Staff tested: BB Creams
BB Creams (aka beauty balms) have taken the cosmetics biz by storm. Find out what we thought of some of the options on the market
Physicians Formula Super BB in Light/Medium
Vitamins C and E brighten, white willow bark extract smoothes, and fruit extract targets fine lines and aims to firm skin.
When this came out of the tube, I was a little worried it would be too dark, but it blended well to match my skin tone. It also spread easily and I needed only a dime-sized amount to cover my whole face. I didn’t feel like I was wearing a lot of heavy makeup, and I liked the medium coverage it gave. It’s perfect for my typically low-maintenance beauty regimen.
-Melissa Greer, Content Producer
Physicians Formula Super BB in Light/Medium, ($19, 35 mL)
B. Kamins Laboratories BB Cream
Hexapeptide and goji berry extract fight wrinkles and boost firmness. “Bio-Maple Compound” moisturizes.
I was immediately won over by the “Proudly Canadian” call-out on the box. As for the product, well, I had never used a BB before, so it felt strange to apply this-and only this-to my skin in the a.m. (as opposed to moisturizer followed by my light foundation). It comes in one shade, which looked dark for me out of the tube, but when I smoothed it on, it looked natural.
-Bonnie Munday, Editor-in-Chief
B. Kamins Laboratories BB Cream, ($49, 50 mL)
L’Oréal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB cream in Fair
Micro-pigment capsules in this BB’s white base self-adjust on application to match skin, and reduce redness and shine.
This comes out of the tube a white, grainy liquid, but dries to a smooth, powdery finish (you have to work quickly to blend it, as the cream dries almost as soon as it’s applied). The cream felt very light on my face, and the shade blended in with my skin tone-it wasn’t too orange or too pink. It was hydrating and gave me good coverage while still looking natural.
-Joana Lourenço, Associate Editor
L’Oréal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB cream in Fair, ($17, 30 mL)
Clinique Perfecting BB Cream in 02
Reflective mica pigments correct and illuminate skin tone. Seaweed extract reduces oiliness, and caffeine calms irritation.
I’d been using a tinted moisturizer instead of foundation because I wanted something light that didn’t sit in fine lines. So I wasn’t sure that a BB cream would be for me; I thought it would go on thick-and I was so wrong. This gives me more coverage than my tinted moisturizer, but doesn’t accentuate wrinkles (it adds moisture, too). I’m a convert to the powers of BB! -Jennifer Walker, Deputy Editor
Clinique Perfecting BB Cream in 02, ($44, 40 mL)
La Roche-Posay Hydreane BB Creme in Light
Formulated for sensitive skin, this soothes and hydrates with thermal spring water, a blend of vegetal oils and shea butter.
After a recent visit to a thermal spa in Italy (lucky me), my skin was super-soft. That’s why I was excited to try this BB cream-which is formulated with thermal spring water. It didn’t feel thick or heavy. In fact, I barely noticed it was there, although the scent isn’t as subtle as I’m used to with my usual makeup. It also minimized redness and my skin felt noticeably softer. -Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor
La Roche-Posay Hydreane BB Creme in Light, ($29, 40 mL)
Dr. Jart+ Renewalist Beauty Balm SPF 40
Radiant, moisturized skin is this BB’s goal.It uses babassu butter; moringa; argan and olive oils; and a sebum control powder.
BB creams first hit big in Asia, so I was interested in trying Dr. Jart+, since it’s an Asian skincare brand. I appreciate how the chrome-red tube dispenses a small amount. The first time I applied it, I found the coverage heavy, but fixed that by using it sparingly. I like that there’s no discernable fragrance. That it moisturizes and addresses the dreaded T-zone
is a beautiful thing. -Rhonda Rovan, Beauty Editor
Dr. Jart+ Renewalist Beauty Balm SPF 40, ($36, 30 mL)
CoverGirl CG Smoothers BB Cream in Light/Medium
This cream promises nine skin benefits including all-day hydration, improved elasticity, radiance and sheer, blendable colour.
This had a pillowy texture out of the tube, but as I blended it in with my fingertips, the thickness melted away into my skin, leaving it glowy and hydrated. I did need to top up the ultra-sheer coverage with concealer in a few areas, but the shade matched my fair complexion well. I love the idea of an all-in-one cream that lets me skip separate applications of moisturizer and foundation. -Jennifer Masseau, Associate Editor
CoverGirl CG Smoothers BB Cream in Light/Medium, ($11, 40 mL)
Marcelle Anti-Aging BB Cream SPF 20 in Fair/Medium
Promising to give skin a “lifted” appearance and smooth out lines and wrinkles, this BB in a pump dispenser also offers shine control.
This was my first experience with a BB cream and I was pleasantly surprised. The cream has a smooth silky texture, and I felt quite glam when I put it on. It provided good, even coverage for my skin imperfections. And it toned down shine well. I wasn’t sure whether my skin appeared “lifted” as the product promises, but it certainly felt soft. And I loved how even-toned my skin looked.
-Josephine Woertman, Acting Art Director
Marcelle Anti-Aging BB Cream SPF 20 in Fair/Medium, ($29, 45 mL)