Japanese 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!

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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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Fall Collections 2008: Jill Stuart Illuminance

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Jill Stuart’s website has been updated with the latest Fall Collection for 2008 entitled Illuminance. I find the name quite fitting as the new shadow palettes and cheek blushes sport beautiful golds for Fall.

I wasn’t particularly excited about the Brilliance collection but I do feel a slight tinge of interest. I think I’ll be indulging in at least one of the blushes and three of the shadow palettes. The shadow palettes have been slightly revamped as well with an interesting design on the front of the compact. It’s been a little bit of a gap between purchases for me on the Jill Stuart front simply because the shadow palettes are extremely uneventful with similiar shades being used over and over and over again.

The Muse’s stash of blush compacts hauled from last season!
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However, after such a long dry spell Jill Stuart Illuminance may be getting some of the Muse’s hard earned money! Palettes are 5,000 yen each and blushes are 4,500 yen each. Expect to pay $10-$30 USD more per item online.

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Items I think I’ll be indulging in:

Eye palettes in Jewel Dress, Fantastic Light, Brocade Gold, and Flash Veil.

Blush in Gold Illuminance.

How about you?

Got your eyes on anything?

Love Jill Stuart?

Tell the Muse!

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MuseTV’s Spotlight on Jill Stuart Cosmetics

Jill Stuart Summer Collection 2008

Jill Stuart Spring Collection 2008

Jill Stuart Christmas Collection Review

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Visee Fall Collection 2008: Glamorous Hunter

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Our friend Kodi Kumi is back in full swing advertising Visee’s Fall Collection. After a rough patch of publicity it’s nice to see her back in the promo for Fall!

A few items are being released with Visee’s Fall Collection but of course the item that really jumps up at me is the new Glam Hunt Eye Palettes. Visee makes a great eye palette as you may have guessed from my previous raves. These are a revamp from the last few releases and the colors are very suitable for the cooler weather that will be upon is soon!

The palettes come in five styles and include five shades of shadow plus a brush for application. I see at least three color combos I want but I may just indulge in all five.

Each palette is 1890 yen but it’ll probably be a bit cheaper due to various drugstore discounts in Japan.

Expect a review on these shortly!

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Want ‘em?

Love Visee?

Tell the Muse!

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Get your Visee on with some past posts!

Visee Spring Collection 2008 Review

Visee Aqua Shining Eyes Review

What’s up with Kodi Kumi? Find out here!

MuseTV Presents: A Spotlight on Visee Cosmetics

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Canmake’s Late Summer Release: Sunset Beauty

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While most Japanese brands are busy releasing and selling Fall Collections, Canmake’s released a late Summer Collection entitled Sunset Beauty. I recently reviewed Canmake’s Spring Collection and wasn’t too pleased with the eye quads I had purchased so I think I’ll be steering clear of this collection.

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Canmake has taken a note from Lavshuca and has yet again revamped it’s eye shadow packaging. They are taking the quad business very seriously lately and have released three new multitasking eye shadow palettes with the collection entitled Color Stripe Palette. I was delighted to see that the applicator is a dual end which has a brush on one side and a sponge applicator on the other side. Hey, sue me, I get excited about the little stuff in life! The palettes do sport a bronze look to them but you can easily take these looks well into the Fall season with you. As you may have noticed I mentioned these were multitasking that’s because you can use each quad as an eyeshadow, highlighter, and blusher.

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Although I won’t be indulging in these palettes since I was burned with the Spring Collection my eye did roam over to the new Pop n’ Jelly Gloss shades. I generally like Canmake’s glosses plus the price is nice as well!

I know many of you have expressed a keen disdain for Canmake but I normally like many of the items in the catalog as the price is really nice and the quality isn’t too bad. I could see myself indulging in the glosses but I think the quads are a no go!

The Color Stripe Palettes are 880 yen each and the glosses are 540 yen.

Want the collection?

Love it?

Not much of a Canmake fan?

Tell the Muse!

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Check out my review of the Canmake Spring Collection by clicking here featuring the Four Shiny Eye Palettes!

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Lavshuca Fall Collection 2008

I’m not sure if I should be relieved or disappointed that most of the Japanese Fall Collections are turning out to be a snore this year.

One collection in particular that’s a devastating disappointment is Lavshuca’s Fall Collection. Yet again Lavshuca decided to revamp it’s eye shadow palettes with an array of rather boring shades. I thought I had all I could take with the Lavshuca Noble On palettes released for Spring but now I have another weak assemble of strange duo shadow palettes to contend with.

I feel like Lavshuca is trying just a little too hard lately. The original palettes released were such a gorgeous array of shimmering shades that just worked but lately each new design and color releases seem to be rushed with little thought. The only redeeming collection from Lavshuca in a while now would be the Summer palettes which I will be reviewing shortly.

These shades just look strange to my eye and I’m debating with myself fiercely whether I should be indulging or not. Sometimes cosmetics remind me of a great author. I’m a big reader and I love many fine authors. I find myself buying a new book release from an author that I know has long since lost it in the hopes of gathering that special feeling I felt the first time I read a book by that writer. And so it goes for cosmetics as well! For the sake of collecting I find myself picking up various pieces from collections even though I know they won’t be as great as they were the first time I was lured in by their brilliance.

Evolution of the Lavshuca Palette
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Original Lavshuca Palette
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Newer Palette Design
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Newest Palette Design
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In this case I’m wondering if I’ve learned my lessons when I purchased all the Lavshuca Noble On palette releases!

These could very well turn out to be amazingly good but for once I think I’ll sit back and wait for a review prior to being the “first kid on the block” to purchase them!

I’ll keep hope alive that the Lavshuca Winter/Holiday releases hold a special magic that the Fall releases have failed to give me!

Want these?

Hopeful they’ll be great?

Skipping completely?

What are your favorite Lavshuca items?

Tell the Muse!

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Click here to view my review on the Lavshuca Spring 2008 Collection featuring the Noble On palettes!

Get a sneak peek of the Lavshuca Summer 2008 palettes that I’ll be reviewing soon!

Check out the Lavshuca Winter Make palettes from the Holiday Collection!

Kick back and watch some MuseTV with a Spotlight on Lavshuca Cosmetics!

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