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.

LuckyStrike_AudreyBanners_0713_720x90

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: 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: 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!

The Latest Beauty Trend | Japanese Snail Facials

You read that right, the latest beauty trend happening in Japan right now is the snail facial. Beauty salon “Ci:z.Labo” in Tokyo gives women the opportunity to clear their skin through a five minute treatment that consists of snails crawling on their face along with a massage.

Tokyo beautician Manami Takamura states that “The snail slime makes your skin really supple and removes dry, scaly patches. It’s also got great hydrating properties and moisturizes the skin.” It is believed that snail slime contains an anti-aging effect on human skin.

snailsAlthough some of us may see snails as pesky and slimy or even a delicious delicacy, Japan is definitely transforming the use of these creatures and women are paying a pretty big price for this treatment. One session costs approximately 10,500 Yen, which is about $107. Would you want to get the “Celebrity Escargot Course?” Let us know in the comments below!

Fall 2012 | Mind and Body: Fighting Adult Acne

DEPT Mind and Body
Issue Fall 2013
Author Anna M. Park

HED: Fight the Blight

Acne affects 40 to 50 million Americans; nearly 85 percent of all people have acne at some point in their lives. And while acne medications abound to treat this most common skin disorder in the U.S., more and more experts are recommending lifestyle and diet changes to fight adult acne.

The best explanation I have ever found on adult acne is in celebrity dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu’s book, Feed Your Face (feedyourface.com). Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Wu espouses that what you eat does affect your complexion. According to Dr. Wu, “women with adult acne also tend to have higher levels of insulin in their blood, elevated androgens (the male sex hormone), and higher rates of insulin resistance than those without.” Androgens naturally spike around ovulation, which can lead to hormonal acne, usually showing up on the chin, neck and jawline. While there’s not much you can do about PMS, there hormone associated with increased oil production and clogged pores. are things you can do to minimize the hormonal effects on your complexion.

Continue reading

Beauty Kit | Suncare Special

ISSUE: Summer 2011

DEPT: Beauty Kit

STORY: Anna M. Park

We all know by now that we have to protect ourselves from the sun. But there is so much confusion out there about SPF, the different types of blockers and how much to apply. So we asked cosmetic dermatologist and author Tess Mauricio, M.D., who is of Filipino, Chinese and Spanish descent, to cut to the basics.

Continue reading

Audrey Travel Diaries | Seoul-Searching for the Holy Grail of Makeup

Moisture Firming Skin and Lotion 36,000 won (18000 won each)

Courtesy of Innisfree

Remember when I said I would do a Korea make-up haul post? Shopping for makeup in Korea was an incredible experience, especially for skincare. I have three rules when I am shopping for skincare: organic ingredients, affordable, and of course, effective. The Korean makeup industry is much more advanced, cheaper, and regulated than the US. Therefore, South Korea was a haven for a picky shopper like me!

Here are a couple of products I came back satisfied with. All the products are either from Skinfood or Innisfree, brands known to only use natural ingredients. None of these products contain harmful parabens!

The Koreans have developed a 5-step skin regimen, essence, serum, skin, lotion, eye cream. I opted out for barest necessities, skin and lotion. The Innisfree had a nifty device that measured the moisture level of your skin. My skin was just below the ideal moisture level, so they suggested products that focused on hydrating my skin. After using it for a week, the moisture and firming lotion by Innisfree does pretty much what it says. The skin feels hydrating and the lotion makes my skin velvety smooth. The price was great too for the generous size especially considering how expensive organic products are in the US.

Continue reading