Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Semi-comprehensive BB Cream comparison

Hello hello!  Thought I'd do a practical post today for a change.  I've been really experimenting with my foundation routine this summer and I think I *finally* found the right combination of products that work best with my combination skin. (although I do tend to have some sort of cosmetic revelation every couple months, lol)

Left to right: CG Smoothers Tinted Moisturizer Light/Medium, Missha Perfect Cover BB No. 23, ElishaCoy Premium Gold Mineral BB, ElishaCoy Always Nuddy BB, Etude House Precious Mineral Bright Fit BB.

Some of you are probably aware that I was using CG Smoothers tinted moisturizer for the longest time because I figured that BB cream was synonymous with tinted moisturizer.  They're actually a bit different.  I found that, in general, BB cream is more like a liquid foundation with moisturizing and, sometimes, sun protection properties.  Tinted moisturizer tends to be more fluid in consistency and sheer in coverage, whereas BB cream is thicker and creamier with fuller coverage.

This year, I've had the opportunity to try 4 different BB creams from 3 different manufacturers in order to compare with tinted moisturizer and amongst one another.  Here are some swatches so that you can observe the variation in hues:

 Here's the breakdown of characteristics per product plus my own personal views:

CG Smoothers Tinted Moisturizer Light/Medium
- lightweight
- fragrance free
- non-comedogenic
- SPF 15
- variety of colors
- VERY sheer coverage (I HAD to use powder foundation over it for an even complexion, I considered it more of a foundation primer than anything else)

Missha Perfect Cover BB No. 23
- medium to full coverage
- pleasant fragrance
- variety of colors (I chose No. 23, the darkest shade available at the time, though I probably would have done better with No. 27)
- SPF 42
- thick consistency, very heavy feeling upon application
- ashy in color (did not work well with my strong yellow undertones)
- made my oily t-zone look even more oily

ElishaCoy Premium Gold Mineral BB
- medium coverage
- SPF 45
- thick consistency, somewhat heavy feeling upon application
- only one color option
- very light colored (did not work with my medium/tan southeast Asian complexion)
- did not work with oily t-zone

ElisaCoy Always Nuddy BB 24
- light to medium coverage (can be used with or without finishing powder)
- subtle, citrus scent
- lightweight texture, non-greasy finish
- works well with oily skin
- only one color option
- one to two shades too light for me, unfortunately
- no sun protection

Etude House Precious Mineral Bright Fit BB in Honey Beige
- medium to full coverage
- fragrance free
- lightweight feeling
- variety of colors (I chose the second to darkest shade)
- works well with combination skin
- SPF 30

So which one worked best for me?  It's probably pretty obvious that the Etude House Precious Mineral Bright Fit BB in Honey Beige is my favorite!

Happy Face = Happy Me!

The color blends well with my yellow undertones for a naturally flawless finish.  It's moisturizing, so I can skip my daily moisturizer, yet doesn't feel oily or heavy.  I can wear it alone for a dewy finish, or dust a little sheer powder on top for a matte look.  Coverage is buildable, so I can make adjustments necessary for a natural look or for a photo-finish face.  I've been using it for 3 weeks now and haven't experienced a single breakout.

I'm not completely writing off the other BB creams.  Mostly, it was more of a color-matching problem, which isn't the fault of the product.  Also, my skin gets really dry in cold weather, so I might make the switch to one of the heavier BB creams in the winter time.

Anyways, that's the skinny on my BB cream experience so far.  Hope some of you found it helpful!  Have a great Wednesday!



  1. You are so pretty!!! :) It's nice to see that you've found a BB cream that suits you!

    1. Thanks Denise! It took a little while, but I'm really happy now that I've found it! :D

  2. I've always wanted to try BB cream, but I think that they're too light for my skin... :( I'm an NC 30-35 (more 35). And I'm also scared of buying stuffs online. xD The new American BB creams that came out lately felt very heavy (swatched on my hand) and I also didn't like the smell. Honestly, I don't think they compare to Asian BB cream.

    1. Hi Jennifer! I've become a huge fan of Asian BB creams! If you ever garner the courage to try purchasing online, you should try this shop: They're based out of Korea and are very secure and reliable, in my experience. (I shop there all the time!) Missha and Etude House make BB creams that come in a variety of shades, including darker tones for girls like you and me! :)

  3. Hi Cat! I really want to try Etude but I don't know what shade should I get. I'm an NC25. will the honey beige suit me "naturally"? or the sand beige? My option for acquiring the product is online so I can't really tell which shade is right for me. :(

    1. Hi Alyssa! I don't use MAC foundation often, but when I did purchase their Studio Fix, the beauty representative put me in a C3. To be honest, the shade is a little too light for me. I'm probably closer to an NC25 like you. With the warm summer weather, my complexion has tanned a little bit, so I'm finding that the Honey Beige is a little too fair for me now. I'm thinking about getting the Sand Beige. I'm not sure if that's the exact answer you're looking for, but I hope that helped a little. :)

  4. does etude house w24 works with southeast asian skintone? , i hve warm undertone

    1. Hi Artesya! I'm southeast Asian with warm undertones also. I felt that W24 worked the best for me. You should try it and see how it works for you. I have, however, stopped using BB Creams for now because I found that the best, and most natural-looking foundation for me is Urban Decay Naked Skin in 5.0. I'll be writing a blog post about that soon. ^_^