I’ve been a fan of Asian skincare and cosmetics for quite some time now, although I was initially hooked on Japanese cosmetics before Korean ones came careening into my routine. After hearing about the miraculous wonder product called BB cream, I knew I had to try some.
BB cream stands for blemish balm. Popular in Asian countries but rapidly catching on in Western beauty cultures, a BB cream is a multi-tasking skin care product that serves as make-up power-packed with any combination of these skin treatments: moisturizer, anti-ageing, skin brightening, oil-control treatment and sun protection all in one.
Unfortunately, living in the States does has its drawbacks, as BB creams are expensive to import from Korea and there are always those annoying shipping fees. I didn’t have a chance to try a BB cream until this summer, when I got to study abroad in Korea through my home university. There, I picked up Skin79‘s popular Triple Function Hot Pink BB Cream.
Before I get to that, a quick word about Korean make-up stores: They are serious business. Quite literally. Every make-up store I pass has pretty young women standing out front to try to cajole passers-by inside. They will hand you free samples (mostly hand wipes or a plastic handheld fan), regardless if you step inside the store or not, and the stores themselves are fantastically decorated. Two of the most memorable were Etude House and Holika, Holika. If you ever get a chance to go to South Korea, definitely check these stores out!
Moving on to the actual product, I did have a few reservations before trying it. I know that BB creams come in very limited shade choices, so I was worried about not being able to find a match for my skin, which is about an NW/NC-25 in M.A.C.’s foundation shade.
When I first swatched the Skin79 on my skin, I was disappointed because it looked a tad bit gray and not at all suitable to my skin tone. What I was happy to find is that nearly all BB creams are like this: they start off grayish and later adjust to your shade, granted your skin is not too far out of the BB cream color spectrum. (The one exception I know is Skin Food, whose BB creams tend to start off yellowish). This was the case for me, so I’m happy to say that Skin79 is a good match for any NW/NC-25s!
The texture of the BB cream is more like tinted moisturizer than foundation, but the coverage is fantastic. I no longer find myself needing additional concealer for under my eyes, and for someone who has prominent dark circles, that’s saying a lot!
At the same time, the consistency of the BB cream makes it feel like I’m wearing a very light skin cream rather than a whole lot of make up slathered onto my face. It’s a refreshing and much-welcomed change of routine.
Skin79’s Triple Function BB Cream comes in two formulas: Hot Pink, for oily skin, and Gold, for dry skin. Since I tend to get shiny in my T-zone, I naturally chose the Hot Pink formula.
After about four hours of wear time, my forehead was still relatively matte after applying this BB cream in the morning. I only had to blot/reapply powder about twice a day, even in the sweltering humidity of Korean summer.
BRIGHTER AND MORE EVEN SKIN TONE
As for BB cream’s skin-improving benefits, I will definitely vouch for them. Not only does Skin79 BB cream look pretty and natural on, it has made my skin more even in tone and radiant-looking, even when I’m not wearing any make-up. I used to be a little self-conscious of being seen without some kind of concealer or foundation on my face before I started wearing BB cream. Now I have little to no problem with it.
My dark circles have lightened a considerable amount and my skin is brighter in general. I admit I wasn’t really expecting much skincare-wise from Skin79, so I’m pleasantly surprised and happy to see that it really can deliver.
Overall, I’m very pleased with Skin79’s performance, and this is coming from someone with a non-Asian skin type/complexion – attention, all non-Asian skin types! I hope BB creams become more popular worldwide, and maybe companies will start offering more shades for the rest of the skin tone spectrum. Presently, BB creams only fit a limited range of skin shades, but if you happen to be one of them, go ahead and give it a try! My grade? A+.
Related article: BB Cream Korea’s Secret To Flawless Skin