10 May 2012

To BB or not to BB...

BB Creams...are they worth the hype? Here's what I think:

For those of you that haven't heard of a BB Cream I'll do a quick introduction. BB Cream, also known as Blemish Balm, Beauty Balm or even Blemish Base originated in the East and was designed to act like foundation in covering common skin issues such as redness, dark circles, brightening dull complexion, etc., but to be a lot lighter in feel.  If you want more information on BB Cream, it has it's own little page on Wikipedia

Once BB made its way over here and practically exploded onto the market, needless to say, most Cosmetic/Beauty Manufacturers decided to bring out their own version of "BB".  

Most "English" BB Creams that I have come across seem to have 5-in-1 properties, claiming to moisturise, prime, conceal, cover like a foundation and give SPF protection.  If the claims be true then great! I know it will save me plenty of time in the morning - 1 bottle to do 4 jobs (I don't apply sunscreen as I tend to use foundations with it in).  

Since I first started using make up I have always used a separate moisturiser, concealer (when needed), foundation and then powder to finish. In the last couple of years I have introduced a primer into that too so, needless to say, I was intrigued by these little bottles that promise to do all of the above in one easy step.  So, with this in mind, I decided that I would trial various BB Creams (those which my budget would allow) and weigh up the pros and cons of BB Cream -v- the Separates Method.  

I decided that I would trial foundations in my usual way with moisturiser, primer, concealer, etc., and the BB Creams with just a moisturiser first.  

There is, of course, such a wide choice of foundations/BB Creams available so I did aim to try a variety. 

© Gemma Peters 2012
I am not about to review every single foundation in the picture as this is more about the BB Cream.  That said, if you would like me to review any/some of them in a separate blog post, please let me know.  

We all know that, whether it's the likes of the Rimmel Minerals, Barbara Daly or Maybelline's Souffles or Mousse, Calvin Klein's Super Hydrating, Clinique's Anti-Redness or even MUA's £4.00 offering, foundations are designed to, as a rule, give a medium to full coverage and can be used alone, over a primer, mixed with a moisturiser, set with a powder or even mixed together.  

(These are some of my favourites at the moment, each for their own individual reasons). 
© Gemma Peters 2012

Foundations are designed to be exactly that, the foundation for your make up. Good, or indeed bad, foundation can literally make or break a look.  We've all seen the "I've Been Tango'd" faces haven't we? Regardless of how stunning that girl is, how perfect the rest of her may be, nothing will distract you from the orange face or, even worse, the obvious, "I've applied orange foundation to my face and stopped at the jaw line" mask!  I, begrudgingly, hold my hand up and admit that, in the past, I have fallen fowl of the odd orange episode and, I'm sure if we're all being honest, so have a few of you lovely readers...

So, BB Creams. Do they provide the same coverage as a foundation? Or are they just glorified tinted moisturisers? 

© Gemma Peters 2012

From what I can gather of BB Creams they come in literally 3 shades; Light, Medium & Dark but are pretty colour adaptive too. 

The first BB Cream I ever tried (so didn't really know what to expect) was Garnier's offering, their "Miracle Skin Perfector".  I'll be honest that this one, for me, set the bar incredibly high.  When it first comes out of the tube it looks very thick, almost "stodgy", but the second you touch it or blend it into your skin it dissolves in a creamy, mousse like liquid that is easy to work with and blend. It feels weightless, looks totally natural and "unifies" the complexion.  

I'd say it's coverage is light/medium but it is buildable.  It also smells divine too.  

Because I love this product so much I have been using it on a few of my Blushing Bride Clients (and their wedding parties) and all of them have loved the feel of it on their skin and it has shown it's adaptability with the variety of light to medium skin tones that I have dealt with.  

I, personally, do set this one with a powder if I have used moisturiser before applying because it gives that "dewy" finish (which I don't really like on me). If I apply it without a moisturiser it still goes on just as smoothly but I don't need a powder afterwards as I don't have a double hit of moisturiser on my skin, therefore I avoid the "dewy" look. 

The next BB Cream I tried was actually sent to me by MUA Cosmetics. I love MUA's products so, when I was at their Launch Party for their Collaboration with Love Hearts, I was so excited to learn that they were releasing their own BB Cream and, naturally, jumped at the opportunity to trial it.  

MUA's foundation is one of my 4 favourites at the moment so I was expecting great things from their BB "All in One Beauty Balm". 

This BB Cream says it "Primes, Smooths & Conceals" and "evens out skintone for a brighter, smoother complexion".  

Like with the Garnier, I moisturised first before applying this product. 

When the product came out of the tube it felt heavy in comparison to the Garnier one but, like I said above, I hadn't tried a BB Cream before Garnier so didn't know if that was the "norm" or not. 

I applied the MUA BB Cream with my fingers to start with, but have also used it with a foundation brush, a buffing brush and a sponge. 

To be honest, this cream, to me, feels and blends more like a foundation than cream and I do find it a little difficult to work with. I feel that you need to work quickly in order to get the product to blend else it seems to "settle" quite quickly.  

That said, the coverage of this product isn't as full as their foundation and offers a medium coverage with a lovely finish. It leaves your skin looking unified and healthy and can be worn alone or, as I like to do, set with a powder.  

I then decided to try Vivo's BB Cream.  Although I know MUA & Vivo are part of the same Cosmetic Family (fbBeauty) I assumed that the products would be different.  However, it seems to me that the Vivo and the MUA BB Creams are one and the same product, just in different packaging.  I was a little disappointed by this, but at least now I know. I won't be buying either of these BB creams again and, for me, they're too much like a foundation and, in honesty, I already use an MUA foundation so I don't need another one.  

Next to try was L'Oreal's Nude Magique BB Cream. 

I didn't know what to expect from L'Oreal as it is not a brand I tend to use too much.  I find them to be one of the over priced Cosmetic Lines, especially when you consider the likes of MUA that offer great products at a fraction of the cost. 

Nothing could have surprised me more than this BB Cream. It came out of the tube like water.  It was a white liquid (which felt nothing like cream) and it had "pearls" in it, which are designed to burst as you blend and add the colour. 

I dotted this product over my face (carefully to stop it dripping) and blended it in. 

I was very disappointed with this product. It felt abrasive and harsh against my skin and not in the least bit moisturising. The finish looked patchy and, in places, orangey. 

For the money L'Oreal ask for their products I really would have expected something better. 

Out of the BB Creams mentioned in this post, the only one I will be buying again will be the Garnier one. It, for me, is the one that feels the best, smells the best and performs the best.  

Until next time, stay beautiful. 
G xx 

Have you used any BB Creams? 
What one do you recommend? 
Do you prefer BB Creams, tinted moisturisers or foundation? 

All of the views expressed within this blog are mine and mine alone.  
I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies/products mentioned or their employees. 
All of the products mentioned within this post are mine and were bought and paid for by me with the exception of the Make Up Academy (MUA) BB Cream which was sent to me for the purpose of review.  
All images in this Blog are taken by me, unless stated otherwise. PLEASE DO NOT take my photos without my prior knowledge/consent.


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