Party Till the Break of Dawn With Lightweight, Long Lasting MAC Prep + Prime Natural Radiance

Published in: Face, MAC Makeup, Product Reviews

mac prep prime natural radiance review

Tabs loves big bashes as much as the next cat celebrity. In fact, he’s known among members of the A-list cat community for throwing some of most lavish shindigs and soirees in the feline world. Of course, as his assistant, I get saddled with the prep work, while he gets to have all the fun.


Today he has me scoping out potential venues for his upcoming Halloween bash. Views are a must, which means it has to be a climbing friendly venue with some height (maybe something like this). He also wants a no-host gravy bar, fresh sushi, catnip cocktails and a DJ (I’m interviewing some dude named David Guetta for the job tonight).

Somewhere in there, I also have to order 723 custom-made kitty masks and schedule 22 menu tastings (not surprisingly, the only part of the party planning process Tabs likes).

So, yeah…it’s fixin’ to be a long night.

I guess it’s a good thing I’m wearing the new MAC Prep + Prime Natural Radiance. πŸ™‚

mac prep prime natural radiance product shot

One word: awesomeness!

Like the Highlander of face primers, there can be only one! — and for me right now that one is Natural Radiance ($40 for a 1.7-ounce bottle). (At least for now, LOL!)

It’s a lightweight gel primer with a texture halfway between an airy mousse and a creamy lotion; the consistency reminds me of Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel.

Applied after moisturizer but before foundation, it’s designed to extend the wear time of face makeup and blur fine lines, pores and imperfections, making the skin appear (almost) flawless, and ready for you to pop your favorite face products on top.

mac prep prime natural radiance ingredients

mac prep prime natural radiance swatch

Natural Radiance also controls oil, moisturizes, soothes redness, and it’s packed with protective antioxidant vitamins E and C.

But that’s not all. MAC also added a small amount of fine golden pearl to the formula to give skin a subtle, barely-there glow.

The effect isn’t as dramatic as MAC Strobe Cream, but I like it. It’s noticeable but not loud, and I think it would be particularly great for guys/gals concerned about shimmery products drawing attention to their pores.

To use it, I work half a pump into my skin with my fingers, then layer foundation, powder, blush and anything else I plan to wear that day directly on top.

Um…I love this stuff!

When I wear it, I think my skin looks unbelievably smooth, in person and in pics, and the effect lasts a good 14-16 hours.

I’ve been loving it with MAC Face + Body Foundation and love the combination. It feels lightweight, photographs beautifully and doesn’t break me out (knock on wood).

Officially, it’s my new favorite primer.

PRICE: $40 for a 1.7-ounce bottle with a pump dispenser
AVAILABILITY: Available now in the MAC permanent collection at MAC counters, in stores and on

Currently reading…

When I saw last night that my Kindle automatically downloaded Ann Aguirre’s Outpost, the book I’ve been waiting for and pre-ordered, I actually screamed, “Ack!”

It’s the followup to Enclave, which I loved, and I’ve been literally counting down the seconds to its release.


Reunited, and it feels so gooooood. πŸ™‚ It’s nice getting back together with the characters. Do you ever feel that way about a book? I missed ’em after the end of the first book. I remember feeling the same way about Katniss, Peeta and Gale after The Hunger Games

I keep wanting to sneak away from my desk to read for a few minutes, but Tabs has me on lock-down until I finish preparing for that Halloween bash.

Tabby dictators — you know how it is.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 30 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Wow, I’m impressed! You look absolutely flawless! It’s also pleasantly surprising to see the main ingredient of this primer isn’t silicone. A lot of primers are basically nothing but! It’s not available here yet, but I’ll for sure keep an eye out for it!

  2. Shauna says:

    I have been eyeing this… I think its sold! Thank you as usual for your (most appreciated) reviews πŸ™‚

  3. virginie says:

    I went to try it, but the sales person told me that it is more for women of color. Because usually the regular primer was leaving a “white” cast on their skin, and this one yellow based, would not do that. SO basically, she say, it will enhance, accentuate the yellow tone of my skin…SO didn’t even bother….What do you say KAren???

  4. This looks great on you! I’ve heard some good things about this one, but I’m still doubtful. I just don’t like ANY amount of added shimmer to my primers/base products because I know that at SOME point during the day, the shine WILL begin to break through–and when that happens, I will look like a greasy mess with the added “radiance”
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … The Sample: Kevyn Aucoin The Essential Eye Shadow Set in #1 Review & Swatches

  5. Lorraine ER says:

    I worry about shimmer in my primer- I do have large pores and get shiny but I trust your opinion and this sounds awesome enough with a adequately subtle shimmer that I really want it!

  6. Heheh, I liked your Highlander reference! πŸ˜‰
    Swatch And Learn recently posted … Nail Art Tutorial: Heartbeat Nails

  7. Anne says:

    Hi Karen, in the above paragraph you mentioned it’s $40for 1.7 ounce at the bottom of the review it’s $20 for 1.7 ounce.

  8. Lulle says:

    I have a few face primers but I never tried this one. It looks good on you!
    Lulle recently posted … Germanicure by OPI: the fire within!

  9. Dhariane says:

    Karen, is there ever a moment when you don’t look stunning? Really, it’s like you never have a bad makeup day. I was wondering however if I could trouble you for a list of the rest of the makeup you’re wearing? Your eyes and blush look so pretty!

    On another note (slightly more related to the blog post), I definitely think I’ll be giving this primer a go. Do you think it would help keep the shine at bay for someone with slightly more combo/oily skin?

  10. Sounds good. And looks good πŸ™‚ But I just ordered a primer last week (still waiting for it to arrive, grrrr) and I have very high hopes for it. So hopefully I’m good for now.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Beauty spotlight: color-crazy make-up

  11. Nina says:

    Ooohh you have given me reason to swing by the MAC store – I must test this out before buying it! MIght be a good time to B2M for some lipsticks too. πŸ˜€

  12. Sami says:

    Oh my gosh! You made me want this so bad but I have my worries. My skin is very fair and pink undertones so I usually use products that are more pink not gold. I will have to wait til I can drive an hour to the closest MAC counter to try πŸ™

  13. Ester says:

    Perfect!! I was just about to restock my smashbox primer. I think I’ll pick this up, instead! Thanks!! Super excited!

  14. This sounds wonderful! Now I’m thoroughly confused between this and Strobe Cream πŸ™‚
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … What kind of makeup suits you best?

    • jigisha says:

      a mac artist suggested me ths instead of strobe cream as she sd that strobe cream nt advisble fr dark skin. m waiting fr it to launch here.

  15. steph b says:

    This sounds wonderful. Going on my must check out list.

    I love reading series for that exact reason – really getting to know characters.

  16. Stephanie says:

    Oh so glad you reviewed this! I am fixin’ to place my fall MAC order (out of my winter/fall foundation and saw this. Spanks!

  17. Deborah says:

    Oooh, now I’m torn between this and the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector. I know they work differently (since the Perfector is an illuminating/highlighter vs. this smoothing primer), but I’d love if you could do a comparison between this and Becca (and maybe even Strobe Cream?) to see the shimmer/glow spectrum! πŸ˜€ Thanks so much for the review!

  18. sarah says:

    i never tried a primer before & i want to try this. the mufe face & body is amazing btw

  19. Maitri says:

    Great review and a great product, I used it for the first time today and can see its lasting effect and the wonders it does to the longevity of my foundation…it’s a keeper!!

  20. Lauren says:

    I was wondering how long wearing this primer is?? Love the review, btw!!

  21. Dawn says:

    Hi Karen! I’m also Asian and very new to this particular primer. Thing is: it comes in “Radiant Yellow” and “Radiant Pink” Which one did you use here? Thank you and looking great!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dawn,

      I haven’t tried the Radiant Pink; I use and love Radiant Yellow. It really depends on your undertones and how deep your skin is. Are you around my color or lighter? And do you have warm or cool undertones?

  22. Juvy says:

    I just received mine by UPS today!! Can’t wait to try it since I will be out in the Sun with my little man doing a little Fall Festival. So hopefully my foundation last throughout this sun.
    Juvy recently posted … Tuesday Beauty Talk- Skincare

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