Summer Dream = BB Cream

When summer really hits the last thing anyone feels like doing is putting on gobs of makeup! The current weather in your area may be unbearably hot and sticky, but you still want to look and feel amazing as you walk out the door to your job, a date or for a quick shopping trip.

The Pros had heard of the current trend called the BB Cream and at first we thought it was such a gimmick that we overlooked several samples sent to us to try. We thought the product would be just another tinted moisturizer with a few extra ingredients inside, so we tossed the samples in a bin and made a note that we would get to test out the product eventually.

Well…on a recent and very long layover at London’s Heathrow Airport, Pro MUA Melissa Street wandered into the Boots No7 store to pass a little time. While perusing the aisles she came across the No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream and remembered about the samples sitting in the “bin” back home. She noticed that several women waiting in line to check out had this cream in their baskets and since she had 5 hours to “kill” she figured it was time to get educated and started to play around with the testers.

Mel immediately discovered the difference between a BB Cream and a Tinted Moisturizer…it was not only the ingredients, it was the amount of coverage the cream provided. One thing that Mel personally disliked about using a tinted moisturizer was that the coverage was too light and she always felt the need to use a concealer on her over 40 skin.

Now, the main thing about a BB Cream is that it is a unique 3-1 formula – moisturizer, primer, SPF – all rolled into one while at the same time enhancing the skin with a tint of foundation. It is a multitasking product that eliminates the need to pile on massive skin prep as well as foundation.

Not all BB Creams are alike though…some provide a light or heavier SPF ranging from 15 to 45. Others have 5-1 ingredients by adding pearl pigments for a natural glow or minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, etc., to boost skin elasticity. Some have a matte effect on the skin and some massively hydrate. The bottom line is…the market is becoming saturated with BB Creams so how do you find the one that is right for you?

The Pros have now tested about 15 different BB Creams and have narrowed it down to 4 of our favorite. All provide different results and all of the following recommendations can be used on all skin types.

Boots No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream – this was the very first cream the Pros tried and we fell head over heals for the coverage! This product has a heavier coverage than a typical BB Cream. Contains an SPF of 15, it comes it two colors – Fair or Medium. Not a ton of range when it comes to skin tone, but the Medium color will work up to light Olive toned skin. Comes in 3 formulas: Normal/Dry, Normal/Oily or Dry/Very Dry. This product disguises imperfections and in some cases eliminates the need for a concealer. Blends beautifully on the skin by applying with a brush, sponge or fingers. Some formulas set more matte so wait about 5 minutes to let it settle into the skin before lightly powdering – you may find you do not need to powder at all!

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 – this product provides amazing medium coverage and can be applied under typical foundation or worn alone. It does eliminate large pores and controls oil. Contains an “optical pearl pigment” that helps give skin a glow eliminating looking too flat or too matte. The color range has 5 colors to choose from in Fair to Dark. We prefer to apply and blend this product with a stipple brush or Beauty Blender Sponge. This formulation is best for normal to dry skin or slightly oily textures (in the T-Zone) and great for more mature skin.

Embryolisse Complexion Illuminating Veil – BB Cream – SPF 20 – this cream is great for oily skin because it contains mineral powders that will help to mattify the skin and control oil throughout the day. Contains a potent moisturizer, hyaluronic acid and color-changing pigments, which mean one color for all! This product is universal and will change to match your skintone. The Pros have found that this product settles into the skin very matte so there is little need to powder. Provides a lighter coverage but still blurs pores and fine lines while concealing minor imperfections. We prefer to apply this product with our fingers or a stipple brush.

Senna Cosmetics Barley Base – this product by far has the best range when it comes to skin tone colors with 7 to choose from – light to a deep dark. Contains an SPF of 20, this product has very light coverage, is oil-free, fragrance-free and longwearing. This product is mineral infused which provides a youthful, healthy glow. It does boost elasticity and will prevent your skin from looking dull in texture. It has a sheer coverage so you may feel the need to use a concealer to cover more pronounced skin imperfections or a break out. Good for all skin types and we prefer to apply this product a sponge or brush for an even application.

All the BB Creams listed above contain a minimal amount of SPF so it is recommended that if you prefer more sun protection that you apply a thin, even layer of facial sunscreen first, but let the sunscreen sink into the skin for about 10 minutes before applying the BB Cream. We recommend Jan Marini's Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant SPF 30.

Also, it is important to note that the BB Creams listed above are not waterproof nor is the sunscreen within the product so make sure to reapply after swimming or long term exposure to the sun!

The Pros love a fresh makeup look, especially in the summer and we prefer to use products that are more long lasting, so now is the time to try those cream blushes and eye shadows too in brighter, fun colors!

Stay cool!