When the BB Cream beauty trend hit a couple years ago I was intrigued. It sounded like tinted moisturizer, one of my all time favorite beauty products, and I’d been trying to find a good tinted moisturizer at the drug store, unsuccessfully, for years. Maybe the BB creams that were hitting the mass market would be the perfect thing for me? I heard that “Beauty Balm” was thicker than tinted moisturizer, and had multiple skin benefits like integrated SPF and antioxidants. Eventually I invested in a tube of Too Faced BB Cream and loved it so much it played a staring roll in this post about my favorite makeup. But then I became fascinated with the original Asian versions of BB cream. The more raves I read about “the real thing” the more I had to try it. Los Angeles has a large Korean-American community and I knew there were a lot of Asian beauty supply stores nearby, so I went out for a day of exploration. After visiting more than four different beauty boutiques and two shopping malls, I found it what I’d been searching for an it was love at first try. The Asian beauty balm by Missha refueled my earlier obsessed and I started testing more of what the American market had to offer. Here are three I really like. One I found at an Korean beauty supply store, one you can find at your local department store beauty counter, and one is from the drugstore.
Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream
I actually have two different kinds of Missha BB Cream, but the first one I tried is still my favorite. The large, orange, tube in the photo above cost about $33 but has lasted a long time. A little of this thick cream goes a long way. The color, I use #23, has a slightly greenish cast. I think it’s probably formulated for Asian skin tones, but on me it helps to reduce redness. I would have loved it in my 20’s when my skin was always ruddy, but even now that my skin has less color I still appreciate the way it covers my flaws and calms the red spots. It also comes in a smaller tube for around $11.
For an in-depth analysis check out the review from Nouveau Cheap. I agree with everything the author has to say. This BB cream covers really well and lasts all day. The SPF factor is 42, nice and high! The cream is softly scented. You can find all the Missha products, including the Perfect Cover BB Cream, on The Official Missha website. If you’re intrigued but don’t want to spend a lot of cash, they offer a BB cream sample assortment for only $2.
Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Multi-Targeted BB Cream SPF 30
Of the three BB Creams I review in this post the one by Elizabeth Arden is the most like a tinted moisturizer. It’s light weight and fairly sheer. I find myself reaching for it when I don’t want to be bothered with putting on my daily sunscreen lotion and then topping it with foundation. A pea-sized amount of this covers my face and camouflages the flaws. It looks quite natural once applied. The cream includes a lot of antioxidants and other good things for the skin. According to the information I received about the product the cream includes antioxidants such as a vitamin C derivative that fights “…free radical assaults while brightening the skin” and biominetic petide to “…help protect from oxidative stress that leads to signs of aging.” It also includes licorice extract for brightening, hyaluronic acid to increase moisture in the skin and allantoin to sooth. For a detailed review check out the article on Beautypedia. The SPF rating is 30 and it costs about $32 at retail. I wish it wasn’t scented, but the fragrance isn’t overpowering. It has a kind of medicinal quality and fades quickly once applied.
This is not my first Elizabeth Arden review. Check out what I thought of their Ceramide Capsules in the post Rediscovering Elizabeth Arden.
Ponds Luminous Finish BB Cream
My favorite drugstore brand BB Cream is also the most disappointing. Although it received a rave review on my favorite beauty blog, Nouuveau Cheap, it gets a “poor” rating on my favorite makeup review site, Beautypedia. The reason? The stuff looks gorgeous on. It really creates a luminous “lit from within” glow that somehow isn’t shiny. Unfortunately it’s heavily scented, and heavy scents are not good for your skin. On the other hand, a large 1.5 ounce tube is only about $12 at the drugstore, making the least expensive BB Cream I’ve found so far. The SPF is 15.
Disclosure: I purchased the Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream and the Ponds Luminous Finish BB Cream with my own funds, but the tube of Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference BB Cream was sent to me free of charge for review. Either way my thoughts on the products are my own.
Have you tried any of these BB creams? Do you have a favorite BB cream? Do share!