Everyone has gone BB cream mad all of a sudden; as someone who has been trying and discarding many of them for a few years now I noticed a few other bloggers on Twitter looking for recommendations for Asian BB creams.
I offered to send the lovely Liloo from Le Petit Jardin De Liloo a few sachets from various brands (I get a lot of free samples with my big overseas hauls!), so that she could get a feel for the Asian BB cream before investing in a full size tube.
From what I have tried so far, I still feel the Asian BB cream is different to Western attempts, and is unique in texture and finish and is obviously geared towards Asian skin types and climates.
But what would Liloo think? Would a brand like Skinfood work for her? I asked her to do a review for me and and she’s written a master piece!
A while back, when I first asked what a BB (Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm) cream was, it was presented to me as a ‘tinted moisturiser’ designed for Asian skin type and I never bothered to get to know more.
I might have some Chinese blood running through my veins, but I certainly need more than a tinted moisturiser to have the confidence to step out of the door. But recently, I have been hearing more and more people talking about it, people from all skin tones, raving about the benefits of BB creams. I then became more curious and found out that BB creams are much more ambitious than a mere tinted moisturiser. Apparently…
“A BB cream is tinted moisturiser with additional properties, such as a brightening skincare ingredient, a SPF, some anti-ageing element, hydration, and often includes healing properties too, making it a multi-tasker addressing many skin needs in one tube.
A BB cream gives a natural finish while concealing pigmentation or spots for a ‘real skin’ look and comes in many different variants, depending upon what issues you want to address with your skin (ageing, acne, dehydration, skin tone, etc).” – Source (British Beauty Blogger)
“Yeah right. AS if. Does it do the washing up with that?” were the first thoughts which came to my head. There was only one way to find out: try out a BB cream for myself and see what happens. I was really excited when Fairy Godmother Cosmetic Candy offered me mini samples of BB creams, all the more excited as you can’t even find BB creams in England.
I was excited but at the same time extremely dubious. What on earth could this ‘magic’ tinted moisturiser do for me? If it’s that potent, is there any risk that I could develop a reaction to it? If this acts like a foundation, what is the likelihood that the samples are going to match my skintone? And what about this white cast people in flash photography people are talking about? Do I need to moisturise first?
Rowena kindly sent me samples from Skinfood, a South Korean Company.
The first one I tried was the Skinfood Red Bean BB cream.
On the website it says ”A hydrating BB cream with red beans that nourishes and moisturizes rough skin while providing natural yet flawless coverage, even when applied in a thin layer”.
This exists in 2 shades but I couldn’t decipher on the sample sachet the shade I was sent which is a bit annoying. As I was extremely sceptical about this BB cream business, I waited for a day when I wouldn’t have to work to try the cream, in case something went wrong.
My first impressions: I was blown away and I can’t get my head round the way it works. I applied it like a normal moisturiser (on bare skin) it had the consistency of a moisturiser but much heavier texture, it evened out my skin tone in a way I could never imagine a moisturiser to do and it left my skin looking natural. How could that be possible? I have not got no idea, my mind doesn’t compute how a tinted moisturiser can give me an amazing coverage, feel light as a moisturiser, and be left with a skin that doesn’t look like caked in foundation.
Did it give me flawless skin? No. I don’t think there’s such thing as flawless skin and only way I could get a flawless skin would be to be given a totally new skin but the boost it has given me is phenomenal. I actually felt more confident leaving the house with just that cream on than with a heavy slap of my usual foundations because I knew that my cheeks for example didn’t look as bad/cakey/clogged up under bright day light.
Oh and another thing which I was quite impressed about is that:
- I feel that it gives my skin a subtle healthy glow,
- that it contains SPF 20 (this is why I could never get on with the very popular Embryolisse: its lack of sun protection)
As for the ‘legendary’ white cast it gives back with photos, I didn’t have this problem and my photos, whilst wearing the BB cream were normal, and my skin was not any whiter.
I would need to use the product for a longer period of time to give you a more thorough a full review, but right now, and after 5 consecutive days of use (Yes, I managed to scrape 5 days worth of application from that little sachet) I can proudly say I am absolutely in love and that I am upset that my sample has run out.
Skinfood Mushroom Multi Care BB Cream
Day 6, was when I sadly scraped off every ml of product from the red bean BB cream, I started to try the Skinfood Mushroom Multicare BB Cream.
They say: This triple-function BB cream provides UV protection and deep moisturization to skin with aloe and mushroom extracts, while arbutin and adenosine make skin clear and resilient.
First impressions: It didn’t have the lovely scent of the red bean and smelt noticeably much more herby and vegetably. The smell remains still very discreet but I am in love with the red bean one. Like the red bean BB cream, the mushroom cream exists in 2 shades, and I think I was given shade no.2 but I can’t tell you for sure. At the time of writing, I’ve only tried the mushroom cream on 3 consecutive days but I’ve been able to notice the same benefits as with the red bean cream: amazing coverage whilst leaving your skin looking natural. I used both BB creams without a moisturiser on day 1, but I feel I still want to use a moisturiser underneath as I consider most this product to act like a foundation and that I would wear a moisturiser in that case. Plus JamillaCamel and Pixiwoo wear a moisturiser underneath their tinted moisturiser so I can do it too
Final verdict: I am absolutely over the moon. The mushroom BB cream might have more properties than the Red Bean BB cream but it’s the Red Bean which won me over, because of its nice smell. I need a full size tube of it and the only reason I have not purchased it is that I am not quite sure where it’s best to get some supplies really. A very quick Google search led me to yesstyle.com, selling the red bean BB cream for £15, with postage and packing included. I would totally pay that but I would not mind finding it for cheaper. Incidentally, I was given a third sample to try (a Skinfood BB cream made with grapes, and with anti ageing properties) but I am a bit hesitant to try it, in case I like it better than the red bean, because I can feel that one is going to be a little more pricier – it has to, it has the word ‘premium’ in it.
I just cannot wait till the BB cream phenomenon reaches the British shores. Right now, I have not got no idea how to get my hands on these If I had to point out a negative, I have found that whilst giving me coverage, it felt like the (very large) pores on my cheeks were more noticeable, but I think this is because I am used to see my pores clogged up with a heavy slap of drying (and wrong for my skin type) foundation on. Next, I want to try my final sample with a little bit of ‘pore minimiser’ primer just on the cheeks to see if this is the winning formula.
Overall, I had never expected for a million years that I could get so much from a tinted moisturiser. This matter of skin ‘unevenness’ dealt with whilst giving me amazing coverage without looking cakey, with a bit of SPF thrown in is phe-no-me-nal and very liberating. Women and men even (since it really looks like you’re not wearing any makeup at all) you have got to try a BB cream at least once in your life, especially at this time of year, when you want coverage but not a full mask of foundation. Guess what I will be wearing also for all these occasions when I am not supposed to wear makeup: beach, gym, and the like? Yep, a BB cream.
This cream covers most of the worst bits on my face, evens my skin tone, feel light as air, gives me a nice luminous glow, doesn’t dry my skin, contains SPF, smells fresh… hang on a minute isn’t that what a foundation supposed to do? Precisely! This is, as far as I am concerned, (and possibly because I have yet to find my holy grail foundation) better than a foundation.
They say BB cream stands for Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm. For me it stands for Blooming Brilliant cream!
Disclaimer: The samples were kindly sent to me by Cosmetic Candy. This has no effect on my opinion. I once reviewed a ‘cheese greater’ for feet which I won at a Cosmetic Candy and I had no problem reviewing it and saying that it was a bit … rubbish. [I didn't know you didn't like the cheese grater for feet! You'll be hearing from my lawyers - ED]