BB Creams were never something I saw myself being interested in, especially because it was so difficult to find a pale one ... so, have I succeeded?
There's only way to find out ...
La Roche-Posay Hydreane BB Cream in Light was the first BB Cream I tried. Partially because I love La Roche Posay as a brand but mostly because it was because it was the first one I found that was actually pale. The colour is lovely, but the texture of the cream is quite thick and I've found difficult to blend in and found that it sort of rolled off. Coverage was nice, but I couldn't really fall in love with it. The Hydreane formula is hydrating, but while I didn't find it drying I didn't notice any remarkable hydration either. If I'm honest I can't really understand the €20 price tag, but it might suit someone with skin more on the normal side.
Rimmel 9-in-1 BB Cream was an impulse buy. I was looking for something to have as a backup. It was okay, best word for it is okay. It promises a lot; prime, moisturising, minimises pores, conceals, covers, smoothes, mattifies, brightens - I've found it delivers on a few of these but not all of them. The coverage and concealing end of things is okay, but as with LRP I found it a little difficult to blend. As far as minimising pores I couldn't see a differences and I find it contradictory that it's moisturising and mattifying - with my dry skin it was only just okay, but my skin was drying out later in the day. But it's just under €9 so I can't really complain.
Kiehl's Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream was the first BB cream I got excited about. My understanding of BB creams was that they needed to actively work on improving your skin. A lot of western BB creams were just glorified tinted moiturisers with some SPF. Kiehl's offering has an SPFof 50 and it's packed full of Vitamin C which does amazing things for revitalising your skin. The main focus of this cream was the formula, as Kiehl's are a brand who take their skincare very seriously. Put simply this BB Cream covers imperfections as it works on correcting them. The colour is stunning, the perfect shade of pale. The coverage is light, buildable and blends beautifully. I wear it under makeup to protect my skin in the sun, or on it's own when I'm having a "no-make-up-day" (read: very-little-make-up-day) Kiehl's has become my benchmark for what makes a great BB cream. Yes it's €29, but I'll forgive it for the fact it's like 3 products in one from SPF to primer to foundation, that's under a tenner each then!
Vichy Idealia BB Cream is one I really wanted to love. Everyone I knew that tried it was in love. The colour was stunning, it was radiant and like LPR it contained thermal spa water which made me think it was perfect for it. The formula is very light, which posed a problem when it came to settling into my pores - which it did, it settled into every pore I didn't know I had. Only yesterday however I applied with a buffing brush (up to now I've applied every bb cream with my fingers) and it went on slightly better. It is a great colour, definitely radiant and it is nice and hydrating. My skin doesn't really suit the buffing motion, but it does manage to give more of an air-brush-effect to pores. Vichy's formula followed closely to what Asian BB creams (the holy land of BBs) focused on which was anti-greying (greying of skintone is the primary concern of asian women, long before wrinkles and age spots) I'll be giving it another go, but it will always play second fiddle to Kiehl's! It's €23.50, a good price for what it is.
Finally Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream was the latest BB I tried. I was optimistic after Kiehl's and Vichy seeing brands truly embrace the active formulas. I get the feeling that Clarins took the term "active formula" to mean actively protecting - in regards SPF. Saying that, at an SPF of 25 it's the same protection as Vichy and Rimmel and only slightly higher than LRP. Essentially this is a tinted mineral sun screen. That's about it. It's very much like sun cream. It's not as thin as the Vichy formula, without being as thick as LRP. But the colour isn't nearly as light as any of the others. It made me look pretty orange. Someone with a warmer skin tone would prefer it. It's a nice satin-soft formula but it's also heavily perfumed so be warned. I'd like to like it, but it hasn't won me over. I'm not sure what it costs in euro, but I know it's around £22 ... honestly I don't think I'd be happy if I'd paid that for it ...
So my BB cream search didn't go as I expected. I found that there were shades light enough to earn their "light" title, yet some were still too orange, but I didn't find some that fit the traditional model of actively working with your skin while you wear them.
I think I'll be using a buffing brush more often, especially with the thinner formulas seeing as it managed to change my mind somewhat towards the Vichy - but I think with my dry skin BB Creams are always going to be a little difficult for me.
Have you found your perfect BB Creams?
What do you look for in a BB Cream?