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beauty, Makeup

BB Creams: What’s all the Hype About?

I’m sure at least 7 out of 10 people these days knows, or at least has heard, of a BB Cream. So what is it anyway? And why should I care?


BB Creams, also known as Blemish Balm Creams, are basically like a tinted moisturizer on steroids. They serve as an all in one product: moisturizer, primer, sun protection, and a foundation all in one. They can be worn alone or under a foundation and/or powder. Generally they go from sheer to medium coverage and depending on the brand you use, are somewhat build-able.


BB Creams from what I hear gained their popularity in the Asian beauty market. And have slowly but surely made their way to the western culture, they’ve been around but they’re just now becoming relevant for us. Now we’re seeing lines like L’Oreal, Garnier, Maybelline and many other mainstream brands releasing a line of BB Creams. But apparently you haven’t REALLY tried a BB Cream until you’ve tried the ones from Asia, the ones in the US are crap compared to they’re BB Creams.


Here’s the problem: MOST of these companies aren’t marketing these products for US!!! And by “us” I mean, WOMEN OF COLOR, dark skin women, chocolate sistas, even ASIANS are consider women of color people and yet many lines only offer their creams in only TWO measley shades: light and medium. What gives man?!


After hours of extensive searching online, I managed to only find THREE cosmetic companies that offer a BB Cream in a dark shade: Maybelline, Smashbox, and Marcelle. Marcelle is a brand I’ve never heard of and I believe they’re based out of Canada and I haven’t decided whether or not I am going to try their brand. Maybelline and Smashbox I pretty much had to take a gamble and order online without having tried them on so I pretty much just went for it. This post will be about my thoughts on the two and BB Creams in general.


The Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream claims to be an 8-in-one product. I don’t know exactly what those 8 things are supposed to be because it doesn’t say lol. But it does have an SPF of 30 and has medium/sheer coverage. The color is great but is a little too red on me, as with many of the darker Maybelline foundations tend to be. Although the color is not an exact match it’s still workable and just because something doesn’t match your own complexion it’s not necessarily a reflection of the product itself, so I don’t judge too too harshly. But I do believe that a lot of women of color tend to be more on the yellow/golden side more than we are red, so if they were to just tone it down a bit a lot more of us would be able to use it. It didn’t so much to control oil, in fact at times I feel as if it made me a bit more shiny. This retails for $7.50.


The Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream lives up to its name and much more. It has an SPF of 35 and photographs amazingly well. The coverage with this one is medium but I feel I can build it up, add a little powder and top and get full coverage out of this bad boy on my skin. The shade on me is phenomenal, it’s got just the right amount of yellow but also manages to warm my skin. At first I thought it was going to be TOO cool for me but it ended up being just right. The shade that I use is Dark. This stuff looks and feels like a foundation on my skin. But it’s NOT heavy whatsoever. I even tested this out during my gym workouts and through sweat it still held up to control oil on my face after 12 hour workdays. This retails in at a whopping $39.00.



You guys are probably wondering what my favorite product was. Hands down, the Smashbox one! Most of the reasons I’ve already listed above but for the most part, I love the way it looks like a foundation yet it doesn’t feel like one. I get amazing coverage, it photographs well, and it has a bit more sun protection which I am pretty anal about.


Okay so I’m trying not to ramble on and on about the unnecessary, but do I think you should own a BB Cream?! #HYFR!! Absolutely! I love these things! That does also depend on your personal preference though. They’re absolutely perfect for gals like myself. I don’t wear makeup to work because as I said before, I work 12 hour days and it’s just too HOT in Kuwait and too long of a day to have all that product sitting on my face. Every once in a while I will sum up enough energy to wear a full face of makeup, but for everyday the most I’ll do is tinted moisturizer and YSL Touche Eclat so I can at least look awake. And that’s IT. The BB Cream is perfect for the girl on the go who wants a product that will do everything in one, I don’t have the time or the energy to apply primer, moisturizer, foundation, setting powder, blah blah blah every single day. I literally wake up 15 minutes before our shuttle bus leaves for work so I need to be IN and OUT the door in minutes. It’s like slather it on, boom boom bam, I’m done. You can’t do that with foundation! It gives you the opportunity to save your good makeup for special occasions. UNLESS of course you already have a tinted moisturizer that already does those things for you. I do think the Smashbox BB Cream could stand to be about $10 cheaper. I think it’s great at what it does but IS bit overpriced. Makeup Forever HD Foundation is $40 a bottle for crying out loud! Still love you though Smashbox!


I hope you guys enjoyed the review and now feel a bit more enlightened on what BB Creams are and what they do. What are your favorites? Anyone else know of any lines that carry shades for chocolate gals? Bobbi Brown? Anyone? Let me know your thoughts!


Peace, love and BB Cream.
-Jackie O

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  • marlene

    It’s working!;)

  • Michouz

    Hey Jacky!
    I asked that question in a beauty supply just today and the girl said she didn’t really know anything about the BB creams she was selling but it is hype!! Rolling my eyes…

    Thanks for this post, I live in Canada and I saw the Marcelle one and the Maybelline one, I think I’ll go back to check the price!

  • http://Website Jasmine

    Hey, was just letting u know on the back of the maybelline it has the 8 things it do. LOL.. but great points!

    • Jackie

      I looked there but didn’t see it! The only thing I see on the back is ingredients and how frequently to apply

  • Socialite Dreams

    i really like the smashbox one too! it’s my fave of the beauty balms

  • http://Website Dina

    Please do a tutorial on how to apply. Thanks

  • http://Website nubian_queen15

    u right. not enough consideration for deeper complexions. i’m 5 cents away from being as black as night, & i would love 2 try a bb cream, but alas, there r no shades 4 me. thanx 4 the review.

  • http://Website Ash W

    Hey Jackie! So, for us oily skinned girls, what are your thoughts on the application process?

    1. Wash face 2. Oil control (while damp) 3. Milk of Magnesia 4. BB cream?


    1. Wash face 2. BB cream?

    OR (haha sorry!)

    1. Wash face 2. Milk of magnesia 3. BB cream?

    I am super new to make-up XD! I’ve just never really looked into it before, but I’m going to be 21 soon, and thought I should try to step it up a little (at least have a nice neutral, even look, or even explore more)! Thanks for the help, I’ve been watching your videos and getting some great tips! Not enough make-up help for women of color in my opinion, so thank you!

    • Jackie

      You can do ALL of the above methods, one thing about skincare is sometimes if I rotate the application process it makes for better longevity and that way your skin doesn’t get accustomed to just one technique. I hope that helps :)

  • flakee

    do you apply the bb cream with your hands or with a brush?

    • Jackie

      I apply it with a foundation brush

  • hope

    what shade of the smashbox did u choose?

    • hope

      cancel that, i just watched the video

  • Click Here

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