Monday, July 9, 2012

BB Creams; What is the hype about?-Richmond VA Makeup Artist Aaron

So BB creams have been getting a lot of press lately. With that press seems to come a lot of confusion from the consumer. So let's take a minute to find out what a BB cream is about and if it is worth all the hype.

First, BB stands for "Beauty Balm" or "Blemish Balm". It really became popular in East and Southeast Asia during the 80's but was originally formulated in the 1950's to be used after surgery or laser procedures. The reason for their popularity in Asia was the fact that the product was a great multi-tasker. There are tons of formulas on the market, many touting anti-inflamatory or soothing properties. The ones that you will find in US stores generally combine the following benefits: a skin prep (think primer), light weight coverage (think tinted moisturizer), hydration (think light weight skincare), and anti-ageing protection (think SPF and antioxidants). Now some of the formulas are heavier on one benefit and lighter on the other, so you need to do a little research to find out which is best for you.

Even though BB creams have not been available in the US for many years, they have flooded the market and have people flocking to stores like drag queens to a foam padding sale! Clinique, Smashbox, Stila, Dr. Jart, Garnier, Maybelline, Too Faced, Estee Lauder, and Boscia are just a few of the ones out there now. The price range on these is anywhere from $12 to $40.

Now Dr. Oz raves about the Boscia one and it has a good amount of skin care properties to it. However, it is only one shade, but can read the skin to mimic your tone. I think if you have some olive tone you are OK but otherwise this one is better as a skincare product. Many makeup artists like ones from lines like Smashbox and Too Faced as they have more coverage to them and more shades to choose from. This is why you have to pay attention to ingredients and color options. Do you want one that offers a lot of hydration, or do you want one to give you nice coverage. The best way to find the one that works for you is to try one out. If you love it great! If not, pass it on to a friend or family member and try another one.

In my experience (but note, I have not tried all of them) I really like the products but do think they have some limitations. If you are on the dry side, or it is in the Winter months, I don't think they offer enough moisture and you probably would still need a moisturizer under the BB cream. But, right now (in these crazy warm Summer months) if you are normal or oily, you can probably get by using it without a separate moisturizer.

Secondly, be aware of ones that have an SPF of 50 or more. Most doctors and dermatologists agree that once you get that high of a number, the product is really no more effective (30-45 are great numbers to look for).

Thirdly, many of the BB creams will have ingredients to help make the tone and texture of the skin more even and smooth. This is often done with light reflecting agents. That may translate to "shimmer" or "sparkle". So, if you are putting a bronzer on top, you might want to try a matte bronzer instead of one with more shimmer. Remember "disco balls" are fun but can date you too!

If you are someone who requires a heavier coverage, this may not be the one and only product for you. However, it is a great way to "refresh" your SPF as most BB creams can go on over traditional foundation if you desire.

So in closing, my opinion is I like BB creams, but for the right person and the right time of year. I think they are worth the hype, as long as you are realistic about they payoff. When you need to lighten up a bit, this is a perfect product, but I don't think I would use it alone as we head into late Fall or Winter. I do think you should check one out, especially now as Summer is beating down on us. With this new phenomenon I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave me or Nancy a message on our Facebook pages (BRIDEface Richmond or BRIDEface) if you have tried one. Share your experience so others can benefit!!

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