Today's post comes courtesy of my very dear friend Elizabeth, who asked me on facebook "Katy, what on earth is BB cream?". It's becoming really, really popular, yet so many people have no idea what it is or how to use it. I admit that I did have to do a bit of research myself to get to the roots of BB cream, because it seemed to appear on the western market out of nowhere, but I got to the bottom of it, and here's what I now know:
BB cream was developed in Korea, where traditional western foundation formulas are often too heavy and pore-clogging for the women, whose ideal is to have clear, clean, porcelain-like skin. Many BB creams, particularly the ones made and market by asian compaies, contain whitening agents.
BB cream was originally marketed as an all-in-one product, replacing serum, moisturizer, foundation and sunblock. The tint is often mineral-based.
BB stands for Blemish Balm, Beauty Balm or Blemish Base. It actively helps to clear the skin of blemishes whilst providing SPF (check your brand for individual specs) and a light foundation base.
Here's how you use it:
Start exactly like a foundation. Use a clean sponge, or clean fingers to apply it, then either leave it (will give you a slightly dewy look), or finish with a powder (for a more matte finish with more coverage).
So, which local brands are offering BB creams?
Most of them, actually, but here are a couple that I found that I liked. The Garnier BB Cream comes in regular and oil free formula, and retails for around $14. The Natio BB Cream is really lovely at around $15. Last, but not least, the high end brand M.A.C. have a gorgeous BB Cream at around $50.
Most BB Creams are available in Light and medium tones, and some have dark tones, too, to suit every complexion.
I think the days of heavy foundation base for everyday wear are numbered. When you find a product that not only gives you a foundation base coverage, but actively treats your skin, you're onto a winner!