BB Cream Showdown


I’m coming to the end of a massive BB cream hunt. I settled on Revlon Nearly Naked in Ivory for my foundation, but I prefer a BB cream for everyday. Of course most of these are American BB creams, so they’re really just pumped up tinted moisturizers. Anyway, on to the reviews! I did some drugstore brands and a few higher end. My skin is dry, especially around the nose and mouth, so I always apply regular Cetaphil moisturizer before I put on BB Cream.

L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream in Fair // It worked the first day or two and then something happened. It settles directly into my pores and fine lines and dries out my chin, mouth and nose really bad. The formula itself is okay, but I didn’t love it. It comes out white with little color crystals in it? When you blend it in it becomes the light color which I felt matched pretty good, but it just made my dry patches look so bad! It also has no SPF so that’s a bummer. I usually wear sunscreen anyway so it’s not a huge deal. All the others have SPF though so it stood out that it doesn’t have it.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream in Light // This was my second favorite of the batch. It was a little watery but it sank in without making my pores look big. It dried my nose out a little around the nostril area. The color was a good match and it gave decent coverage. It gives a nice dewy look without being greasy, but it faded out by the end of the work day.

Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream in Fair/Light // I looked everywhere for this in my shade, and it’s just okay. I wanted to love it because I tried a sample before buying the full size and it was light and velvety. I thought it was more pink toned, but it’s definitely warmer. In the summer it might work but for right now I feel like it’s a bit too dark. It’s the most moisturizing of the bunch but it mainly translates as greasy. The coverage is good but not full, so if you need to cover up blemishes you’ll still need concealer.

Revlon Photoready BB Cream in Light // This is the one I’m keeping and using as my main BB Cream. If I properly moisturize before I use this, there’s no problem with my skin drying out. The color is a little more warm-toned than I’d like, but the coverage is sheer enough that it’s not glaringly obvious on my skin. Even though it’s sheer, it still evens out my skin tone. If I’m broken out, it lessens the redness but I still need a little concealer. It’s the creamiest of these four so it blends well. It gives that dewy effect without being greasy. I love Revlon in general so I’m glad that this worked out. It was actually the most impulsive buy because I did zero research. I don’t recommend that approach but I’m glad it paid off this time.

Not pictured are the high end brands that I tried and have since returned:

Dr. Jart Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 // This is the only one on this list that can be called a real BB Cream, and I’ve liked other formulas from Dr. Jart but, with all due respect, this went back to Sephora so fast. Too sticky. The single tone adjusting BB Creams don’t ever work on me aaaand this was no exception. I know they’re supposed to self adjust but I was paranoid about looking like a floating head. I had a weird cast on my face, and oh my god I need moisture, but I felt like this BB cream was sticky and shiny the entire day. Not in a dewy, fresh way. I looked straight up sticky.

Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen in Fair // This felt more like a primer than anything. It was very velvety at first but dried down to an almost powdery texture. It gave almost no coverage. I love Tarte because they use very natural ingredients and high reviews so I feel like I’m missing out on something. I wanted to like it but the formula just and this particular product got such great reviews. It just didn’t agree with me.

Aaand that’s it. I sampled a pretty wide array of BB creams and I forgot how nice it is to have a product you know and love. Looking for new products sucks, even though I love the rush of trying a new beauty thing.

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6 thoughts on “BB Cream Showdown

  1. Leah says:

    I bought and tried the same Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream in Light. I really liked it but after a few days I noticed that it was giving me a rash on the side of my face :( I had to stop using it. Did you have that problem? Currently I am using Clinique’s BB Cream but I’m not a huge fan…it’s too thick and cakey for my liking. I want something lighter. Thanks to your review, I think I’ll try the Revlon kind next.

    • I didn’t get a rash but I only wore it for about three days before trying the Revlon and I haven’t switched back. I’ve had bad reactions to face stuff before though and it’s the worst!

  2. Great post! I just did a similar one! It’s fun to see what others have discovered. I tried all the same BB creams but I just didn’t like them, for some of the same reasons you have listed (sticky, greasy, or just smelled bad). Out of the American ones Revlon was definitely the best, but it’s still more of a tinted moisturizer. My favorites ended up being from Korean brands (like Dr. Jart), the texture has a higher quality than the American ones. And based on your review, you might have been using way too much of the Dr. Jart, you can’t use it like you would a lotion. I also hated it at first! Then i learned that a tiny dab goes a loooong way because it’s so thick, on it’s own or under bare minerals for a flawless look. I am now obsessed. But i totally know what you mean by a floating head lol!

    • I wanted to love the Dr. Jart+ because I’ve heard such good things! I’ve used their water fuse formula before and was impressed. I’ll take your advice and probably try it again more moderately once this Revlon one runs out. Thanks for the tip!

  3. papercatt says:

    I landed on the Revlon Photoready BB cream as my favorite as well! I thought out of all the drugstore varieties that it had the best smell(which is important to me because I tend to get headaches from smelly cosmetics). To me it smells like sunscreen and that’s a smell I really enjoy since it reminds me of summer time. I find it very moisturizing, and it gives my skin that dewy look that has always been hard for me to achieve with other products. It’s definitely a new staple item in my daily skin routine. I did try the L’Oreal Magic BB cream first and it was so bizarre to me. It had the strangest texture, almost like gritty mud, and I felt like it clogged every pore and crease on my face! I did have a suggestion, if you like the Revlon BB cream I think you would really like the Vita Zing tinted moisturizer from Origins. It’s my personal favorite but a little on the pricey side so I can’t always afford it sadly. By the way I found your blog after googling about the NYX soft matte lip creams(they’re currently my new favorite thing). Love the blog, take care!

    • I get so many hits from those NYX reviews. I’m glad other people like them as much as I do!

      I’ll have to keep an eye out for the Origins tinted moisturizer. I hardly ever use foundation anymore so I’m always up for trying new skin products. Thanks for the recommendation!

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