Brush up on your BB

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Do you know your BB creams well enough? Are you completely immersed in the world of blemish balms? Here at House of Fraser, we thought we knew everything there was to know about this noble cream, yet when the Clinique CC Cream cropped up we started to second guess ourselves.

 

So what is BB cream? The BB stands for blemish balm, beauty balm or blemish base, and it originated in Germany in the 1960s. It was introduced to South Korea and Japan in the 1980s, where it became extremely popular due to the all-in-one quality it offered. It boasted that it could replace a serum, moisturiser and primer, while giving coverage and sun protection simultaneously.It was introduced into the Western market in 2011 by such brands as Estée Lauder, Dior and Clinique, although most of these did not include whitening properties which the original Asian formulations contained. The BB cream is still going strong today, and almost every makeup brand now have their own version.

 

So that’s the background, but what BB cream is best for you? I put our top BB creams (plus one CC!) to the test.

 

Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream

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Exclusive to House of Fraser, Shiseido launched their BB cream earlier this month and we just couldn’t wait to get our mitts on it. Coming in at £28 for 30ml, this cream contains SPF 30 which is a generous dose for a BB. It comes in 2 shades (the above swatch is in medium), so although this doesn’t cover a whole spectrum of skin tones, it’s easily blendable and gives a healthy glow to the skin in the form of a tint, and I wasn’t left with something 3 times off my skin colour. My skin also absorbed it quickly, and I was left with a natural dewy finish.

 

Decléor Hydra Floral Multi-Protection BB Crème

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Just landed on the market is the Decléor BB cream, which boasts 24-hour moisturising as well as all your regular beauty balm properties. At £29 for 40ml this BB gives an SPF of 15, which is perfect for the face, especially in the English spring! It comes in one shade which just so happens to match my skin quite well, but would be quite limiting for anything much darker. This is highly pigmented for a BB cream and blends out very well, while the consistency would suit dry or dehydrated skin perfectly due to the 24-hour moisturising properties.

 

Rodial BB Venom Skin Tint

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I have to admit that anything with “Venom” in the title intrigues me and puts me on edge at the same time. The Rodial BB Cream contains SPF 15 and contains a powerful dipeptide which claims to plump the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. At £35 for 40ml this cream really is something special due to the anti-aging properties and medium coverage. In addition the consistency is thick, so you don’t need to use much product… Use sparingly!

 

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

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Similarly to Rodial, the Urban Decay BB Cream contains anti-aging properties, while ensuring the skin looks as-good-as-naked. The SPF in this cream is 20 and comes in at £23 for 35ml, which is perfect for a younger customer. There is only one shade, which sits nicely in the middle but might be limiting for certain skin types. The consistency is runnier than the other beauty balms, which makes it easier to blend and gives a natural, oil-free finish. Something which set this cream apart from the rest (for me) was the slightly minty scent it held, which made my skin feel really clean and fresh.

 

Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream

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Having sampled all three shades and seeing the colour difference in each product, the Clarins BB Cream caters for a wide array of skin-tones. Entering the market at £28 for 30ml and containing SPF 25, this BB also offers a medium finish which appeals to those of us with not-so-perfect skin. I noticed this has a pleasant perfumed scent, which is different to the SPF-heavy scent of a normal BB. This cream also blends out well, gives good coverage and gives a lovely matte finish.

 

Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream

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Boasting an SPF of 50, the Kiehl’s BB Cream is perfect for those who are conscious about protecting their skin from harmful rays. The 30ml product is £23.50 and gives a good medium coverage while also catering for fair skin; the Light shade isn’t orangey which is perfect for those of us who opt for the pale and interesting look. Kiehl’s have also added in Vitamin C, which means your skin is also benefiting whilst being protected.

 

Yves Saint Laurent All-In-One BB Cream

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Relatively new onto the scene is the Yves Saint Laurent BB Cream which is £38 for 40ml. The Medium shade comes up quite dark, but can blend into fairer skin tones if you use sparingly. The SPF is 25 and gives a light to medium coverage with a Dewey finish. Like the Clarins BB cream this has a light perfumes scent while giving an iridescent hint.

 

Givenchy Hydra Sparkling Nude Look BB Cream

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The Givenchy BB Cream contains SPF 30 and comes in one chameleon shade which is suitable for all skin tones, although this does exclude the very fair and very dark tones. At £28.50 for 40ml, this BB cream is on the runny side and gives a natural finish. The coverage is light to medium and corrects redness, as well as also having a pleasantly perfumed smell.

 

Lab Series BB Cream Tinted Moisturiser for Men

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Don’t think we’ve missed out the boys! Lab Series, always at the forefront of skincare for men, have their very own BB Cream, which gives the subtlest of tints while ensuring your skin gets all the goodness it deserves. At £34 for 50ml this BB Cream gives a sheer yet dewy sheen to the skin, perfecting your natural skin.

 

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream

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Probably one of the most anticipated products so far this year, the Clinique CC Cream is finally here. This gives a medium coverage and comes in a wide array of colours, almost as many as a foundation. Containing SPF 30 and retailing at £28 for 40ml, this is a great “happy-medium” for those who love the idea of a BB but want that little extra coverage. But what is a CC Cream? According to the press, a CC is designed to correct, and my take on this new product is that it gives all the benefits of a BB Cream while giving you a little bit more coverage too.

 

We still love BB Creams while enjoying the new world of CC Cream too. So, what’s next in the world of Beauty? DD, EE or even FF Creams?!

 

What’s your favourite BB Cream?

 

See all BB Creams

Alice Carroll

I'm Alice, Al or, if you are the five year old me, Ice (yes, I did want to be a member of Kris Kross, and yes, I did wear my jeans backwards). Womenswear Editor at House of Fraser Online, I've grown out of backwards clothes and instead chose to invest my money in vintage sportswear and bomber jackets, while inking my body with unnecessary tattoos and rapping along to every word of The Streets - Original Pirate Material. My proudest moments were seeing a shoot I styled in my favourite magazine and getting a three-dart-finish in a game of darts. Oh, and Bart Simpson was my first crush.

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