BB cream, also known as Blemish Balm Cream is the hottest new thing in makeup and skin care. It started popping up in the US recently, but has been a smash hit in Asia for years. (Decades, even!) (What is BB Cream?)
BB cream can be used as a highlighter, primer, moisturizer, foundation, concealer and facial sunscreen. With many BB creams having a great SPF level and the ability to conceal and cover-up imperfections, we recommend trying one. Think of it as a tinted moisturizer on drugs. So much more than a tinted moisturizer!
If you’re new to BB cream, you might be wondering just how to use it, so we put together 7 tips for BB cream to help you apply properly and get the most out of your BB cream. Know that no BB cream is exactly like the next one. Some are matte; some are illuminating. Some are colorless; some add color. Some give full coverage; some give just a hint of coverage.
- No matter what it says on the bottle, use a moisturizer first. A lot of the BB creams say that it can be your moisturizer + foundation, but we suggest you put on an initial base of moisturizer first, especially if you have dry skin. When we skipped moisturizer, our skin felt dry and flaky. You might be able to get away with just this if you have oily skin, but normal to dry should use a moisturizer.
- Sponges or brushes aren’t necessary. Go with your fingers when you apply BB cream. We found it the easiest way to get an even and natural look. Dot on your skin and then blend in.
- Start by using it as a concealer. Where on your skin do you need to cover-up? Blemishes or scars visible? BB cream does a great job at concealing under eye circles, too! Dot on a little BB cream and blend in. After making sure it’s set, apply BB cream to the rest of your face for great coverage.
- Set with powder. Once your BB cream is applied and dry (it can take a minute or two to lose the tackiness feeling) set with powder for best results. Note that some brands have been reported to not last all day. Setting with powder and keeping your hands off of your face (a habit so many people have) will help if you find this problem.
- If you have darker skin tone, mix with foundation. In Asia, we found that many of the BB creams come in one color: light. This is because unlike in the US and its love of tan skin, light, almost white skin, is considered beautiful. Skin lightening products are in high demand. Thankfully, the US has many more options for those with darker skin color, but if you just can’t find one that doesn’t lighten your skin too much, mix a few drops of your foundation in. You’ll still get the benefits of the BB cream with a shade to better suite your skin.
- Don’t overpay! When we were in Seoul, we picked up one of the higher priced BB creams and it was only just under $25 and came highly recommended. In the US, we’re finding many priced high simply because of demand. (3Lab’s is $95 for 1.5 ounces!) Consider finding a site that ships international and using an Asian BB cream if you don’t find one you love with a price you love.
- If you don’t like your first one, keep trying. Samples are always a great way to try out a product if you can find them, but do your research and check online reviews. Make sure you think ahead how much coverage you want, if you want the BB cream to illuminate your skin or leave it matte, etc… After falling in love with BB cream, we’re certain that if you find the right one for your skin, you’ll love it, too!