Friday, 28 September 2012

BB Cream Breakdown

I've been on the lookout for a great tinted moisturizer, bb cream, or light foundation. Because I'm a scientist, I get really nerdy about researching products. Here's the fruit of my labor for BB creams:

BB Cream Breakdown

Now, I've never used any of these help me make a decision! Here's my breakdown...sites used for reviews are,, and

In no particular order:

1. Smashbox Camera Ready
  • Cost; Size; Cost/Oz: $39; 1 oz; $39
  • SPF: 35 (UVA/UVB)
  • Sephora Rating/Reviews: 4.1/5. Pros: lightweight, covers well, not much color range. Cons: costly, can be streaky, greasy for some
  • Makeupalley Rating/Reviews: 3.7/5. Pros: Yellower tone than most BBs, little goes a long way, multitasking, natural, moisturizing,. Cons: oxidizes throughout the day to an orangey tint, limited color range, costly.

2. Dr. Jart+ Premium
  • Cost; Size; Cost/Oz: $39, 1.4, $27.8
  • SPF: 45 PA+++, UVA/UVB, chemical-free
  • Sephora Rating/Reviews: 4.3. Pros: Lightweight, good coverage, evens skin tone, multitasker that works like it claims, eliminates need for other products. Cons: can cause breakouts in some, slight oxidation with time in fair skin.
  • Makeupalley Rating/Reviews: 3.8. Pros: Physical sunscreen only (not chemical), good coverage but still natural, readers with rosacea didn't find it irritating. Cons: may cause breakouts, needs cream under to glide well, high SPF means it's thick, color can be too chalky/grey/pink/orange on some--recommend sampling first.
  • EDIT: After doing this post I sampled this BB at Sephora...I wear Nars Finland Tinted Moisturizer and bareMinerals in Fairly Light and this wasn't too grey or pink on me, coverage was great--but not too thick--and I loved everything about it EXCEPT that it has a tacky texture that never went away. If this wouldn't bother you (or maybe if you used a powder to set) this is a great option for people whose skin matches well!

3. Clinique Age Defense
  • Cost; Size; Cost/Oz: $37, 1.4, $26.4
  • SPF: 30
  • Sephora Rating/Reviews: 4. Pros: great coverage, long-lasting, color stays true, full to medium coverage. Cons: only 3 colors (all light), heavier than other BBs, doesn't spread easily, causes breakouts in some, sunscreen scent
  • Makeupalley Rating/Reviews: 3.4. Pros: long-lasting, improves skin, acts as primer, Cons: poor color range, drying.
  • EDIT: I tried this and at first thought it was great. I put it on with a foundation brush, which was too streaky, but it blended nicely with my fingers and had a soft, smooth finish. A couple hours later, though, and all my dry spots became really glaringly obvious and the product kind of just sat on my skin--didn't sink in at all. This would probably be a great cream for people with oilier skin--but my slightly dry skin did not love it.

4. Bobbi Brown
  • Cost; Size; Cost/Oz: $42; 1.3 oz; $32.3
  • SPF: 35 UVA/UVB
  • Nordstrom Rating/Reviews: 10/13 (3.8/5). Pros: evens skin tone, buildable coverage, doesn't settle into wrinkles, hydrates, evens tone, no need for other moisturizer/primer, doesn't oxidize. Cons: Catches on dry skin, dries out quickly, too oily for oily skin
  • Makeupalley Rating/Reviews: 3.9. Pros: natural finish, hydrating, good creamy texture and coverage. Cons: sensitive skin may react to it, need to use fingers, average shine control, tone may be too yellow for some

5. Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse
  • Cost; Size; Cost/Oz: $34, 1.7, $20
  • SPF: 25 PA++
  • Sephora Rating/Reviews: 4. Pros: Great for dry skin, glides like moisturizer, dewy look, evens tone, great coverage, lightweight. Cons: some may break out, longevity is average, limited color choices
  • Makeupalley Rating/Reviews: 3.8. Pros: dewy, natural finish, helps skin, skin feels soft. Cons: some will breakout, only one shade, contains parabens
  • EDIT: Some tout this as a miracle cream, and after trying it I'd have to agree. It truly is a miracle that one product can make my pores appear larger, my oily spots oilier, my dry spots dryer, and my normally non-sensitive skin break out immediately. I put this on half my face as a test and was astounded by how awful this looked and felt--this, like the Premium version, went on tacky and stayed that way. I honestly can't imagine how it got such great ratings because I can't think of a single skin type that would benefit from it. Awful.

6. Too Faced Tinted Beauty
  • Cost; Size; Cost/Oz: $32, 1.5, $22.6
  • SPF: 20, chemical-free, UVA/UVB
  • Sephora Rating/Reviews: 4.2. Pros: oil-free, smooths imperfections, no need for primer, sheer coverage, evens tone. Cons: poor color palette, oily feel, contains parabens
  • Makeupalley Rating/Reviews: 3.6. Pros: good for those with dry skin, glowing skin, has lighter shades, doesn't accentuate dry patches. Cons: coverage of a tinted moisturizer rather than BB, too moisturizing for some, silicones can clog pores, color is 'off' on some, not good for oily skin

7. Stila Stay All Day 10 in 1
  • Cost; Size; Cost/Oz: $38, 1.5, $25.3
  • SPF: none
  • Sephora Rating/Reviews: 3.9 Pros: Glowy skin but not shiny, covers pores, doesn't stay too liquidy on skin, evens skin tone. Cons: only one color, waxy feel, too sheer, distinct scent
  • Makeupalley Rating/Reviews: 4 (9 reviews only). Pros: good as primer, skin feels soft, evens tone. Cons: too sheer
  • EDIT: I agree with all of the above critiques. It does feel unbelievably soft on my skin, but it's a bit hard to put on and the color was too dark for me (they don't have multiple shades). Another negative is no SPF. Otherwise, I liked this product a lot.

  • Most/least expensive per ounce: Smashbox Camera Ready/Dr Jart+ Water Fuse
  • Best/worst SPF: Dr. Jart+ Premium/Stila Stay All Day 10 in 1 (with none; Too Faced is lowest of those with sunscreen)
  • Highest/lowest Sephora rating: Dr. Jart+Premium/Bobbi Brown (but used Nordstrom scale instead of Sephora)
  • Highest/lowest Makeupalley rating: Bobbi Brown (Stila came in first but with only 9 reviews)/Clinique Age Defense

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