleeplessness with a fussy baby that read, “Parenting is the constant battle between going to bed to catch up on some sleep or staying awake to finally get some alone time.”


L-O-L, is that ever true!

Hopefully for this tired mama, MAC’s new $26 Prep+Prime Highlighter click pens can help. They’re supposed to “effectively [bring] a soft, sheer wash of colour to skin.”

But first, can we briefly pause to appreciate the shimmering — dare I say sexy? — packaging? I’m in love with these boxes and tubes…

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

The MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters in all their glittery packaged glory!

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

Out of focus (on purpose) because I love the tiny shimmers in the packaging!

Available in nine shades (including two correctors in peach and rose) to suit a wide range of skin tones, the Prep+Prime Highlighters are MAC’s answer to YSL’s eponymous Touche Eclat Stylo. Creamy and easy to apply thanks to the gentle brush head from which the product is dispensed, these highlighters do dry down quickly and oxidize slightly to a somewhat deeper tone than I’d expect based on the swatches.

Although the two shades on the right are just too deep for my complexion, any of the first three on the left would suit my skin tone, depending on what I want and need. The one called Light, for instance, is a classic highlighting concealer, while Medium would be better suited to cancel out the blue tones under my eyes.

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters (L-R): Light, Medium, Medium Plus, Dark, Dark Deep

In true tired-working-mom-yet-adamant-makeup-lover fashion, I was bitten by the urge to play with makeup just after bedtime on Wednesday.

“Bedtime shmedtime,” I thought to myself and decided that there would be no better time to test the illuminating powers of MAC’s Prep+Prime Highlighters.

The makeup you see below in the first shot is true, un-touched-up 14-hour makeup after parenting and a long day at work. While I’m generally pleased with how it held up, I wouldn’t be so thrilled with the evident signs of fatigue in my under-eye area if I chose to go out for a date night with my husband.


MAC Prep+Prime Highlighter in Light to the rescue! A few pats of this illuminating concealer under my eyes and around my nose, and a quick re-powder, and my makeup looked new again.

And I’ll let you in on a little secret… After loyally using YSL’s Touche Eclat for years, I think I may like MAC’s rendition better!

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

You caught me yawning! My makeup looks about as tired as I feel after a long day at work and an early morning with two kiddos.

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

In action, topping off my lived-in makeup with a little bit of glow!

I can’t say enough about these MAC Prep+Prime Highlighters. I’ve already given two of them to fellow tired mom friends who are always looking for purse-friendly pick-me-ups, and I will most certainly be repurchasing Light once it’s clicked its last click.

Do you have a go-to “quick fix” for your makeup after a long day?

Jessica Revitte

Jessica is a Project Manager by day and a mommy, soon to be wife, avid reader and makeup lover in the in between times that really count. You may remember her from her former beauty blog, Getting Cheeky. Jessica is stepping out of beauty blogging “retirement” as a creative outlet and is eager to write about makeup, once again bringing her signature cultural, literary and historical twist to the table. See what she’s been up to these days, with and without makeup, on Instagram.


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So far, 12 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Sounds like a good night’s sleep in a pen then 🙂
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Video | Rituals The Ritual of Karma unboxing

  2. Arianne says:

    YES!!! These are so good! They’ve been a part of my makeup arsenal for years now! I use the peach one.

    Your eyes look super perky in the first pic! Is the little one sleeping through the night yet? We are *finally* there and this mama is getting a bit more rest than usual, hallelujah!

    • Karen says:

      Congrats on getting Sarah sleeping through the night, Arianne! What’s her evening schedule like these days? Glad to hear you’re getting more rest. 🙂

      • Arianne says:

        I usually get her down in her crib between 8-9 pm, depending on how tired she is. Our bedtime routine is usually putting her in a sleep sack, a bottle, songs/stories and cuddles, then she drifts off after I put her in the crib. 🙂

        She usually wakes up sometime between 4:30 – 6 am, another bottle then wakes up around 7:30 – 8 am. It’s a pretty great system that I’m sure will be derailed on the next round of teething LOL!

        Is Connor Claire a good night sleeper?

        • Karen says:

          That sounds like a lovely routine. Funny how you mention how that once you get a system down how it changes just like *that*. My friend who has three kids says the same thing. Once you get the hang of it, BAM! — it changes.

          Connor’s an usually good sleeper, which we’ve been told by our doc is rare. She’s about 10 weeks now and sleeps for 6-8 uninterrupted hours through the night. She’ll go to bed between 9-10 and then wake up between 6-7. We’ll see how long this lasts, LOL! For now I’m going to enjoy it. 🙂

          • Arianne says:

            That’s amazing! You’re super lucky! Here’s hoping that she’s one of those kids who don’t get fazed by the teething. 🙂

  3. The struggle is real! But if I went t bed early, I would never get anything done in my life. Praise the power of makeup!
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Taking out the trash V – May Empties

  4. Cheyanne says:

    Wow!! Loved this post/review! I’ve been looking for a good under eye primer/highlighter and now I must try these!
    *runs to the MAC counter*

  5. Karen says:

    LOL re: Facebook. It’s a black hole on those sleepless baby nights, I swear!

    Anywho, I’m looking forward to playing with these the next time I hit up the MAC counter. I’m a huge Touche Eclat fan (although it took me a few years to get on board) so I’ll probably love ’em.

  6. hanna says:

    This looks like something I need. Especially during finals week.
    hanna recently posted … Review: Smart Stuff Natural Products

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