The Muse is the queen of BB's. She has used many of the Asian ones ( called Blemish Balms there) and has written a lot of posts describing the difference between Asian and US versions. Thus far she's my education in these. Thus far too, I wasn't really thinking I needed or wanted to use one.
So MAC's new Prep and Prime BB was my first Beauty Balm and I have to say I really like it. I didn't think I would and I honestly didn't expect much. I figured it wouldn't work with my oily skin but then I read the ingredients ( no emollients) and that it's a primer and perfector, not a tinted moisturizer, which I now know no BB creams are. I should say here too, that I rarely use primers for the same reason. Most are hydrating and not for me. Only Cover Fx Matte Prep works all the time and in winter sometimes I use L'Oreal Studio Secrets base. That said , I also well know how much a good primer can do.
MAC BB balm makes a great canvas for makeup. It's not really meant to be worn on it's own ( as Asian BB creams are ) and if you do , you'll have a nice , smooth look with pores filled in but little coverage. The finish is satin, not matte , and I was able to use it in the T -Zone. I wasn't much less oily but I wasn't more oily which is key. I liked that my makeup lasted longer and that it looked better . I also really like the SPF 35. That's high for a makeup product and it seems to be a hallmark of BB creams.
The color here is flesh toned and very light , almost sheer. It should work on a lot of skin tones. I'm fair and it blends right in but it also blends right in on my self tanned arm. In fact the swatch picture I took was useless since it did blend into the skin and you couldn't even see it.
MAC Prep and Prime Beauty Balm is available online now and will be only online. It will be sold at travel retail and in Asia it will be in MAC locations.