To open my newly improved beauty blog, I’ve decided to talk about some products that are definitely in the spotlight of the cosmetic world. If you haven’t noticed already, alphabetized creams have completely taken over the beauty market, both in high-end boutiques and on drugstore shelves. So, what are they exactly? And do you really want to be shelling out money for a product you’re not even sure of?
Basically, BB (Beauty Balm) and CC (Complexion Corrector) creams are lightweight, moisturizer-foundation hybrids that are supposed to have wonderous effects on your skin. Considering I’m about 95% drugstore diva myself (HELLO LADY, grad school budget here), I’ve tried some of the most popular “cheap” brands to see which ones are worth the hype, and I’ve got in-depth, no-lie reviews for you to check out. Keep in mind that I’m fair-skinned but not the lightest it gets (Irish/Italian/Polish and a mix of all three complexions; brown hair, hazel eyes, freckles; tan easily but can still burn; just for comparison purposes) with extremely sensitive, acne-prone skin (moderate; hormonal).
Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream; Normal or Oily/Combination Skin Formulas
Price: Between $11 and $13 (varies by store)
Garnier was one of the first, if not THE first, drugstore brands to release a BB cream. This was shortly after I’d started to hear a lot about them (around Spring-ish 2012). Naturally, I had to try it. At the time, they had only come out with the original formula (the oil-free kind just came out in the fall). They claim to hydrate, even skin tone, protect (SPF!!), and two other things I can’t remember from the catchy commercials. Do they make your skin flawless? Well, no. I still need concealer if I’m a little broken out. But do I like them? Yes. Here’s what I think:
My skin is more on the oily side, but I do get dry patches–so I’d say maybe oily/combination. I’ve used the normal formula more than the oily/combination one, though. I wore it a lot last year, and I really like it. It’s got a thick, almost mousse-like (but wetter) consistency, and it does a really nice job of evening out skin tone. It’s very hydrating like it claims, so I never used it with a moisturizer underneath–yay one less step in the morning! It has a satiny/dewy finish, and I’d definitely recommend setting it with a powder. Powder won’t completely flatten your face, so don’t worry, but it will give more staying power.
The oil-free formula is a lot thinner…it’s almost a liquid (you have to be REALLY careful when you squeeze it out of the tube). I do notice that when I initially put it on, my skin has a matte/satin finish (pretty skin-like), but throughout the day I have to blot as normally as I would with the other formula…so it doesn’t necessarily “control” oil like it claims to. Coverage is the same, which is nice. The only thing I don’t like is that this one really accentuates any dry patches, so I have to be very careful to check for flakes (gross) once it settles. But I survive. Staying power on both of them is actually pretty good, considering they’re so creamy. But, like I said, set either with powder for sure.
The biggest issue I have with Garnier’s BB creams is the color selection. There are two. Wait, what? Because there are only two skin tones in the entire world? There’s Light/Medium and Medium/Deep. Um….okay. The lighter one is too dark for my fair/light skin in the fall/winter months, so I can’t use it until I get some color in the spring/summer. It kind of works if you want to take the time to really blend it into your neck and hairline, but ain’t NOBODY got time for that if you’re trying to be quick. The lighter color even works all summer for me. So yeah, biggest downfall is color selection. Not fair! But, all in all, I’d say this is a good one. If you’ve got dry skin, go for it. If you have oily skin, well, you’re used to blotting anyway. Definitely a quick and easy fix for those mornings you just don’t want to spend any more time than you have to. Overall: try it for yourself!
Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream
Price: around $7-$8
Maybelline’s BB cream was the second one I tried once I got really tan last summer; it was cheaper and had a much better color selection. This one is a little stickier than the Garnier; it’s thinner, but you have to use more force to blend it out. Does that make sense? It has pretty nice coverage as well, and is just as moisturizing, but it’s definitely more oily. For example, my best friend uses it as well, and she has perfect skin (like, FLAWLESS) skin, the bitch–kidding!–but even she noticed that her skin got oily when she wore it. Once I recommended a powder, though, it was fine.
I’d recommend this especially dry to normal skin, but it won’t kill you if you’re oily, either. Once again, we’re all used to blotting! Not the end of the world. I definitely favor Maybelline for its color selection–I believe there’s about six or seven different shades. Still not great, but certainly better. For the price, it’s definitely worth it!
Covergirl CGSmoothers BB Cream
Price: Around $6
Back before creams were all the rage, Covergirl’s CGSmoothers tinted moisturizer existed. I never tried it, even though my mom had suggested a tinted moisturizer time and time again. What can I say? I’m stubborn. Anyway, here’s what CG’s BB cream is: the tinted moisturizer, in the exact same packaging, renamed BB cream. Literally. Like, at least change the style? The color? Something?! I tried it because it was cheap, and I can honestly say I used it once and then threw it in my “extra stuff” bin. It has virtually no coverage, and is pretty greasy feeling. I ended up putting foundation over it because I felt like I’d just used a regular moisturizer. Its only benefits, to me, are the SPF (which isn’t even that high) and the hydration power of a regular moisturizer. I love a lot of Covergirl’s products, but if they were really going to release a BB cream, they should actually make one instead of renaming an old product. Sorry, but not really. Overall: don’t waste your six bucks.
Revlon PhotoReady BB Cream
Price: around $13
Allow me to say, before anything, that Revlon is one of my all-time favorite makeup brands EVER. I absolutely love most of their products, from face to eyes to lips. I used to wear their ColorStay Mineral Mousse foundation until they discontinued it (my heart still hurts), and that’s one of the reasons why I’ve tried to many BB creams since. But OH MY GOD, THIS STUFF IS TERRIBLE. Horrible. Disgusting. I just…I can’t. I have never in my life been so disappointed with a product from Revlon. When you squeeze it out of the tube, it’s very similar to Maybelline–thick, creamy, pretty opaque–but on the face: ew, ew, EW! It barely gives a hint of coverage, is greasy as a MOTHER, and smells overpoweringly of SPF. Like, to the point where you can basically taste it. It’s streaky, doesn’t sink into the skin, and, methinks, would require a whole compact of powder to not look shiny. It’s absolutely god-awful. I’ve heard it compared to Smashbox’s BB cream, but I’ve tried samples of that and I assure you they’re not the same. Maybe you’d like it if your skin is drier than the Sahara, but otherwise, steer clear. It’s not worth it. It doesn’t do a damn thing to make your skin look “photo ready.” It’s just…no. I’m sorry, Revlon; I love your products to death, but this one is just no good.
Hard Candy CC Cream
Available (from what I’ve seen) online and exclusively at Walmart, Hard Candy has become a top contender in drugstore makeup. I’m a fan of a lot of their products, particulary their Fox in a Box blushes/bronzers that give Benefit’s face products a run for their money. They have a lot of fun and funky products, too, like chunky glitter eyeliners and colored mascara (to name a couple). Anyway, as of late, I’ve been hearing about CC creams–that is, complexion correctors (or, as this one is called, Correction Creme). As similar as these are to BB creams, they’re meant to have a bit more coverage and focus more on truly evening out skin tone. Basically, they’re more appropriate for people with acne/scarring, dark spots, redness, freckles (but how dare anyone want to hide them!), etc. You get it. I’ve been researching CC creams for a while trying to decide if I wanted to try some out, but they haven’t quite migrated into the drugstore market yet. I believe Olay was the first to release one, but theirs is geared toward anti-aging and costs $22! For that, I’d rather go to Sephora. Anyway… I’m a fan of DulceCandy87 on YouTube, and a few days ago she posted a before and after picture of herself wearing Hard Candy’s Creme, captioned “I’m sold!” It looked beautiful on her, so I gave it a try. There’s four or five color selections; unfortunately, it’s hard to tell what they look like because they’re completely boxed in. Thanks to the hooligans at my local Walmart, one was already opened. The shades are much darker than their names, so be careful! The opened package contained the “light” color, but it was definitely not. It was more of a warm beige-y color that I’ll probably be able to wear in another couple of weeks. I went with “fair,” the lightest, and it’s perfect. Keep in mind, though, that I already have some color. That being said, their selection is probably not wide enough, either.
Onto the actual product: I LOVE it! It’s definitely thicker than the BB creams I’ve tried, but not thick like “omg this is chillin’ on my face” thick. Just…nice. It’s nice and moisturizing but definitely has coverage closer to foundation without actually being foundation. I’ve worn it for about a week now, and I really don’t have any complaints. I’ve worn it to work with some concealer and a bit of mineral powder foundation over it and it’s lasted all day. I think this might be my go-to face product for the summer! For eight dollars and the benefits that come with it, you can’t go wrong!
Phew! There you have it! Sorry that was a novel of a post. I’m a writer, what can I say? But really, though, I don’t just want to tell you “yes” or “no.” I want you to know why products are good or bad. And I’ve been totally honest! If you’ve considered trying BB or CC creams without upsetting your wallet, I’m hoping this helps. Good luck!
Any other alphabet favorites? Leave a comment!