Know Your Face: BB Cream

Installment #6 of Know Your Faceand today we’re bridging the gap between skincare and cosmetics with a focus on BB creams. I’ve been hearing for ages about how BB (which can stand for any combination of B-words, but generally means Beauty Balm) creams are the silver bullet, the magic elixer, the missing link. I was dissatisfied with foundation (too much coverage ages me at least 15 years) and underwhelmed by tinted moisturizer* (not enough coverage makes me wonder why I bothered putting on makeup at all), and when I heard that BB cream was all that AND had potent skincare ingredients, I knew I had to try it.

*Shout out, however, to Laura Mercier’s Flawless Face kit. The combination of the primer and the moisturizer was 99.9% what I needed, and may be 100% for you. Regardless, the value of the (full size!) brushes alone make the kit a worthwhile purchase, and I’ve developed a loyalty to her concealers out of this kit.

So, here’s my review: BB cream is…not magical. If you’re interested in BB cream because of its purported one-step abilities, or its anti-aging promises, or anything like that, you’ll be disappointed. That said, I came across one BB option that is precisely the right combination of coverage and moisture that I haven’t yet topped, so in that sense, I’m a convert. The BB cream in question?


DayWear Beauty Benefit Creme | Estee Lauder

Surprised? You shouldn’t be, given that it’s the same formulation as my daytime moisturizer. The coverage on this BB is divine – fairly opaque, but not in the chalky way most foundations come off. It looks like skin, folks! In addition, because it’s basically a tinted version of my existing moisturizer, the two work together like buttah. Even though I’m not counting on the skincare claims, it also doesn’t hurt that this BB is reportedly jam-packed with vitamins C and E. My skin certainly appreciates it. Finally, it has broad spectrum SPF 35 to keep my face looking young for years to come.

Ultimately, I think BB creams are best considered fully-loaded tinted moisturizers. There are a variety of formulations designed for a variety of needs, just like any other skincare product. Kara over at Politics of Pretty has a great breakdown of some other good BB options, depending on your skintype.

How to use: First, cleanser. Then, toner. Then, serum, followed by eye cream. Then moisturize, and finally apply your BB. Basically, put it on when you’d put on your foundation. You might be tempted to skip the moisturizer step, and I suppose in a pinch you could, but I wouldn’t recommend it (I only apply my BB on my T-zone, which is where most of my discoloration exists, so the moisturizer step provides much-needed hydration to my cheeks). As with every other product, let the ones preceding it fully sink in before you apply.

Next week on Know Your Face: spot treatments!

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