Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bobbi Brown BB Cream; Review & Swatches of Shades.

BB Cream SPF 35Bobbi Brown BB Cream
Price: $42 for 1.35 ounces
Approx $30 per ounce

Bobbi Brown could never have been expected to leave herself out of the Beauty Balm trend considering she's a trend-setting makeup artist...(and of course, owned by Estee Lauder), so how does the Bobbi Brown BB Cream stack up?

In many aspects, the BB BB (or Bobbi Brown Beauty Balm Cream) is typical of other Lauder owned company BB Creams. They all have a very similar formula and the same sunscreen actives. Typically there are two principal formulas used by Lauder companies, (almost like using a "basic cookie recipe" to make a variety of cookies).

The first recipe, is an-almost-matte-somewhat-tricky-to-blend thicker version (like Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizer, Mac Studio Tint Tinted Moisturizer, or Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream), and the second is a more-hydrating-more-moisturizing-kind-of-a deal. Bobbi Brown's Beauty Balm is the latter and joins the ranks with formulas like Mac Prep + Prime Beauty Balm, Clinique Age Defense BB Cream.

If you like one of either category, chances are you'll like the others in the category as well, however there are three principal differences to be aware of when choosing one so be aware that:

  • A) the shade ranges (and shades themselves) vary from brand to brand
  • B) secondary ingredients (anti-oxidants, skin brightening ingredients and fragrance) vary, and
  • C) the price per ounce varies from brand to brand (usually correlated with the anti-oxidants)

Other than those three differences, Lauder company BB Creams, CC Creams and Tinted Moisturizers usually have little variation from the two basic formulas.

Do keep in mind though, that even between companies that are owned by Estee Lauder, there is absolutely no rhyme or reason on whether a formula is labeled BB, CC, or Tinted Moisturizer; often a Tinted Moisturizer in one company is a CC in another just like Bobbi Brown calls yellow undertones "Warm" but Mac calls them "Cool".

Keeping the above guidelines in mind, Bobbi Brown actually did a decent job with her BB Cream. She made a BB Cream which has a great shade range that includes 10 options for fair-deep skin tones; she actually included anti-oxidants, AND she made her BB Cream Fragrance free, the downside is that it is on the more expensive side of Lauder BB Creams. (Mac Prep+Prime Beauty Balm is the cheapest.)

Bobbi Brown BB Cream is your typical thick cream Beauty Balm which will provide light coverage, a satin finish, and an amount of moisture that's suitable for most skin types. Those with dry skin may need an additional moisturizer underneath, but those with normal or oily skin will probably find the moisture levels sufficient and only need to apply their anti-oxidant serum underneath. 

What is great about Bobbi Brown's BB Cream is that fact that it can be used alone or as a primer/sunscreen under foundation. If you have normal-slightly oily skin, you may find that Bobbi Brown BB Cream will work great under a long-wearing foundation with a matte finish and the dewy finish of Bobbi Brown BB will aid in blending for a smooth, natural looking finish.

Those with very oily skin will probably find the finish of Bobbi Brown's BB Cream to be too "greasy", especially for summer and may want to consider Bobbi Brown's Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer, although that only has SPF 15 and should really be paired up with additional protection.

Overall, Bobbi Brown did a good job with her improvements to the Lauder BB Cream template and this is one worth considering if you're dead set on getting one of these BB's or CC's.

Bobbi Brown Beauty Balm BB Cream; Review & Swatches of Shades Extra Light, Light, Fair, Medium, Natural,  Medium Dark, Dark, Deep, Rich,
Bobbi Brown BB Cream Swatches of Shades
Extra Light, Light, Fair, Medium, Natural,
Medium Dark, Dark, Deep, Rich, 
Extra Light, Light, Natural, Deep
Bobbi Brown Beauty Balm SPF 35 Shades Swatched
Extra Light, Light, Natural, Deep
Bobbi Brown BB Cream Beauty Balm SPF 35 Swatches, Shades, Review, Extra Light, Natural, Deep
Bobbi Brown BB Cream Beauty Balm SPF 35
Swatches of Shades
L-R: Extra Light, Light, Natural, Deep

Smashbox's Camera Ready BB Cream AND Camera Ready CC Cream are almost identical to Bobbi's Formula (again, they're Lauder owned), but have recently resumed their cruelty free status. They're a great option if you want to see what Lauder offers without the guilt.

If you're open to suggestions, consider Too Faced BB Cream Multi-Benefit Beauty Balm SPF 20 which is a more "balanced" formula and offers superior coverage. Another option is Laura Gellers BB Cream which is a very light weight option. Both are cheaper than any Lauder BB Cream.

Tarte makes their great BB Tinted Moisturizer or their 12 Hour BB Primer Treatment. If you're on a tight budget, Physicians Formula Super BB or Physicians Formula Super CC (nearly identical formulas), are both fabulous options. They offer SPF 30 and a "less dewy" finish. Of course, all suggestions are Cruelty Free!

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