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

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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.