Wednesday, November 28, 2012

On BB creams...

After months trying BB creams I finally felt prepared to write about them...

So, for those of you who aren't familiar with the term, what is a BB cream?

BB stands for 'Beblesh Balm' or 'Beauty Balm'.

First of all, a BB cream IS NOT a tainted moisturizer or a fond de teint...unfortunately many brands decided to launch 'BB creams' that are very similar to these products...but we'll get there.

A BB cream is mainly a cosmetic product that unifies the skin tone, making it look smooth and healthy - a 'baby skin' effect. The objective is a natural finish, like you don't have make-up at all. 

Most of them claim to have treatment proprieties - yes, they make the skin look good after some months but this is probably because they contain high SPF (sun protection factor) and hydrate the skin, not because some magic secret formula. 

Basically a BB cream is a well balanced mix of a moisturizer, SPF, primer and a little color (to even the skin tone, not to color it!).

Which one to choose?

It depends on your type and tone of skin and the amount of coverage you need.

There are hundreds of BB creams on the market, specially on the Asian one, the main producer and seller of these creams. Now the main European and American brands have launched their BB creams.

The Asian BB creams all have pretty colorful and sparkly packages, kind of royalty names and all of them have millions of proprieties, so it can be really confusing to choose one. For example, Skin79 (on of the top BB creams brands on Asia) has this pretty little board to help you choose the perfect BB cream for you.

The Western BB creams are much easier to choose: usually each brand has only one BB cream with two or three different tones (light, medium, dark).

How to apply it?

I use my BB cream as I would use a primer or a foundation. 
Although it has moisturizer, it doesn't give my skin the hydration it needs, so I apply it after my daily moisturizer. 
I use a small amount and spread it lightly with my fingers and then use a sponge to make it more even. Sometimes, when I have more time, I use a brush. And I don't use foundation on top of it. Some people use it, but I don't see a point in it, at least for me. So, If I need little coverage, I use BB cream, If I need more coverage I use foundation, without BB cream.

So, here are some BB creams I've tried...

♥ Skin79

I ordered this miniature set so I could try the main BB creams from this brand. It brings four 5 g miniatures (enough for a month, if used daily): Hot Pink Super BB, VIP Gold Super Plus BB, Diamond Luminous Pearl BB and Diamond The Prestige BB. Like I said, royalty names.

I found the Hot Pink Super BB to be a little thick. The other three creams were fluid enough for me, the tone being the main difference. So, the VIP Gold Super Plus BB was too yellow (certainly not ideal for european skin) and the Diamond Luminous Pearl BB was way too....pearly - perfect for a night out but definitely not for daily use. So, I felt in love with Diamond The Prestige BB. It has the perfect tone for me and is fluid, very easy to apply.

♥ Estée Lauder

I think this is the closest Western BB cream to what a BB cream should be. Differently from the Skin79 BB creams this one hydrates the skin much better. It has SPF 35 and is available in too shades, light and medium. A little bit overpriced.

♥ Dior

I wouldn't call this one a BB cream. It is somewhere between a tainted moisturize and a regular foundation. Too much coverage, almost no hydration. SPF 30. One (very dark) universal shade, and very expensive. 

♥ Sephora

Like I said, most Western BB creams are very similar to tainted moisturizers...this is another one that looks like one. It is available in two shades, light and medium, both of them very dark. And the SPF is only 15.

♥ Kiko

A pleasant surprise. I though it will be another disappointment, like Sephora BB Cream, but I actually liked it. It is not like the Asian BB creams, but the coverage is thin enough. Besides, it has a wider range of shades - light, natural, rose, medium and dark. And the price is fair enough. Unfortunately SPF is only 15. 

♥ Garnier

Not to much color, but yet, not a true BB cream. A little bit oily in my opinion. It is available in light and medium. SPF 15 only.

♥ Erborian

I really like this one, although it gives a little bit more coverage than those of Skin79. I bought it for those days that I need a little more coverage but I don't feel like covering my face with foundation. It is available in clair and doré shades. It has SPF 25 and leaves the skin really smooth.

♥ ♥ ♥

Still have lots of BB creams to try but, for now, I'm sticking with Erborian and Skin79 Diamond The Prestige BB. Yesterday I've purchased the latter here and they delivered it in less than 24 hours! (I live in Portugal and it cames from Spain). Besides that, it came beautifully packed and with samples from other products. I also bought a lemon mascara that smells heavenly.

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