Whether you're beauty obsessed or not, you've probably tried more than a couple of makeup products in your lifetime. As someone who does a minimal makeup routine more often than not, my ballpark guess for how many different products I've tried since I was allowed to start wearing makeup at 13 has to be 100-plus. (For reference, I'm 31.) I'm talking eye shadows, lipsticks, concealers, brow pencils, eyeliners, blushes, foundations, bronzers… I could go on, but you get the picture.
I'm sure that's a low number for the beauty obsessed out there and for some of my Who What Wear colleagues, but to me, it feels like a lot. That's the fun part of makeup, though—experimenting with new brands, products, and looks; keeping the ones you like; chucking the stuff you didn't like; and changing up your tried-and-true products when it's time for a revamp.
My makeup bag has seen a rotating cast of characters throughout the years, from glitter eye shadows and sticky lip glosses to orange bronzers and dewy foundations. But there's one item that's been a mainstay for at least 10 years: my favorite Clinique BB cream. And it's not leaving anytime soon.
A lot of you might find it funny that the person to introduce BB cream to me was my mother. Kids are normally supposed to be more on top of the trends than their parents, but I missed the boat on this one. To be honest, I was never really entrenched in the makeup scene until recently. My mom had discovered it on a regular trip to the makeup counter at Macy's, and she was hooked. She has never been a big foundation person (or makeup person in general), so she loved that it was lightweight, had some good-for-the-skin benefits, and could smooth and correct any blemishes or skin tone issues. Since I took after her minimal makeup routine, she thought I'd be into it too and bought one for me.
Let's just say I haven't looked back since. I've bought countless tubes of it throughout the years, and it's been a staple in my everyday makeup routine. I normally only need light coverage since most of my skin issues revolve around dryness rather than acne, so the sheer formula works well for me and leaves my skin flawless and still natural looking because of its matte finish. It's so easy to apply when I'm rushing around in the mornings, and its staying power is excellent. Plus, the SPF protection sweetens the deal.
BB creams have been around for a while now, so you probably don't need me to tell you more about them. But if you're not exactly sure what they are, beauty or blemish balms are part-skincare, part-makeup products because of their moisturizing and protecting properties paired with a tint. Yes, I know there are plenty of lightweight foundation formulas out there that are just as good at hiding the blemishes and pores. Yet I still reach for my BB cream, both out of habit and because I always feel better using it on my skin for everyday use. I tend to use foundation when I need to put on a full face of makeup, like if I'm going out with friends or have a big meeting or presentation at work.
So anyway, thank you for coming to my BB cream TED Talk. While I'm pretty sold on my particular product, I've included some other options below if you're now in the market for one after reading this ode.
For Dry Skin
While it's not exactly labeled a BB cream, this tinted moisturizer acts like one thanks to its ultrahydrating ingredients such as macadamia and kukui seed oils and tamarind seed extract. It keeps your skin moisturized for up to 24 hours and prevents dryness.
For Oily, Acne-Prone Skin
This probably could be classified as the "sister" to my classic Clinique BB cream. It's formulated especially for blemish-prone or oily skin and offers plenty of shine control with a mattifying finish. It also comes with SPF 40.
For Deep Skin Tones
This BareMinerals product has 20 shades to choose from, so you can find the right one based on you skin tone and undertone. It provides sheer coverage and SPF 30 protection.
Best Drugstore Option
This under-$10 option brightens, smoothes, hydrates, and protects against UV rays. The oil-free formula leaves skin with a dewy finish.
Other BB Creams We Recommend
Both a BB cream and tinted moisturizer, this product from Tarte is oil-free, so it won't clog pores. It's also infused with Amazonian clay, chamomile, vitamins A, C, and E, and sodium hyaluronate to brighten and protect skin.
An OG beauty balm, Dr. Jart's product works to perfect the skin and protect against harmful UV rays and damage. It provides light coverage.
Here's another option for oily skin. Covergirl's BB cream is oil-free and water based, so it's not going to clog pores.
Missha's BB cream was one of the first on the K-beauty scene. It contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate skin. It's also got rosemary and chamomile extracts to calm and balance the complexion.
Formulated with mineral broad-spectrum protection and organic ingredients, this BB cream is lightweight, correcting, and can improve the signs of aging.
Another drugstore option, L’Oréal's BB cream can be used to prime, correct, and hydrate the skin. The formula is infused with vitamins C and E and leaves a lightweight, barely there finish.
You don't have to worry about sweating off your product with this BB cream—it's water-resistant. It has ingredients like grapefruit extract to promote a healthy glow and even skin tone, apple extract to exfoliate, and sunflower-seed oil and aloe leaf juice to moisturize and calm.
Smashbox's BB cream does five things: primes, perfects, hydrates, wards off shine, and protects against UV rays. The formula is vegan and cruelty-free.
The lightweight product not only smoothes and perfects skin, but it also works to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
This BB cream from Lancôme gives you up to 24 hours of hydration and has SPF 30. It also features antioxidants and vitamins E and B5 to support the skin.
The buildable formula has stellar sun protection with SPF 50. It's also formulated with vitamin C, which can clarify and brighten skin.
Especially good for oily skin, this BB cream will absorb excess oil and leave you with a matte finish. It also contains mineral sunscreen.
NYX's BB cream is oil-free and enriched with minerals. The lightweight formula can be used as a primer as well.
This BB cream is another K-beauty favorite. It's formulated with ginseng for a moisturizing, smoothing, and plumping effect.