Editor’s Picks: Top 4 BB Creams

We’ve gone through a lot of BB creams here at Audrey, just to bring you our Ultimate Guide to BB Cream. There are a lot of BB creams listed there, so in case you want the short version, here are our editor’s picks of BB cream favorites and why you should run out and get these today.

1. Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream

shiseido bb

One of my all-time favorites. Seriously, this BB cream by Japanese brand Shiseido has it all: a super silky texture without feeling suffocating, a perfectly glowy finish without it looking like you just took an oil bath, and two shades that are great for yellow-based skin tones. It also gives me just enough coverage so that I actually dare to step out of my house without foundation or concealer. (Just a dab of powder on my oily T-zone and I’m good.) It doesn’t get better than that. Details 2 shades, (Medium, Dark), $33, shiseido.com.

2. Amarté Natural Finish BB Cream

amarte Natural-Finish-BB-Cream-Light-Texture_1

A newbie to the American cosmetics industry, Amarte was founded in Korea and brought to the U.S. in partnership with an American dermatologist. The entire skincare line is great, but the BB cream is extra special, with a cool airless pump to prevent contamination (think backwash), caviar extract and argan oil. Amarte claims you can sleep with their BB cream on and it won’t block pores thanks to its natural pigments and state-of-the-art protective moisturizing base. I haven’t tested that claim (this freaked me out too much to even try), but what I do know is the light, creamy texture goes on smoothly, blends easily and imparts a nice healthy glow that is not at all masky. Another plus is that both shades are more yellow-based so you don’t get that weird ashy or white look. Details 2 shades (Light, Natural), $49, amarteskincare.com.

3. Too Faced Air Buffed BB Creme Complete Coverage Makeup

too faced bb

For full coverage, it doesn’t get better than Too Faced’s BB creme. The cream-to-powder formulation is made even better with their pop-off “Teddy Bear” hair brush, a dense flat top brush that buffs on the BB cream perfectly. It’s a cream in the tub, which turns into a powder on the face, leaving a very matte, very Photoshopped finish. Just swirl with the brush onto your face, pressing or stippling on areas that may need more coverage. This is the only product that not only controls my very oily T-zone, but simultaneously provides enough coverage to hide my sunspots, all without feeling tight or heavy. And three of the five shades are perfect for a broad range of Asian skin tones. Details 5 shades (porcelain pink-based to warm with golden undertones), $39, toofaced.com.

4. Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream

janeiredale bb

Love mineral makeup? Then you’ll love Jane Iredale’s mineral BB cream. I actually love this BB cream as a treatment concealer. The formulation is quite thick, so a little goes a long way. Dab some on trouble spots, dust some loose powder over it all, and go. There’s a great range of shades, too, so practically every skin tone is covered. And the best part are all the botanical extracts that baby your skin: white tea leaf extract, green tea, grapefruit extract, apple extract, aloe leaf juice and sunflower seed oil. It practically is skincare in your makeup. Details 6 shades, $48, janeiredale.com.

For the rest of our BB cream reviews, check out our Ultimate Guide.

Get a K-pop Complexion: Audrey’s Guide to BB Cream

When Audrey first wrote about BB creams in 2008, it was the latest thing in Korea. The oddly named “blemish balm” originated in Germany as a post-treatment cream for laser surgery patients and was later co-opted by Korean women to create the ssaeng-uhl (bare-faced look) coveted by the nation’s most beautiful actresses. (Even Korean men have taken to wearing BB cream.) Considered a staple in every Korean woman’s beauty regimen, BB cream is now sweeping the U.S., but thankfully for us, the newest iterations have a greater range of shades, coverage and textures.

When Harvard Business School grad Grace Choi first tried BB cream, she liked the finish but had trouble finding a formula that matched her skin tone, especially for different seasons. “I’m more yellow during the winter and more olive/brown during the summer,” says the 29-year-old Korean American. “Asian BB brands offer a very limited number of shades which do not suit the vast majority of diverse American women,” she adds. But she also found that many BB creams currently in the U.S. market didn’t give the same coverage and finish that the Asian BB creams were famous for. So Choi put her medical science background to use and formulated her own brand of BB cream. With 10 different shades, seven work for Asian skin: the Yellow line finishes more golden, while the Olive line has a more brown/tan undertone.

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BB CREAM TIPS:

* Apply like you would a sunscreen. Put a dime size dollop on your fingers and spread evenly on face. The cream will sink in and adjust to your skintone.

* Apply with fingers, says Choi. “It’s much easier to control and spread than with a brush or sponge.”

* The right shade is important with BB cream. Use one that’s too light and it can look masky. Can’t find the exact shade or right texture in a BB cream? Because BB creams provide buildable coverage, you can mix and match for the perfect formulation. I like mixing a lighter textured cream in a more golden shade with a thicker one in a paler shade, like Estée Lauder with 3Lab, before blending on my face.

Here, we review the best BB creams out there (even one for men!).

Sheer Coverage

Sulwhasoo Snowise Brightening BB Base

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Skin Perfector (great for young skin, BB novices)

DermaE Evenly Radiant BB Creme

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Beauty Balm

Dr. Lewinn by Kinerase Instant Perfecting BB Cream

Vichy ProEven Mineral BB Cream

Estée Lauder Day Wear BB Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Creme

AmorePacific Moisture Bound Tinted Treatment Moisturizer 

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact

 

Sheer to Medium Coverage

Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream Bright Fit

Amarté Natural Finish BB Cream (an editor favorite!)

Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream (another editor favorite)

Cailyn Precious Blend BB Cream (broad range of 6 shades)

Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector 

Christina Choi Cosmetics BB Cream (great shades for medium Asian to dark skin tones)

DHC BB Cream Foundation

Comodynes Urban Cosmetics BB Color (darker shades available)

 

Medium to Full Coverage

Grace Choi Porcelain Skin BB Cream (the widest range of shades, especially for Asian skin, in either matte or dewy formulations)

Dr. Jart Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm 

Dr. Jart+ Renewalist BB Beauty Balm

3Lab Perfect BB Cream (super anti-aging skincare ingredients)

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream (tons of shades available)

Too Faced Air-Buffed BB Creme (an editor favorite!)

 

FOR MEN! (Yes, we haven’t forgotten you!)

Miracle Skin Transformer MEN SPF20

Tried any of the BB creams on this list? Tell us what you think!

Want us to test a BB cream for you? Let us know!

Get a K-pop Complexion: Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream

Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream

Coverage: Sheer to Medium

Shades: 2 (Medium, Dark)

Price: $33

Benefits: SPF 35, rose apple leaf extract and thiotaurine to protect skin from harmful environmental aggressors, oil-free, Skin Cancer Foundation recommended.

Review: The texture is great — super silky but still rich. The finish is smooth and perfectly glowy, not shiny — some powder on the T-zone and we’re good to go. The Medium is a great color for Asian skin tones, if a little bit dark for a light-medium skin tone. It’s actually quite nice for summer to impart some color. The only downside is the small size (we want more!), but it’s still an editor favorite.

Read more BB cream reviews here.

Get a K-pop Complexion: Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector

Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector

Coverage: Sheer to Medium

Shades: 2 (Light/Medium and Medium/Deep)

Price: $12.99

Benefits: SPF 15; antioxidant vitamin C; hyaluronic acid, lipidure microspheres and glycerin for 24-hour moisturization; mineral pigments.

Review: Testing the Light/Medium shade, we found that the cream felt lighter than other BB creams. It goes on smoothly and easily, blending in fairly well and sinking in fast. The color seemed to adjust to our light-medium Asian skin tone. When applied, it looks dewy, a little shiny. This has buildable coverage, so if it looks too sheer, apply more for more coverage. We like this for BB cream/foundation novices and those who don’t need much coverage.

For the Medium/Deep shade, we found the texture to be thick and creamy with a lot of coverage. Some thought it blended into skin nicely; others thought it took a while to sink in, but had better results after using it with a primer. The finish is glowy, but not oily, and lasted all day.

For more BB cream reviews, click here.

Get a K-pop Complexion: Maybelline Dream Fresh BB

Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB

Overview: A great BB cream for teens or makeup novices.

Coverage: Sheer

Shades: 5 (from Light to Deep)

Price: approx. $7.50

Benefits: SPF 30, oil-free, a 70% gel-water formula with ”no heavy ingredients.”

Review: This has a very light texture, it goes on smoothly and it melts in super fast. The finish is very sheer and, surprisingly, the Light shade is not too pink. Make sure to pick the right shade, though, or else it won’t blend into skin well and will look like it’s just sitting on top of your skin. This is definitely good for BB cream novices, teens or 20-somethings, or those with naturally good skin.

Read more reviews on practically every BB cream on the market here.

Get a K-pop Complexion: Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream

Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream Bright Fit

Coverage: Moderate

Shades: 3 (#1 Light Beige, #2 Natural Beige, #3 Honey Beige, #4 Sand Beige)

Price: Approximately $11

Benefits: SPF 30, adenosine and arbutin to fight wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, pearl mineral powder, anti-oxidant and moisturizing ingredients.

Review: This BB cream from the established Korean cosmetics brand has a creamy, almost silky, texture. As with most BB creams from Korea, the shade is on the light side, but this offers good coverage. The finish is dewy.

Read more reviews of BB cream at Audrey’s ultimate guide to BB cream here.

 

Get a K-pop Complexion: Cailyn Precious Blend BB Cream

CAILYN PRECIOUS BLEND BB CREAM

Overview: An editor favorite with a good range of shades for Asian skin (including deeper tones) and an innovative application tool.

Coverage: Medium

Shades: 6 (from 01 Porcelain to 06 Maple)

Price: $35

Benefits: In addition to hydrating and protecting, this BB cream is formulated to be applied with Cailyn’s BB perfector (purchased separately), a vibrating tool with antibacterial puffs to “buff” your way to perfection.

Review: The formulation has a medium-light texture that sinks in fast on skin. It leaves a nice, dewy finish. The 02 Sandstone shade is more olive than golden, and it doesn’t leave a pale, masky look. It’s a good color for East Asian skin. One of our favorites.

More BB cream reviews at Audrey’s Guide to BB Cream here.

Get a K-pop Complexion: Miracle Skin Transformer Men SPF20

Miracle Skin Transformer MEN SPF20

Coverage: Sheer

Shades: 1

Price: $48

Benefits: Anti-oxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, CoEnzyme Q10, SPF 20 UVA/UVB protection, colorless naturally derived silicone base, specifically formulated for men’s skin (dry, normal or oily).

Review: Our intrepid male tester was a newbie to BB cream, but he liked the way the Miracle Skin Transformer smoothed and evened out his skin, without obvious color or coverage. The slippery, primer-like feel left a matte finish that looked natural.

Want more BB cream reviews? Click here.

Get a K-pop Complexion: Grace Choi Porcelain Skin BB Cream

Grace Choi Porcelain Skin BB Cream

Overview: The widest range of shades, especially for Asian skin tones. Get it while you can!

Coverage: Medium to Full

Shades: 10 different shades (3 with yellow undertones, 4 in olive undertones), all in either a dewy or a matte formulation

Benefits: SPF 30 broad spectrum, adenosine for anti-aging, arbutin for dark spot repair, Korean pearl extract, oil control, hypoallergenic, oil-free, paraben-free

Price: $34

Review: Creamy texture that goes on well, sinks in smoothly. The perfect amount of coverage for Asian hyperpigmentation, but still sheerer than a foundation. The finish is a little shiny, so you’ll need to blot or powder the T-zone. You can’t beat the range of colors — find the right shade and it seemingly melts into your skin. The best part is you can order a deluxe sample set to try out all the shades, and the price of the sample set is deducted from your full-size order.

Want more BB cream reviews? Click here!

Get a K-pop Complexion: Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

Coverage: Sheer

Shades: 1

Benefits: Instead of a tint to cover, this BB cream diffuses light with high-tech pigments. SPF 20 to protect, Pepha®-Protect helps inhibit DNA damage, Vitasource™ and dGlyage® firm skin and improve elasticity. According to their clinical study, after eight weeks of use, 93% of participants had significantly firmer, more lifted skin, 84 percent had a significant improvement in fine lines, and more than 84 percent had significantly smoother and more hydrated skin.

Price: $34

Review: The cream is a peachy color, which is totally different from any other BB cream we’ve seen. It goes on rich and smooth, and dries to a matte finish that is very modern and really nice. The coverage is a little sheer for those looking to mask spots. One interesting note: this gives you a slightly peachy tone, which may result in a slightly darker color for some, or a nice brightening effect for others.

See more BB cream reviews at Audrey’s ultimate BB cream guide here.