MAC Beauty Balm review – could it be an HG?

MAC beautybalm MAC Beauty Balm review   could it be an HG?photo: we heart this

MAC has added another notch in their multitasking belt with the addition of Beauty Balm to their Prep + Prime permanent collection ($30). The Beauty Balm is:

lightly tinted in a nearly sheer beige tone to work on an array of complexions, it creamily re-texturizes the skin and then goes on to excel at being a face primer with high everyday UVA/UVB SPF 35 defense.

Let’s examine those points in a Pros and Cons list…

SPF 35 – that’s some serious sun protection! Normally that would be a con for me. No, not because I enjoy leathery skin. Because I hate the smell and feel of spf. I can only use products that sneak it in. This is just the trickster to do it. I detect it, but only slightly. The smell is mild, the coverage – very un-mask like. A huge plus for me!

Describing it as creamy doesn’t seem creamy enough – I love how Beauty Balm feels. Light and blendable, it glides on to my skin and never feels heavy.

Primer + tinted moisturizer = Beauty Balm – Primers are too oily for me nine times out of ten, so I skip them and miss out on their smoothing properties. I also only wear tinted moisturizer, but sometimes feel like it’s not quite enough coverage. And when I switch too foundation, it feels like too much. Beauty Balm is the baby bear of skin products; it’s just right! It blurs imperfections, creates a smooth surface and adds just a touch of color. I’m telling you, I’ve flipped for the formula!

MAC beautybalmD MAC Beauty Balm review   could it be an HG?

MAC beautybalmC MAC Beauty Balm review   could it be an HG?

Limited color choice – despite claiming to “work on an array of complexions”, as you can see on my NC25 skin (which it is lightly blended into above), it’s pretty light. I can’t see it working on anyone darker then me. Beauty Balm should definitely come in a light, medium and dark tone choice.

Only available online – a big con in my eyes for a skin product. I definitely want to shade match in person on a product like this (at least the first time, and especially for a “one shade fits most” item like this).

If you are on the lighter side of the skin tone chart, looking for a multitasker and are willing to take an online risk for what could be a possible Holy Grail skin item, I think Beauty Balm is worth the leap of faith.

Anyone try it yet? What did YOU think?

Stef is many things. Amongst them: co-editor of we heart this, graphic designer, Philly girl in the California desert, borderline hoarder and a hardcore beauty junkie.

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.

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Written by stef


  1. Profile photo of Kellie

    I need the MAC Beauty Balm!! It sounds perfect for me-especially for the summer. My skin just begs for extra special treatment in the summer. And as Jim Gaffigan might say I am beyond the pale, so it just might work for me!

  2. Profile photo of turboterp

    I don’t even have oily skin yet primers are usually too oily for me. MAC Beauty Balm sounds like something I would love, but I wish I could check it out in person before buying. I wonder if it will be available in stores eventually?

  3. Profile photo of mandabear

    I have combo, sometimes breakout prone skin and I actually love this product too! I was so curious when it came out so I purchased it online and now I feel kind of sad at it’s limited availability and potential chance of it selling out. But it was a success with yet another MAC face product that hasn’t messed up my face. Very pleased. For the record, I am NC30ish and this is a great base for me. Is stocking up in order @Stef?

  4. Profile photo of krista

    I’m going to have to check this out in person. I usually only wear a tinted moisturizer in the summer because i can’t stand heavier products on my skin in the heat and I just can’t do primer ever—I hate the feel and it hates my complexion (breakout city). I would be super excited if this was the HG that I’ve been searching for…

  5. Profile photo of spitfire77

    Wow, MAC’s Beauty Balm looks great! I too have a really hard time using primers because I get too oily, so I am really impressed with the texture of this. I wish they did have a medium tone…I’m typically NC30 but sometimes that’s a little dark, so this light formula might work for me. I also really love the high SPF….

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