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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Review + Comparisons: MAC Prep + Prime, Pro Longwear and Becca Blotting Powder Perfector


Battle of the Translucent Blotting Mattifying Setting Powders Collection Review

Powders work well for setting your makeup and prevent your foundation, concealer & cream blushers/bronzers from fading throughout the day. The ones that layer well not only locks your makeup in place, but they are also suitable for mid-day touchups. The ones that go on sheer work best as a finishing powder and for those who don't want additional coverage as they can make your foundation look separated the more you pack on the product. There are also some powders that mattify the skin, while others provide a more natural finish. Continue reading to find out which one works best for your needs!


MAC Zac Posen Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Pressed Powder Review Limited Edition

Zac Posen for MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Pressed Powder ($27, Limited Edition) - The packaging says it contains 10g/0.35oz, while the company's main website says it contains 6.26g/0.21oz. The one from the permanent collection retails $26 for 6.3g/0.22oz. 

The compact features a dark, army green rubber coating and contains a full-size mirror. The product is colorless, very mattifying and sheer in terms of coverage. It's ideal for controlling oil, reducing shine & locking your makeup into place. The formula is also oil-free and fragrance-free. 

I find that it's one of the most mattifying powders that I've tried and is very similar to the Nars Light Reflecting powder (review) in terms of oil control. It can emphasize dry spots and leave a white cast if you over apply it. Therefore, I highly recommend using a light hand and a fluffy brush, such as the Sonia Kashuk #19 (review).

Ingredients: Mica, Silica, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Zinc Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Synthetic Wax, Calcium Silicate, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cetyl Acetate, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-1, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol and Phenoxyethanol. [+/- May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Bismuth Oxychloride, Blue 1 Lake, Carmine, Chromium Hydroxide Green, Chromium Oxide Greens, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Manganese Violet, Red 6 Lake, Red 7 Lake, Ultramarines, Yellow 5 Lake and Yellow 6 Lake.]

MAC Limited Edition Prep and Prime Transparent Finishing Pressed Powder Review

MAC Chris Chang Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Pressed Powder Review Limited Edition

MAC x Chris Chang Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Pressed Powder ($29.50 for 6.3g/0.22oz, Limited Edition) - This one has the same formula as the Zac Posen version. The main difference is the packaging. It's also worth mentioning that there are multiple versions of the Chris Chang packaging. One compact features a brighter design, while another one contains more floral patterns.

Unfortunately, both versions broke me out. I developed tiny red bumps on the areas where I applied the powder and they faded within 24 hours after I stopped using it. (I've tried it multiple times and made sure to not incorporate any new products into my regime during testing.)

Ingredients: Mica, Silica, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Zinc Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Synthetic Wax, Calcium Silicate, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cetyl Acetate, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-1, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol and Phenoxyethanol. [+/- May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Bismuth Oxychloride, Blue 1 Lake, Carmine, Chromium Hydroxide Green, Chromium Oxide Greens, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Manganese Violet, Red 6 Lake, Red 7 Lake, Ultramarines, Yellow 5 Lake and Yellow 6 Lake.]

MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Pressed Powder Swatch
(All products in this post are swatched heavily.)
MAC Pro Longwear Pressed Powder in Medium Review

MAC Pro Longwear Pressed Powder in Medium ($26 for 11g/0.39oz) - The compact comes with a thin powder puff, which is handy for those who apply makeup on the go. The oil-free formula is suppose to (1) provide buildable, sheer to medium coverage, (2) leave a  velvety matte finish, (3) be sweat resistant and (4) last up to 12 hours. 

Medium looks more beige and slightly pinkish when compared to Medium Plus. (Keep in mind that I have Medium Plus in the Sheer Mystery powder, which is different in formula and more sheer.) However, both colors work fine on my warm NC30/35 skin tone. They don't alter the shade or undertone of my foundation when applied as a setting powder and with a light hand. I personally use Medium for setting my oily t-zone and all over my face when I know it's going to be a hot and humid day. It also pairs well with semi-matte foundations, such as the L'oreal True Match (review), as it doesn't leave the skin looking too dewy or too flat.

When layered, I find that it provides enough coverage to even out the skin tone and leaves a natural-looking finish. The formula is very oil controlling and can cling onto dry spots. Therefore, I recommend exfoliating well and prepping the skin with a good moisturizer. (I will have to pick it up in Medium Plus if I want to use it as a foundation since it's a better match for my skin tone.)

Ingredients: Mica, Silica, Boron Nitride, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Zinc Stearate, Aluminum Calcium Sodium Silicate, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Isododecane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Silylate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Squalane, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Ceramide 3, Hydrolyzed Soy protein, Methicone, Cholesterol, Water, Sodium Lauroyl Aspartate, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Zinc Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Linoleic Acid, Coconut Acid, Phenoxyethanol. [+/- May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Carmine (CI 75470), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Ultramarines (CI 77007) and  Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140).]

MAC Pro Longwear Pressed Powder in Medium Plus Swatches Sheer Mystery

MAC Pro Longwear Pressed Powder in Medium Swatch

MAC Pro Longwear Pressed Powder Puff Sponge Applicator Review

BECCA Blotting Powder Perfector in Translucent Review
(Picture was taken after product had been used.)
Becca Blotting Powder Perfector in Translucent ($38 for 10.8g/0.38oz) - The compact has a rubber texture with a metal center, which gives it some weight. It comes in a zippered & padded nylon pouch with a full-size mirror inside. A powder puff is also included and it has a ribbon attached to the back, which provides ease of use and better control.

The powder in Translucent does not look as stark white in the pan as the MAC Prep + Prime one and has a more silky & creamy texture. It blurs imperfections and leaves a soft matte finish. The formula is also free of oil, parabens, and fragrance. (It also comes in a tinted version for darker beauties.)

When compared to the other powders, I find that the Becca one layers well and looks more forgiving in terms of texture if you over apply it. I especially like that it mattifies the skin without over drying it (unless you purposely pack it on like I did in the swatch picture or have dry skin), while creating a soft focus effect. This formula would also be great as a foundation if it came in more shades. (Keep in mind, it can leave a white cast if you heavily pack it on, just like any other translucent powder. So, I recommend using a light hand.)

The powder can also be used to touch up your makeup throughout the day without looking cakey, flakey or separated. (Tip: Absorb any excess oil on your face using blotting sheets. Then, apply the powder on areas of concern using a pressing and tapping motion.)

Ingredients: Mica, Silica, Dimethicone, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Talc and Tocopheryl Acetate. [+/- May Contain: Ci 77491 (Iron Oxide), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxide), Ci 77492 (Iron Oxide) and Ci 75470 (Carmine).]

Becca Blotting Powder Perfector in Translucent Swatch

Becca Blotting Powder Puff Sponge Applicator Review

Becca Blotting Powder Perfector in Translucent Compact Case Zipper Review

MAC 182 Buffer Brush Square Handle Limited Edition Couture Zac Posen Gareth Pugh 2006 2011 2016 Collection
(Natural bristles fluff out and widen after the initial wash.)
Zac Posen for MAC 182 Buffer Kabuki Brush Limited Edition Review Size Comparison

MAC 182 Domed Buffer Brush Limited Edition Zac Posen Review

Zac Posen for MAC 182 Buffer Brush ($54, Limited Edition) - The 182 brush from the permanent collection retails $53. The Zac Posen version features an exclusive square handle with dark, hunter green bristles. All of the 182 brushes that are mentioned in this post are made of natural goat hair and feel very soft, but the Zac Posen version feels much more plush and reminds me of a bunny's tail. It's actually the softest out of all the MAC brushes that I own. 

The bristles shedded a few hairs and fluffed out after the initial wash, which is normal. It did not bleed any dye and has not shedded since.  

One of the reasons why I favor natural bristles is because I find that they pick up powder products more easily, blend more effortlessly and apply more evenly without ever leaving a blotchy finish. The kabuki brushes that are mentioned in this post are perfect for (1) pressing in setting powder, (2) buffing in powder foundation, (3) blending out over applied blush & harsh lines and for (4) body application. 

When applying setting powder, I find that I don't have to use as much product or dip the brush into the product as much due to the density of the bristles. (For those who have a heavy hand or prefer lighter coverage, a flimsier brush or a synthetic one, such as the Sephora #91 (review) would be more suitable since they lay down powder products more lightly.) 

The Zac Posen version has the same density as the Gareth Pugh version, while the Couture version is slightly wider. However, they all essentially perform the same and I use them interchangeably

Zac Posen for MAC 182 Buffer Brush 2016 Collection Dupe Comparison Review

MAC Translucent Blotting Setting Powders Review Collection

Bottom Line: All of these powders are ideal for those with oily and combination skin. The MAC Prep + Prime powder works best for setting makeup without adding coverage and for those who don't have sensitive skin, while the Pro Longwear version is more suitable for those who want a tinted version. The Becca one is my favorite of the bunch and works best for not only keeping oil at bay, but also for touching up my makeup throughout the day, while smoothing the appearance of fine lines, pores and wrinkles.



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