Ok, you all know that BB Creams have been all the rage in the last two years, and now their are a myriad of off-shoots jumping on board with the CC & DD creams etc. etc. Honestly, there are 26 letters in the alphabet, so this ridiculousness may continue for some time, but I have finally decided to write a post about the BB bonanza- after having a few emails from readers, and seeing the enormous selection of BB's to choose from.
*Side note: this stuff isn't new and revolutionary. In the past, companies branded these formulas as tinted moisturizers. The renaming to BB (stands for Beauty Balm) happened in the last couple of years and it took off because its catchy and more glamorous sounding than 'moisturizer'.
I think there is a BB cream out there for everyone, but if you are using the wrong one- you'll likely end up unimpressed and head back to your standard foundations. So, if you've never tried a BB, or you have and didn't love it- here are the things you need to know when shopping.
Use the right product for your age
-Women in their 20-30's should opt for a thinner consistency and luminescent/glowy qualities. These formulas aren't as moisturizing typically, but the thinner solution absorbs better into younger more firm skin. The coverage is also noticeably less with a thinner cream, but you'll still get an even skin tone and a dewy complexion. My recommended brands for women in their 20-30s are Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier and Dermalogica Tinted Moisturizer. Both spread easily and give a sheer coverage that can be worn alone or under powdered foundation. *** Newly added favorite: Aveda Inner Light Mineral Tint The smell is minty-perfection and the coverage is spot on!
-Women in their 40's+ should go for a full coverage BB cream that offers anti-aging ingredients such as Vitamin C and sunscreen protection. These thicker formulas will give more moisture to mature skin and will also help reduce the look of pore size, fine lines and pigmentation. I love Hydroxatone Anti-Aging BB Cream for it's great SPF 40 and it's brightening complex. As well as Smashbox Camera Ready because of it's built in primer and mousse like texture.
Consider this when choosing a BB cream
1- Do you want to wear a BB cream alone, or are you intending to layer it with other makeup?
Either way is fine, just be clear on what it is you expect from the cream- you won't be happy if you expect full coverage and don't get it from the BB cream alone. And on the opposite end if you want a quick glow without much coverage, you'll be disappointed with a richer formula. Decide what your goal is and pick the cream that supports that, for the best results.
2- Will you use a separate SPF protector or do you want an all-in-one?
You should be using a SPF everyday anyway, but you can eliminate a step if you use a combination BB cream. Just remember that the SPF ingredients do add a scent and more thickness (not necessarily coverage though) to the consistency of the cream.
3- Does the climate or time of year change the amount of moisture you need?
You may need to adjust your brand during different times of the year when humidity and temperature fluctuate. Be prepared to step up your moisture in the cold dry winter or to opt for a matte cream in the heat of the summer for better results.
4- Do you have a skin tone that is outside (too light or too dark) of the standard BB cream shades?
Most BB cream lines come in 3-5 shades and are more of a 'one-size-fits-most' type product because they are designed to enhance not to cover. Unfortunately, this may mean that a BB cream is not right for you, if your skin lives outside those lines. Boo- but you can achieve a similar product by mixing your standard foundation with a lightweight moisturizer or serum.
5- Do you struggle with shine, oil, or makeup slippage?
BB creams are (as mentioned above) a tinted moisturizer, so if you have oily skin adding a second moisturizer to your skin may backfire. The solution to this may be replacing your standard moisturizer with a matte/oil free version, or just the BB cream by itself. And in some cases, a BB cream may not be recommended at all for those with very oily complexions.
Cocktails aren't just for Saturday nights
In the hair world we use the word 'cocktailing' like it's part of everyday vocab. In a nutshell, it means mixing two or more products together in the hands before applying them to the hair [or face]. The reason for this, is that one product might have some benefits we need but the consistency or hold factor isn't right. For example, I may want the hold of a styling gel for my curly haired client, but I don't want the sticky goop factor- so I'll cocktail a gel with a serum to thin out the consistency while still getting the benefit of the gel plus the added shine from the serum, get it? Good.
BB creams make excellent cocktail buddies- try mixing them with:
-Moisturizer for an even thinner formula with less coverage, but still a nice sheen. This is great for pre- gym or the pool, because no one should have a full face of makeup at either location. (personal opinion :)
-Liquid foundation to lighten up the color of a foundation that is a tad too dark or heavy.
-Highlight/Shimmer cream to give an extra glow to the face and chest, I love this combo under the eyes and across the top of the cheekbone. (My favorite shimmer is this one)
-Cream blush to thin out the blush and make it more spreadable
-Anti-Wrinkle Serum to amp up the moisture in a tightening serum that can leave the skin feeling too tight
Does the price matter?
In a word- no. Some of the products I prefer are available at the drugstore while some are from higher end retailers or spas. The more important thing is to pick the right formula for your needs- no matter what the cost, you won't be happy if you are using a BB cream that isn't right for your skin type.
Do you have a BB cream you swear by? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for stopping by- and don't forget to sign up for email or follow on facebook so you don't miss a post.