Three Brands of BB Cream to Try

The Best BB Cream: The Style Confessions

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

Missa: The Best BB Cream: The Style Confessions

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

The Best BB Creams: The Style Confessions

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

Ponds BB Cream: The Style Confessions

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!

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28 Responses to Three Brands of BB Cream to Try

  1. No Fear of Fashion February 2, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    Never use the stuff. Takes me too much time to get it off again at night. And I do not believe an aweful lot they say about the products. But I am very cynical when it comes to beauty products.
    But if you ever find a jar of Crude Clay by Trucco (label of brand Sebastian) I would be eternally grateful. It is a hair product to give you volume.
    Greetje

    • Heather Fonseca February 15, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

      I will keep an eye open for Trucco for your Greetje!

  2. Pam
    Twitter:
    February 2, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    Thanks for a great review…it always helps to have a complete evaluation like this before a purchase. I just went from foundation to BB cream and now back to foundation…so if I flip again ever I will remember what you said. Thanks!
    Pam recently posted..A Fun New Boutique…Audrey Inspired!My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca February 15, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

      I flip flop too with BB cream, tinted moisturizer and then foundation. I like variety!

  3. popcosmo February 2, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    Love reading reviews of products (and am intrigued by the $2 sample assortment!) I’d like to try one, and the Elizabeth Arden sounds like a good choice! I have used Skinceuticals for years, and although they never jumped on the BB cream bandwagon, I believe it would qualify as a BB cream although it probably doesn’t provide as much coverage. I tend to want sunscreen, but since I’m not in an office, I don’t really worry about showing my skin, haha!
    xo ~kim (and chloe)
    popcosmo recently posted..Party SkirtMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca February 15, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

      Here in LA I have to wear sunscreen year round and every day. It’s just too sunny not to. And I like that I can do both foundation and sunscreen simultaneously wit the BB cream.

  4. Paula February 2, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

    I am totally down for the BB creams! I’ve never liked foundation, and loved the tinted moisturizers so the BB’s with more bene’s is a perfect fit for me! I am going to try all three of your reviews; I use the oil of oilay one now. I just got rid of a drug store brand one that was the wrong color. I dont like the ones that are too thick and I dont mind the perfume–even if it may not be the best for my skin.

    Thanks so much for this, Heather! xoxo
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    • Heather Fonseca February 15, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

      Hi Paula, I’m so glad you liked my review and I hope one of the BB creams I suggested works for you! The Too Faced one is great too. You can find it at ULTA if you have those nearby.

  5. MyEmptyBag February 3, 2014 at 5:25 am #

    I have to try some of these BB’s! thank you for the information!

    xxx

    • Heather Fonseca February 15, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

      I’m so glad you liked the review!

  6. 33 February 3, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    Great review! I am so close to KTown therefore I have zero excuse not to try Missha. 🙂 BB cream has been very popular in Asian for at least a decade. Now there are CC and DD cream as well (have no idea what they are for). So far I have found a foundation that I like therefore I only use MAC studio fix. If this bb cream is good enough coverage, I may stop using powder. Now that my skin is getting old, powder is not that natural looking anymore.
    33 recently posted..breton dressMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca February 15, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

      Yeah, I’m not using powered as much any more either. I do use it when it’s warm out, but I really don’t need it at all this time of year. As for Missha it’s pretty easy to find in the Korea Town Mall on Olympic and Western (I think that’s where it’s located! The one with the grocery store downstairs…) There are several beauty places and one definitely sells them, but I think they’re easier to find in Downtown LA’s Little Tokyo Mall.

  7. Cathrene February 3, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    I am actually pleased to read this website posts which contains tons of valuable facts, thanks for providing these data.

    • Heather Fonseca February 15, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      Thanks Cathrene, glad you like my site.

  8. Alexis Grace February 3, 2014 at 11:48 pm #

    I haven’t really embraced bb creams- mostly because I am tentative about wearing a lot of stuff on my face— it always feels heavy to me. That being said, I know they are tremendously popular, even more so now that I live in Asia.

    BUT BE WARNED: most Asian makeup products contain some sort of bleaching element in them. Make sure you read the ingredients VERY VERY VERY carefully, I’ve discovered that even in products I used to buy in the US the formulation here is different and contains some sort of skin lightening agent…. I even have to be careful when buying sunblock for the little one!
    Alexis Grace recently posted..Travel Snapshots: Chinese New Year In SingaporeMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca February 15, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      There is definitely some sort of skin bleaching ingredient in the Missha BB cream, says so right on the front of the tube, but it doesn’t worry be because I use a prescription strength bleaching cream at night. Brown spots. You won’t need to worry about them for a while though Alexis!

  9. Nanne February 5, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    I haven’t tried many brands of BB Cream, but what I found was that the majority of them are too rich for my combination skin. I can use one of them in the winter when my skin needs a bit more moisture, though. Instead, I use Dr Brandt CC Mat, which is perfect for combination skin. I can even layer it for more coverage if I want to. It’s a bit expensive but a little goes a long way, so I think it’s worth the money.
    Nanne recently posted..White TulipsMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca February 15, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

      Hi Nanne, Yeah, BB cream can be a little rich. As I’ve gotten older my skin has gotten more dry, so it’s perfect for me. I’ve heard a lot about Dr. Brandt and there is a place that sells it locally. In the summer I like more matte products, so I’ll search for it then!

  10. Kiki February 8, 2014 at 7:33 am #

    I keep hearing about how good Misha’s BB creams are. I really have to try them for myself.
    Kiki recently posted..A Splash Of RedMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca February 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

      They rock! Really, they’re very good, and not especially expensive. Not easy to find though, and I always like to try the color to make sure it works on me before investing any money.

  11. Mary Jo
    Twitter:
    February 11, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    Hi Heather, I really enjoyed reading this. I’m so hardcore Laura Mercier that I don’t try as many brands these days but this post has me thinking. I want to try all 3 and track down that first one next time I’m downtown, maybe tomorrow 🙂 So thank you for sharing! Also happy valentine’s day a little early!

    xo Mary Jo
    Mary Jo recently posted..Art + Fashion and MoreMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca February 15, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

      I love Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, but I like that the BB creams have a bit more coverage than most tinted moisturizer. Definitely look for the Missha BB cream if you’re in Little Tokyo in downtown LA. One of the beauty stores there sells Missha, and the little tube is only $11.

  12. Louise Macleod February 14, 2014 at 2:10 am #

    I recently purchased a BB cream made by Thalgo which i like to mix with a generous dollop of Nivea Oil Free Moisturiser for a dewy finish. With the additional benefit of an SPF I find it a handy handbag addition for when I leave the gym and do not want to faff around with bronzers etc. it rehydrates after leaving the sauna. Powders do not.

    • Heather Fonseca February 15, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

      Hi Louise,

      I’ve neer heard of Thalgo, but I agree with you that BB creams definitely help with hydrations. Sometimes I don’t even add powder afterwards to keep that dewy feeling. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  13. fashiondoctor February 14, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    love misha bb cream! xoxoo
    fashiondoctor recently posted..New bag from NEWTMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca February 17, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

      Oh I’m so glad I’m not the only one! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  14. buy designer lingerie February 23, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    I use Ponds so i would give a try Ponds Luminous Finish BB Cream

    • Heather Fonseca February 25, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

      Hi! I do like the Ponds BB cream a lot!