Blemish Balms, Beauty Balms… blah blah blah… I started using BB creams just over a year ago. I figured the whole world was using BB by now, until a friend recently asked me exactly what it was. So here goes a somewhat skincare obsessed Glamamama explanation:
1. Creates excellent increase in skin’s elasticity… translation: dimples bounce back in your face, unlike the dimples in your thighs 😦
2. Was originally formulated for patients who had undergone laser surgery… Translation: should you have or have had laser surgery, there is a over the counter cream to aid your recovery.
3. Can be used as a moisturiser, primer and foundation, so it combines skincare and make-up in one short step! Translation: perfect for us busy WBTM who need to be out the door in under 20 minutes, and still need to look bombshell worthy… goodness even I’m laughing at that last part!
4. In essence it has regenerative properties to help keep skin moisturised, aids in healing acne scars and clears blemishes and dark spots. Translation: should you have abominable skin, and need something to mask it out without the heaviness of caked on make-up, BB cream is the one.
6. GLAMAROSS FACT: What is doesn’t tell you is that BB also helps to de-puff the face!! Translations: YES PEOPLE! Within an hour of application you will see the contours of your face return, and gone are the puffy reminants of lack of sleep and the high sodium meal of the night before.
My first bottle of BB cream was from DR Jarts. In fact I trotted down to SASA (go to place in HK for all European, Korean or Japanese cosmetics.. actually they have more than just that!) and asked the extremely keen sales assistant for the miracle in a bottle and she showed me the Dr Jarts. Unsure of its magical potential, yet lusting after beautification I immediately bought one and went home and lathered it on like a novice. As mentioned in previous posts, my husband is not one to mince his words and blurted out one of his many loving compliments, “Why does your face look as if you’ve painted on some white cement?” I quickly glanced at my reflection and gasped in horror… Unbeknownst to me, Dr Jarts is not in fact, “one shade for all” as per the SASA sales person testimony. In reality it comes in a “greige” for the fairer complexion, and it’s more grey than beige, so I looked more Casper the friendly ghost than pure porcelain perfection than I had thought. For those who know me, I’m far from fair and definitely not a greige. Hence, Dr Jarts, despite its magical powers that point to ultimate beauty, was not for me.
I was not going to give up since in my eyes, it wasn’t fair for only the fairer skinned ladies to reap the benefits of BB… There had to be something out there for ME!!! ME ME ME!!
As I hunted high and low for the magic of BB, it was important for me to find the right shade. A dear friend pointed me to another Korean brand Missha. Now for all you beauty snobs out there, despite its unglamorous (high traffic) locale in the Central MTR, and Causeway Bay, Missha is a find and a half if you want BB cream. If you aren’t conversant in cantonese or putonghua you may be at a bit of a loss when the beauty assistant reels off her jargon. However, they had me at “youth, radiance, firming…” but most of all, when I asked if the BB cream replaced sunblock, she turned to me in horror as if I had blasphemed to the highest order. How darest I speak the words of ever replacing sunblock! At that very moment I realised that I had found a kindred spirit… (please see previous sunblock post) The petite beauty assistant continued to profess the importance of sunblock AND BB cream together and that it is always best to add your own SPF before your BB application. (In fact I’m sure she would have opted for a factor 200 had it been available!)
After an hour of going through all the products on offer at Missha, I went home with a bag filled with Missha Perfect Cover No. 23 & No. 27 (with SPF 42). I’m in between colours so I need to blend the two together to get the perfect natural finish.
Missha Perfect Cover offers excellent coverage. At times however I find it a little thick, especially in the summer months when the humidity sky-rockets. Now that we are heading towards autumn, I am ready for my Missha Close-up again. I would suggest that you apply sparingly and only add more if necessary.
Also in my bag of goodies was a bottle of Missha B.B. Boomer, the ultimate primer for Missha BB cream. I need to add here, that I do prefer to use this primer in the winter, and perhaps at night. It is slightly pearlised and can make the skin a little too shiny during the day. But in cooler climes and in the evening, once you add the two products together it offers the perfect finish. It’s truly natural with excellent coverage. If you have an oily complexion, you may want to opt for a little powder after application. I have combination skin, and find that my skin is happy with the BB Boomer and the Perfect Cover. (SPF first of course)
I like to use the above combo in the evening…. “so what about the daytime?” you ask.
Well as a self-professed product junkie I like to change it up a bit. I discovered that Giorgio Armani has BB cream. I went in after a quick visit at the hair dressers and with 30 minutes to kill before my next appointment I couldn’t resist a quick browse, and Eureka! I found that their the Luminessence line has its own BB fluid. It is a ” bright revelator in universal greige” with SPF 50, higher than the Missha! As you can imagine I was somewhat sceptical when I read universal greige, but I tried it anyway.
Much to my surprise the texture of the GA BB fluid is light and when applied it adds a touch of iridescence to the skin and brightens up the complexion. I find that after application the fluid oxidises and blends more to my skin tone. At least I don’t look like a member of the True Blood cast and the husband hasn’t noticed any aesthetic crimes, I think this one works for me! I also like to finish with a light brush of powder at the end.
Now what most posts, and reviews do not tell you is how you should use BB cream. Even when I went to visit the beauty counters etc, they only said that it should replace “sunblock, moisturiser and foundation.” I mean everyone has a different regimen so what was the right one for me?
After months of juggling my beauty arsenal I have finally found the right 3 and more steps for me, and incidentally a PERFECT SERUM!!
DAYTIME BB APPLICATION:
1. Cleanse: Sisley Buff and Wash facial Gel
2. Eye Cream: Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Replenishing Eye Cream
3. Serum: Giorgio Armani Regenessence Youth Regenerator (This serum adds the pink back in the cheeks and firms the skin. I noticed the results after one week! I use it religiously. )
5. BB Cream: Giorgio Armani Luminessence BB Fluid
Then you can apply your make up 🙂
NIGHT OUT BB APPLICATION:
1. Cleansing oil SHU UEMURA to remove daytime makeup
2. Cleanse: Sisley Buff and Wash facial gel
3. Eye cream: Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Replenishing Eye Cream
4. Serum: Giorgio Armani Regenessence Youth Regenerator
5. Primer: Missha BB Boomer
6. BB Cream: Missha Perfect Cover #23
Then apply your make-up…
The reality is that there are no shortcuts.
I hope this helps with the mystery of BB cream and should you have any discoveries of your own, please let me know… I’m always on the lookout!