MAC Prep + Prime Lip Review & Swatches

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I seriously love MAC Prep + Prime line! To me, it feels like skincare meets makeup! Everything I try, I end up loving it; the Prep + Prime Natural Radiance Base (review), the Prep + Prime 24-Hour Extended Eye Base (review), and of course, the Prep + Prime Lip (base) which I am reviewing today! :)

MAC Prep + Prime Lip

MAC Prep + Prime Lip

The latest addition to my Prep + Prime collection is the Prep + Prime Lip. It is basically a lip primer that comes in a convenient twist-up stick. The stick is rather long, but slim, so it won't take up too much room at all in your makeup bag. The primer itself looks like a white lip balm in the tube but it is transparent when applied on the lips. It has the familiar vanilla scent signature of MAC lip products although it is very faint and vanishes instantly upon application.

The tip of the product is slanted and small which makes for a precise application. I, however, would recommend twisting it up just enough to apply otherwise you could risk breaking off the tip.

MAC Prep + Prime Lip

MAC Prep + Prime Lip

The product was designed to be used under your lip color (lipstick, lip gloss, lip liner, lip stain, lip cream, and so on) to improve the appearance of applied lip products. Upon initial application, it feels very much like your typical lightweight lip balm. It even adds hydration, moisturizes, and keeps lips conditioned, very much the same way a lip balm does. It is very emollient and slippery in the beginning in which at this time you have to let it sit for a minute or so. Remember this is key. If you follow with your lip product right away, it will not adhere well to your lips and will move around. The color will also be sheered out considerably.

After a minute wait, the texture will dry down to a semi-matte finish and become slightly tacky and sticky, and that's when you know it's good to follow with your lip color. The tackiness allows the lip color to adhere to your lips to prolong the wear time but it does not interfere with the color, texture, consistency, or coverage of the lip color by any means.

MAC Prep + Prime Lip

MAC Prep + Prime Lip

It does well at smoothing and evening out the texture on my lips. I notice that my lipstick glides on so much smoother. I have tried it under different formulations of lip products and it seems to be compatible with all of them. I also tested it with the Tom Ford Lips & Boys lipstick in Michael (review) and witnessed an improvement in the application right away. Without the Prep + Prime Lip, Michael would go on streaky and emphasize lines and dry patches, with the Prep + Prime Lip, I didn't experience any of that at all. The finished result is always smooth and flawless. This stuff just really works!

The effect is long-lasting, too. Usually my lips would become slightly dry in the afternoon, especially now that it's winter, but Prep + Prime Lip seems to keep my lips fairly soft and smooth all day. It also extends the longevity of my lip color for another hour or two, which is a welcome bonus point (it doesn't claim to extend the wear time of lip products, just improve the appearance).

You can clearly see in the picture below that with the Prep + Prime Lip underneath, the lipstick grabs onto the skin better, evidently enhancing its color payoff and resulting in a smoother, more uniformed application.

L-R: MAC Prep + Prime Lip alone, MAC Prep + Prime Lip under a lipstick, and a lipstick alone

L-R: MAC Prep + Prime Lip alone, MAC Prep + Prime Lip under a lipstick, and a lipstick alone

If your lips experience dryness after a lip color application, or if you are simply looking for a way to improve the appearance and/or prolong the initial finish of your lipstick, MAC Prep + Prime Lip is definitely something worth looking into. It works as promised, is reasonably priced, and I suspect it is going to last a long time even with daily use! Some of you may be curious if this is effective enough to replace a lip balm, well, if your lips are not sensitive and in healthy condition, it probably would be enough. For me, though, I still like to condition my lips with a lip balm first (I have severely dry lips) to soften the texture just a bit, then blot it down, and apply the Prep + Prime Lip. I know it's an extra step but it doesn't take more than a minute to do. The results is always worth the extra effort in my opinion. :)

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26 Comments So Far & Counting!


 
  • mj_estel says:

    Hello! I’m glad to read a positive review about Mac Prep+Prime for Lips, it’s been one of the staples in my routine for years now and I couldn’t wear matte lipsticks so often without its help.
    It’s great that you point out the importance of waiting a little time before applying the lipstick, because I know people who apply it straight away and then complain about the bad perfomance of the primer :(

    • Jaa says:

      Hey mj_estel! Yeah, I had to point that out because I was almost one of those people, lol. The first time I used it I followed with my lipstick right away and it was a total mess! So I logged on to the MAC website and realized that you have to wait a little bit for it to set first. :D Is there anything else from the Prep + Prime line that you like? :)

  • mj_estel says:

    Hello! I’m glad to read a positive review about Mac Prep+Prime for Lips, it’s been one of the staples in my routine for years now and I couldn’t wear matte lipsticks so often without its help.
    It’s great that you point out the importance of waiting a little time before applying the lipstick, because I know people who apply it straight away and then complain about the bad perfomance of the primer :(
    In case you want to try another product from the Prep+Prime line, I highly recommend their Face & Protect ;)

  • Gyudy says:

    You’re totally right, I love this too! :) xx

    Gyudy’s Notes Of Beauty

  • Sunny says:

    Hey Jaa, I’ve never thought about trying a lip primer, but I think you just convinced me to! I’d still prefer to buy lipsticks that go on evenly on their own, but this will come in handy for the ones that don’t (just in case I really like the color)!

    • Jaa says:

      Oh I have a lot of those lipsticks! You know the ones with pretty color but terrible texture! LOL. This primer helps them perform so much better! :)

  • Oh well look at that, it really works, lol :-) I assumed that it would just be like applying lip balm ya know, but it clearly is more than that.

  • GlossBerry says:

    Interesting!
    how do you think it would perform with liquid formulas (such as Kat Von D’s liquid ones that dry to matte)? or with other matte forumlas?
    I wonder if it would take the matte effect away :)
    great review as always!

    • Jaa says:

      Nope! Not at all. I tried it with my Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick and it doesn’t deter the formula or consistency in anyway! :) The finish is still very matte as it’s supposed to be. :)

  • Agata says:

    Nice. It seems like a little bit of extra work and I normally wouldn’t bother but I think for some special occasion when I want the lip product to last longer, I’d give it a try. I like how it makes the lip color more pigmented.

  • Erin says:

    I’ve never used a lip primer but you can see the difference in the opacity and brightness there!

  • Jen says:

    Wow, this sounds like a winner! I really like to hear about unassuming products that really get the job done. Will have to check it out :)

  • Monika says:

    I think I tried it years ago when I had my bridal make-up trial and since then completely forgot about it. But I recently got a clear lip liner that you can use as a primer as well, and so far it’s been great – so now I want to look into lip primers more! :)

    • Jaa says:

      What one are you using? I know I have a Too Faced one that I haven’t used for a while. Time to revisit! :D

      • Monika says:

        I’m testing out a Milani one! I think I’ll review it separately on the blog in a couple weeks – it’s great that the drugstore is coming out with them as well :)

  • I absolutely loved this esp when matte lipsticks were my thing.

  • Zeebi says:

    This is my HG before the lipstick. I found out by sheer accident that I need to let it “sit” for a minute and then apply the lipstick once the tackiness sets in. Else found it to completely sheer out the color (as you rightly mentioned).

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