Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream Review & Swatches

Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream SPF 35

Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream SPF 35 ($33) is an odd animal as it just released but is only available in Medium and Dark. As an Asian brand the lack of a lighter skin tone option is a tad confusing. I tried it out in dark which was too dark for my tone unfortunately but I will be heading to counter shortly to see if Medium is a better option for me because as with most Shiseido bases this is a win!

Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream

I recently reviewed Clarins BB Cream (1.7 oz) and it’s a shy bigger than Shiseido (1.1 oz) at $40 versus $33. Shiseido also has a higher SPF of 35 versus Clarin’s 25.

I’m mentioning this because the formulas are VERY similiar so if you wanna save a few bucks and get a beefier formula you MIGHT want to go with Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream.

Unfortunately this isn’t the rich creamy texture of an Asian BB Cream which surprises me considering Shiseido’s Asian roots. But on the other hand Korean’s reign supreme for a densely textured creamy BB Cream versus the Japanese who almost always have a far thinner textured BB Cream.

Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream is quite a thin consistency. I dislike this. I prefer creamier in all honesty however, as with most Shiseido this BB Cream perfects beautifully. My personal HG (holy grail) foundation from Shiseido is their Perfect Refining Foundation. Like that formula this will likely perfect beautifully. Unfortunately the shade I tested was just TOO dark but I can see how it adheres to skin and almost has this unusual dye technique which melds with skin and evens it out creating a smooth makeup-free appearance. Of course, in my case, it was very noticeable that I had makeup on due to the darkness of the shade. However, if medium fits me as great as I hope I know it’ll look incredible. If you fall in the NC40-45 range this will likely be an ideal color for you.

Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream Swatches

Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream SPF 35 Swatches

Although “hydrating” is in the name, I didn’t particularly find this super moisturizing. It dries down to a semi-matte finish and wears without going shiny or greasy as the day progresses. The formula is oil-free.

What you can expect from it is seamless coverage that minimizes redness, darkness, and dullness. It won’t hide major problems such as acne scarring it will however, perfect already good skin. I’m always looking for a perfect foundation product that will take my decent skin and boast it up to perfect and this is exactly what this does.

As I mentioned above I found it very similiar to the Clarins BB Cream I recently tested out but the formula has a good deal more perks attached to it including an almost ten dollar decrease on the price.

The lack of shades is an issue sadly and it surprises me that Shiseido forgot the fairer skin folk but perhaps the Medium will prove a good choice for a cooler skin tone.

Overall, from my tests with this shade I’m very pleased. It wears long without oxidizing (at least six to seven hours or even eight if you’re lucky), it blends easily, it has a seamless finish providing a no makeup look, and the price is just right.

Do try it your next trip to a Shiseido counter!

Anyone try it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

It’s available now at Shiseido counters as well as online at and


This review contains a sample
product sent for consideration by PR.
Read my full disclosure statement here.

  • 2/27/13 19:50 Nantajit:

    I’ve been waiting for this one! Thanks Muse!
    (Ps. Nothing is better than came home after a long tired day and saw your new blogs!!!) :)


    • 2/28/13 9:21 the Muse:

      awwwwwwwwwww thanks girl!


  • 2/27/13 20:45 Audrey C.:

    Wow, that might actually be a good shade match for me… I’m usually so dark that most BBs don’t match!


  • 2/27/13 21:00 amy:

    Wow, that’s dark (not that it’s a bad thing-I’m glad there’s a product out there for deeper skintones), so Medium is definitely a pass, as well. I’ll stick with my plans to try the Aveeno…


    • 2/28/13 19:24 blueraccoon:

      I ordered the Aveeno (the clear complexion BB cream) in ‘Fair to Light’ and it’s way too dark for me – like I was almost concerned I’d gotten sent the wrong shade. I hadn’t, but it’s still too dark for me to wear.


  • 2/28/13 1:00 Beth:

    Hi Muse!

    I tried this at the Shiseido counter in Medium, and it fits my NC20-25ish skin perfectly! I would have bought it if not for the fact I already bought a new bb cream (the Laneige snow bb cushion one) >.>

    Just wondering, compared to the Dior Snow BB cream, which one gives more coverage?


    • 2/28/13 9:12 the Muse:

      thank GOD! must get to a counter beth 😀 thanks!!!!!!!!!!! Dior Snow gives way more coverage. It’s my HG BB Cream (or at least one of them) :)


  • 2/28/13 6:27 Kira:

    Aw, it’s a shame that the color options are so limited.
    Did you mean Clarin’s 25 when comparing their SPFs?


    • 2/28/13 9:10 the Muse:

      I did sorry :) typed in a rush!


  • 2/28/13 9:34 Annie:

    If the price & size were the same, would you go with the Clarins or Shiseido?


    • 2/28/13 9:57 the Muse:

      either or, the formulas are very very very similiar.


  • 2/28/13 11:36 nelson:

    hello! can you post the ingredients list? i’d like to know if they contain a lot alcohol and their sunscreen actives. sorry for the trouble. thanks so much =D


  • 2/28/13 11:47 Cj:

    *sits in corner with tammie and other pale people* our day will come…


    • 2/28/13 11:48 the Muse:



  • 2/28/13 19:36 Diana:

    I don’t think Shiseido “forgot” fairer skin people, they probably made it in deeper shades on purpose since so many BB creams out there have plenty of lighter shades, but few to none deep shades.


  • 3/1/13 4:50 Sayre:

    I have noticed several products lately with this trend of medium and deep shades or even light, medium and deep shades – but no fair. But as someone that is very fair often the “light” shade is 2-3 shades too dark and orange-ish. Hey, at least there are plenty of brands and options out there. But I am glad that there are more products available for deeper skin tones.


  • 4/20/13 21:34 jessica:

    Hey! I loved your review. :) I was thinking about buying this on the Sephora website actually.. Do you think the medium shade will work for someone with a light skintone, perhaps a light medium in the Shiseido concealer? Thanks!


  • 4/22/13 4:09 Evie:

    I bought the Shiseido BB cream in Dark and I’ve tried the Clarins BB cream, too. There is a slight difference: Shiseido’s BB cream dries down more matte than Clarins (which is slightly creamier). As for shades, Clarins has only 3 and they’re all quite dark. I’m Filipina and I can wear only the first lightest shade in Clarins (which is very similar to Shiseido’s Dark). I guess if I get tanned this summer, I will have to move to Clarins shade number 2 or number 3.


  • 9/22/13 0:48 Diana:

    Hi Muse! In my country, there’s a light shade for this bb cream. I hope that it will make its way to the US shores soon!


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