BB cream, also known as Blemish Balm, Blemish Base, Beblish Balm or Beauty Balm is a cosmetic base sold mainly in East and Southeast Asia, although larger beauty brands are increasingly introducing BB creams to Western markets as well. Originally formulated in Germany by dermatologist Dr. Christine Schrammek in the 1950s, the cream was initially used to protect skin after laser procedures and surgery, while also providing light coverage. Introduced to South Korea and Japan in the 1980s, BB cream has been named "the secret of Korean actresses" and has been heavily endorsed by Korean celebrities, which gained it large exposure in these Asian markets.
What do BB Creams do?
BB creams are the ultimate multi-taskers; They will give you a good base for makeup like a primer, even out complexion like a tinted moisturiser, cover minor blemishes and imperfections like a concealer, hydrate and moisturise your skin like your day cream, brighten and whiten a dull complexion and most will even protect with a good level of SPF. Some also promise healing of scars and marks, smoothing and anti-ageing properties. The light coverage will leave your skin looking radiant and glowing, and having all of these products in one cream is a huge time and money saver, not to mention the space it will make in your bathroom! :)
As a result there's a lot of offerings in the BB Cream market from both the original Asian markets and the newer releases from the Western world.
Choosing your ideal shade can be a tricky one - especially if you're interested in one of the original BB Creams from Asia seeing as, for the majority of cases, they can be hard to source locally in bricks and mortar stores and you have to buy online.
With this in mind I thought I would create some swatches of a selection of BB Creams in order to compare the Asian brands with their Western counterpart and to give a guide on how the shades vary.
The BB Creams I'm going to be showing today are:
Ginvera Green Tea Nude Cover BB Cream SPF 30 from http://www.janiro.co.uk/
BRTC Gold Caviar BB Cream SPF 50
Skin79 Hot Pink Super Plus BB Cream SPF 25
Skin79 VIP Gold Super Plus BB Cream SPF 25
Maybelline Dream Fresh 8-in-1 BB Cream SPF 30
Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector in Light SPF 15
Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector in Medium SPF 15
Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector - Oil Free / Matte version in Light SPF 20
(Aside from the Ginvera BB Cream, the rest I got from TreatYourSkin.com - you can currently get a 10% discount off your order there if you use "TYSBELLA")
Onto the swatches...!
Applied to skin:
As you can see, I'm pretty darn pale! I hope that this helps you get a better look at the actual shades however.
As you can see the Asian brands are a much thicker formula (aside from the Ginvera one, which was quite runny) than the more liquid consistencies of the Western brands.
You can see here how the Asian brand BB Creams have more of a grey/ashy cast to them and are cool toned, whereas the Western versions are much more peachy and are warm toned.
Don't worry however, I have found that all of these BB Creams somewhat adapt to your skintone and blend in manage to blend in seamlessly for the most part.
Blended some more:
I noticed that on the whole the Asian brand BB Creams were much richer and creamier than their Western counterparts. Whilst I was swatching them, they remained rich and creamy on my skin before whilst blending them in, whereas the Western brands were much lighter and runnier in consistency and dried quickly making them slightly harder to blend.
I hope that this guide proves helpful in helping you choose the right shade for you.
For reference I would be an NW15 at the moment.
I got the above BB Creams from TreatYourSkin.com - they have a great selection of BB Creams on offer - BRTC, Dr Brandt, Garnier, Hanskin, L'oreal, Lioele, Maybelline, Missha and Skin79.
So it really is a one stop shop for your BB Creams whether you're looking for an Asian brand or a Westernised version, or perhaps you'd like to try both to compare as I did! :)
You can get 10% off your order with TreatYourSkin.com with code "TYSBELLA"
Have you tried any BB Creams? Which ones would you recommend? I'd love to hear about your experiences with BB Creams in the comments below! :)