I know you're thinking you've possibly read this article before, but it's become so obscenely popular that I just wanted to pop it at the top of the blogroll again:
This is it; this is my definitive review of BB creams. Back in September of last year, I started to hear the rumblings of the word BB, beating like a drum coming over the seas from Asia. I’ve got to say they are perfect for men in every single way. They reduce the appearance of spots, minimize the appearance of pores, and even out skin tone whilst giving often high sun protection which is essential in any daily skin routine. They should always be applied after your daily skincare routine.
I’d read a couple of Japanese beauty magazines that I was using to study with at university and read about these products that had come over to Japan from Korea and had become all the rave in Japan. It talked about how they were perfectly designed for combination-oily skin types, concealed spots and redness but looked natural, leaving skin with a healthy glow with an undetectable finish.
This revolutionary technology is widely attributed to Polish born Dr. Christine Schrammek, who came to be one of Germany’s most successful dermatologists. She developed the Blemish Balm to cover and treat skin stresses that often come hand in hand with cosmetic procedures of her patients. It was then expanded from the cosmetic procedural market to the general mass market, becoming huge in South Korea where many brands took on the letters BB.
There are now so many BB’s out there on the market and it has become the latest buzzword; any company worth its salt has one. The giants such as Estée Lauder Companies, L’Oreal mainly launched their products onto the Asian market, but they’re gradually being transitioned over to the UK, with differences being made to shades, as the demographic skin colour is different. After 7 months of trying them out, here is my definitive list of what I believe to be the best BB Creams out there despite there being absolutely loads, however these have been chosen based on quality, price, accuracy of promise and innovation.
BRTC Gold Caviar BB Cream
This one took a while to come and really delayed the release of this post, so I apologise, but it had to be ordered from Kore (I just love eBay sometimes!). This is one of the more famous products and one of the ‘original' BB creams. I have to say, I love it. It's fairly rich in texture but designed for oily/combination skin so hydrates but definitely doesn't leave skin feeling greasy or shiny, but it's lovely putting something thicker onto my skin without dreading spots and shine. The coverage is a little darker than normal BB creams, and on my veeeery white skin you could see the slightest of shade changes but nothing anyone would notice in a million years, but I would recommend this for someone who is a 'normal' colour and not paper white such as myself. Redness and blemishes immediately disappear and skin is left feeling soothed and calm. This product leaves an undetectable finish on the skin and lasts all day, there is no way this product feels or looks like makeup once on and is definitely a quintessential BB cream. I took this with me to Germany last week where the weather was unseasonably hot and bright. My skin felt hydrated all day, more so than normal and as with the others I used my standard Clinique Anti Blemish 3 Step as a control to my experiment. Spending all day in the hot, bright sun, my skin didn't burn or even have the slightest hint of redness.
Clinique Age Defence BB Cream
Well this product will give you, like with Shu Uemura’s, one of the broadest possible sunscreens, with an SPF 30 that’s PA+++, which for daily wear is more than enough. It features ‘a unique complex of optics’ helping to ‘reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles on contact. It’s also packed full of our wonderful friends, Antioxidants to ‘defend against environmental aggressors’. There is also moisture content that really keeps your skin soft without it feeling or looking greasy plus Anti-Irritants so soothe skin concerns (for me and my ocassional blemishes).
When you apply the product, it does make you look a little lighter in colour, but not that noticeably and you may think that it has some coverage to it, but as you gently rub it in, it fades and blends very nicely, leaving you brighter in complexion, but definitely not looking like you have a drop of cover on at all! This product is skincare and not makeup, providing long lasting effects and oil control for all skin types.
Shu Uemura UV Under Base BB Mousse [Manface Recommended]
I love this; it’s so unique and innovative. I’m really going into depth with this one, as it's the most expensive out of all of them, so I want to show why I think £29 is completely worth it. The product comes out quickly, so depress the nozzle gently and aim into your forefingers; look to apply it like shaving foam. Out pops a globule of silky, matte, skin coloured foam. Spread this between your two hands and press onto the skin and blend using the whole hand. It disappears into the skin and I didn’t feel it changed my skin’s oil/water balance at all, which is brilliant! My pores looked dramatically smaller, which will be due to silicon, acting as an amazing non-comedogenic filler and smoother. Opacifying Aluminum Hydroxide et al helps to conceal redness, spots and dark marks gently. The sunscreen is physical as opposed to chemical in the form a Titanium Dioxide mineral for good, gentle protection with SPF 30 PA +++. Finally I’m enjoying the added Vitamin E; this will help to protect this skin against environmental damage.
My skin feels amazing all day with this product and looks flawless but not overly so, although you’d never know it was due to any form of cover whatsoever, even if you came right up to my face. There is next to no perfume in the product and I tell you, I have very sensitive skin and perfume is one thing that can set me off, not only did this product not cause me to react, it actually made my sometimes raw feeling cheeks, calm, cool and protected.
The Body Shop Moisture White Shiso BB Cream
Annoyingly, this product is not available as of yet in the UK. The Body Shop had a range a while back that was only available in their top 40 stores called moisture white, that to my despair was discontinued, only to reappear in the form of Moisture White Shiso which if you can track some down, is unreal! Anyway, this product is a really great all in one and designed for again, an oily / combination skin. It's quite light in cover compared to some of the others but gives a great balancing effect, really evening out my skin tone and concealing any red blemishes. The product did not leave my skin shiny at all, really matte and smooth. The product contains their Community Fair Traded Aloe Vera so it really will sooth and I think this product is great for anyone with sensitive skin that has concerns of overloading with loads of different products. Shiso is a japanese herb that is famed for having skin brightening benefits and the products from the range are predominantly made in Japan as far as I'm aware which in my opinion is always a sign of quality. It feels comfortable throughout the day and you may just want to top it up by the afternoon, but this wasn't strictly necessary in my case.
KIKO BB Cream Coloured Beauty Balm
This is great value at only £8.90. In a thin, white tube, squeeze out some of the lotion into your fingertips and then massage straight into the skin. The white cream then starts to change colour and it really starts to match my very pale skin tone. Its oil free and did a great job of keeping my skin looking matte and the SPF was warmly welcomed in the Spanish sun, which is where I’d picked it up.
The finish was completely undetectable, even really close up there was no possible way you could tell I had this thing on, but my skin looked more balanced and dramatically brighter!
BRTC Gold Caviar BB Cream £VAR at eBay
The Body Shop Moisture White Shiso £VAR at eBay
Kiko BB Cream £8.90/30ml at Kiko Online
Shu Uemura UV Under Base BB Mousse £29/30g at Shu Uemura Online
Clinique Age Defence BB Cream £25/40ml at Clinique Online