Prep + Prime Highlighter

by M.A.C.  Prep + Prime
Price:
$24 
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Category:
Makeup > Concealers & Highlighters > Highlighter
Last Updated:
1/17/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This fluid highlighter is packaged in a click pen–style component outfitted with a built-in synthetic brush. As you click the base of the component, the highlighter is fed onto the brush, ready for application.

Applying this with the brush or your finger is easy thanks to its excellent silky texture. You have to blend quickly, though, because this sets to a soft matte finish within seconds. Coverage is in the light to medium range, less than what you’d get from a regular concealer.

Used as a highlighter under the eyes, on the brow bone, or along the bridge of the nose, this comes in three workable shades: Bright Forecast is best for medium skin tones and is trickiest to use due to a slight peach cast; Light Boost is a soft, champagne gold that’s best for light to medium skin tones; and Radiant Rose is a pale, opalescent pink that is the most “brightening” of the shades, best on fair to light skin tones.

One caution: The finish and the lack of hydrating ingredients in this product mean it will emphasize fine lines and wrinkles if you don’t first prep with a moisturizer. The irony of this necessity is that this product is one of M.A.C.’s Prep + Prime items, yet you absolutely need to prep your skin with a moisturizer for this product to perform its best.

Pros:
  • Easy to apply and does its job of highlighting key areas.
  • Doesn’t crease into lines.
  • Workable shades that pair well with concealer colors.
Cons:
  • Expensive.
  • The matte finish can emphasize lines and wrinkles if you don’t prep your skin with a moisturizer.

When it comes to skin care you may be tempted to dismiss the small assortment M.A.C. offers and skip right to their makeup with its well-earned positive reputation. But doing so would mean missing a handful of beautifully formulated products that are worth trying. By no means is M.A.C.'s skin-care line one-stop shopping (at least not if you have blemishes, skin discolorations, or require more than a couple options per category), but you'll find more than just the color products impressive here, and the prices aren't unreasonable either!

Note:M.A.C. is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although M.A.C. does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

For more information about M.A.C., owned by Estee Lauder, call (800) 588-0070 or visit www.maccosmetics.com.

M.A.C. Makeup

What more can one say for this long-standing makeup line whose products have spoken eloquently for themselves for years? In many ways, M.A.C. is a pivotal line not only for makeup artists but also for any in-the-know cosmetics consumer. Although M.A.C. has several singularly outstanding products, they generally excel by virtue of the range of choices offered. The color selection for everything from lipsticks to foundations is exceptional. Also, most of the makeup brushes are beautiful, full, and soft, as well as properly sized to fit the contours of the face and eyes. It is typically a pleasure to shop this line, though we wish the tester units (especially for blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick) were arranged by formula and finish rather than by color.

M.A.C.'s salespeople are sometimes trained as makeup artists, too, though being part of the Estee Lauder corporation means they have pressure to meet sales quotas (and no gifts-with-purchase to serve as an enticement). For this reason, you may prefer shopping at one of M.A.C.'s freestanding or Pro stores. The sales pressure is all but absent, the staff tends to be true makeup artists rather than only salespeople, and the stores routinely offer makeup how-to classes, which are both fun and informative.

M.A.C. has launched several state-of-the-art products since the previous edition of this book. The prime additions are several improved foundations and concealers, superior loose and pressed powders, a couple of mascaras that compete nicely with those from lash-enhancing leader Lancome, buttery-smooth powder blushes, and the very popular (and deservedly so) Pro Longwear Lipcolour. Couple this with their long-standing products that have always performed well and offered neutral shades (Studio Fix, anyone?) and M.A.C. is a force to be reckoned with in the world of department-store makeup. The only disappointment of note is that several of their liquid foundations with sunscreen still lack sufficient UVA protection. Why is it that Lauder-owned Clinique and Prescriptives continually get this critical step right, while Lauder's namesake line, Bobbi Brown, and M.A.C. tend to falter? It's especially upsetting in M.A.C.'s case because the affected foundations otherwise have exemplary textures and a vast palette of neutral shades for fair to dark skin tones. Other than this important point, you really can't go wrong shopping this line, whether you're new to the world of makeup or a seasoned pro.

Note: M.A.C. sets itself apart from other beauty brands by staying ahead of the curve by launching a seemingly-constant rotation of impressive limited edition products, usually with fashion-forward themes. Though it's impossible to review every limited edition product, many of M.A.C.'s are as impressive as those in their permanent collection.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

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  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

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  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

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  1. Danielle P
    Reviewed on Saturday, February 15, 2014
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    agreed
    • This definitely sets quickly so i use it with my MAC moisturecover (with the wand) and it creates the perfect texture, that said Stroke of Light by Bare Minerals and Dermablend's illuminating concealer are really good and will give instant gratification for those who want one product to do the job.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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