Asian Brands

Blemish Balm Cream: What is a BB Cream?

Your Muse hasn’t blogged BB Creams as of yet since her experiences with them haven’t really been the greatest however since I mentioned them once or twice I ended up getting many e-mails and comments about them. I recently reviewed Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer which reminded me of BB Cream so much in texture and formula that I was kinda of inspired to write about BB’s soon after!

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What’s a BB Cream? How do I use a BB Cream? Where can I purchase BB Creams? These are some of the daily questions I get in my inbox!

The US market, as far as I know, has not yet been exposed to BB Creams. I imagine we are all somewhat obsessed with our skin within the US but I personally feel like the Asian population is more so and that obsession accounts for the mass amount of products released within Asian countries. For me and other skincare junkies this is pure nirvana!

One of the latest, greatest, popular, and hyped products to hit Korea are BB Creams which is short for Blemish Balm Cream. The craze began in Korea but has since hit Japan, China, Etc…

So what is a BB Cream anyway?

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BB Cream is pretty much the end all of foundation, concealer, moisturizer, etc….It’s a combined product that eliminates many products from your daily makeup routine and not only simplifies foundation but also offers key ingredients that we all look for in makeup and skin care.

BB Creams are highly moisturizing, contain SPF, have acne fighting and anti-aging ingredients, plus conceal and lay a foundation for your other makeup.

What BB Cream Eliminates from your daily routine:

  • Moisturizer

BB Creams are so highly moisturizing you may or may not wish to apply a moisturizer prior to using!

  • SPF

BB Creams contain doses of 25+ SPF so you don’t need an extra SPF product to protect your skin from harmless sun rays!

  • Acne Treatments, Lotions, Etc…

BB Creams contain active ingredients for fighting off problem areas!

  • Anti-Aging Lotions, Potions, Etc…

BB Creams contain anti-aging ingredients to prevent wrinkles and also treat any fine lines you may already have!

  • Concealer

BB Creams act as a concealer for concealing under eye circles, baggage, etc…It also concealsr acne, blemishes, red areas, etc…

  • Foundation

BB Creams act as a foundation for prepping the skin for makeup and creating a flawless finish to skin!

  • Whitening Lotions, Fluids, Etc….

BB Creams contain whitening agents to lighten the skin!

You can see why everyone is so hyper and excited about BB Creams. They are virtually the superman of foundation however they are not without their flaws.

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Your Muse has tried about 8-10 brands of BB Creams now and I’ve been disappointed about 95% of the time. BB Creams are NOT without one major problem.

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My god Muse what do you mean?! They sound like skin care perfection!

The problem with BB Creams is color selection. BB Creams are not like foundation where you walk in and have an array of colors to choose from. Most BB Creams offer one color option only or sometimes, if you’re lucky, two color selections.

Right off the bat I’ll say if you’re a deeper, darker skin tone I’m highly doubtful that BB Creams will work for you although I can’t be sure as I don’t have experience with application on such a skin tone.

I’m fascinated with the excitement over a product that only comes in a dull beige color. Many Asian girls do have a yellow tone to skin and beige is not only unflattering on yellow tones but just, in my opinion, unflattering on ALL skin tones. Thus my amazement over the hype that surrounds the product in Asian countries. BB Creams are so pigmented that the color will look very unnatural on any and all skin tones at least this has been my experience with the brands I’ve tried.

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Another surprising thing about BB Creams is the fact that they seem to be best suited to dry skin. I have many, many Asian friends and about 95% of them have oily skin. BB Creams do not dry matte in my personal opinion and they feel very moisturizing when on so I’m curious how those with oily skin feel about the formula and texture of such a product.

I was recently contacted by a reader who recommended me a few brands I hadn’t tried before that made some high end BB Creams. After discussing it with her I decided to give BB Creams a much needed revisit.

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You won’t be hearing about the bad. When it comes to Asian cosmetics and skincare it’s difficult for the Muse to trash it. It’s simply too high quality to snark at which accounts for my lack of posts regarding BB Creams. However, I have decided I’ll start reviewing brands I have tried and the pros and cons of each. I’ll also have an upcoming review on a brand of BB that I do LOVE and again this is thanks to the reader that recommended it! That review is coming shortly so thank the gods we finally have a good BB Cream to rave about.

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BB Creams are a welcome edition to the makeup world and an innovation in skin care and makeup that needs a bit of tweaking. The potential for greatness is already there and with a little work we’ll have pure perfection.

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It’s hard not to notice that I littered my blog entry with difference adverts of BB Creams. As you can see many, many, many companies in Korea have out various brands of the popular product so sometimes it’s difficult to weed through the bad to get to the good! However, that’s what you have the Muse for! I’ll be sharing the best and not so great with you very soon!

Do you use BB Creams?

Love ‘em?

Got questions about BB Creams?

Tell the Muse!

museotherposts

Love Korean Cosmetics? Wanting to know more about Korean Brands? Try a daily dose of past posts!

Etude House Moistfull Mask Review

Etude House Spring Collection Review

An Introduction to Korean Cosmetic Brands

Banila Co “Blue” Summer Collection

If you need information about how BB Creams are different from Tinted Moisturizers please click here.

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Laneige Summer 2008 Collection

Well lookiee what the Muse came across on the Laneige Singapore site!

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It’s the Summer Collection!

I was shocked to see the Laneige site had updated for Summer on the Singapore site only and not the Korean! I was thinking I’d see the update on the Korean site prior to any of the other global gateways!

Go Singapore (lately you guys have been really up to date with the cosmetic collections!)!

The release appears to be very small with some shadows and a lipstick but I’m unsure of all the details as of yet! As soon as I know I’ll definately keep you posted!

As always the promo model image is gorgeous! It’s a very edgy look they created using soft colors. I think perhaps the edge comes from the haircut the model is sporting!

I’m interested in getting my hands on some of this collection to review for you guys so stayed tuned!

On a side note I’m behind on comments please know I’ll get to them soon! Sorry for the delay! Life sometimes gets in the way of blogging on occasion! Love you all!

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Click here to check out the Laneige Spring Collection!

Click here
to read my review of Laneige’s Darling Big Eyes Palette!

Click here
to read why I was so excited about Laneige’s Pink Sliding Compact!

Click here to read my review on Laneige’s Snow Radiant Blusher!

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Banila Co "Blue" Summer Collection

Blues and Aquas are hot this season and one of the Muse’s favorite Korean brands jumps right on that bandwagon and takes blue to a smoking hot level!

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Check out the Blue Collection from Banila Co! Sweet right? I’m loving the promo images for this one and I’ll definately be indulging in most of the collection!

Six colors of a cream eyeshadows are being released entitled Eye Love Aqua Shadow. W8,500 per a color which rounds out to a little over $8 USD! I’m particular in love with the colors Aqua Ice and Mint Ice!

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Also released are the Lip Love Aqua Gloss which is available in 4 shades! Each color is W8,000 which converts to a little less than $8 USD! I love the nice natural glossy color on the model’s lips! Yum!

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And finally two eyeshadows were also released with the collection! I’m wanting both! A pink variation and a blue! I’m picturing these will be go very well together!

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Some very promising releases for Summer from Banila Co!

I’ll be reviewing these items for you shortly but for now you’ll have to drool over these images!

Do pop back soon as I post more details about HOT new collections popping out of Korea this Summer!

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Etude House Moistfull Mask Review

I love Asian brands.

Here in the US we aren’t privy to many popular products available within various Asian countries such as Japan and Korea. One such product that isn’t as popular here as it is abroad are facial masks. Face masks are a very popular item that come in a number of different formulas and are available from many popular brands such as Kose, Kanebo, and in the case of my review, Etude House.

What exactly is a face mask?

I think here in the US we are pretty much conditioned to associate a face mask with something you’d get in a tube. Something you’d apply and either peel off, scrub off, or wash off. The most popular form of facial masks from Asia are actual masks! As in a mask with holes cut into it for your mouth and eyes. The masks are pre-soaked in different skin treatments such as whitening agents, lotions for dry skin, moisturizers for wrinkles, etc….different masks cater to different skin problems! Each mask is made of a linen like paper that is shaped and contoured to your face. You leave the mask on for anywhere from 5-10 minutes and allow the contents of the mask to sink into your face. It’s a beautifully relaxing experience that’s also very beneficial to your face. I’ve found masks are very helpful for my dry skin in the winter!

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You might recognize the brand Etude House if you’re from Korea or you might remember it from a blog entry I did recently! Etude House makes a line of skincare entitled Moistfull. It’s a rather wonderful line of product with a nice, inexpensive price tag!

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I’m particularly in love with the masks! The masks are packed full of a moisturizing lotion that makes your skin feel positively spoiled for 5 to 10 minutes with long term benefits! The mask is heavily saturated with a combination of lotion and serum that will make any dry, flaky patches on your face disappear!

I can’t begin to describe to you how amazing the mask feels when it’s on and how wonderful your skin feels after use! The mask fits perfectly over your face and I adore how it contours the shape of my under eye perfectly. Why is that important? This is the perfect solution for getting more moisture under my very dry eyes!

After 10 minutes of leaving the mask on my skin feels cool, refreshed, wonderfully soft, and moisturized! I normally do this treatment before bed while reading a few chapters of a book. The best part is when I wake up in the morning my face is literally glowing and I feel like I can go without makeup!

Etude House Moistfull Facial Masks definately get a hearty Muse Approval for purchase if you can find them! But fear not if you’re unable to locate them you can always use any number of the facial masks available from different brands such as Kose, Kanebo, Sofina, and more!

Facial Masks are a wonderful, and for me, essential part of good skin care!

Do you use facial masks?

What are you favorite brands?

Tell the Muse!

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Etude House Peach Skin Pact & Pore Erasing Peach Base: Detailed Review

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Since using the Etude House Peach Skin Pact and Pore Erasing Peach Base I felt like the two items deserved a revisit and deeper review than the short blurb I posted in my original post.

Yesterday morning as you may have previously read I used just the Peach Skin Pact and Pore Erasing Peach Base as my sole foundation routine. I did use a touch of concealer under my eyes but aside from that I only prepped and primed my skin with the base and set it with the powder.

To my delight the entire look I created came out very fresh, fun, and natural it also happened to last all day long which is why I felt the two items needed more of a detailed review.

I’ll start with the Etude House Pore Erasing Peach Base which everyone was quite excited about in my comment box. You’re right to be excited as it’s a wonderful, brilliant primer and the price is ridiculously inexpensive for such a great product.

I had the original idea that this might be like Benefit Erase Paste doubling not only as a primer but also as a concealer. Turns out that’s not the case at all. It’s very difficult to explain the exact texture and formula of this product. It’s a cross between matte and moisturizing. It’s of medium thickness and works well when “warmed” prior to use. I found that working it into the back of my hand and applying to my face seemed to make the blending process a bit easier.

When it first touches your face it feels very moisturizing and it quickly blends into the skin and has a similar texture as Smashbox Photofinish Primer however it does not pill like Photofinish does. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “pill” it simply means that the primer “balls” up and rolls off the skin in gross, sort of flaky balls. Photofinish does this for me constantly and it also happens to break me out rather badly. Pore Erasing Peach Base does not do either. No break outs and no pilling as I blend. It simply seeps naturally into the skin creating a smooth, flawless finish to the skin while prepping it for your foundation or in my case the Peach Skin Pact. As I had mentioned in my previous post the primer does carry the scent of peaches which I don’t mind in the least however if you’re sensitive to scents or just don’t enjoy your products scented this might be something you wish to avoid.

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I don’t have particularly large pores however I can imagine this will do a brilliant job of filling pores while allowing your skin to breath. It feels natural and fresh on and is in no way heavy! If you have oily skin this will be an excellent solution for creating a matte finish.

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With my first application of the base I did notice that my skin turned a ghostly white but after applying the powder it seemed to settle down well. I didn’t mind so much as I am always looking for ways to whiten up my skin as you already know from reading my previous article on whitening your skin!

The Peach Skin Pact is the perfect follow up treatment to the base. After applying the base I simply pat the powder on top to create a beautiful finish to my skin. I can already see that both the base and the powder will become a daily part of my routine in the Summer when I don’t want a ton of foundation laying on my skin!

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The powder, like the base, carries the scent of peaches. The color is a universally flattering beige with a tiny hint of peach to it. It should work well on cooler skin tones including fair and medium but won’t work well on darker or tanned skin.

The powder is very light, airy, and silky. It applies beautifully and blends well. You can happily use it as your sole foundation when paired up with the Pore Erasing Peach Base which is exactly what I did yesterday morning!

The good news is I applied my makeup at 5:45 AM in the morning and it lasted, without touch ups, until about 6:00 PM in the evening! It began to fade a bit around 6:30 or so. I was shocked as I’ve never had my makeup last this long!

All and all I’m extremely pleased with both products and they are, as of now, most definately holy grail products for me!

On a different note I know many of you are wondering where I got the haul and such. I briefly explained to a few commentors that I had got my items from a friend who lives in Korea. I did some research around and I haven’t located a single online shop that sells Etude House cosmetics sadly.

However, the good news is I did run across several sellers on E-bay. The best one I came across was GinsengSeafood Beauty HK. She appears to be in China and has a small stash of Etude Cosmetics for sale. Her prices range seems to be about $5 USD on top of retail. If you’re interested you can click here to browse her selection of Etude House.

The other option I suggest is checking MUA and seeing if anyone would be willing to do a CP that is located in Korea.

Finally I would suggest visiting Facial-Shop as per my recommendation of this online shop in my Guide to Shopping for Japanese Cosmetics. The girl who runs the shop, Vivian, had once offered to have some Etude items but I never took her up on the offer. Maybe visit with her and ask if she has anything available.

I hope this helps!

Happy Shopping!

UPDATE: Thanks to one of my gorgeous readers, Humming, we now have another E-bay Seller. It appears this seller has the entire Peach Collection. Sadly the prices are SUPER jacked up but if your lemming is strong have a click here to gather up the Etude House Peach Collection for yourself! Example: The Pore Base is $34.99 USD and retails for $11 USD. Ouchy!

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