August 1, 2008

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!

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.


About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Julie

    I can’t wait for your list of BB creams, tried and tested!

    I don’t use BB creams but the craze is insane, LOL! Looks amazing though 😛

  • Elvira

    I have been testing BB creams for the past 2 months. So far the best one for oily skin I have found is Etude House Magic BB Cream. It leaves a slightly matte/velvet finish.
    Laura Mercier is introducing a new tinted moisturizer that not only has SS but also some anti aging properties to it as well. So while not exactly like BB cream I believe some of the new TMs being released will try to capture the “spirit” of the BB cream from Asia.

  • jm

    Dear Muse,
    I love your blog- fotds, reviews, makeup advice-they’ve been so much help to me! I’ll be looking foward to reading ur post on the BBcream you liked, as i’m visiting Korea right now:)

  • the Muse

    Hi Julie!

    The list is going to be huge and extensive so I’m looking forward to do alot of detail for it as BB Creams deserve that much at least!

    The craze and hyper is fascinating especially since I haven’t had uber awesome experiences with ’em!

    Happy Weekend!
    Thanks for the comment 🙂

  • the Muse

    hello Elvira!

    I’ve been using these for about 6-7 months now and I’ve come across maybe one or two I liked.

    Are you Asian by chance? If so any yellow tones to your skin? If so do you feel like the strange beige/gray shades of BB are unflattering? Curious what you think!

    I tried the Etude House but I felt it was just a little too dark but definately agree it does dry down to a nice matte.

    I seen the new LM it looks amazing and I really want to try it but TM’s always disappoint for me so I’m slightly wary of dishing out the cash!

    Thanks for the comment!

  • wen

    hey muse! lol, im leaving too many comments all over ur blog =x

    i tried bb cream only recently.
    i got my friend to help me get Missha’s watery bb cream from korea.

    I’ve only used it twice so i cant tell you much, but it’s not bad so far! saves me a lot of time because usually i take rather long to apply foundation.

    i was quite put off when i realised that most bb creams only have one shade, but apparently, bb creams are supposed to kind of adjust to ur skin tone after application.

    i dont really know if that’s true, because everyone that i know who uses bb creams are much fairer compared to me. so it’s like, not v convincing when they tell me that it really adjusts and matches to their skintone after application.

    but i read reviews that Missha watery bb cream is in a much darker shade, so i decided to get it to try. i like its natural coverage! but then agn, ure way fairer than me, so i duno if it’ll work well on u too. hmm. ok nuff of my blabberings.

    take care! =D

  • the Muse

    hello jm!

    Great to hear from you! Thank you VERY MUCH! 🙂 I’m so glad you find my crazy babble helpful and you enjoy reading it!

    You’re so LUCKY! I wish I could be in Korea right now 🙂 I’ll be having a review on the new skincare for Etude House shortly you should def grab some while you are there as it’s ridiculously cheap and wonderful 🙂

    I’ll be doing the BB cream round up soon! How long will you be in Korea?

    Many Hugs and Have a fabulous time..and above all…HAPPY SHOPPING 🙂 hehe Korean skin care and cosmetic prices are budget friendly on the purse!

  • the Muse

    hey wen!

    I love when you comment 🙂 I owe you an email too. I’m sorry. I just get back to comments quicker 🙂

    Did you like the Missha? I thought it was a nice lighter shade compared to other bbs!

    I do too. It’s a process to get my concealer, foundation, moisturizer, etc…all in place 😛

    It’s true that most are advertised as adjusting however I still feel some apply crummy 😛

    I’ve had one that actually did conform to my tone however most are just beigey 😛

    Funny as I felt the missha was lighter in comparison to some I’ve tried!

    I have to head home and see which I tried. it’s the white bottle but can’t think of the name. believe it’s the shiny and or whitening formula!

    I felt like it suited my skin tone very well surprisingly!

    It’s awesome it worked for you 😉

  • Anonymous

    Kayvid([email protected]): Hi Muse, I really want to know, from your experience, which is the *best* whitening product you have used? Either an american or an asian brand and can be a moisturizer or a serum or mask or anything. Thanks in advance.

  • the Muse

    hello there kayvid.

    I’ve used many many many whitening products and none really work in all honesty. masks, fluids, foundations etc..that promise whiter skin but all they do is illuminate and offer a bit of shimmer.

    However, I have found a primer that works well.

    I have an entire article on whitening your skin down 2 to 3 shades or more if you desire.

    did you read it?

    If not here’s the link:

    Hope this helps!

    If you live within an Asia country finding the items I used in my article might be a prob but I know for a fact they are similiar items available within Japan, Singapore, Korea, etc…that can be used in the same way 😉

  • Andrea Leite Marques

    I do use the pink Beblesh Balm (1st picture of your post) from Skin79 and love it. But the best one is the Intense Classic (also Skin79). The colour is perfect, very pale, but not gray at all. Sometimes when I feel my skin is getting troubled (my rosacea probably) I even sleep with it.
    One BB I did not like was the one that comes in a black tube, from Hanskin. Over-priced and a greasy mess, I must say.
    I have received today my Skin79 Derma-RX, a colourless BB for the night (no SPF, of course) and will start using it to see how it delivers.

  • Dao

    I really understand why Asians just love the beige. They want to look more white and back in the day there was virtually no yellow-based foundation. But now BB cream with only beige color? I hope they are adaptable color foundation.

    I read somewhere that this BB cream came from the cream used after laser surgery and celebs just loved them. I’ve never bought any but from what you said, probably never will.

  • babyboo

    thank you, Muse, for blogging about BB creams! At the rate and extensiveness that you’re blogging about makeup, i’m actually surprised that you haven’t covered the topic of BB creams yet 😛 But better late than never right? I live in Asia so I have access to different brands of BB cream however I’m still researching on them so I can purchase the perfect one. I don’t want to buy one that isn’t so good and end up wasting money.. so hopefully, you’ll be blogging on the perfect brand of which will save me alot of time and money 😀

    Thanks, once again!

    P.S.) I’ll start commenting more on your blog – i read it on a daily basis but thru email updates that’s why I always get lazy to come to the actual site and leave messages. Although I’ve been wanting to for quite some time now. I promise not to be lazy from now on 😀

  • fauxthentic

    Hi muse!

    I’m korean and I’ve tried different bb creams. Unfortunately, since I live in the states I’ve gotten my hands on some samples from an ebay seller.

    Although I haven’t found the perfect match for my skintone, I did find some that were very close. So far I’ve tried Missha Vita, Missha Shiny, Missha perfect cover, CathyCat BB cream, and BRTC gold caviar bb cream.

    Right now, I mostly use Missha vita since it’s the closest match to my skintone but I like the coverage of BRTC better. I didn’t like Missha Shiny because it had too much shimmer and I’m not too crazy about shimmer. I tried Missha perfect cover in shade#23 but it was too dark for my skintone so I think shade#21 will be more suitable for my type.

    Have you tried any of the ones I’ve mentioned?

    And I am definitely looking forward to reading your bb cream reviews!!

  • Anonymous

    Kayvid: Wow! That was an AWESOME article. Than kyou so much. I live in the US and now I have ordered the Lavendar base. With time I will order the other 2 as well. I’m very excited. I’m just worried about possibly looking ghostly 🙂 or unnatural since I’m medium-toned. I’m around NC35 in winter.

  • Tammy

    I’ve never tried these before, but now I feel like I have to have 1!! lol..I’ll probably have a hard time finding a match with my skin color though. =(

  • the Muse

    hello Andrea!

    how are you? I like the Summer version as well which is the pink.

    I’ve tried the pink and gold label and both are pretty good.

    I’ve never tried the classic though..sounds good might have to get one!

    Hanskin I avoid like the plague as I had heard they are an absolute MESS!

    Do come back and let me know about the overnight treatment!

  • the Muse

    hiya dao!

    I totally relate as I’m always looking for ways to whiten my skin! 😉

    The beige/gray is supposed to adapt to tones however I don’t experience that with some of the brands I tried 😛

    That’s very true actually! I don’t like them as much as I had hoped but I think I’d be willing to purchase more if the formula was tweaked slightly 🙂

  • the Muse

    hello there babyboo 🙂

    You’re most welcome!!!!!

    Where in Asia are you? 😉

    I’m actually surprised I haven’t bothered covering them either. I guess I just haven’t found one that suits me 😉

    Hopefully my upcoming article will help you make that perfect bb cream purchase babyboo 🙂

    You’re most welcome! It’s truly my pleasure!

    Aww thanks so much! I would love if you stopped back to talk again 🙂 I really enjoy getting to know my readers!

    LOL! Awww you aren’t lazy 🙂 I can totally relate as I read via email too lol!

    Cheers and thanks for the comment! I enjoyed talking to you today!

  • the Muse

    hello fauxthentic!

    Sucks we can’t get these here right?!

    I haven’t found the perfect match either but I did find the gold and pink label from s79 works a treat and adapts very well to my own tone.

    I’ve tried many from Missha, EH, Banilla, DV, and a few other brands as well.

    I thought the shiny was too shimmery as well. And I LOVE shimmer but it was too much made my face look huge yak!

    I hope my review will be useful in selecting some bb creams for yourself 😉

  • the Muse

    hi again kayvid!


    Glad you liked it 🙂
    I’m so glad you’re in the US and could order it 🙂

    About ghostly…just be careful. Blend, blend, blend and just use a tiny touch of the product under your foundation. A little tiny bit goes a very long way!!!! Do come back please and tell me how it works out for you!

    You should be able to get yourself down to an nc25 if you’re REALLY careful with your blending 🙂

  • the Muse

    hello tammy!!!!

    lol! you should! BB are unique to any skin care/cosmetic around 🙂 worth trying out!

    It’s not always difficult finding a match. They adapt to your tone it’s about finding the one that adapts correctly 😉

  • Anonymous

    Wow! Thanks dear. I will definitely come back to tell you whether it works for me and how I liked it. I’m also waiting for your result of the giveaway of the BeneFit Perfume Vials! If you hadn’t figured by now, I LOVE your blog. hehehe!

  • the Muse

    yay can’t wait to hear about it 😉

    Did you comment on the bspot for your chance to win? Hope so!!!! if not get googling 😉 I bet you can figure it out!

    aw shucks thanks so much *blush* I really appreciate your reading my crazy babblings here 😉

  • Decorative Diva

    I think I’d really like to try a BB cream if the made one to match my skintone and it didn’t irritate my sensitive skin.

    In Meow I can wear Inquisitive Siamese or Inquisitive Sphynx.
    Siamese is described as “you have creamy undertones, with no dominant peach or pink, but you may see a bit of yellow, peach, pink and beige.”
    Sphynx is described as “you have beige, pink and peach undertones (you can probably see all 3, but may see more beige and pink than peach).”
    In Aromaleigh I wear 1YL Glissade and I could probably mix in some Alabaster too. 1 being the lightest level. YL is beige and yellow.
    In MAC I wore 1N or NW15 or NC15, depending on the MA who helped me. I think I have a lot of yellow undertones to my skin, but I’ve also got a lot of pink and peach. I think I prefer Neutrals because it evens me out better.

    I tend to have normal skin and it rarely feels oily to me.

    I can’t wait to see what you review and if there are any I could try, because I’d really love to try some.

  • the Muse

    hey dd!

    Unsure how these would be on sensitive skin hmm!

    Sadly BB Creams are not so much like regular foundation. under tones and knowing your exact skin type will never help when selecting bb creams as they mostly come in one shade suits all 😛

    They are seriously worth a try but they also need work b/c the adaptation to tone is complete rubbish 😛

  • Decorative Diva

    I know it sucks! I always have to think, how will this work with my skin?

    That’s why MAC foundation in Studio Tech was my holy grail for a very long time. I also liked the Studio Fix, and the Moistureblend SPF 15, but I just would go through the Moistureblend so fast that I decided I should start looking at other options in foundations.

  • the Muse

    aw sorry dd 🙁 I couldn’t even begin to comprehend the feeling yak!

    Would you believe I’ve never used mac foundations!? 😉

  • Decorative Diva

    While I no longer use MAC foundations because of switching to mineral makeup (because I really do like how it looks on my skin, though please tell me if I ever look grey or funny to you!!!), their foundations are awesome. The Moisture one was basically moisturizer and spf and foundation in one, which was really nice. I think I just ended up feeling like sometimes it was too much for my face.

    And one thing about MAC, it’s NEVER irritated my sensitive skin.

  • Ethereal Prey

    my 2 korean friends looked into BB cream. One from NZ was told by her mom when she went to the spa that the BB cream is for ppl who have acne or problem skin or surgery that needs to be covered up and to heal. and that BB cream is not for the general public to use since they don’t really need it. However they are both trying to get their hands on some and so am I! LOL!

  • mjacqueline

    Hi Muse, I have managed to find bb creams for oily skins. Mainly the Dr. Jart Silver, Missha Perfect Cover (Red tube) and BRTC Perfect Recover Balm. I’m an NC30 and found all three to match my skin quite nicely. I do agree buying bb creams is a hit and miss. Usually what I do is buy samples off others to try, if I like them I source for the whole tube. 🙂 Love your posts, I’m a fan.

  • jkim

    hey muse! i’m looking forward to your bb cream review. i recently got my hands on a couple of etude house’s products (one with spf and one for oily skin), and i’m still keeping my fingers crossed. color-wise, i’m always extremely doubtful when i first apply (the color always seems a little off at first, and i’m scared of leaving a telltale foundation line), but it seems to blend well and looks pretty natural after i’m done. i’ve noticed that i get little breakouts on days i use the version with the spf, but i’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that’s not the reason…

    speaking of kevyn aucoin’s skin enhancer, i recently noticed neutrogena had a “healthy skin enhancer” with retinol and spf 20. debating whether or not i should try it, but trying to control my impulse buying until i’m done with my current stash of products – lol. have you or anyone else here had any experience with neutrogena’s product?

  • Anonymous

    I think this is a very awkward concept. Companies have a lot of trouble getting single purpose formulations right so the chances of someone getting it right on all these counts is, I think, very low. Plus, a lot of consumers aren’t going to want all of these functions together. Why apply potentially irritating acne fighters everyday if you only occasionally or never get acne? What if you love all of the other functions but you don’t want to whiten your face? I think I would prefer to get a good moisturizer that works on me and a good foundation that works on me separately and use other products only as necessary.

  • MandyPandy

    BEBLESH?!? Is that the name, or a stunning example of Engrish?

    Eff those beblesh balms! I’m thinking of picking up some KA SSE tommorow, instead.

  • AM

    Hello m’dear,

    I’ve been reading your blog on and off, so far it’s been enjoyable. (And if you’re wondering, i’m just a busy person.)

    A few months ago I read in another blog about BB creams and I figured while I’m in vacation in HK I’d grab a bottle or two to give it a spin. If it helps, I am asian and MAC C4.

    I tried the SkinFood Ginkgo and Aloe (SPF) BB Cream in the darker shade a few times and unfortunately came to the same conclusion as you. It looks unnatural, though it did dry to a matte. Not sure how good an anti-aging, anti-acne, etc cream it is, but I take that salespitch with a grain of salt.

    BB Cream seems like a tinted moisturizer with too much ambition. ATM, I’m just using it as concealer and sticking with my StudioFix. The saleslady told me to use it as a base for my foundation, imho, is overkill.

    Luckily for me, Skinfood’s BB Creams are not too expensive in HK, compared to the States, or Canada, where I’m from. I might buy another one or two, because it makes a GREAT concealer, looking completely flawless in photos.

    Hope that helps. 🙂

  • Sophia

    hey!!! i’m glad you did an entry on BB cream. the funny thing is, i’m currently in asia and have heard lots and lots about BB cream but i never really knew what it is! i thought BB was a brand LOL. you said it is very moisturizing and yet it fights acne. i’m a little baffled! i have acne-prone skin and been following Dan Kern’s Clear Skin Regimen for the past 3 years or so so i was just wondering how well BB cream is gonna work on acne-prone skin.

    i truly can’t believe how many different BB creams are out there in korea!!! :S

    PS. got your hands on the MJ Gorgeous Lash Wing (or something like that. i forget) yet? i asked around the shops that stock MJ here and no one seemed to know about about the new mascara. major URGH.

  • Emilee @ GMM

    Great post, dear! I’ve tried BB cream, but have been rather disappointed in them. I doubt I’ll be purchasing more soon, but it’s good to have this post as a reference just in case!

  • acutelife

    Hi, I’ve just found out abt BB cream lately and now am eager to try it. Im not a big fan of foundation due to the hassle of putting it (or maybe im just not good with it :P), BB cream sounds like an instant solution. I just hope I can find the right shade as Im asian but my skin isnt that fair.I’ll be waiting for your review!! 😀

  • the Muse

    hey dd!

    hell no. You always look flawless!

    Hmmm I should really try some mac ones..did they every look grey or ashy after hours?

    I hear so much but I never really bothered! I really should as I love everything else mac 😉

  • the Muse

    hi ethereal prey!

    True but it’s since surpassed just for those who had surgery or problem skin and escalated into everyone using them!

    Oh the general public is definately using it hehe since it can be purchased in any and all major drugstores in korea, japan, singapore, etc…there are too many brands to count who put out various bb’s 😉

  • Decorative Diva

    MAC has never looked grey or ashy on me. Sometimes it looks too dark, or the wrong shade 🙁 but that’s from an MA giving me the wrong color. Just because I’m pale they’d sometimes pick a shade without looking at my undertones.

  • the Muse

    hello mjacqueline!

    Interesting to hear! I was wondering the reaction on oily skin.

    Ditto! I concur most are a miss for me rather than a hit!

    I’ve been just using samples from various products I purchase. Korean counters are generous with samples so they are included with my orders from friend cps so it’s nice to just try it before I purchase too! Makes life simpler since bb’s are normally a miss item for me!

    Aw thanks so much! I appreciate your reading my blog 🙂 I hope you’ll come out to talk to me more often!


  • the Muse

    hiya jkim!

    😉 I’m glad 😉 EH’s bb normally adjusts quite well to tone and I think my problem wasn’t ith color but wear. Faded after an hour or so which stunk!

    I haven’t seen the neutrogena one but you have me intrigued now..would you have a link? jar? bottle or tube?

    If I pick it up I’ll review it for you 🙂 I haven’t heard of it prior to this so haven’t read up on it yet 😉

  • the Muse

    hi Anonymous!

    It has for all the world the appearance of awkward but does what it promises.

    The concept is it’s fitting with your problem and adjusts as it should once applied. Such is why the colors are off. They automatically adjust to tone although most are a miss in that department. As for the rest..acne problems, skin discolorations, only treats what the problem area is.

    Plus some are available in certain formula for instance S79 makes one for whitening with SPF and antiaging while holding off on skin treatment. It’s all about finding the proper bb for your skin.

    Normally Asian countries excel at skin care so I’d say there are definately some good options available in bb aside from the shades 🙂

  • the Muse

    hey mandy 🙂

    Aren’t you clever calling it by it’s given name 😉

    Stunning example of Engrish I’d say lol!

    Oh my KA SSE it is 😉

  • the Muse

    hi am!

    Aw thanks so much for reading my babblings here I greatly appreciate!

    I somehow do take it with a grain of salt however I do believe the benefits of anti-aging, spf, etc..just not sure on the acne/breakout hype!

    Oh lord that’s big time overkill! BB plus foundation is ridiculous the point is to eliminate foundation and simplify the face makeup not make the job bigger and add steps to your beauty regime!

    The prices I paid for my S79 was $10 a piece and I’ve seen them retail for $57 or higher so it’s def cheaper over yonder!

    Thanks for the comment and your take on bb creams 🙂 Very helpful!


  • the Muse

    hiya sophia!

    LOL! Totally understandable as I read so much about BB I was thinking it was a brand too after a while!

    I really can’t say about acne sadly as I suffer from none. I’m 30 so much of my acne days are long gone. I’ve read raving reviews how bb’s cleared up skin and such but until you try it yourself you’ll never know. if your current skincare regime is keeping your acne under control I’d stick with it and just use bb as a foundation 🙂 not as a treatment for your acne!

    It’s sadly insane how many brands put out BB so weeding through the bad to get to the good is difficult!

    I actually have someone getting me the MJ now 🙂 Where are you located? It’s available in Japan as of the middle of July now!

    Review coming shortly!

  • the Muse

    hi Emilee!!!!

    Thanks!!!!!! 🙂 Ditto 🙁 I’ll def being doing a few reviews so do stop back for a look at ones that are good and do work 🙂

  • the Muse

    hello acutelife!

    If you’re not a foundation fan bb may just be right for you as it eliminates many steps from the beauty steps in the AM 🙂

    It basically smooths on like moisturizer so it’s really a snap to use 🙂

    I’ll be doing a few reviews so hopefully one will be just right for your tone!

    Thanks for the comment 🙂

    August 4, 2008 1:07 AM

  • the Muse

    hey dd
    a majority of my foundations as the day progresses go ashy on me 😛 it’s terrible!

    MA’s always do the same to me and end up giving me a shade too dark as they automatically assume that will be suitable for my medium skin tone but I have fair tones that look unflattering when they choose a darker shade 😛

  • jkim

    hey muse. i wish i had a sample to send over to you, but alas! i only wear makeup once every few months, and i’ve sworn myself not to make anymore purchases until i’m done with the bb cream i just bought. 🙁 anyway, here’s the link for the neutrogena product (saw it at the drugstore for around $10).

    i was looking through the sunday coupons (i’m turning into an old lady!!!) and saw that loreal also came out with a new foundation + retinol product – the “visible lift + serum inside” (which contains pro-retinol a and their “own serum complex,” whatever that means). i guess everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon now.

  • Vichaya

    So funny I just decided to get on the BB wagon recently, too! BB cream's all the rage here in Thailand as well. Although we don't have that many brands from Korea but we do have many shops that import them.
    I'm not really big on BB cream (Although I'm very lazy, still I love the idea of applying anything one by one, skin care, sun screen, then foundation, etc… For me, BB cream's just for my super lazy day.) so I got only one so far and don't think I need to try any more.
    I have dry skin with pink undertone and I'm LM#1 and Guerlain#501. Since I live mostly in the sea-shore town, I found BB cream:
    1. Doesn't give enough SPF needed. I still need sunscreen anyway.
    2. If apply too thick, it's still a bit too rich during the day although as I said, I have dry skin.
    3. When just applied, it will look yellow-gray, but if the amount applied is right, the color will just drop and adjusting to my skin.
    4. If applied too much, the color won't drop and gives me ghost-like face.
    5. Doesn't go well with any shimmer or whitening powder since it's already "white & light" so unless you have a really pale skin, use a simple powder with a tad darker or a bronzer to tone the "brightening effect" down.
    6. So far, the best method for me to apply BB cream is to use it sparingly then follow with face powder. Mine is Lola in porcelain or Coty air spun in Translucent. This combination works well for me. Anything with shimmer seems to be too strong.
    I heard BRTC is a better brand for oily skin. Some of my friends love Lotree and Tony Moly.
    I'll wait for your review with a heart beat.

  • the Muse

    hi jkim!

    Aw thanks honey! I appreciate the though! Good for you! I need to do the same 😉 I keep buying them in hopes of nabbing an hg!

    Very interesting! I’ll have to pick that up and see how it works!

    Nope you’re not..*looks around and whispers* I do the same lol!

    Obviously this is neotrogena’s attempt at a bb lol!

    I’ll see about getting some for review 😉

  • the Muse

    hiya Vichaya!

    Awesome! 🙂 I’m not surprised it’s made it’s way to Thailand 🙂 Where in Thailand are you from? I was in Thailand a few years ago for a few months!

    I’m not either but I do the same as you…lazy day makeup!

    That’s about the best I can do in regards to BB as it just doesn’t have that feel of prepping my face correctly if that makes sense so definately all you’ve said is true!

    So many of the things you said here are completely spot on!

    I find a certain comfort in my skincare and foundation preparation and using just a bb doesn’t seem to completely work for me!

    Thanks for the awesome comment 🙂

    It’ll be helpful to those thinking over BB’s!

  • Lan Nguyen

    Hi Muse!

    My name is Lan I want to use a BB cream but I’m not sure what kind since there are so many choices and where can I get it from since I live in Oregon.
    But I’m looking for the type that would cover and help my severe acne problems and the scars as well as whitening up my skin since I’m a really dark. Can you help me?

  • the Muse

    hi there lan!

    How are you?

    Sadly, BB creams are exclusive to many asian countries at the moment however you can try ebay, mua, and gmarket 🙂

    I’m doing a round up review of BB creams very, very soon. I really need to know your skin tone and waht not to help but if you wait a bit you might discover what you’re looking for in my roundup review 🙂

    Hope this helps!

  • puffy

    have you reviewed the bb creams yet? i cant seem to find them on your blog.if you have already could you point me in the right direction?

  • Janelle

    Wow, thanks very much for this informative post! I've always wondered what BB creams were & never really got a description as good as this. I'm not sure if I'll ever try it since I don't want my skin tone to be lightened, but I'd love to read your reviews! Maybe it will convince me. 😉 I've got problems with acne & acne scars, & it looks like a BB cream could help.

  • the Muse

    hello janelle!

    Sorry for my terribly delayed reply 🙂 got a bit backed up on comments!

    BB Cream actually adjust really well to different skin might want to try the second color option available and see how that works for you 🙂 It might work a treat 🙂 and well worth it since you have a little bit of acne scarring and such 🙂

    If you have any questions about which would be good for you let me know!

    Happy to help!


    So i read the whole thing, and im still kind of confused. I have sorta dry skin, and acne on where a mustache would be, and at the sides of my face. I have regular asian skin tones, do you recommend any BB product to me? I’ve heard about this cream for awhile, and knowing that Korean female celebs use it, i wanna give it a try =)

  • the Muse

    hi soasian.

    I try not to recommend BB Creams as I’m not much of an expert when it comes to acne. I don’t use BB to clear up my skin sadly but use it for good, flawless coverage, anti aging, and also whitening. Sadly I can’t rec one for acne as I’m unsure which would clear your skin up the best. It’s kinda hit and miss with BB Creams 😀

    They are creamy, moisturizing, and some are quite rich and heavy. Since I don’t know if you have oily skin, large pores, small pores, combo skin, etc…it’s difficult for me to say “try this one…”

    I’m about to round up a TON of BB creams so I’ll do my best to get that rolling soon it may help you in your selection 😀

  • nor haslinda binti fauzi

    is it blemish balm come with 4 units in a set or product 4 in 1

  • yu

    hey i was wondering what would be the best bb cream for combination skin type and actually works really good?

    • the Muse

      hi yu. I’m not really sure as I’m mostly dry. I’m doing a round up of BB cream soon so maybe it’ll help you! that’ll be next month probs 🙂

  • Cathy

    Hey, I have recently ventured into the world of BB creams as well. I am determined to find my HG as I am NW20 and the colors do generally work well for me.

    • the Muse

      hi cathy awesome! Bb Creams are great 😀 I really like them myself. Good luck with your reviews!

  • Melissa

    Hey, I just discovered BB cream, have read many many reviews of it and I’m still kind of confused about how will i know if BB cream will adjust for my skin ? I just asked my sister for help about BB cream what she thought about it, she told me i shouldn’t order it because it would most probably not match my skin. Is BB cream suitable for typical asian skin, i have slight yellowness in my skin and some redness on the bridge of my nose.

    I dont have any skin problems except blackheads and slight redness just a bit around my face (I and half scandinavian and half chinese) and I do not have a oily skin type. Does BB cream help cover my blackheads and redness? Should i just order it through the internet and try my luck if it will match my skin? Do u have any suggestions where i should purchase BB cream from ?

    Thank you for your time and effort =)

    • the Muse

      hi melissa. I’m not sure how they adjust but in most cases they do however many people report that most bb’s are too light for their skin. Considering BB Cream is marketed for Asian women (and men) it’s meant to be suitable for Asian skin including oily skin, yellowness, etc….. It really depends. BB Cream is pigmented but you have to try it to see if it’ll work at covering redness/blackheads…everyone will have different results, it varies from user to user. I normally order through the internet but if you have shops around that sell bb’s maybe it’s best to go into store and try them. I’ve mentioned numerous places to purchase in some of my past reviews, this should help.


  • Ally

    Is the review up for the BB Cream that you do really like? I didn’t know where to look. Thanks!

    • the Muse

      hi ally look under my innisfree and shills categories as well as etude house and skin79. Hope this helps!

  • huneyybiee

    hey..i got bb cream..but i dunno how to use that…haha…what a funnny lolx…any1 can give me some tips ??email me pls…

  • kiray

    hi! a korean client gave me ISA KNOX AGELESS BLEMISH BALM. Im new to this, i dont know if the brand is good or not. Hope you could help me. Thanks! btw, im learning a lot about BB creams from your posts. thanks!

    • the Muse

      hi kiray haven’t tried that one. Sorry! Hope it turns out great for you 🙂

  • Tracy

    I am Asian, but prefer the sun tan look more than the doll white look, so when I went to HK and was looking for BB creams, they were all very light ! Let me know if there’s a brand that offers darker colors !

  • relz

    Hi muse!

    I am starting to learn more on bb creams from your posts! i just came back from korea and the face products are so cheap there! I just gotten myself a bb cream from Annagaspi. have you heard of this brand? They have so many brands there!

    Btw, I am very very new to bb creams. Heard from my friends that they are pretty oily and i have been pretty skeptical about trying out new products due to my troubled skin. However, i have decided to give it a try as having to spend lots of time putting on layers of make ups to cover the scars from acnes are just too tiring.

    Interestingly, what prompts me to try out this brand of bb cream is that there’s placenta content in this bb cream and the sales person in korea told me that it’s really good for sensitive and after laser skin. (I will be going for laser treatment in a few months time) let’s hope it’s not too oily for my skin when i use it. I am also worried about the directly impact of cosmetics on my face after laser so i decided to try out this bb cream. I am also constantly looking for suitable substitutions. Btw, any good recommendations for organic/ natural cosmetics in Singapore too?

    Any other good bb cream recommendations for oily skin but with really good coverage?
    Thanks for your time and efforts for reading!

  • Cersela

    I realize this is an older post but they now sell BB cream for tan/darker skin and you can order it in the US.

  • Zeliha Yagmur


    I wonder if you wrote more about the BB creams. I have just found out about this cream & want to learn more.


  • charli

    dear Muse,

    i’ve been reading this blog ever since i was looking for reviews and swatches on the maybelline colour sensation lip marker! i love this blog and whenever i want to know more about make up and skincare products i’d definitely come here to check it out!

    i have a few things to say about this post regarding bb creams. i live in hong kong and there are a massive range of bb creams here available. yes most bb creams come in a weird dark beige colour which looks absolutely unflattering but a good bb cream can actually oxidise into your skin tone. 2 very good brands of bb cream i know are etude house and missha.

    i hope to see more reviews on bb creams from you soon!

    with love,

  • MP

    thank you so much for this post. I have VERY oily skin, live in a hot climate (Brazil) and I am severely exposed to air polutin ans I live in one og the largest cities in the world…. and an acne problem that not even roacutane fixed it.
    On top of that, I am fair skined and rarely ia ma able to find really suitable color for my skin tone, as the products tend to oxidize strongly on my face after 2 hours.

    I’ve been using mineral makeup (EveryDayMinerals, best brand tried so far), However due to many reasons it is hard to carry all these powder in out handbags :-). I’ve been thinking about buying a BB Cream, however due to what you have said I will keep carrying arround my Normateint by Normaderm Vichy, which is great for oily skin. Only problem, my shade isn’t sold in Brazil, I have to import…..

    Please, keep us updated on you bb cream reviews

  • Cars Philippines

    Has anyone tried dr. jart bb cream? It has a creamy, blendable texture and a few dabs can make your complexion a few shades lighter. This BB cream helps stop pimples from growing too. It also has a powerful moisturizing effect making your skin look dewy, which girls love.

  • Aanya

    Hi! I’m 15 yrs old & I’ve a bit oily skin. I’m very confused which one B.B cream is suitable for me which doesn’t affect my skin & suitable for teens like me. Please help me! Reply soon~ And thnx for this wonderful article 😀

  • Angel

    Hello~I have use a etude house BB Cream which call Precious BB Cream Mineral Sheer Glowing Skin.And it is for dry skin.Which is mine skin is Combination skin.But the other BB cream which is call Precious BB Cream Mineral Sheer Silky Skin is for oily skin.Which I’m both dry and oily.So do you have any suggestion on which BB cream is better for combination skin?I’m oily in my nose mostly other part is like normal.Is it okay that a combination skin use a BB cream suitable for dry skin?Will it have any “Side effects” ?Sorry I’m new to make-up >.< =

  • Ashley

    HI! After reading your blogs I have just ordered a trial pack of BB creams from Missa. I can not wait!!! I am very fairy with very cool tones to my skin so foundations always look orange. The foundations I have found that match or are close are always to heavy or will flake on my skin! I was also wondering if you had noticed any side effects of the cream. Also I bought this brand since it seemed to be the most popular online. I hope I made a good choice! Thanks for your blogs!

    • the Muse

      hi Ashley my pleasure. good luck! hope it works out for you :D!

  • Kate

    I recently tried one, Muse…

    And I really don’t like it! It makes my already insanely oil skin SUPER oily. =(

    And it’s supposed to be one of the special “for oily skin” BB creams.

    I feel ya on the color but it’s not a big deal to me because I feel like I could mix in some of my LUSH color tint stuff or any other type of pigment to get the shade I want.

    So for me, it’s mostly the fact that BB Cream is trying to do way too many things at once…. if your skin is super oily, you don’t need all of that gunk on your face. xD I mean, I had to dab my face almost 10 times today at various points in the day with oil blotters to get all the crap off.

    I am so disappointed! But part of me wonders if there is a BB Cream out there that DOES matte-ify oily skin without causing it to be even oilier throughout the day? I mean they’re so popular and because of the popularity, there seem to be tons and tons of choices so maybe…just maaaybe…. xD

  • Sam

    Hi I have heard about BB creams for a long time now from seeing korean stars use it and looks amazing. But I don’t know the right BB cream to choose. My skin is white and dry/oily a combination of both. I am looking for a BB cream that won’t make me break out and that can help my dry/redish skins. Thanks alot 🙂

  • Argeleen

    Hello Muse!
    Can you help recommend a suitable bb cream that would match close to nc30/35? Thank you!

  • smashinbeauty

    I am very sceptic towards these creams, sounds to good for oily skin to be true. I’ll skip the BB creams

  • Joan

    I’m confused about BB creams. Are they just for Asian skin or are they also for Caucasian skin? I am a white woman with fair/light skintone and was thinking about buying the BB cream by Clinique.

  • Chelsea

    Hi all! I got my first bb cream: Skin79 Hot pink and I love it. The texture is pretty smooth and is fine with my skin (I have mix skin with acne prone). The color seems too white at first but it really oxidies to match my skin color.

  • Van

    Hi Muse!

    I’m glad that you have a thread like this! Really Helps 🙂

    I’m Asian…I haven’t tried any BB Creams..but I planning to give it a try. Just a little hesitant though because, I have an oily/dry combination skin type and prone to acne. I worry that it might made my skin oilier? Want to try odbo brand.. Is there someone who can give me an advice please? Many Thanks!!

  • bea

    i’m excited because clinique is releasing a BB Cream NOW, in 3 shades!!! i got to feel it and i think i’m completely hooked; it’s not too moisturizing for my oily skin!! with only 3 shades again it’s not quite for everyone yet but for $37 this is going to be my new best friend!!! (it seems like a lot but when i think of my products this’ll replace it’s WAY less than what i’m spending now)

    let me know what you think!!!!

  • Marte

    Greetings from Norway – we’ve just gotten the Garnier BB Miracle cream here, and it suits my skintone perfectly! And I’ve got very dry skin, so it’s doing me a lot of good. Don’t know what it would be like on oily skin though ^^

    • Kate

      I almost bought some the other day! I tried a sample that came in a magazine for the Garnier one and it was OK but not like my Korean BB Cream (I use Baviphat.) It smells nice, though! I heard it’s not so good for oily skin. V__V;

  • B4by

    Hey there, Muse. 😉 First of all, well done! It’s a great article! Love it.

    I’m from Malaysia and I have been using Dr. G Hydra Intensive Blemish Balm. It’s a bit pricey compared to the rest, but it’s surely a keeper! It provides excellent coverage and despite the ‘hydra intensive’ stated on the box, it is perfect for oily skin ladies out there! (see. I’m one of them too!) 🙂

    You just need a little and it covers your face throughout. Oh, and when you first applied, you’ll see in time that it’ll oxidized and blend to your natural color. Try it and let me know what you think about it! 🙂 oh… And the 45g packaging will last for more than 3 months, definitely! 😉

    Take care! Xxx

  • Florence

    I recently discovered the joy of using asian skincare products.
    However, the BB creams is a total “nay” for me.
    The colors almost never fit my very fair, slightly pink complexion, it doesn’t matify at all, and the worst is probably the coverage. Most of the time, it hardly hides my dark circles.
    Perhaps, in a perfect world where everyone has great looking skin I’d spend money on those creams, but for now I’ll stick to foundation.
    Have a good day Muse! xx

    • the Muse

      hi florence aw sorry to hear that! You as well as well Florence! have a lovely day!

  • Caro


    I just came across your blog and I am kind of overwhelmed!
    A friend of mine travels to Japan next month and I really want him to bring me a BB cream – but I do not know which one.
    Maybe you have a recommendation for me.
    My skin is mainly dry and very sensitive and I am looking for a sheer or light coverage with a high SPF. At the moment I am about NW15, maybe a tiny bit darker. Do you know something good to try?

    Your blog is great!

  • joseph valenti

    Bought 2 bb creams from Amazon, Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream in 23 beige, and the second Etude House in Honey 27. I haven’t received Etude, yet but tried the Missha. It covered my red spots, I’ll be 60 the end of this month, and have some broken capallaries, but otherwise good Italian skin. I’m nw 35 in mac, early tan in Revlon, and it made me look like a ghost! I find when I mix it with Paula Begoun’s Resist Foundation 5, it looks fairly more real! I’m hoping the Etude House is a little darker! I love Paula Begoun”s resist foundation, it’s good on it’s own, and it mixes well with hard to blend foundations like Colorstay and Double Wear! Joey

  • Danika

    I have recently purchased a skin79 bb cream the orange colour as it is the darker one of the colours but also the highest spf at 50+. I do have dry to normal skin and fairly english pale skin (heaven forbid I walk into the sun then I tan really well, I just avoid it). I have found it to be great skin felt dewy all day and after having washed my skin was not as dry as normal.

    I tried the us versions and was disappointed by the low spf of the product but found the skin tone matched alright but general left disappointed with it. I live in West Australia hard sun and wind does leave skin battered quicker than it should be so the higher spf with more rays coverage is very important to me.

    I found the best way if the product is too light but you love everything else about the product powdered foundation or setting product to match the toner you are will be the best results and make up as normal.