Monday, March 14, 2011

BB Cream Overview

Good afternoon!
As promised, here is my post all about BB creams and a general review on the ones that I own.

BB cream stands for blemish balm cream and was originally formulated in Germany for medical patients to use after surgery. This soon spread to Korea and after several high profile celebrities began to wear the cream, the beauty industry swooped in and began to produce and market BB cream for the mass consumer market. There are many different types of BB cream, with many containing SPF, anti-ageing, whitening and skin-clearing properties.

BB cream has a very narrow shade range, with some brands producing only 1-2 shades. Many BB creams also oxodise upon contact with oxygen to a half or full shade darker than their original shade. BB creams that claim to have whitening properties also have a tendency to contain a grey tinge. BB cream is similar to a tinted moisteriser, however it often has a thicker consistancy and low to medium coverage.

I first came into BB cream from the beauty blog CosmeticCandy and it's been a downward spiral since. For me, BB cream has become an essential in my collection. It was my HG everyday product in senior year of high school and I haven't stopped raving about it since. As Australia is considerably more expensive than the US and the UK, BB cream has been a welcome alternative to overpriced drugstore foundations. They are also an average of 40-50g per tube and most come with pumps. Perfect for the discerning germaphobe or product waster.

(In order from left to right) Fresh swatches
Skin79 Diamond Collection Pearl BB cream, Skin79 Diamond Collection The Prestige BB cream, Skin79 Triple Function BB cream, Lioele Beyond the Solution BB cream, Missha Perfect Cover BB cream in shade #21 Light Beige, Skinfood Gingko Green BB cream in shade #1. Please note, that unless a shade is listed that particular product only comes in one shade.

(In order from left to right) Swatches of bb creams about 45 minutes later after oxodising. Please note this was taken before the fresh swatches, for some insane reason.
Skinfood Gingko Green BB cream in shade #1, Missha Perfect Cover BB cream in shade #21 Light Beige, Lioele Beyond the Solution BB cream, Skin79 Triple Function BB cream, Skin79 Diamond Collection The Prestige BB cream, Skin79 Diamond Collection Pearl BB cream.

I'm a MAC NC15, with combination skin and mild discolouration. Due to the heavier feel of some BB creams, it glides over my dry patches and shows no obvious flakies. BB cream can also be layered underneath foundation to provide additional coverage. I like to team most of my bb creams with my Skinfood Peach Sake concealer, YSL Touche Eclait or Maybelline Mineral Power concealer and topped with translucent powder.


Skinfood Gingko Green BB cream: provides sheer to low, buildable coverage. It's the lightest BB cream I own next to the Skin79 Pearl one and has the strongest (but still very mild) yellow undertones of any BB cream I've tried. It has a medium-thin consistancy and doesn't favour oily or dry skin; I found it did nothing to assist in the 2 problems and it does not list as containing SPF. As with all Skinfood products, this contains natural ingredients that are made to benefit the skin.

I like this BB cream for those days when I want to pop on something that's sheer or to put on underneath my foundation. It's also my go-to BB cream for a late night shop run and I'm looking a wee bit worse for wear. It feels the most natural on my skin. It's also the only BB cream I own that doesn't have a pump, but is a squeeze tube. It leaves a mild dewy finish, borderline satin.

Missha Perfect Cover BB cream is one of the thickest BB creams on the market. It comes in the tradtional BB cream style pump tube and provides low to medium buildable coverage. It's also got the highest SPF I've seen, boasting an SPF 42pa+++ and other skin claims. I like this for the days when I'm going to be out in the sun a lot or as a stand in for my foundation. It feels a little heavier on the skin than my other bb creams.

It leans more grey due to it's whitening 'properties' and also oxodises the most. Personally, I felt that this offered nothing more than mild moisturisation and SPF; the claims of whitening and anti-wrinkle have shown no signs on my skin. This is also the MOST hit or miss BB cream that I've read about, due to mineral oil being a key ingredient. This didn't break me out at all, but I'm lucky to have skin that dislikes almond oil rather than mineral oil. For oily skin you will need to blot/powder after a few hours. It leaves a satin finish on my skin.

Also, this is the only BB cream that I've found that extends from an NC10 to about an NC35-40. However don't quote me on it! The new lightest shade I have had the benefit of seeing (a Christmas present for a paler friend)and it's definately for the palest of pale girls.

Lioele Beyond the Solution BB cream is one of my favourites. It has a neutral undertone and is a tiny bit too dark for my skin after oxodisation. This is definately something for the combination dry skin girls; it leaves a dewy finish and feels very moisterising. It's a little thinner than the Missha and feels much more natural. The tube has a pump and a generous 50g. It also is the cutest BB cream tube I've seen so far.

It also provides the best coverage I've found so far at about a medium buildable coverage. One thing I've also noticed about this BB cream is that it feels almost a little tacky after application; powder adheres very well to it. One interesting thing about this BB cream is that it looks matte in pictures. This does only come in one shade however and best suits an NC20-25, maybe an NC15 at a stretch. This doesn't contain any SPF, but I've never suffered any burn from wearing it.

Skin79 Triple Function BB cream was a product I wanted to love SO FREAKING MUCH! It comes in a nice hot pink tube with a pump and provides slightly heavier coverage than the Lioele. But it oxodises way too dark for, topping out at about an NC25-30 with a slight grey undertone. This claims to whiten the skin and have anti-ageing properties.

I didn't get to test this out thoroughly as it was just too dark and I looked a wee on the pancake side. It's a little more suited for oily skins, but it accentuated a few of my flakies. It left a more matte finish than my other BB creams and I didn't need to blot at all. It has a neutral undertone, SPF25 and comes in only 1 shade.

Skin79 Diamond Collection the Prestige BB cream comes in a cute pink pump tube that's similar to the Triple Function, but a little thinner and taller. Alas, it was also too dark but provided a little lower coverage to the Triple Function. It's also one of the thinnest BB creams that I've used and it blends well. It also claims to whiten the skin and assit in anti-ageing, but for the short time I wore it I saw no difference. It provides low to medium buildable coverage and leaves a slight dewy finish. This seems much more equipped for drier skins than the Triple Function. It lists as not containing any SPF and comes in only 1 shade, with a mild grey undertone.

The Skin79 Diamond Collection Pearl BB cream seems to be the inspiration Revlon used behind their Photoready foundation. It's VERY pearly and shimmery, with a strong pink undertone. it has very sheer to low buildable coverage and leaves a dewy finish. Not for the oily-skinned in ANY way, this was way too much to spread over my entire face. It was also pretty thin and one of the palest BB creams I've seen. Used very sparingly underneath my foundation, this brightened my skin but accentuated any discolouration I had. I've ended up using this on my nose and cheek bones. It also has a mild grey tinge to it and has the same skin claims as the other 2 Skin79 BB creams I've reviewed. Granted, the packaging does give the impression that this is intended to be used a highlighter, so perhaps I'm just a bit blonde?

And that wraps it all up. I've never actually tried any of the BB creams made by Etude House, but I'm doing an Asian beauty haul in the coming weeks and intend to pick one up. I'm also in the process of testing a few new BB creams that have landed in my mailbox (including the Maybelline one!) and will report back in a couple weeks with a review.

Pat on the back if you managed to make it this far through the post and if you have anymore questions leave me a comment and I'll try to answer it as well as I can.

Kitty love!


Ke said...

thank u so much for this review! it was really helpful, i just ordered the lioele beyond the solution bb cream. please check out my makeup blog when you have a moment too <3


Julia said...

Thanks Ke! They've actually made another bb cream that is similar to this one, but it has an SPF something a few other goodies. I'm waiting on a few swatches before I buy it.

JuLiAnnE @ Bathroom Dancer said...

Very nice overview - thanks! I was debating on which BB cream to try next :)

Julia said...

Thanks for reading Julianne!