You’ve probably seen it as you peruse the shelves at Bloomy’s or Sephora looking for your favorite concealer. BB cream? CC cream? First things first, let’s define. BB stands for Beauty Balm, while CC stands for Color Corrector. There are rumblings of a DD cream, but I believe that’s an urban beauty myth.
I used to have the old-school mentality that the only way to get great coverage at home is via liquid foundation or a thick powder-plus-foundation combo such as MAC’s Studio Fix. The problem with the latter is even though you get great coverage today, prepare for some record-breaking blemishes tomorrow. Or worse, the dreaded ‘ghost-face’ that shows up in photos when your liquid foundation reflects the light from the camera’s flash. Ick!
At first I didn’t pay much attention to BB cream; I chalked it up to over-priced tinted moisturizer. Wrong! BB cream gives your skin a big dose of moisture, plus the SPF protection that the active woman needs. Add in more even skin tones and concealed minor blemishes and you have the perfect face cocktail. And who doesn’t love a cocktail? I use mine under GloMinerals Pressed Base Powder for an instant camera-ready look, though there usually isn’t a camera anywhere in sight. Other times I will use it alone with an SPF lip balm for a lazy beach day or a trip to the gym. Come on now, I can’t be the only one who pulls the “no makeup” makeup trick for gym days!
Now that you’re on Team BB, the question becomes which to buy? Don’t worry; just call me your guinea pig. (Besides, worrying creates wrinkles. Fact.) I’ve tried and tested Laura Mercier, Smashbox, Too Faced, Stila, Studio Gear, Tarte and Laura Gellar. Here are my faves:
Gold Medal: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35
With the highest SPF protection and best coverage overall, Smashbox takes first place. This one is light, not at all cakey, and has a magical ingredient that matches and evens out your skin tone. Ditch your moisturizer, trash your sunscreen, and lay off the concealer. This baby does it all. Slightly more than other brands at $39, but it’s worth every cent.
Silver Medal: Stila Beauty Balm
Stila brought it with their SPF 30 balm that leaves you with a fabulous dewey finish. With the most bang for your buck, $38 gets you 1.5 oz. This beauty balm gets extra cool points for being waterproof to boot. This is the go-to BB cream for gym buffs and water babies who want perfect, glowy skin no matter what the day’s activities are.
Bronze Medal: Laura Gellar Beauty BB Cream
The very best option for us divas on a budget, $34 gets you beautifully blending coverage with a smooth matte finish. Skip the powder and rock this BB with a cream blush and a berry lip. Absolute perfection.
Honorable Mention: Studio Gear CC Cream
Technically not a BB cream, Studio Gear’s CC cream goes on purple! Anything that comes out purple and blends to match my tanned olive skin gets a shout out in my book. $34 for 1.1 oz.