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Rant & Rave: BB Cream

Share: Tell us what you love and hate about BB Creams!

my answer: I feel short-changed that what we get sold as BB Creams here in the U.S. are largely NOT really BB creams, so I think it’s muddied the waters and not given us the product that has done so well overseas. As a result, I just haven’t been that interested in trying them.


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MakeUpMonster Avatar

Skin79 all the way with their proper Asian BB Creams, they’re more awkward to get but the gold one is the only face product that truly works on my dry skin and the pink one is also completely amazing and gives a flawless finish. If there was only one brand I could buy any base products from ever again, it would be Skin79 for either of these two!

Lon Avatar

I agree with you 100% – I don’t know why I keep buying/trying new foundation when nothing is ever going to beat the finish that Skin79 pink label gives me.

Ann Avatar

It’s my favorite too. I’ve tried the Hot pink variant works nicely. But I find the VIP Gold one better because its suits Yellow skin tone.

rebecca Avatar

Rave: Good BB creams, by which I mean Korean BB creams, are awesome. I have Missha’s Perfect Cover and I love it.

Rant: What we get in the US aren’t BB creams at all, they’re glorified tinted moisturizers if that. If you go by what they are and not what they’re claiming to be, some of them are pretty good–I like Bobbi Brown’s BB cream and Diorskin Nude’s BB cream in particular, but they’re really not traditional BB creams at all.

Rant: It is *hard* to find Korean BB creams that come light enough for my skin. I’ve bought a few off eBay that I thought would work and struck out. Missha is the only one I know of that comes light enough for me.

petazetas Avatar

Don’t try it! I’m actually surprised niki said it suits her skintone. I have been using that BB cream for some time, and at first, I thought it was the right BB cream for me, but one day I looked at myself with other lights, and realized it’s dark for me. It looks really pink, and definitely not my NW13 skintone. I have to mix it with NARS Siberia so it’s perfect.
The Skin79 Pink label BB cream is for NC20 people.

Niki Avatar

Thats odd. I’m definitely a true MUFE 110/NW 10 and it matches perfectly.

It won’t look right immediately. BB creams need to oxidize and sort of melt into the skin. Since the pink triple function BB is a whitening, in this case it lightens up rather than darkening like a lot of other formulas. By the time I’m ready to do setting powder, its a perfect match.

Niki Avatar

Also I’m a bit confused – you say you’re NW toned, but complain that its too pink. Are you sure you aren’t NC?

NW implies cool, pink undertones, hence why the pink label is a perfect match. My undertones run very, very cool. If your undertones are more warm-yellow, then the orange label is much better.

Niki Avatar


MAC does it backwards. NW is their cool toned range with pink undertones. NC is the warm toned range with yellow undertones. Just think of it as ‘NW = not warm’ and ‘NC = not cool’.

Its can be confusing, because its contrary to what common sense would say.. but yea, with MAC, NC = warm and NW = cool.

Irene Avatar

If you are around NC10-15, Skin79 Orange Label will also work for you, it’s the palest bb-cream they make with yellow undertones (I believe the Hot Pink one, that someone has also recommended to you, has pink undertones). I’ve tried a bunch of Korean bb-creams and that one is my favorite and the closest match for my NC05 skin!

Ivana Avatar

I really like the concept of BB Creams, but so far only Misshas Perfect Coverage Nr. 13 has been pale enough for me. In Germany, although there are enough pale people, the cosmetic companies mostly release darker colors which often tend to be too orangey, therefore I canยดt shop at my local drugstore. Even the fancypants highend brands have a very limited shade range in their collection, so it can be very frustrating to shop for a decent BB Cream. But, fortunately for me, there are options through ebay and Amazon.

julia Avatar

Germany should have access to the brand ArtDeco, if I’m not mistaken? (Although you can find it on ebay too) Dita Von Teese did a collection through ArtDeco and from memory they did release a foundation and several types of powders that were quite pale.

Wednesday Avatar

I want to love them, but I don’t. I have not tried any NA versions of the product, but did purchase Skin79 in two versions: Oriental and the Hot Pink. The Hot Pink is super greasy on my skin and Oriental has a nicer finish, but the problem is both are way too ashy in colour for me. I really hate blending foundation down my neck and into my decolletage to avoid looking like bad colour match so sadly, this is not a product for me, the colour selection is far too limiting and I admit I’m really really fussy in this department. I would rather wear a foundation that is pretty much spot on for my complexion.

Niki Avatar

You might want to try the orange skin79 formula. The other two you mentioned are ‘whitening’, which can give off an ashy cast if you’re not super, super fair.

Lindsay Avatar

I have the Skin 79 Gold VIP BB cream and I like it however…I don’t really see any “skincare benefits” from it. In fact, BB creams (judging by the order of ingredients) have a lot more silicone in them than foundations so I don’t really understand how some extract listed last could even penetrate the skin? Basically I don’t look to any type of base product to improve my skin…just want to avoid certain ingredients that will break me out.

Celeste Cirinna Avatar

What’s labeled as a “BB Cream” are nothing more than tinted moisturizers. And some of them don’t have proper, effective sunscreens. I don’t get the hype and I don’t buy them.

Peaches Choi Avatar

I’ve tried a few British branded BB creams from Sleek and MUA. I have oily skin and they just left my face a shiny mess within an hour.

But I have tried at least FIFTEEN Korean brand BB creams, from BRTC, Dr Jart, Missha, Skin79, Skinfood and so many more. My favourites are Missha BB cream (the maroon tube one, shade 23) and skin79 pink tube. I actually have repurchased missha’s bb cream so many times and that is RARE with a makeup collection as big as mine as I have so many other products to get through but I don’t think I will bother with any other brands as Missha has just been the most effective for me.

If I was going to try another western bb cream I might be tempted by Dior but for the moment I stick to the asian brands.

xamyx Avatar

I’m a big fan of the “Western” ones I’ve tried. I don’t know if they’re “true” BB Creams, but they aren’t simply TMs. From what I’ve seen of the Asian formulas, they tend to be *loaded* with petroleum by-products & parabens, so if those are what “real” BB Creams are, I’m happy to stick with Garnier & Aveeno. I’m also unaware of how regulated the Asian formulas are, so along with the aforementioned ingredients, I don’t know what else is in there, nor the efficacy of the ingredients. With the commercial Western brands, I feel alot more confident that the brands will stand behind the claims, especially in terms of SPF. As for coverage, the Asian formulas may be heavier, but for my needs, again, the aforementioned brands fulfill my needs completely.

Quinctia Avatar

Eh, I looked at my Skin79 hot pink box and, while it does have parabens, they’re the last ingredients on the list. After fragrance, and the product doesn’t have a particularly strong odor.

The amount of silicones is what I’d consider more concerning, and that would just be for anyone that has issues loading up with silicones on their face. I don’t have that issue, but I wouldn’t ever recommend the product to someone who did.

Yellowlantern Avatar

I feel like Asian BB creams promise a lot, but when I read the ingredients I’m really not sure how they actually can do most of the things they claim?

Like some claim to be good for wrinkles, but I don’t see anything that might help with that in the ingredients (sunscreen isn’t the same as being good for wrinkles since sunscreen just helps prevent premature aging as far as I know it doesn’t help once you already have wrinkles). Some claim to be good for acne, but once again I don’t see anything that might help with that in the ingredients.

Overall I think they’re fine as moisturizing foundations/tinted moisturizers with SPF, but I don’t expect them to do anything else.

Alexa Avatar

BB-creams (asian ones) become my life savior. There are a huge among of them and you really can pick the better one for your skin type.
I have oily skin with deep dark under eyes circles. I use Holika Holika Baby Bloom Light or Etude House Magic Cream. They can hide everything, don’t disapdear after few hours and make that signature photoshop effect.
I’ll really appreciate reviews of asian beauty products, especially bb-creams.

Laura Avatar

I first tried Korean BB creams from my mom’s friend who is a Korean cosmetics supplier. I really like the 3W one I ended up purchasing because it provided enough coverage, had a high spf, and left my skin matte all day. The only downside to Asian BB creams is that they tend to have a “whitening” property that makes my face look ghostly white so I try to limit my use of them to the winter.
As for American/western BB creams, I’ve been very disappointed with the coverage and they are merely tinted moisturizers that sometimes don’t even feature an SPF. I don’t think I’m willing to try anymore American BB creams, but I’ll continue to try Asian ones because they deliver on their claims better.

Codename Duchess Avatar

I’ve tried both Asian and Western BB creams and really don’t see what the big deal is. I know Asian BB cream have impressive skin care claims attached to them, but I suspect they’re mostly bullshit. I’m even wary of anyone using them for their SPF factor because you need to apply way more product than is flattering to get the full benefits of its sunscreen. Unless people like the mask look, no one should rely on their makeup for sun protection.

Plus the shades are terrible. It’s not worth the effort in my book to have to try BB creams from multiple different companies just to find a shade that works for you. If there’s one thing that the US BB creams do better than Asia it’s that they don’t try to force this “one shade fits all’ junk on us. Though the shade ranges are still limited, and usually excludes dark skinned people entirely.

Cara Avatar

Asian BB Creams are really amazing, Western ones not so much. I feel like the main draw with the Asian ones are the skincare benefits that come along with the coverage. I have the Whitening BB Cream (whitening in the sense of lightening up any hyper pigmentation) from Hado Labo, a popular Japanese drugstore brand, and my acne scars which take about 4-5+ months to fade fade in a month. The problem with the Asian ones is of course that colour selection is very limited and the undertones are all kinds of ashy (skin79 I’m looking at you) but the reason why Asian BB creams are so popular in Asia isn’t because of the coverage or texture or whatever, it’s because most Asians (especially Korea where BB creams first really took off) are obsessed with skincare and the idea of having makeup that actually has some benefits to your skin is a huge draw. The reason why Western BB Creams and CC Creams aren’t up to par even though they have the better colour selections and the more realistic undertones is because they don’t have the skincare benefits and so, they are just tinted moisturisers.

Lauren Avatar

That’s assuming you actually believe the skincare benefits are true. I highly doubt the claims they are making for the Asian BB cream are supported by adequate scientific evidence. American companies are held to higher standards, so it is much riskier for them to make the same types of claims the Korean companies can make without sufficient evidence.

Gena Avatar

I agree with Codename Dutchess; the makers of Asian BB creams (and Western FTM) might CLAIM that their products have all kinds of skincare benefits, but those claims are most likely bullshit; have you SEEN some of the claims they make? I’d rather apply 3-4 products (moisturizer or serum, broad-spectrum SPF 50, primer and foundation where I need it) that have been PROVEN to work than one with dubious effectiveness

Melissa Avatar

I don’t think I know what a “true” BB cream is. I use Tarte’s tinted moisturizer, which used to be called Smooth Operator, but has since been repackaged/relabeled as a BB cream. When I contacted Tarte directly as to whether the formula was the same, I was told that it was indeed the same formula as when it was sold as a tinted moisturizer (which I’m personally glad about since I love Tarte’s Smooth Operator tinted moisturizer). I think that most companies are selling tinted moisturizers, but marketing the product as a BB cream. As a result, I haven’t been able to jump on the BB cream bandwagon, as I think the majority of products being sold in the US are not true BB creams. I won’t stop using Tarte’s tinted moisturizer just because it’s being pushed as a BB cream now, but I also have the good sense to recognize that it’s not really a true BB cream.

Tori Avatar

I’m just starting out in the world of makeup… and I have to say for a beginner, BB Creams seem to be the easiest and fastest thing I’ve found (I use L’Oreal). I’ve started using primer under it as well and have found that I don’t need to use as much as I did prior. I really can’t admit I have any Rants about the product so far!

Danielle Avatar

My experience with American BB creams is that they are either really good or really awful. But that being said, I consider BB creams here in the U.S. tinted moisturizers or light coverage foundations. I like them because I don’t love loads of coverage. But I know they don’t live up to the Asian BB creams.

Megan Avatar

I’ve only tried two so far — Too Faced and Garnier. The Too Faced (in Snow Glow) was AMAZING. It made my skin absolutely silky-soft, moisturized, evened my skin tone and kept me from breaking out. I went to the Garnier because I’m outside a lot in the summer and in the water a lot, and the idea of spending $34 on a bottle that lasts me at best a month and a half was not a pleasant thought when I’ll be washing it off all day. I’m not as sold on the Garnier. It’s a little oilier (not a huge issue because I have dry skin), and it doesn’t cover as well. When the weather cools down again I’ll probably switch back to Too Faced.

Shopping Obsession Avatar

I have tried a few BB creams, Garnier & Smashbox. But they are just tinted moisturizers to me. Unlike the Asian brands. I have tried Missha and Skin 79 and they are totally amazing. If you want to try the real BB cream experience, go for the Asian brands.

KaseyCannuck Avatar

I love the amount of coverage that the Asian brands provide…a little goes a long way! But I think part of that comes from the whitening properties which in turn leave an ashy tint to my skin. I have an oilier-than-oily T-zone and i can make it through the day with a less than “normal” oil slick on my forehead, which impresses me more than anything!! What works for me is mixing BB cream with a tinted moisturizer to take away the ashy quality and applying sparingly. My forehead and nose are oily and everything else is dry and prone to flaking and finding something I can use all over is a challenge. I do wish there were more color selections, and that the colors were geared more toward western skin tones.

Lauren Avatar

Considering that the Asian BB creams are too light for my skin and are generally loaded with oil and break me out, I greatly prefer the American variety. I really like the Smashbox BB cream. It has pretty good coverage, doesn’t break me out, and is good for my oily skin. It might not be an “Asian” BB cream, but it’s better than tinted moisturizer for me and it’s also better than Asian BB creams for me.

Telma Avatar

I’m a BB cream addict (the korean ones), I got 5 of them and 2 more on my ebay wish list just waiting to be bought! I’m lucky my NC25 skin matches most of them!

Lemming List Avatar

So far I haven’t seen that they’re that great. For one, I think I need a bit more coverage than most offer. Also, I haven’t seen any improvement in my skin from using them.

For some reason though, I can’t give up. This weekend I got the Kiehl’s version and started wearing it today. We’ll see how it works. I’m giving it 4 weeks.

Niki Avatar

I have yet to find a US BB cream that works for me – most are far too dark or have odd formulas, or are just tinted moisturizer slapped with a BB Cream label.

Skin79’s Super+ Pink Triple Function BB Cream is my HG – its a korean brand and I haven’t found anything that compares. It matches my super fair skin (NW10) perfectly, doesnt magnify dry spots or make my oily t-zone look a mess. My skin seriously *glows* when I have this on – I’ve gotten so many complements! It feels light and is easy to apply with just my fingers, but the coverage is great — I rarely need to use concealer unless I have a particularly stubborn, dark blemish. It covers my acne scars perfectly. Hah, I sound like a commercial for this stuff.. but really, it blows western BB creams away. The SPF 25 is a nice addition too and makes it perfect for summer.

Kate Avatar

I have no desire to try the Asian BB creams, even the popular Dr. Jart and Skin79, due to the whitening agents they contain. I don’t feel that it’s worth it, since the research literature surrounding these agents is mixed at best and I don’t want to end up with skin that’s become bleached-blotchy. I do like Tarte’s BB cream, though – not sure if it counts as a real one but it does more for me and has lasted on my face longer than any tinted moisturizer or liquid foundation I’ve ever tried.

Nicoco Chanel Avatar

IIRC, the Dr. Jart western releases don’t have any whitening effects in them. Could be wrong! But that sounds familiar, like I read it somewhere.

Ann Avatar

I definitely feel the same way. The US BB creams are nothing more than tinted moisturizers, which is absolutely not what Asian BB creams are all about. It severely annoys me. I could never find any foundation that would blend well with my skin, but once I tried an Asian BB cream, I found my “holy grail” product. These U.S. BB creams just fall short.

KEG Avatar

Do tell Christine! I am not aware of how BB creams diifer here from Asia. What makes the ones here inferior? Which one one you recommend? The only one I know I don’t like is the one by Smashbox.

Janeen Avatar

I’ve only tried two BB creams, the Smashbox one and the Garnier one. Funny enough, I prefer the $15 Garnier one A LOT more over the $40 Smashbox one (thankfully I didn’t pay $40). Today all I did was put primer and the Garnier BB cream and my skin has actually stayed matte most of the day, which is a huge shock because by noon it’s oily everywhere. As for the benefits, I use a lot of skin care so I can’t tell if there’s a difference or not. I do find it as a remarketed tinted moisturizer, but if it keeps my skin from becoming an oil pool, I’m happy ๐Ÿ™‚

Abbey W Avatar

I’m very skeptical of the skincare claims of Asian BB creams. I have tried several, and they have not impressed me. It is also extremely hard to find a shade match. They all look kind of like wall putty–and gray undertones are not so flattering on most people. I agree that American/western BB creams are pretty much tinted moisturizers, but I’m okay with that. I wear tinted moisturizers pretty much exclusively in the summer and having so many brands releasing new or improved formulas touted as BB creams is great.

Jenny Avatar

I love Lioele’s BB creams, but as for every single American version I’m not a fan. They’re all just tinted moisturizers. Which is why I think that “CC” creams are even more stupid. Don’t even get me started on Julep’s new “DD” creme. It seems like companies are moving along in the alphabet trying to have the “next big thing”

Marian Avatar

Western BB creams are nothing but tinted moisturizers. Asian BB creams are the bomb…..particularly Missha.
I’ve been using Perfect Cover for 2 years now and my skin has never looked better. Perfect strangers stop me to tell me what beautiful skin I have. I’m not exaggerating or bragging!
I’ve ditched my old favorite and very expensive Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua for Missha. As long as they make it, I’ll be buying it.

mkdallas Avatar

I’ve tried about a zillion BB creams (both Asian and US/European brands) and my main complaint is why can’t someone make a BB with as much coverage as an Asian brand in more shades? Missha Perfect Cover is one of the few Korean brands to have darker shades, but they’re so funky looking (leaning very yellow and in shade 31, downright orange) that I have to mix two shades. Skin 79 in the gold bottle is really nice when I’m pale in the winter and I’ve found 2 brands recently that are very good. One is the new It Cosmetics CC Cream (at QVC); it has SPF50 and offers a truly full-coverage, mostly matte finish that lasts 9-10 hours without touch-ups. On the less pricey side is the darker shade of Lumene BB Cream (available at Ulta and CVS). It sells for about $16 and while the coverage is medium, the finish is lovely and sticks around for a good while. One other rant about the American BB/CC creams; many of them have shimmer or “illuminating” finishes (I’m looking at you, Too Faced Beauty Balm). Even though I don’t have oily skin, this type of finish looks awful on me in warmer weather. The IT CC cream is the closest I’ve found to an HG product.

Quinctia Avatar

That was probably my biggest disappointment about the western BB Creams. Since they just don’t compare to the Asian ones, coverage wise, my hope that the product I love would be available for folks darker than me didn’t materialize.

I am fortunate enough that I haven’t tried a Skin79 BB cream that wouldn’t work for my coloring (I’m light-skinned with a neutral undertone), but that doesn’t work for anyone much paler or darker than me. And, given half the western companies just rebranded their tinted moisturizers, that still leaves off both ends of the spectrum. A lot of companies’ lightest tinted moisturizers are too dark for me, and I’m often 2-4 shades in on any given lines’ foundation shades.

Niki Avatar

I think thats the biggest factor in why I love Asian BB Creams so much – on my face, they feel lightweight like a tinted moisturizer — but they manage to cover like a foundation.

I never got into tinted moisturizers because of a lack of coverage, so US BB creams being mostly repackaged tinted moisturizers was super dissapointing.

izzy Avatar

I’ve been using BB creams since they started selling them outside of dermatologist offices, around 2005-2006. I have NEVER used anything other than BB creams and absolutely adore them.
The only pitfall is that the low quality BB cream wannabe items have been splashing BB creams a bad name. When in doubt buy a BB cream from Korea made from a Korean company. Even their roadside shops such as MISSHA, FACESHOP, etc have MUCH better quality and results than highly priced brands from elsewhere. I will never wear foundation, only BB ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you Korea for the start of BB cream sales!!!

Yanna Avatar

I love my Missha BB cream…i had really bad problems with acne and dark spots all over my face. I’ve been using this BB cream for a couple of years now and I’ve gone through many tubes. No more acne or breakouts! My skin is 90% better and my dark spots are almost non existent. I’ve broken out from every other foundation out there on the market. I’m a NC45 and I use the Missha in #31…it’s a little ashey but it’s perfect when I set a little powder on it.

Maya Avatar

Anyone knows any information about the new Guerlain BB cream? Will you do a review Christine? I’ve looked everywhere and there’s hardly any info or reviews on it. The SA’s are claiming that it’s almost sold out and is ridiculously amazing and I’d be a fool to skip on it.

I tried a sample and it feels lovely and coverage is just awesome. My issue is… I’m wondering if it really is beneficial for my skin in any way. It is a bit more on moisturizing side for my oily skin but blotting powder fixes it. I would honestly love to hear if anyone knows if there’s actually any beneficial ingredients in it or it’s just a foundation. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

rebecca Avatar

To be perfectly honest, no BB cream is going to be *that* beneficial for your skin. I like Asian BB creams for a lot of reasons, but the skincare benefits isn’t one of them. Most BB creams have those ingredients so far down on the list that you’ll hardly get any benefit from them, and some just flat out don’t have what they claim. If you like the Guerlain BB cream, by all means go for it–I’d love to try it, if it’s light enough for me–but most BB creams are just remixed foundations with a lot of claims they don’t really measure up to.

Maya Avatar

Thanks Rebecca! I knew that it wouldn’t do anything that great…lol. I’m just contemplating why we should use these instead of a foundation when majority complain about lack of coverage. If coverage is good then what makes this any better than a foundation. The sunscreen is honestly useless because we can’t slather on a ton of bb cream(esp the heavy coverage ones).

I’m not sure about all but some of the asian ones have mineral oil, parabens, silicones I’ve read(the mishaa one). Doesn’t sound suitable for my skin. The Guerlain one is really nice, feels light and coverage is lovely, not too light, not too heavy. I was just wondering why this would be better than lingerie de peau bedsides the added sunscreen. I guess I’m still in search of the non-existing perfect cream like so many others. ๐Ÿ™‚

rebecca Avatar

The main difference between a BB cream and a foundation is that a BB cream tries to be an all-in-one product (at least the Asian ones do): primer, moisturizer, concealer, foundation, sunscreen, and supposedly skincare. How well it succeeds at any of these really depends on your skin type and how much of the cream you use–I wouldn’t necessarily trust a BB cream for all my sunscreen needs, but I might skip wearing a primer with it. If you have dry skin you might still need a moisturizer; I tend to skip that in the morning anyway since my skin is on the oily side. But so many of the Western BB creams are so different than, say, Missha or Holika Holika, I don’t know what claims they make–I don’t know what Guerlain promises about theirs, for example.

Cassie Avatar

I tried the hot pink Skin79 and I hated it. The smell, how shiny it makes me and I just feel… sticky in it. Gross. I’m staying with tinted moisturisers and liquid foundation.

Karine Avatar

I’ve heard so many great review from Asian BB cream and tought the North American ones would be similar. God no. Every ones I’ve tried failed. Some where drugstore other more high end (not luxury), they failled equally and never matched my really light skin, despite claiming to adjust to your skintone (and chosing the ligthest shade)

cassandra c Avatar

I have only used one BB cream, Holika Holika Moisture Petit (purple and orange). I am really lucky that this matched so well, I am very fair, so it was a surprise.
I have no interest in the Western ones, I mean, Philosophy just came out with an A to Z cream!! They arent real BB creams.

Ade Avatar

I’m NC40-42.
The real Korean BB Cream are waaayy to light but western “BB Cream” are practically just a TM.
I hate the fact most cosmetics companies relabel their TM as BB Cream. *rolling eyes*
Not only the western companies, but Asian as well. It’s so vague!
It’s hard to find the real BB Cream these days unless you buy it from a well known brands for its BB Cream, which unfortunately, only caters fair-light skintones.

BeautifullyPolished Avatar

Jane Iredale makes a phenomenal BB cream. Closest to the Asian market brands from an American manufacturer! Full, second skin coverage, dewey finish( that can be mattified), texture improving. It’s amazing!

Mariella Avatar

I’ve never tried an Asian BB cream – don’t have access to them and won’t order online. But I really like Marcelle (Canadian brand) BB cream since they came out with one with SPF 20. I also really love the Clarins one but the shade “Light” is still awfully dark. I wish it were somewhat lighter in colour.

Nicoco Chanel Avatar

It may be because I want to be paler than I am, but I love the whiter cast of an Asian BB cream, which is part of the reason I adore them. Well, that and the coverage actually existing (unlike the western ones I’ve tried). I’d always rather be too pale than too dark, though. At least I can warm pale up with powder and not look as bad.

A. Mar Avatar

I’ve tried many, many. I don’t wear full coverage foundation so the idea was appealing to me. But with the humid climate I live in, my dry skin, and my skin tone – they don’t hold up well for me. Of all I’ve tried from both in the US and from Korean brands, Too Faced BB is about as good as it gets on me. I use my own moisturizer and a primer while the cream provides me with very light coverage and a dewy finish. Otherwise, I’ve stuck to my previous tinted moisturizer. I get better coverage and a better color match range in tinted moisturizers. And my tinted moisturizer has been one of the few products I can use without having to blend two colors to get a match.

Leila Avatar

As the BB creams we get in the Europe aren’t really true BB creams, I haven’t bothered with them. It’s such a disappointment that western brands that do offer BB creams in both the Asian and Western markets actually sell two different products! Garnier and Bobbi Brown are two that come to mind. The Western BB creams they offer have a lower SPF and texture more similar to a tinted moisturizer than a BB cream. I have seen reviews from bloggers who compared the Western version and Asian version of these brands. Predictably, the Asian version was far better in each case.

It’s a shame that since these companies know the Western consumer isn’t very familiar with true BB creams, that they just give us an inferior product whilst selling a far better version in Asia where their consumers wouldn’t even give a second glance to what we’re being offered as a BB cream. Avatar

alot of people seem to know what BB Creams ARE NOT. but can anyone tell me what BB creams are? is there specific ingredients or properties that make up a proper BB cream? What is it that is only in BB creams from asia that makes it special? The only concrete things i have been able to gather a bb cream is supposed to do is provide some coverage, and have sunscreen. People seem to treat this product like some mystical cure-all that can only come from asia . Is it the developing color that is so well loved that western products cant reproduce?

I’ve only tried the Skin79 VIP gold and Mishca Perfect Cover. I like the VIP gold but it leaves a greasy finish i need to blot and smells like old ladies. Its a good value for the money though. I have only used the Mischa once and it settles into my pores like crazy. The only similar american product i have tried is ‘miracle skin transformer’ by sarah mc namara. i like the way this feels on the skin better than the bb creams but its more of a primer and packed with silicones and the sunscreen is ineffective.

Lenita Avatar

i live in asia, and out here in general people don’t really read the ingredient labels. also, much of the korean products have only the ingredients in korean, so who’s to know what’s in it. they are ALL no better than tinted moisturizers, just with different marketing tactics to push more products. just consider them all tinted moisturizers and you’re bound to find something that suits you.

Deborah Avatar

I’ve only ever used Garnier Skin Renew Oily/Combination because I am a cheap ass B and I just can’t bring myself to drop $40 on something that *may* or *may not* be better than the $15 drugstore tinted moisturizer. Plus, I have *seriously* oily skin, and I live in the humid South… most cosmetics that say “matte finish” or “controls shine” actually mean “controls shine for people with normal skin in normal weather, not you, you Floridian freak.” So my chintzy gene wins out and I go with the cheap-o stuff. [sigh]

But that said, the Garnier does a fairly good job… I use a little Bare Minerals over some of my darker sun damage spots and a little concealer on my undereye bags, and that gets me through the better part of the day.

Ellie Avatar

I’m so glad so many people on here are raving about Skin79… I just purchased The Prestige from their line and am really happy with it. After oxidizing, it matches my (very fair, neutral) skin perfectly and has a subtle, dewy glow. Makes my skin soft, too. It’s sheer, but not nearly as sheer as the Maybelline BB cream I was using before (which makes no difference, except for a little spf benefit).
I would like to try the one in the hot pink bottle but I’m hesitant… might be a shade too dark.

krystal Avatar

i love bb creams simply because they are a makeup base product that works for me. i use it like one would use foundation or tinted moisturizer. half a pea size amt is enough for my whole face.

i seem to only have luck with the asian (korean & japanese) bb creams. they are usually a solid medium coverage, a good color match in the lightest shade (maybe because i’m their target demographic, ~NC15), looks like skin, high UVA/UVB protection, and does not cause breakouts (i’m allergic to most chemical sunscreens, and most asian bbs use octinoxate/octyl methoxycinnamate/ethylhexyl methoyxycinnamate and physical UV blockers like TiO2 or ZnO).

the skin-like finish, lack of breakouts, and great color match is what makes it HG for me. i usually avoid bb creams with mineral oils and there are so many types of bb creams in asia that are paraben free or whatever free, so it’s possible to find something for you if you’re paler and are interested in bb creams.

i don’t really care too much about the skincare/whitening claims or the idea of their color-matching technology/capabilities. they’re not a miracle product, but most makeup products arent.

Hana Avatar

I love BB creams! I used to live in Orange County so it was fairly easy to get since there is a decent sized Korean community. Now I either order online or have my parents mail me some. I’m currently loving Missha’s Signature Real Complete BB cream for everyday use.

Phyrra Avatar

Oh my goodness, I could rant and rave about this for an hour! I hate that most American BB Creams are just repackaged tinted moisturizers. I love the Korean BB Creams (Missha, holika holika). Now, don’t get me wrong, some of the American products that are CALLED bb creams are good products, I just don’t think they live up to the bb cream name. I love the tarte bb cream product, but it’s not a true bb cream.

Rachel Avatar

I am with the minority. I actually like American bb creams more! The Smashbox one is fab except I think the silicones break me out. I’ve tried many korean bb creams and ALL broke me out. I suspect it’s due to the mineral oil in some of them. Asian brands are notorious for mineral oil in their prdts.

That being said, I adore the ettusais bb cream. Ettusais is a japanese brand owned by Shiseido so I think the quality is better for their products. Their bb creams have 3 shades and do not break me out. Highly recommended.

Sacrebelle Avatar

Rave: I love my Korean BB by Holika Holika, it fits my shade, is invisible, has high SPF and really brought me into wearing foundation.
Rant: what is with our western BB shades? Why light is so orange? And dark? Eurgh… Ofcourse they now launched proper light shades, but then again the new one by Maybelline smells like plastic… No likey…

Deborah Avatar

I am also in that range, and I use this in light to medium:

I think I’m NC20 (I don’t use MAC so I’m not sure). I use Bare Minerals in Medium Beige. In the summer I might have to switch to the Garnier Med/Dark.

I started using the Garnier BB because while I like the Bare Minerals coverage, it wasn’t helping my pore situation any (I have rosacea and it makes my pores huge). So a light to medium coverage BB helps with that a lot… appearance only, I don’t see any improvement over time. I let it set, then brush some of my minerals foundation on my problem areas. Most days I don’t wear undereye concealer, the BB is enough.

I have SUPER oily skin and I live in humid Florida… while I have to blot throughout the morning, it doesn’t dissolve or cake up, and only starts to fade away after lunch. For me, that’s a win!

Victoria Avatar

No connection to the post but I just had to say this: OMG YOU’VE BEEN BLOGGING FOR ALMOST TWO DECADES NOW!!! I didn’t know so, really, oh my god. I accidentally clicked on “Last” instead of “Next” so when I saw one of your first posts, it was dated waaaaay back 1996. Seriously, omg. I just had to. I’m sorry. Hahaha. Really really love your blog!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Christine Avatar

Hi Victoria!

Not quite, lol! We have some posts that date back older than we actually are – the dates are based on when the collection actually came out (so they’d be posted in reverse chronological order!). We started in October 2006 ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!

PockiC Avatar

I haven’t used any Asian BB creams but I have used the Diorsnow UV shield BB cream and I had no issues with it and I have used the Bobbi Brown BB cream. Both feel like to me that they’re thicker than tinted moisturizers I have ever used. My whole thing is this CC cream craze that has come out. Is CC cream the actual equivalent to an Asian BB cream? But I do want to try out an asian BB cream soon though.

Tam Avatar

My rant about BB creams is that the ‘true’ BB creams (the ones that come from Korea and China)are not made for dark skintones. Those of us with dark complexions have to settle for the tinted moisturizers that are schlepped as BB creams in the US. So, those of us with darker skins don’t get the opportunity to benefit from the ‘real’ skin-perfecting BB creams.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! ๐Ÿ™‚ If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!