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Luxe Vs. Less: BB Creams

BB creams are nothing new; in fact, there are now so many options, the choices can often seem overwhelming. Do you need so spend the money on high-end brands to get the true benefits? Or do drugstore versions work just as well? In the end, it’s really a trial and error endevour—some people swear by BB creams that cost less that $10. Others insist that in order to receive all the long-term benefits of a balm (smoother skin, minimized pores, a more even skin tone, etc) you really need to splurge on the high-end offerings.

The choice is yours—we suggest sampling as many as you can in order to find the one that’s right for your unique skin. Here are eight different options, all at different price points, organized by what they claim to do best. 


Dr, Jart+ Renewalist BB Beauty Balm, $36
Dr. Jart+’s BB cream contains a patented ingredeint called white-c complex, which not only brightens skin tone, but also aids in the production of collagen—a key protein that rejuvenates aged skin and smoothes fine lines and wrinkles. Also in the mix is the vitamin niacinamide, which strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier and helps keep collagen levels intact. Which means your skin maintains a youthful glow longer.


L’Oréal Paris Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator, $17
As its name suggests, L’Oréal’s balm promises to keep your skin looking its young and vigorous best. It’s packed with intense moisturizers and claims that you’ll see substantial improvement in your skin tone and texture (i.e. fine lines and wrinkles) in just one week. That’s quite a tall order, but if it works, you might as well work IT!


Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream, $11
This drugstore brand has many fans, and if you’re looking for a balm with extra moisturizing properties, it’s a good one to try. The formula is lightweight yet intensely hydrating (Garnier claims it keeps your skin moisturized for up to 24 hours), in addition to containing all of the other standard BB cream benefits, such as a brightened complexion, an evened out skin tone, and a major reduction of wrinkles.


Boscia B.B. Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 27, $38
Despite the fact that it’s oil-free, Boscia’s balm delivers creamy, moisture-rich coverage that continues to nourish your skin as the day wears on. It also works really well over moisturizer—unlike some BB creams, it doesn’t over-hydrate and leave you with a shiny look. So if you’re a dry-skin sufferer, this is an excellent option because you can combine it with your daily hydrator and not have to worry about being left with unwanted facial gleam.


Revlon PhotoReady BB Cream Skin Perfector, $11
This cream works really well as a matte primer, which is why it’s a great option for those with oily skin. It minimizes shine immediately, and keeps your skin shine-free throughout the day. Just be mindful of the makeup you apply on top—if you can get away without having to add a foundation, and simply finish the look with a powder and/or bronzer, perfect! If you do need the extra coverage of a foundation, make sure to choose one that’s oil-free and also formulated for oily skin.


Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35, $39
Like it’s drugstore counterpart, Smashbox’s BB cream is also “Camera Ready”—meaning your gorgeous face will appear shine-free in all those photos tagged on Facebook and Instagram. It’s formulated with oil-controlling emollients to keep slick spots at bay, plus its finish is ultra smooth, without appearing chalky or dried out. It still hydrates your skin (even oily skin needs moisture, after all) without any unsightly shine creeping through.


Aveeno Clear Complexion BB Cream, $17
For starters, let us say this: The “BB” in BB cream, which originally came to us via Korea, stands for “Blemish Balm.” Hence, any cream is already armed with acne-fighting ingredients. However, as the products popularity has grown, and certain creams have become specialized for specific skin types, there are definitely those that contain ingredients best suited for pimply skin. Aveeno’s cream is oil free and boasts a special “Total Soy Complex,” which helps blend away imperfections from existing breakouts, as well as help fade dark spots from breakouts of the past.


Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 20, $34
Also oil-free, Urban Decay’s “Naked” BB cream targets blemishes and redness, in addition to all the other skin imperfections beauty balms are formulated to address. It claims substantial improvement within with eight weeks, and if you can wait that long to substantiate this assertion, hopefully you’ll be experiencing a beautiful, life-changing complexion in two months. So keep us posted, please!

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