Here’s an example of my morning routine:
1. Serum — Erase traumatizing memories of yesterday’s breakouts
2. Prescription pimple cream — Get the zits before they get me (we’re eternally engaged in this battle … sigh)
3. Moisturize — Undo zit-treatment damage
4. Eye cream — Desperate attempt to hold on to my youth
5. Prime — Spackle my pores before painting over them with makeup
6. Conceal — da Vinci at work…
I sometimes end up spending 30 minutes just prepping my skin in order to face the world with my head held high (I’m still working on the whole living-with-acne-shame-self-esteem thing).
Enter … B.B. cream
A genius Korean doctor realized the plight of women all around the world and successfully developed a “my morning regimen in a tube” product.
B.B. cream, short for “beauty balm” — is basically touted to be 5-8 beauty products in one.
Benefit claims vary across brands, but most B.B. creams promise to replace your:
4. Complexion brighteners
5. Antioxidant-rich serums that fight free-radicals and heal discoloration
6. Light/medium coverage foundation
So is it great?!
Well … I actually kind of like it. I really really kind of like it. Now I said “like,” not LOVE. It’s not a “one product solution” for me, but it probably is for a lot of you out there.
Skin types that will LOVE it:
1. Normal/generally clear
If you belong to this group, you probably don’t spend much time fussing on your skin. You don’t need to (yay for you).
Apply to clean, dry skin, and you’re flawless, freakishly fast (copyright: Jimmy Johns).
Skin types that will LIKE it:
1. Normal/Combination that’s mostly blemish-free
For this group, a good B.B. cream can replace moisturizer, sunscreen and foundation. If you have the occasional blemish, spot conceal and go about your day.
Skin types that MAY LIKE it:
2. Combination/Blemished or clear
3. Dry/Blemished or clear
If you’re normal/combination with blemishes, B.B. cream helps lay down a good first layer. You’ll have to build up coverage, but at least your skin’s been prepped, primed and redness has been slightly neutralized.
If you’re dry, you’ll need to use your preferred moisturizer before applying B.B. cream. Let it sink in first. After applying moisturizer, B.B. cream and yet more layers of foundation, concealer and powder to conceal blemishes, you might find that B.B. cream adds more steps than it takes away.
Skin types that will HATE or STOP USING it:
1. Oily/blemished skin
If you’re oily, with acne and scars — B.B. cream will only add to the steps you probably take every morning to treat, moisturize and conceal. Plus, because B.B. cream does not allow you to customize the amount and type of moisturizer, sunscreen and coverage, you’ll find yourself either concealed, but slick as ice, or adequately moisturized but under-concealed.
You will most likely want to get on the B.B. cream train because you’ve heard so much about it, but after several tries, you will likely go back to your tried and true sucks-but-it-works routine.
Smashbox B.B. Cream
Maybelline B.B. Cream
Garnier B.B. Cream
I, unfortunately, belong to the Oily/Blemished category. I tried Smashbox’s awesomely-reviewed B.B. cream. Good, but half way through the day, my t-zone was shiny and my cheeks looked patchy.
Maybelline’s light-weight texture was promising, but too pink for my super-yellow undertone.
If I had to choose one, I’d say Garnier’s B.B. cream ($13-ish) was my favorite. If I had different skin, I’d use Garnier’s B.B. cream every day. It was creamy, hydrating, brightening and gave me nice, even coverage. Not enough coverage to wear alone, but on those fabulous “good skin” days when I have just a few isolated blemishes to conceal, I proudly go for my Garnier B.B. cream in light/medium.
Like any beauty product, results vary according to your taste. Try out a bunch. If B.B. cream isn’t for you, the next mattifying super-product might be. Don’t buy things and hold on to them because their “supposed” to be great. Use what works for you.