BB Creams Mega Haul – The Quest to Finding The Perfect Match

So much has been said and written about BB Creams, this trend, or rather — crazy, seems to take over the market and any company, from Essence who offer BB Creams under $5, to Chanel who charge a whooping $95 per tube, feels that they absolutely must manufacture a Beauty Balm if they want to remain in the market. In our western culture, BB cream is different from original Asian BB Creams, which are more like tinted moisturizers with primer and SPF inside. So far, I have tried over 20 BB Creams and found them all be rather similar in 1 way – they look like a cheap foundation, with poor coverage and awfully small selection of shades. While most companies offer a rich palette of powders and foundations, BB Creams come in 2-3 shades.

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Personally, much as I am limited on time in the morning, and much as I appreciate the convenience of using just 1 product instead of 4 (moisturizer, primer, foundation and  a sunscreen), I am generally against these “all in one” or even 2 in 1 solutions. O often feel like in the end you are not getting enough of anything and have very little control over the end result.
But with so many people falling a pray to the commercials of BB Creams, I thought there must be at least 1 BB Cream worth my while out there, so I took a few hours and stormed the local department stores and drugstores, here are the BB creams I tested on my face:

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream – purchased for the full price, to my extreme disappointment it turned to be extremely thick, sunk into every fine line that was completely invisible when no makeup is on, and I couldn’t find a good color match, as shade #1 was very pink (making my skin look nearly irritated), and shade #2 which I eventually purchased, was very orangish, significantly darker than my skin tone so I have to apply it all the way down to my neck and decollete area, if I want to wear it. I am actually a very big fan of Clinique’s skin care products, I used to use them since I was 24 or so, but I must say their makeup line is a let-down. While their Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer has a very subtle and light coverage and a rich selection of shades, BB Creams are thick, come in just 3 shades and are very heavy. Thumbs down!

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Garnier Skin Perfector for Oily Skin – Another purchase, though at least this drugstore product was discounted and cost me around $10, if not a tiny bit less. It didn’t live up to my expectations either, but considering it was 4 times cheaper than Clinique, it wasn’t any worse, it was just different. The consistence is very runny, almost watery, which makes the application difficult, since it dries out a lot faster than Clinique . Also the light shade which I picked out of the 2 offered, was significantly darker than my natural skin tone, so again I have to wear it on the entire upper part of my body if I don’t want to look like I borrowed my head from another person. It make me break out when I wore it in summer, so the oily skin version is not really helpful as my skin got oily after just a few hours. A little hard to remove, this BB Cream won’t come off easily, so that was another downside but it offered a good coverage so I guess that makes up for it. Overall, I cannot say I liked it or will recommend it but if you have dry skin and darker skin tone, it may work for you very well, since the price is very attractive and this is not the kind of purchase that will hurt your pocket.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream – I got the new green version of this one, as I head a lot about the original pink version being too oily, Now, the green one (called “pure”) is supposed to be for oily skin, so I thought I would give it a go. Another ultra cheap product, which you can get for as low as $5 in your local drug store, so I would imagine no one would expect much for this money. But…I didn’t expect it to disappear. The coverage is very sheer to begin with and won;t cover any imperfections, thanks to this sheerness though I was able to match my pale skin to the light version of this BB Cream, which also comes in just 2 shades. After just half an hour I noticed that my face looks exactly like it looks when I just wake up or wash my face – it’s “bare”. I reapplied, but soon noticed the cream disapeared once again. So I applied a circle of this BB Cream on my hard, made sure it’s a noticeable circle and I won’t wash that part of my arm to see what is happening with it, and guess what? The circle disappeared after about 1 hour, when I checked it. I am not sure exactly what is happening with this cream, it just sinks into the skin and pigment seems to disappear, way too quick in my opinion. Bottom line is, as a BB Cream it is rather useless since it offers no coverage in the first place and only lasts 30-60 minutes, and on top of it all, it didn’t “perfect” my skin.

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Yves Rocher Peau Perfait BB Cream – These were gifts with purchase and I got 2 shades, light and medium. Just like Clinique’s BB Creams, by light they meant pink and by medium – orange. In this case, however, pink matched my skin better and made me look a little fresher with a fairly good coverage. This product is not a classic BB Cream though as it offered no SPF. It’s also a bit oily, so if you have oily skin and plan to wear it in the summer – forget it about it! The next disadvantage is application, it’s very hard to smooth on your skin, goes on in ugly blotches, so the only way to apply it evenly is by using a foundation sponge and dab it patiently all over my face. If you have dry skin, patience, a separate sun screen and a good sponge — why not.

L’Oreal Nude Magic BB Cream – You might have heard a lot about this cream as it says it will adjust to your natural skin tone. Coming completely white out of the tube with dark beads inside, within seconds it gets colored… Wow, magic you say? No. It is the beads with pigment that release pigment upon rubbing. And no, it won’t adjust to your natural skin tone, it will just release the pigment it was supposed to release, that is why they have 3 shades and not 1. Again, the “light” shade was WAY too dark for me, so I find it hard to comment on anything else. My skin looked oily after a few hours, and I mean really OILY and not dewy, so even though it offers medium coverage, I didn’t find it was worth it.

Biotherm Aquasource BB Cream – Back to the department store, Biotherm offers products for a reasonable price so since it was “only” $30 I thought I would give it a go. Again, the light shade was very dark for me so I came to realize that maybe the problem is in me and not in the BB Creams… The smell of this product is simply incredible, I could not help but to keep smelling my hands after the application. Similarly to Garnier, it was somewhat hard to get rid of in the shower (just soap and water didn’t do the trick), so two rounds of cleansing milk were required. As my initial hope was to find a “convenience” product for an everyday use, a product that is easy-to-apply yet hard-to-remove was still not getting me closer to my goal. Considering that the coverage was very light and the overall shade was too dark, I must say this is going to be yet another unused product in my cupboard.

The very bottom line is…

I came to realize that if you are like me, feeling and looking too old and heavy in the traditional fluid foundation, and aspiring to achieve that “no makeup” every-day look, you will have a lot better luck with a tinted moisturizer. Most of them, today, come packed with SPF already, and even though most of them offer a lot more subtle coverage compared to BB Creams, you will look younger and fresher, even if some imperfections are not fully covered. So far I haven’t found a good bb cream that would make me say “wow”, or even be good enough for me to re-purchase.
I know there is a great deal of other BB Creams in the world, and my mistake was to try a lot of cheap products instead of investing in one high end like Chanel, which costs $95 (scary, huh?) but from what I hear – it’s the best out there. I have spent a total of about $150 on BB creams, all of which are gathering dust now, so I could have invested in Chanel – the one I would have loved and used, looking beautiful and radiant all the way to the bottom of the tube…

Have you had any luck with BB Creams? Anything you loved and would recommend? Please leave a comment, I would love to hear what you are saying!