If you're like me and you hate anything other than a light dusting of translucent powder, you'll find that bb creams make excellent concealers! They're not completely opaque like most foundations or concealers, and they have an added skincare component, like a new and improved version of the tinted moisturizer. The plus is that they give a very natural looking finish, and of course the minus is that they don't cover up everything and give you that flawless finish. But hey, my makeup is never to look "made up" anyway. I have come across many women with airbrushed faces, and while I'm always in awe and impressed they could achieve that level of perfection, it also, 1-creeps the hell out of me, is that a walking mannequin I just came across?!?, 2-makes me think, why cover up such beautiful skin?
Dr.Jart+ The Original BB Set. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.
There's a dizzying variety of brands and bb creams out there. At the rate I'm using my bb creams, one pinhead's amount each time, a full size tube will probably last me a lifetime. Plus their full size price tags will probably shatter my bank, or what's left of it -.-' No can do. So I go the travel/trial/mini size route. I love sampling around anyway and I have a weak spot for anything mini ^.^
I discovered this Dr.Jart+ The Original BB Set at Sephora, so before you pay that cut throat E(vil)bay price, check Sephora online or try your local Sephora store first! The set includes 15mL/0.5fl oz. each of Water Fuse SPF25 (blue), Premium SPF45 (gold), Black Label Detox SPF25 (black), and Renewalist SPF40 (red). To be honest, 15mL is still too big and too much for me but I doubt I could find anything smaller, so I went for it.
A word of caution first. Despite these bb creams all have SPF, I do not recommend wearing them in place of or as sunscreens. In fact, I do not recommend wearing any SPF skincare and/or cosmetic (moisturizers, primers, bases, foundations, etc.) in place of or as sunscreen.
Unless you're planning to goop on a full 1/4 teaspoon of the stuff on your face, won't get that labeled SPF. The 1/4 teaspoon is the amount they tested to get that labeled SPF. Have you tried, or even imagine applying that much moisturizer, primer/base, foundation, or bb cream? Ick? My point exactly. If you apply a smaller amount, the protection decreases sometimes by a whole order of magnitude, depends on how little you use. So just do your skin a favor and wear an actual sunscreen, the higher the protection the better, because I bet a frying egg on my forehead you won't apply a quarter teaspoon of that sunscreen either!
Okie doke, on to the bb creams. All four varieties are scented. Each has a slightly different texture, though all come out of the tube a different shade. Thankfully, they're all semi-translucent, which means sheer to moderate coverage. After blending, the different shades don't matter a whole lot on my fair-medium skin. See the pictures below of swatches and blends.
The vast majority of bb creams are available in only 1 shade, or 2 at most, and I can see how this can be very problematic for gals who are very fair or very olive/tan. The match is one of the biggest reasons I don't bother with base makeup, not even powder/mineral foundation. Hell, even concealers come in a huge range of shades, which is why I resort to bb creams as concealer. It's just easiest and most convenient for me. Bb creams as concealer and/or brightener can be easy and convenient for you too if you're olive/tan, because you want the concealer/brightener to be at least one shade lighter than your natural skin color. But if you're really fair, it'll be tough to find a bb cream that's lighter than you :(
- Water Fuse SPF25: this one is best for oily skin. It behaves very much like SkinFood Lettuce & Cucumber Water Drop Essence, as in it smells into water upon skin contact! See the swatch picture below. After melting, the color somewhat separates, leaving a white ring on the back of my hand. No worries, it all blends away seamlessly afterwards, and this stuff will stay on without budging. However, it's not moisturizing enough for my dry combination skin. In fact, I would say it's drying, because after setting with translucent powder, I immediately get expression lines I don't normally have, like laugh lines around my mouth. Eeeps! I guess if I ever needed to do a Halloween costume, I'd definitely goop on this stuff to make myself look 20 years older. But if you have oily skin, I would imagine this would be excellent at oil control.
- Premium SPF45: opposite with the Water Fuse BB above, this one is too moisturizing for my skin. Go figure. Even after setting with translucent powder, it quickly cakes and settles into lines. As I chatted and laughed the day away, again I would end up with expression lines. I guess this is meant for mature skin?
With this order, I also got a mini 5mL/0.17fl oz. of this bb cream ^.^
- Black Label Detox SPF25: the 2nd lightest shade but has the sheerest coverage out of all 4 bb creams in this set. So if you're looking for a "no makeup" makeup look, this is it! In fact, I wore this today to a tea date with my writing partner ^.^ Her hubby was my hubby's colleague in grad school, and we were neighbors in Japan. After hubby and I moved home, they moved to China. And now they're back and we're hanging out again, how's that for life's curveball? Anyway, this bb cream lasted for a few hours, until we started walking all around the city and sweating a bucket, and only then did the bb cream start to crease and settle into lines, so I won't blame it :) At least in the few initial hours when we were sitting proper at tea, the "no makeup" look using the products below gave me the most radiant and glowy finish ever, as if I've been having perfect 8-hour sleep every night (umm, NO)!
1. Conceal with this bb cream around the nose and mouth area, and under the eyes, picked up and applied with Aura Science Foundation Brush, then blended with Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush (will review soon).
2. Set with DHC Q10 Face Powder, Yellow 01 around the eye and mouth area using Koyudo C019 Multi-Tasker Brush, then Transparent 00 (transparent matte) everywhere else using the Hakuhodo J531 Powder and Blush Brush (will review both brushes soon).
3. Highlight with FANCL's new Highlight Color (will review soon), using Hakuhodo J4001.
2. Applied a sheer wash of Victoria's Secret HyperGloss Eye Shimmer in Diamond Light using Hakuhodo J122R Duo Fiber Eye Shadow Brush (will review both soon).
1. Swiped on Clinique Almost Lipstick Flirty Honey (will review this color soon).
- Renewalist SPF40: out of all four, this one is my favorite, because it has the winning combo of everything being just right. Like the Water Fuse BB above, it does not budge at all after setting. However, unlike the Water Fuse, it's moisturizing enough to *not* dry out my skin and create expression lines, and at the same time not too moisturizing as to start creasing and settling into lines so quickly after setting, like the Premium BB. It's also the lightest shade out of all 4 bb creams in this set, which makes it the best concealer and brightener. I was so impressed after wearing this the first time I seriously considered getting a full size. In the end, I refrained, but only because I'm still sampling a bunch of other bb creams. Eventually, I will end up with a list of keepers, and this is definitely one of them!
Swatches (top) and blended (bottom). See how the shades differ slightly? And notice the white ring in the Water Fuse BB swatch.
A view farther away, just to show how the slightly different shades don't really matter much after blending.