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Meredith Holt, Published February 13 2013

Thursday review: L’Oréal, Maybelline BB creams work best as a base for greater coverage

FARGO – To BB or not to BB?

The real question is, “What is BB cream?”

Beauty balm creams are marketed as “all-in-one” products that combine the benefits of skin care and makeup. You can use them alone or under foundation or powder.

Allure calls them “tinted moisturizer on steroids.”

Originally from Asia, BB creams have hit Western markets full force.

High-end brands such as Urban Decay, Tarte, Dr. Jart+, Stila, Smashbox, Clinique, Boscia, Bobbi Brown, Dior and Too Faced have released formulas, as well as drugstore brands such as L’Oréal, Olay, Revlon, Garnier, CoverGirl and Maybelline.

I tried two: L’Oréal’s Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream and Maybelline’s Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm Skin Perfector.

Both make similar claims: They prime the skin, blur imperfections, even out skin tone and protect from the elements.

Maybelline’s website promises a “good skin day, every day.”

As someone with pale, reddish, acne-prone skin, I rarely have a good skin day, and I feel most confident with the coverage of an oil-free moisturizer, liquid foundation and powder.

When I first applied the Dream Fresh, it blended evenly and quickly disappeared into my skin. It felt hydrating without being oily or greasy, and it gave me a nice, natural look that lasted throughout the day.

Although they dissolved quickly, I didn’t like the grainy feel of the Magic Skin Beautifier’s “beautifying beads.” They made the product feel more like an exfoliator than a balm.

But L’Oréal’s gave me the same results as Maybelline’s.

Over the weekend, I tried applying my usual foundation, concealer and powder over each BB cream separately.

I liked their versatility but preferred using them as a base when I had more time and wanted more coverage.

That’s how I want to BB.


Allure’s best BB creams


Readers can reach Forum reporter Meredith Holt at (701) 241-5590