9/21/2012

BB Creams: They're OK

BB CREAM, RIGHT?

This is the new crud on the scene.  Kinda.  I mean, it's been around for awhile, but the pedestrian makeup brands have recently started cranking them out, and people write me about them all the time.  I mentioned them once before, then wrote a little mini thing about them, but still people wanted me to talk about them, so I thought I would do a post about them today.  










So, BB cream was originally made 50 years ago, by a dermatologist, for her patients to use after they had procedures done.  Like, she would blast their faces with lasers and scrape them off or whatever, then give them some bb cream to put on afterward, so they didn't look like a monster.  Eventually, people in Korea started using it for shits and giggles, and it got mad popular, and now here we are, talking about it.

BB cream is basically an all-in-one product.  There are a lot of different ones on the market, and the all-in-oneness varies from product to product.  One might have SPF and moisturizer and anti-aging ingredients, plus the tint to cover up with.  Another one might have the tinted coverup quality, but have SPF and anti-acne ingredients.  You get what I'm putting down...  The idea is, you slap it on, and that is all you have to put on.

Once bb creams got popular in Korea, a bunch of cosmetics companies decided to jump on. Fancy expensive Sephora companies, regular Walgreens makeup companies, blah blah... A lot of these bb creams don't serve as many purposes, and seem kind of faddish, and some of them seem to not know what a bb cream is supposed to be.   

NOW, I am going to show you the differences between a korean bb cream, which is actually what a bb cream is supposed to be like, a plain tinted moisturizer, and a new-fangled bb cream that I picked up at Giant Eagle.


THE CONTENDERS
Here we have the dudes I'm going to write about:  Skin79 The Oriental (I didn't name it), Stila Sheer Color tinted moisturizer, and L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB (I know that one is amazing, because it says MAGIC right there on the label.)

Skin79 The Oriental: This is my go-to bb cream.  I like the color of it, it is functional, and it doesn't break me out.  I don't wear it every day or anything, just when I have to drop my kid off at preschool at 9 in the morning and don't want to look like I just rolled out of bed and put sweatpants on (I actually just rolled out of bed, put sweatpants on, then washed my face and slapped on bb cream.  BIG DIFFERENCE.)

The label on this guy claims it is brightening, firming, whitening (cause I surely need to be whiter), and it has SPF 25.  I don't believe that anything I put on my face is going to do anything but moisturize, and it does that pretty well.  I still look as dull, slack, and dingy as I did before I started using it.

The bottle is nice, feels fancy.  It has a smell to it, kind of floral/tea smelling.  Doesn't smell like shit or anything, it's alright and the smell goes away after you put it on.  The dispensing thinger is pretty sweet, you push it down and it squirts out the hole in the top.
Look at it.  I told you it would do that.
One thing that this bb cream has that I haven't seen with others is the blush stuff.  The cap has a cap (pretty meta), and the cap's cap has some cream blush and a little mirror.  The blush is the color of Pepto Bismol.  They say you can use it on your lips or cheeks, but wearing it on your lips makes you look like you were pigging out on Necco wafers.  As a blush, it is not my favorite.  That's not a big deal to me, though, cause I bought it for the bb cream.
At this point, I am going to show you this little pic of a close-up of a spot on the wrist area of my giant arm tattoo.  It is going to seem arbitrary, but once I explain that I am going to rub some creams into that area to show how much it settles into your pores and what kind of coverage these creams have, you're going to understand.  See?  I explained it and now you understand!  Refer back to this if you forget what this spot looks like without being creamed up...

HOW THIS CRAP GOES ON:
This bb cream is pretty thick, definitely thicker than a foundation or tinted moisturizer.  When you rub it on, you spread it where you want it, then pat it in place so you get a nice finish.  You can see in the pic of my hand that it blends in pretty well and covered some of the blueness in my sexy veins.  The only downside, in my opinion, is that it is super-moisturizing, and you can see in the pic of my hand that it has a little bit of a greasy sheen to it.  This makes it look kind of shitty, too, if you try to put powder on over it.  In the closeup of my tattoo, you can see that it evenly dispensed the color, and didn't collect in the pores or texture of my skin.  There you go.

STILA SHEER COLOR:  I have a troubled relationship with tinted moisturizer.  I just can't find one that isn't too dark and doesn't break me out, and this one is no exception.  It is mad yellow and I never wear it because it gives me zits.  Let's compare this crappy garbage to the bb cream!!
OKAY, this stuff.  Out of the tube, the texture is thick, but not as thick as the bb cream.  It rubs in fine.  You can see in the pic of it rubbed into my hand that it is pretty yellow, and you can see the line of demarcation halfway up my pinky where the yellow stops.  Gross.  In the closeup of my tattoo, you can see that it fills in all the pores on my wrist.  This is probably part of the reason it gives me zits.  If you are a person who is a lot yellower than me, who is also immune to zits, this shit might be a dream come true.

L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream:  Real talk, L'Oreal doesn't know what the fuck BB cream is.  This is what I was talking about way up there when I said that a lot of the newer bb creams that are popping up everywhere don't have the multiple-product-in-one-bottle aspect, or even know what the fuck is going on.  Also, that link to it is overpriced as hell.  I don't think I paid more than $10 for it.

I picked this up at Giant Eagle or something, because I knew I was going to write this post at some point, and I wanted to throw one of these fuckers in there.  L'Oreal doesn't think that "BB" stands for "blemish balm" (which is supposedly what it stands for).... L'Oreal thinks "BB" stands for "BEAUTIFYING BEADS."
Apparently, the function of this stuff is smoothing texture, hiding imperfections, moisturizing, and evening out your complexion.  3 of those sound an awful lot like different ways of saying the same thing, and it kind of sucks as a moisturizer.  Also, NO SPF.  

The thing is, aside from the fact that they can't tell their ass from their elbow, and they think i am stupid, I kinda like this stuff.  It's not bb cream, but I like it pretty well.  This + a little concealer on your spottier spots, and you look pretty good with a matte finish, and it doesn't look like very much makeup.  I am conflicted, because this is stupid magic talk and hopping on a bandwagon that it doesn't get, but I like it at the same time.  Oh, well.  Let's continue...
So, you can see, first off, that this shit comes out of the tube WHITE, and it has little grey gritty pieces (the beautifying beads, no doubt.)  You rub it in and the beads do whatever they need to do to disappear, and you get some light matte color.  In the close up, you can see it collecting in the texture of my skin a little bit, but I had to zoom in closer to see that.  It definitely dulled the blue of my tattoo, so the color payoff is decent.

COMPARISON:
Here, I got a piece of paper and put a little plop of product and smeared it, so y'all could see the differences in texture up close.  The Skin79 bb cream is a lot thicker than the Stila tinted moisturizer, and has a lot more coverage.  The L'Oreal, I don't know what the hell that stuff is doing... some kind of party trick that doesn't have anything to do with the other two products.  You can see the white stuff, and the gritty, grey stuff.  You can also see how, when you rub the beads, they seem to pop and streaks of orangish and yellowish tint come out.  

Here is a little closer, to better see what is happening up there...
Regular stuff, creamy thick stuff, and some weird shit.

IN CLOSING:  Try bb cream if you think you'd like it.  It's not going to change your life, but it's not terrible.  I think of it as what I wish tinted moisturizer was.  It is good in a pinch, when you need to slap some stuff on your face to take your kid to school or let the plumber in the house.  Get a Korean brand, because they are legit bb creams, and they are not super-overpriced like a lot of the newer ones.  Also, you might want to get a sampler of a couple different kinds, because the color selection is sometimes crappy, and certain kinds might not have a color that looks good on you.

The L'Oreal stuff, you can try it if you want.  It's nothing like bb cream, and you're going to have to put on all your other face stuff and SPF before you use it, so it's not any more convenient.  However, I do like it more than the bb cream because it is not greasy at all (AKA the moisturizing claims are B.S.) and it looks pretty good alone, and plays nice with other makeup instead of making your face look like a dipped and breaded chicken cutlet.  It is still the Ralph Wiggum of bb creams, though.  

THE END!!!

47 comments:

  1. Would BB creams work on darker girls? I'm of Indian heritage, and have only ever seen them as advertised for Caucasian women?

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    1. there are darker ones, too...i think initially there were mostly lighter colors, since it was caucasian women using a product that was made for the korean market, but since they are a lot more popular now, there seems to be more colors available. still nothing like the range in some foundations, but more than there was.

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    2. They look amazing, but I guess the idea is that porcelain skin that many Asians may be looking for, that flawless look. I have yet to find one dark enough for an East Indian girl, so I will have to wait until they make that formulation - thanks for the idea though! :)

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    3. I got sent a Korean one in my latest Birchbox, and it does go on a little pale for me (I am biracial- black and white)but looks fine once I add a little powder. The texture is oddly chalky, though, so I will probably keep looking as I love tinted moisturizers, but don't like how they tend to rub off onto your clothes and shit. I'm also pretty hardcore about not buying products that are tested on animals, and from what I understand, most Korean products are due to laws there.

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  2. I'm curious about the whitening claims - would those whitening chemicals be bad for you? For some reason I'm picturing a 90's era Michael Jackson but I'm sure that's that right...

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    1. i think they are BS claims, there doesn't appear to be any ingredients that would lighten one's skin. i just think that people like the idea of it in Korea, so they suggest the bb cream might do that. or maybe they are suggesting that your skin will get lighter from using SPF every day. I don't know, all i know is there is no lightening on me, and i don't see anything on the label that would do that.

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  3. that's *not right...

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  4. They make darker BB creams for sure. I know Garnier make a darker tint and so does L'oreal, which I oddly just picked up a few days ago. I also kinda dig the L'oreal cream, too. I evens out my skin, doesn't smell like Grandma's purse and isn't greasy or slick at all.

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  5. Have you tried Clinique's tinted moisturizer (almost makeup)? I used that all through high school but haven't since. I loved it, but I don't know if I loved it because it was great or because I didn't know better. Or because I had great skin then and didn't need magical foundations. I miss you, great skin :(

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    1. Seems like a decent product... my sister used it and it worked nicely for her. My mum got some for free from Clinique as a gift and gave it to me, but since I am as pale as some kind of cave fish, I passed it on to my sis. She liked it.

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  6. I've been using Dr. Jart+'s Water Fuse beauty balm and I like it a lot. It claims to be a 'moisturizer, sunscreen, and treatment serum,' but what matters to me is that the tint and moisture level both work well on my super fair, combo skin. I still wear sunscreen underneath, as SPF 25 isn't sufficient for me.

    I tried a sample of that L'Oreal BB and it turned screaming Oompa Loompa orange on my skin. Not quite the look I was going for that day.

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    1. If you put liquid spf25 on top of liquid spf>25, you're only getting an effective overall spf of... 25. Sorry!

      "The actual combined SPF is always lower than the square of the single-layer SPF."
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunscreen

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    2. You *can* layer chemical with physical to get a higher level (lotion under powder or zinc-oxide). It still doesn't add up but you do increase the protection some.

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  7. I bought the Skin79 "The Oriental" BB cream after you talked about it earlier and I love it. It suits my pallor and doesn't make me break out. My only complaint is super shiny face, but I use Revlon Colorstay powder over it and it works great.

    My mom bought the Garnier BB cream. I tried it and the color was terrible for me, the lightest color was more a medium shade and it was suuuuper yellow.

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  8. I like the Clinique BB cream a lot. Has SPF30, evens me out and has some moisturizer going. Also light enough for my white ass face.

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  9. I actually really love BB cream, mostly because I hate tinted moisturizer and foundation. My skin is not super problematic and I don't care about covering up every little thing on my face (like my freckles) so I don't need foundation, but tinted moisturizer just disappears into my skin. BB cream evens out my skin tone a lot without making me look like I'm wearing makeup at all, and I just use concealer anywhere I want more coverage, on zits or under my eyes. I bought a French/Korean brand called Erborian in Europe, but that's running out so I ordered the Skin79 in the pink bottle off Amazon.

    Also I agree that the drugstore brands don't know what they're doing. Covergirl just rebranded its crappy greasy tinted moisturizer as BB cream.

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  10. I just bought some Garnier BB cream and it seems to be just colored sunscreen, what a drag. Even a very light layer felt pretty greasy and thick. I normally wear Bare Minerals but thought this might make a good under-layer, but after an hour or two I was shiny (usually I go all day without shining if I only wear Bare Minerals.) I have some Clinique City Block which I love, I think I'll use that instead when I want an SPF layer, and when that's gone I'll check out Clinique BB cream.

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  11. I loooove the loreal 'BB' cream. I am super freckled, and it tones down my freckles without looking unnatural or feeling gross. One of my least favorite things about any foundation/cover-up/face crap is getting hot and my face feeling like complete shit. I live in Vegas, it gets up to 115 here, I can't have sneary thick garbage on my face. The loreal stuff doesn't feel like that. Which is amazeballs.

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  12. The L'Oreal looks just like the Almay Smart Shade stuff I've been using for years, only the Almay has SPF 15 in it. So if anyone's looking for something similar to the L'Oreal but with (minimal) sun protection in it, I'd totally recommend checking out Almay. Plus I've had really good luck with not breaking out on the once every two weeks or so occasion that I wear liquid foundation.

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  13. I use a couple of Missha BB creams, and I'm a big fan. I really like them as an alternative to regular foundation. I know that the Missha Perfect Cover does come in a pretty wide shade range for those who want that.

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  14. I dont understand how the loreal ralph wiggum cream isn't yellow on you? I bought some in the lightest shade and its super yellow on me. I have decided I hate all self adjusting color foundations/b.b. creams/tinted moisterizers etc

    Hey you got any advice for where to find foundation for vampires haha. I have been using alabaster loreal true match because its the palest I can find but its a bit too dark and also doesn't cover very well.

    I figure if anyone is gonna know where to get the whitest cosmetics around its gonna be you.

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    1. make up for ever mat velvet + in the lightest color they have is pretty light... that one is a little pricier than other foundations i've used, but it's the whitest and the coverage is pretty good. that one is the only one i have where it's almost (just almost) too light sometimes.

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    2. also try urban decay naked foundation in 1.0
      im pale but it is almost too pale for me i put a powder over it so i dont look like a ghost cause the 2.0 is too yellow on me

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    3. Thanks for the recommendations. I've been apprehensive about dropping cash on a more expensive foundation but now that I'm in my 30's and the circles under my eyes are darker I feel like I need to put more effort into things like that especially when none of the drug store brands come even close to matching my skin tone in a natural way.

      Natalie you should do a post about make up recommendations for girls with very fair skin.

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    4. if you're not opposed to mineral makeup, alima has very very fair shades. it's the only foundation i've found to match my pale skin.

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  15. not to nitpick, but the stila sheer color product that you tested is not actually a bb cream. it's their tinted moisturizer. stila does make a bb cream that is a self-adjuster (aka one white people shade). that being said, i totally agree that bb cream is just a re-marketing of products that have been on the market for many years.
    cheers

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    1. i mentioned specifically in the blog post that the stila sheer color isn't bb cream, it is tinted moisturizer. i included it to show people the difference between tinted moisturizer and bb cream, for people who have written me and wanted me to explain it.

      "NOW, I am going to show you the differences between a korean bb cream, which is actually what a bb cream is supposed to be like, a plain tinted moisturizer, and a new-fangled bb cream that I picked up at Giant Eagle."

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  16. I have been using Too Faced BB cream really successfully. SPF 25, a little coverage, and not greasy. I use it when I go run errands or, yes, to the gym.

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  17. I use the Garnier BB 'Miracle' Skin Perfector in Light/Medium. It's basically just a tinted moisturizer, without SPF. It works well as light cover-up, but that's all it is.

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    1. The Garnier has SPF 15, but is totally thick

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    2. Mine does not have SPF at all. I looked into it and the American version has SPF.

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    3. I've been using the Garnier Skin Renew with SPF 15 (which I don't feel is enough since I work outside more than I'd like, so I use the Neutrogena SPF 50 first), and I have to say I really REALLY like it. It smells good, it doesn't feel icky on my skin in the heat (Texas Gulf Coast= high heat+high humidity+pollution out the ass), it comes off easily and completely, and it smells good. I use the light/medium shade, with the Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Roller under my eyes. This stuff is THE SHIT for my dark circles. I also have a funky birthmark it covers well too. I'm new to using Garnier, but so far I like it and I will keep getting them until they disappear it the way Neutrogena did with the Multi Vitamin Acne Treatment that I adored. I like too that it looks natural enough that I don't look as if I have anything on & just have really good skin, which is what I'm going for.

      As far as the skin renewing properties go, I guess it's working because I was told I didn't look my age (42) by someone last night. Naturally, I was pleased.

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    4. The Garnier DOES smell amazing, but is way too thick for me(living in Phoenix) and agreed that the SPF is not high enough. I was mixing it with PCA skin spf 45, but I think it's just not for me. I wish my regular foundation smelled as lovely :/

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    5. The Garnier Dark Circle roller works great, especially since it glides on and you aren't rubbing or smearing at your eye area. I have extreme dark circles after a bout with illness as a teen and I was happy to find something that covered them somewhat. Now I'd be happy to find the Skin Renew with SPF 15.

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    6. @Jilly H I grew up in Corpus. I know that Texas Coast feel, bro.

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  18. I use the Skin 79 BB Cream but I use the VIP Gold one instead. I have a terrible time with foundations, moisturizers, etc. breaking me out and I have been using it a couple of months and so far so good. I have been pretty much using it exclusively in place of foundation and I find with a little powder over it it has as much staying power as a medium coverage foundation with a better finish. I also like that it saves me the time of needing to add moisturizer, SPF, and concealer since I haven't been having breakouts as much.

    Thanks for taking the time to pick up a drugstore brand to test. I live in the middle of nowhere so I had been slightly tempted to maybe try one of them that was available to just buy in my area (if I can't get it at Wal-Mart or Walgreens I am looking at a 3 hour drive or ordering online)but now I think I will just order more VIP Gold online and stash it since I can't tell from the weight and looks of the bottle how long it is going to last me. (pretty much my only gripe about the product, I'm afraid it will just be empty one morning and catch me by suprise). Any estimate of how many uses you get out of a bottle?

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  19. So have you tried any of the otehr kinds of Skin79? There's a pink one and a gold one and a silver one.....TOO many choices! GAH!
    On a different note, I use the Stila corrector goop, the stuff with pink and green swirlies. I like it, its very light and makes me look more even.

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  20. When I was in Sephora I got a couple samples of Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream and I think I'm in love. It claims to do about a billion things, and I don't know if it really does or not, but it's SPF 35 and makes my skin look really nice. No breakouts to speak of, and I've been using it for a few weeks. Has a little bit of a sunscreen smell to it, but I don't mind since it reminds me of summertime and going to the beach. It also blends nicely with the Lancome concealer I use, which is a huge bonus.

    I am very pale, and for girls who are in the same boat I'd recommend Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation with SPF 15. It's a liquid, and have some tints that are nearly white. Goes on very nicely, and provides even coverage.

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  21. So what are the main differences between bb creams and primers? Is it that bb creams provide coverage so that you don't need to wear foundation? Or do you still wear foundation/powder over bb cream?

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    1. primer is just some stuff you put down first to make your makeup stay, to make your pores look smaller, make your skin matte, or add a little corrective tint (like green or something.) bb cream is a product that combines a slew of other beauty products. so, you'd use bb cream in the morning after you wash your face, and it would work as your moisturizer, SPF, and whatever other kind of function it purports (anti-aging, mattifying, anti-acne, etc etc), then it had a nice dose of color, too, so it replaces foundation. when i use bb cream, i slap it on, put some concealer on any nasty spots i have, and just but some translucent powder over it. no foundation, no tinted powder. i am sure you can improvise, though.

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  22. Full disclosure, I have no experience with tinted moisturizer, or any other BB cream, but I recently got Maybeline's BB cream for about 10 dollars, and I LOVE it. It's super matt, super smooth, super light. While I would not wear it on a date or anything, it's great to put on after the gym or if I'm just going to the computer lab to do some work. It lasts a really long time, too.

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  23. I've gotten a couple samples of BB creams from Sephora, one of them was Smashbox. I didn't think any of them were going to set the world on fire. But the one product I will swear by and pony up the cash for is Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. I think it's got more coverage than any other tinted moisturizer I've tried before. I dig it because it comes in oil-free so it's not so greasy. I've waited for years to have skin good enough to not need heavy coverage and a make-up that doesn't feel troweled on. This is it. BB creams didn't come close to performing like this. Weird colors. Freaky textures. It's a novelty act that didn't work for me.

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    1. I totally agree that the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer is amazing. I still haven't shelled out $42 for a tube of it, but I got a deluxe sample one time and really liked it.

      I use a Neutrogena tinted moisturizer that has retinol and SPF, then let it dry a few seconds, then apply Alima Pure powder. The Alima comes in 62 shades so it suits virtually everyone, even super-pale and deep skin tones. I have light olive skin and this is the first foundation I can wear that actually matches my skin tone.

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    2. That $42 is worth every cent. If I ever find something cheaper that works as well, I'll tattoo the name of it on my face.

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  24. I've been using Skin79 Super+ BB cream for the past few months. It covers pretty well, but it is incredibly greasy. I immediately have to use blotting papers when I put it on, and using powder to set it makes it look really cakey. It's alright considering it wasn't much more than a regular American drug store brand foundation.

    If you have oily, acne-prone skin and also have no problem shelling out $36 for a tinted moisturizer, I have a glowing recommendation for TARTE's Smooth Operator tinted moisturizer. It was wonderful for my skin. I have acne and the prescriptions I use to control it make my skin really sensitive to chemicals and the sun. Smooth Operator doesn't break me out or irritate my skin; in fact, it has a cooling, calming effect when I apply it. I apply it with a cosmetic sponge and then set it with the Physicians Formula translucent correcting powder. Together they give my skin a flawless, glowing but still natural appearance.

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  25. Ha ha! I missed the "korean" part of your original post about BB creams and grabbed the garnier version when I saw it at Target a couple weeks ago, thinking, "This must be what Natalie Dee was talking about." It's alright, definitely does even out my skin but I've been breaking out like crazy ever since I started using it.

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  26. I adore the stila sheer color but I do have an olive skin tone so the color does work better for me. It's funny you mention that acne thing because I've been noticing significantly less break outs since I started using it about a year ago - but who knows? Everyone's skin is different, maybe where it was too much moisture for your skin it was just enough to balance my combination skin?

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