What’s this “BB cream” everyone keeps taking about?
BB cream is the new makeup/skincare product that movie stars, cosmetic queens, Korean pop stars and lolitas are all in love with for smooth, airy and natural looking skin. Previously used to regenerate laser-surgery patients’ skin in Korea, this product has made the leap from Asia all the way to America and even entered the mainstream. If you’re sick of flat, cakey foundation or want to streamline your daily face-up routine, BB cream has got you covered – literally.
Why try BB cream?
BB cream is a the kind of miracle product a lot of girls swear by. The “BB” standards for “blemish balm” or as they say in America, “beauty balm” because of its many restorative properties. BB cream can have various properties such as:
- whitening or brightening
- skin repairing
- sun protection (added SPF)
There are two worlds of BB cream today: Asian BB creams and the newly-created American BB creams. While many are finding out BB cream only now from such American brands as Maybelline, Garnier, Clinique, and Smashbox, there is also a strong following of Japanese and Korean BB creams outside of Asia as well.
BB Cream: Asian or American?
I’m a big fan of Asian cosmetics and skin care products myself, for two reasons. One, if you’re into Asian fashion such as lolita fashion, fairy-kei, gyaru, ulzzang, or even Asian celebrities and pop artists, you’ve probably already got a fashion style that meshes well with Asian makeup products. For example, Korean fashion lovers probably know that orange and tangerine were big for lipstick and cheeks in the past year – but not in America. So naturally, followers of Asian fashion are drawn to Asian cosmetics.
Two, to be blunt, Asian cosmetics are not messing around. When my standard American face products and makeup remover give up a few weeks after use, my Asian products are still going strong. I’ve used American makeup removers to find lots of eyelash glue, eyeliner, and general gunk still on my face, while a pass with my favorite Japanese face wash removes another full face of foundation, blush and all the glue. When my friends are unhappy with their skin, I tell ‘em to hit the nearest Asian grocery store. (They look at me like I’m crazy, but I mean it!)
So, while American BB cream is most likely going to be focused on being a good makeup product and not-so-good a skin product, BB creams from Asia are not kidding around and you will see bonafide results not only when you wear it, but when the product comes off.
Okay, the cool part about American-made BB creams is that unlike Asian BB creams which usually come in a maximum of two or three colors (beige, and uh, beiger), American BB creams come in a typical range of five colors from light to dark, at least three shades deeper than Asian standards. This means all you gorgeous mocha, bronze, and deep chocolate girls can get your BB on too! The American BBs are also more focused on coverage and less likely to be as sheer as their Asian counterparts.
I’m short on BB cream right now and can’t make it to my favorite shop for a while, so I’m going to pick up some of Maybelline’s Dream Fresh BB Cream and do a quick review on it soon! (Though I am a little concerned that “glowing” is a term that here means “quietly making you tanner every time you use it until you look like you just deep-fried at a salon”!)
Where to Buy BB Cream
For American BB creams like Clinique or Smashbox, check out your local Sephora - trying them on make or break your favorite BB cream and I’d really recommend trying them in-store if you’re new to the world of BB.
If you want Asian BBs, take a look at prettyandcute.com - they have a huge selection of BBs, as well as oodles of other Japanese and Korean face products, makeup and eyelashes. Their Facebook fanpage is also a great resource, where they give more product details, makeup tutorials, reviews, and you can always see what’s new! (You can buy all of the Asian so-pretty-in-pink BB creams from their website, too!)
If you’re already a tried-and-true BB girl, what are your favorite brands and labels? I’m partial to Etude House, but I really want to try out some of the new stuff we’re seeing from Holika Holika!