Tuesday, August 14, 2012

BB Cream: Dior vs Smashbox

You've probably heard of BB creams by now and with tons of way more informative articles out there I won't bother with an overly long explanation of what these are or what they do. In very brief, currently they're used as an alternative to traditional foundations and provide coverage somewhat skin to tinted moisturizers along with great skincare benefits.  The first BB products came out of Korea, but are now been made by many brands available in North America. In general, they are meant to moisturize/prime/protect/treat your skin while also providing light coverage, so that you can use it DAILY and not be causing damage to your skin (and without really looking like you have makeup on!). Of course, the light coverage won't be enough for special events if you aren't blessed with awesome skin at baseline, but it's good enough for day-to-day work/school.  Some are fancier and also contain anti-wrinkle ingredients or are anti-acne, but most contain SPF so that it also protects you from damaging effects of the sun.  The primer in some also make them a good base for putting foundation over top if you so desire, but it seems that most people use either or. 

You may be wondering (as I wondered at first), what's the different between BB cream and your old tinted moisturizer? Well now that I've used both, I can say I like BB cream better.  Tinted moisturizers are in general just foundation mixed in with moisturizer, and thus in my experience, if you just put more on, it's just like putting on foundation! BB cream's formulation is different, and I find it smoother and much less "makeup" looking. Supposedly BB also has more benefits for the skin, but we'll have to trust the advertisements for that as it's hard to judge that from one-time use =P

Since there are so many different BB creams out there, it can seem a bit daunting to know where to start.  Probably most of you will start within the price range you're comfortable with, as drugstore brands make BB creams that range from $10-20 each, and department store brands are up to $40-70.  I've only tried 2 creams so far, so thought I'd share my comparison of the two.

1) Dior Hydra Life BB Creme SPF 30 ($56 USD)

This is the more "high-end" one I tried. It comes in only one shade, and appeared somewhat dark initially on my hand.  It blended fairly well onto my light-medium skin though, and after a few minutes seems to have blended very well into my skin tone. Not sure how this will do if you have fairer skin though...   It did feel a bit sticky to apply, and continued to feel sticky whenever I touched my face throughout the day, which I didn't quite like. The coverage was surprisingly good though for redness, and the usual redness around my nose completely disappeared. Also provided good coverage for my mild freckles/sun spots.  Fair coverage I'd say for dark circles (good enough that I didn't feel the need for additional concealer for my work day, but I would have added concealer for a night out). Because the coverage was overall quite good, unfortunately it did also look like I had "makeup" on up close (though not as much as foundation), particularly around the nose/mouth area where my skin is more dry and the product wasn't able to be blended as well despite my best efforts. That could just be me and my skin though =P

2) Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 ($39 USD) 

This one is definitely my preferred choice of the two. It comes in 5 different shades, so is a lot more versatile. I use the shade "light" and it just every so slightly lightens my complexion so that I look more well-rested, compared to the Dior which was more "sallow" for me.  Though the application feels sticky at first, after a few minutes it actually felt more dry when I touch my face (another plus over the Dior).  Overall blending was also better, and no matter how close up I looked, it didn't look at all like I had any makeup on, just great skin!  The coverage unfortunately is a bit less than Dior though (which is probably why it looks less makeup-ey and blends better), so concealer is still needed with this, which does add a step. What I hear from other reviews and users though, is that this BB Cream still provides more coverage than some of the other brands.  So I guess I'll do another "versus" once I try another one ^_^

Feel free to comment if you have tried these creams yourself and what your experience was!

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