Friday, March 8, 2013

BB creams: high vs. low end

I have never been one to wear foundation because I'm a firm believer in letting the skin breathe. Foundation always feels heavy on my skin and it smells! - or is that just me being weird? So I was ecstatic when I heard about the BB cream a good while back now as it sounded like a perfect substitute for foundation.
Basically, BB cream usually stands for blemish balm and it's supposed to be an "all-in-one" product combining moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunblock! Sounds like a great little multi-tasker, right?

Nowadays every brand seems to be launching their very own version of a BB cream and I started out by trying Garnier's BB cream - Miracle Skin Perfector.

Garnier BB cream Miracle Skin Perfector

I got the oil free version due to my oily skin. With the Miracle Skin Perfector you can choose either light or medium color, and I went with medium as I found the light version a bit too light for my skin. But since BB creams don't offer as much coverage as foundations do, you shouldn't fuss too much about this. They usually also only offer 2-3 variations, which is great as it makes it a lot easier to pick the right one :)

Garnier promises that this BB cream will:

  • Even your skin tone & boost its glow
  • Blur imperfections
  • Smooth fine lines
  • Offer 24 hour hydration
  • Protect your skin with SPF 20 UV protection
Oh, and of course the oil free version will also matify. 

I personally really like this BB cream. It works great as a moisturizer which means I get to skip that in the morning and also controls shine - fabulous! It stays all day and the SPF 20 is a fine little bonus. I also think that it even out my skin tone and because it's a very light coverage it looks natural which is just what I'm looking for! The only downside to this BB cream is that the consistency is very fluid - and I mean very fluid. (You can see this in a picture further down, where I've tried to "squeeze" as little out of this one as the Clinique one on my hand) I have to store this upside down as it'll otherwise run all over the place when I open the lid. It can make the lid quite messy if you're not careful which is something you should keep in mind. The upside to this is that it feels more like a moisturizer with a tint of coverage rather than a foundation on the skin. 

Now, after I've been trying the Garnier BB cream for a while I thought to myself if I should go explore the market a bit more.. I fell for the psychological pricing effect and felt that more expensive BB creams might be better - especially as it's a product I'm using quite regularily, I felt that I should find a good quality product. So I went out and bought Clinique's 'Age Defense' BB Cream

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream

With this one you can choose between three shades - light, medium or dark. Again I found the light shade to be a tad too light, so I went for medium. 
This BB cream advertises that it can:
  • Give full coverage
  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Help conceal imperfections
  • Enhance skin's complextion
  • Help protect against UV and environmental damage (SPF 30)
  • Provide oil and shine control
So as with the Garnier (and all the other) BB creams it promises quite a lot - and I think this one lives up to it. As you can see on the picture further down, this one is thicker than the Garnier one which of course means that it provides a better coverage. This can either be a good or bad thing depending on what you're looking for. I personally find this one quite like a foundation on my skin - and it also has the smell! - so on most days when I just want minimal coverage I go with the Garnier one. As with the Garnier one, it's possible to skip the moisturizer and go straight for this. Both creams are also good as primers under makeup! I think this one also works great at controlling shine and oil which is one of the main concerns of mine.

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream Garnier BB cream Miracle Skin Perfector
Left: Clinique. Right: Garnier.

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream Garnier BB cream Miracle Skin Perfector

Bottom line is that I'd recommend them both but which one to take depends on what you're looking for. If you're like me and don't really fancy foundations, I'd definitely go for Garnier. On the other hand, if you prefer the benefits a foundation offers like more coverage, the Clinique one is for you.
Now of course it's important to keep in mind that there's a huge price difference here. While the Garnier is priced £8.50 the Clinique one is at a whopping £26! In other words, for one 'Age Defense' BB cream you could treat yourself to three Miracle Skin Perfectors! This is definitely also an important aspect to keep in mind, so unless you're not price sensitive, I'd suggest to try out Garnier's BB cream.

Which BB cream is your favorite? Is there another brand I should try out? 


  1. I've been looking for a BB cream for ages, this post is really good, might have to try the garnier one!

    Beth-Lou's Beauty Blog


    1. Happy to help! :) The Garnier one is great, you should definitely go for it. xx

  2. great review! always wanted to try the clinique one!

    1. Thank you! :) You should try it out - it's a great product! xx

  3. When I got my first BB cream,I was in between getting Garnier or Loreal, I went with Loreal and I'm really happy with that, but next I'm trying Garnier for sure, I've read nice reviews on it :)

    1. Oh, what a coincidence! I was choosing between Garnier and Loreal too for my first BB cream! But the Garnier was on discount (so only half the price of the Loreal one) so I went with that :)
      How is the Loreal one?