Beauty Test Drive: MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter

Once upon a time, I found myself in Las Vegas with no concealer in my makeup bag. I can say with absolutely certainty that Las Vegas is the worst place in the world to go without concealer, what with the lack of sleep, polluted air, fluorescent lighting, and the small but real chance of meeting Celine Dion and taking a photo with her that you’ll obviously need to have printed on a 5×7 foot canvas to hang over your mantle for all eternity. I couldn’t risk looking less than my best for that momentous occasion, so I popped into Nordstrom, headed to the MAC counter and asked for a recommendation. The MAC ladies plopped me down in a chair, blended a bit of Prep + Prime Highlighter in “Radiant Rose” under my eyes, and handed me a mirror. “Damn,” I said, “I think I’m ready for my photo with Celine.”

I may not have met Celine on that trip (I’ve got a good feeling about next year), but I did find a new staple for my makeup bag. Read on for details!

Price/Availability: $24, MAC and department stores

Packaging: A brush with a cap and twistable bottom to control how much liquid comes out.

Formula: A sheer, creamy liquid that does it all. Use it to cover up undereye circles, highlight cheekbones, hide imperfections, as a base for eyeshadow, or all of the above. I use it every day under my eyes and to cover up blemishes, and I’ve found that smudging a bit on my eyelids before applying eyeshadow makes the colors go on brighter and stay on longer.

Wear Time: I’ve never needed to reapply to my undereye area–it really stays nice and bright throughout the day. Sometimes by the afternoon I’ll dot a bit more of it on a blemish, and I imagine that if you’re using it to highlight cheekbones, you could do one more application after work to brighten up your whole look before going out.

Overall: I have fair skin, but I’m half Italian, so the dark circles under my eyes are a force to be reckoned with. I love how Prep + Prime covers them up without creasing and keeps my skin looking bright throughout the day. It’s on the spendy side, but it’s such a versatile product I feel like the price is worth it. My one beef with Prep + Prime? It only comes in three shades. There’s no need for hundreds of color options because highlighters don’t need to be an exact match for your skin tone, but I’d love to see MAC step up and create a couple of shades for darker skin tones.

Rating: 4/5

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