The BB Cream Craze

I try not to be overly trendy or to give in to all of the hype about the latest and greatest things, but I can’t help it sometimes.  I’m a woman.  And I’m an aging woman at that.  So when I heard of this BB Cream a few weeks ago, I was intrigued.  A cream that evens out skin tone, has SPF, is supposed to help with wrinkles, and won’t break the bank?  Count me in!  I figured, what’s the worst that could happen?  I buy it and it sucks?  I’d only be out $15 so it was worth a shot.  So I jumped on the bandwagon and bought myself some.

As per my usual M.O., I did a little research first.  What the hell is it?  I had no idea, but the name of it reminded me of the Pearl Cream commercials back in the day when I was a kid.  You may remember them too.  The beautiful Asian woman with the perfect skin. I grew up in a demographically homogenous area and an Asian with beautiful skin made me look twice!  Here it is in case you wanted to re-live the memories.

BB cream is short for Blemish Balm, Blemish Base or Beblesh Balm.  It was originally formulated in Germany in the 1950s to be used to protect the skin after laser procedures and other surgeries.  Pretty revolutionary if you ask me.  I had no idea they even had lasers back in the 50s.  Then in the 1980s it was introduced to South Korea and Japan.  From there it became “the secret of Korean actresses” and continues to be heavily endorsed by Korean celebrities.  Because companies focused initially on the East Asian market, BB creams come in a limited number of hues.  It became a hit, however due to its multi-tasking — moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunblock all in one.  The Asian formulas also contain a whitening agent.  The Western market finally caught on in 2011 (60 years later??) and most of the major cosmetic brands jumped on that bandwagon.  They tailored their formulas to better meet the needs of the Western market by making more tints available and not using the whitening products within their formulas.

History lesson over.  Phew–that felt like I was in high school all over again writing a research paper. 

So my usual morning beauty regimen is pretty simple.  Wash, dry, moisturizer with sunscreen, Bare Minerals faux tan powder, eyeshadow, mascara, lip gloss.  Done.  Since I already put sunscreen on before my make-up, I figured I’d try the BB cream.  Keep in mind that I HATE foundation, primers, concealer–all that stuff.  I feel like they make me look fake and weird and draw more attention to my big nose pores and forehead wrinkles.  So I was super skeptical going in.  But this stuff is pretty great!  I feel like it gives me a nice flawless look and evens out my skin tone without feeling greasy or fake or like I am too made up for everyday.  The fact that there is sunscreen in there is a major bonus.  It doesn’t turn orange or gray or rub off on my clothes either.  Essentially it’s like a tinted moisturizer with a little oomph and sophistication.

I bought mine on Amazon and it shipped for free and came with 2 samples.  I think the shade is pretty neutral and would be ok on just about anyone unless you’re super dark.  I got the Asian formula, so even if you’re lighter than me, you’d be ok.  Mine is legit–straight from Korea.  It even has the writing on the box that I can’t read to prove it!  It’s kind of thick (like foundation) and that freaked me out at first, but I thinned it out with my moisturizer today and it went on better for me. 

I live in denial sometimes.  I look in the mirror and see an aging Marisa all the time, but I don’t do things for my skin like I should.  I don’t use night creams or under-eye creams or slather on anti-aging formulas or invest in microdermabrasion procedures.  I just do my thing like I’ve always done.  Buuuuutttt, I probably should start.  My olive skin is in pretty good shape for being almost 36, but my luck will run out soon.  I keep thinking that if I don’t buy the old lady creams then I won’t become one.  But prevention is ok.  I can’t age gracefully if I look like a prune, right?  So, the BB Cream is probably the first in a line-up of new products.  [Sigh]

Do you use BB?  If so, what kind and how do you like it?

~Marisa

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