If you are like me, you have heard about BB creams around the online beauty community for months, maybe even years. Up until recently, I hadn’t given BB cream products much thought because of their rarity in the States. However, within the past couple months, brands like Clinique and Garnier have released their own BB creams, bringing the long-awaited phenomenon close to home.
What is BB cream?
BB stands for blemish balm. BB creams originated in Germany, but have been made popular by Asian models and actresses. Beauty bloggers and makeup gurus via YouTube have raved about BB creams in their reviews; heightening the product’s profile around the globe. Typical BB creams are a hybrid of skin care and light coverage foundation, designed to provide SPF sunscreen protection and work to moisturize, conceal, and treat troubled skin in just one simple step. Formulas have also been developed for anti-aging as well as skin whitening. BB cream can be used instead of a moisturizer and primer under foundation or powder. For a more natural look, BB cream can be worn alone.
What is so great about BB creams?
Multipurpose: BB creams are VERY natural in appearance when worn alone, and provide light coverage. They are the perfect solution for people that have perfect-almost perfect skin, but are still wanting something on their face as a finisher. A BB cream can boost your regular foundation or powder, acting as a primer, protecting against sun damage, evening skin tone, and providing a little extra coverage, all in one tube. They also tend to have a dewy glow about them, perfect for those illuminator lovers out there. Because of the healing elements BB creams claim, they have been used as a makeup replacement by women recovering from facial treatments, women with sensitive skin or conditions like rosacea, and teens with acne.
Finish: BB creams blend into the skin, hence the small range in shades. It’s hard to ever look cakey or overdone with a BB cream when worn alone.
Texture: BB creams work as a GREAT base for other cream products like cream blushes, bronzers or illuminators because of their similarity in texture.
Shades: BB creams in the US are available in a very small amount of shades. Both Clinique and Garnier only carry two. Both shades are for Caucasian skin tones. Light/Medium and Medium/Dark. I am fair and the Light/Medium is actually a little too dark for me. Asian brands like Dr. Jart, BRTC, and Skin79 have more shade availability, but only for Caucasian and Asian skin tones. Unfortunately, BB creams have not been developed for women of color. BB creams ARE designed to blend into the skin, so a woman of color MIGHT be able to wear a lighter shade and still benefit from the BB cream. I would recommend getting a BB cream that could easily be returned if you were going to try this out.
Texture: Someone with oily skin or someone that likes a matte look to their foundation will need to pair a BB cream with a powder. When applied alone, BB cream gives the skin a dewy glow that doesn’t look great on everyone.
Coverage: BB creams provide minimal coverage. Basically, your skin should already be perfect if you intend to use a BB cream instead of a traditional foundation or powder. If you don’t feel comfortable or confident wearing a tinted moisturizer, than BB cream probably isn’t for you. If you have skin imperfections like blemishes, acne, or rosacea, this will NOT provide you with the coverage you probably prefer. And the dewy glow might even highlight what you are trying to cover. You will need to pair your BB cream with a concealer and probably powder as well. However, if you can get past the fact that your imperfections are quite visible, a BB cream would be a great way to help heal your skin, while still providing some minimal coverage.
Availability: As I mentioned earlier, BB creams are almost non-existent in the US. Only now are we seeing a couple brands pop up in our market. In desperation, ladies have turned to the Internet to fill their BB cream orders, which have led to a slew of problems. From mismatched shades, to BB cream knockoff brands, the negative feedback and comments on BB cream sites are endless. You never know what you are going to get when ordering from Ebay or a translated website. The return process can be frustrating, and often leads to a loss of money whether that be the entire purchase price of the product, S&H fees, or a percentage of your order.
BB creams in a nutshell: A glorified tinted moisturizer that is best tried in-store, or purchased from a retailer that allows returns. If you are shopping in the US, try Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream available at Walgreens, Target, and other select retailers.