May 31, 2012

L’Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream Review & Swatches

L’Oreal Paris Nude Magique BB Cream
launched a few short months ago in the UK. I purchased mine from England within weeks because I was so terribly curious about a drugstore BB Cream. Since Garnier was one of the only drugstore BB Creams within the US at the time of this release I was terribly curious how brands like Maybelline, L’Oreal, etc….would do with the formula.

Again, we face a rather odd conundrum with a BB Cream formula that, well, isn’t really a BB Cream. With Nude Magique, L’Oreal has simply created something completely outside of the realms of a traditional BB Cream. It’s not even CLOSE to anything you’d find in a BB Cream from Korea and in some cases it’s actually entertaining they think it’s ok to call it one.

Let’s take a look at L’Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream.

L’Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream comes in light and medium variations in the UK. This might change once this launched in the US later this Summer but I’m going to throw it out there and say I think it’ll stay the same.

This is a self adjusting formula that starts out life as a white cream base and quickly turns color as you apply on skin. The concept and formula is similiar to Dr Brandt’s Flexitone BB Cream but the actual outcome is vastly different. The formula isn’t creamy like a traditional BB Cream so this could be cause for some disappointment. It’s runny, thin, and watery and offers no moisture, hydrating, or mattifying properties. The formula has tiny pigment “beads” that gives the formula a gritty, dry texture on skin. I find the “beads” uncomfortable during application and they’ll prove particularly irritating if you apply your foundation with a brush. Now these beads or whatever you’d like to call them are supposed to burst and give the formula it’s color and in theory it actually does work but they also give the formula a really gritty texture.

It does seem entertaining that the bottle proclaims, “24 hour hydration” mmm, no…!

This is more of a tinted moisturizer formula as color is sheer. The light version I tried adjusted decently but I think going into a purchase of the light and being very fair skin you’ll find it goes a bit orange-y and will prove too dark (if you look at my last image you can see my arm is a bit lighter on the top portion and orange-y on the bottom half of my arm). I think it’ll work for someone that’s medium fair with darker or golden undertones but not pink ones. It’s very sheer coverage so you MIGHT be willing to try it and make it work but I think you’ll find it unflattering overall even with the subtly of the color pay off. I do warn you it oxidizes crazy-like and the wear is very short as well.

Speaking of sheer…

Unlike Asian BB Creams which offer full coverage this pretty much offers zero coverage. It’s a tinted moisturizer but lacks the moisture element so…really…it’s not a tinted moisturizer and it’s not a BB Cream, it needs a new name ha…! It does perfect my skin somewhat but if you have issues you want to conceal such as acne scarring, darkness, etc…it doesn’t offer this kind of coverage.

It contains SPF12 aka no sun protection. Come on, seriously? Why include SPF at all with a level like 12? That’s obscene.

Overall, L’Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream is possibly the biggest fail to date in drugstore BB Cream launches. It isn’t a tinted moisturizer and it isn’t a BB Cream so really what the hell is it? It’ll prove an exciting release when it launches in the US but please, for the love of God, indulge in a true Asian BB Cream and don’t waste your money on something that nonchalantly tosses BB Cream into the title of its product. Mind you, I didn’t even touch on the fact on how this lacks ANY of the qualities of a real BB Cream….! For shame, L’Oreal!

No likey!

Absolutely a waste of money.

I paid Β£9.99 for this from England and I imagine it’ll be around $10-$13 when it hits our market.

I look forward to hearing from those in the Europe who already tried this.

Will you indulge when it launches in the US?

I purchased this item.

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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  • Sarah S.

    Argh, such marketing BS! They should have just called it a skin tint or something

    • the Muse

      that might be good skin tint…b/c it isn’t a tm and it isn’t a bb cream that’s for damn sure ;-D

  • Littlecreek

    You know I would live to buy a BB cream that I didn’t have to import. I assume these companies have seen a BB cream before, so what’s the deal with the formulas being everything a BB cream isn’t! I hate marketing.

  • Vera

    Yesterday I’ve read this
    It’s German, but it says that this bb cream is nothing more than the Studio Secrets foundation with a different name on it

  • Cj

    How disappointing. Can any brand make an actual BB cream for the US? Come on guys it can’t be that hard lol. It seems like everyone so far is complete crap, and the ones that are almost decent, are too dark for me lol

    • Littlecreek

      CJ, us pale folk should revolt against foundation makers. We need a slogan. Thoughts?

  • Amber Joy

    Ugh, they can keep that shizz. By the looks of it I wouldn’t call it a tinted moisturizer.


    the american/ western BB creams suck!!! LOL they are either a mucky orange brown or have no color at all!! What a waste!!

    • LA

      I like the Smashbox version. I can’t use the Asian BB creams because they all seem to have oil in the formula and because my skin tone just doesn’t work for them. I’m an NC 25-30 and I just look pale with the Asian BB creams – I don’t like the “whitening” effect. The Smashbox version is oil free (doesn’t break me out!!!), actually has improved my skin, is moisturizing, and has mattifying properties. It isn’t 100% perfect, but I’ve never met a beauty product that is. But I wear it every day and I really like the natural look it gives.

      • Olga

        I’m an NC25 and use the Skin 79 BB cream in the pink container and it’s worked great so far. I’m also oily and this seems to keep the shine at bay (I do use powder to set it) Another good one is the Iope air cushion. I was wary about it but it actually works very well with the oily skin (light coverage though) it does even out my skin but if you have other things to cover you would need more coverage or to conceal.

        • LA

          I can’t do Skin 79 because of the oil. Any HINT of oil in a product will break me out, unfortunately.

  • adriana

    Hi Muse!!! So what is your favorite asian brand of bb cream?

    • the Muse

      hi adriana I’ve done a few posts on my favs, just click through the bb cream review archives and you’ll find some of my personal favs.

  • Ishah

    I am going to stick with Korean BB Creams, as the Western versions have all been really disappointing thusfar .. My favourite is Missha and I just buy it from the Missha US website. The shipping is a little crazy ($8.99) if you’re only buying one BB cream, but I usually just wait for them to have a promo. This product seems to be a complete insult to the title ‘BB Cream’! It’s like Western beauty companies think they can just throw it on anything.

  • Emily

    hi, Muse. if you had to pick between this “BB cream” or Maybelline’s, which would you pick?

    • the Muse

      neither? lol ;-D both weren’t great picks Emily πŸ™‚

  • Kristanna

    This looks exactly like Almay Smart shade foundation. Its also white grey with beads, turns orange and does really nothing…

  • Jacquelyn

    i’m so bummed with all these “western” brand bb creams! even the high end ones! it really doesn’t give bb cream the good name it TRULY deserves in western countries… it’s like all these companies just take advantage of customer’s curiosity and interest in bb creams, and quickly whip up together a crappy formulation to supply for the demand!

    • the Muse

      that’s about it in a nutshell jacquelyn and most of those consumers, knowing nothing about asian bb creams, feel like it’s a good product somehow because they haven’t tried a real bb! that’s sad πŸ™

  • Olivia Frescura

    Wowza! wouldn’t call that a bb cream at all- thanks for the review so I can steer clear! <3

  • Southern Gorgeous

    Reminds me of that Almay foundation. Guess I don’t have to test this one!! I’ve got my eyes on some Missha and Skin79, I think I am done with our US & European versions slapping BB Cream on faulty tinted moisturizers. I want the prized skincare and the cover, not just some magic tint.

  • Dee Dee

    Thank you for the review. I will save my money. I hope the other BB cream from L’oreal is better then this one.

  • Sadness

    πŸ™ Do you think the people deciding western bb creams think people over here just can’t handle the sheer awesomeness of real bb creams from like korea?

    • the Muse

      lol sadness seems that way! I think they are trying to work out a formula that would be more appealing to the US market…?!

  • Jennie

    I wouldn’t say Asian BB Creams are full coverage either though. They offer nice coverage, but nowhere near what I would consider Full Coverage. Anyway, I haven’t been happy with any of the BB Creams I’ve tried, other than the Hot Pink Skin79 one.

    • the Muse

      wow which asian bb creams are you using jennie?! About 90% are full coverage foundation, anymore coverage and I’d be wearing a mask hehe…!

      • Jennie

        I was using Skin79 Hot Pink BB Cream but it did not give the coverage I desired. Plus, it broke me out. However, I’ve started using Lioele Beyond the Solution since then and it does a great job. It has a nicer coverage than the Skin79 one and works for my oily skin. I also love the fact that it does not have Skin Whitening, as that is not something I look for in my Beauty products.

  • Grace

    Blehh, this sounds horrible! I was expecting so much more, although I should have gotten use to the U.S. market throwing around the word “BB cream” by now πŸ™ All of the Korean/Japanese/Taiwanese BB creams I have tried were all medium to full coverage, so I’ve always equated BB creams to have good coverage, spf, and oil control/ moisturizing properties. This one sounds like it fails on all accounts πŸ™ The only North American BB cream that seems to succeed at being an actual BB cream is the one by Marcelle…

    ps. the spf12 is such a joke…

    • the Muse

      grace, that spf made me laugh hard, seriously? wth is the point!? don’t bother.

      • Christine

        And abou the SPF, since I can tell you are mocking it, I just want to mention that an SPF of 12 is very good for where I live. I know you people in the US tend to use SPF 30-50, but for me – here in Norway – 12 is more than enough to make the sun stay clear of my face and keeps me from getting sunburnt, so if you like in the north – Canada, Alaska, Northern Europe etc – this will be just fine πŸ™‚

  • Tiffany Martin

    I am so annoyed that in order to benefit from the interest in BB’s a lot of companies are outright lying. You’d think they’d spend an hour trying to learn their market before developing products and selling them to disappointed customers (ie anyone expecting a BB cream)

    • the Muse

      amen tiffany. I think they are trying to make them more appealing to a US market but in doing so they are completely morphing the formula and mixing up the concept and idea of a bb cream.

  • Caroline

    Sigh, what a disappointment. I think I’ll try the Maybelline “skin tint” when it comes but, but will skip this one.

  • Leanne

    The thought of having those “beads” on my skin all day makes me skeeve. WHY would you formulate a foundation (well, essentially a foundation) like that? Makes me itchy just thinking about it.

    • the Muse

      they actually melt away as you apply leanne so they aren’t laying around all day πŸ˜€ but the gritty texture does remain that way for a bit unless you massage it all in ;D

  • Betty Girl Makeup

    the Garnier one is my fave drugstore brand “bb cream”. i just did a review over on my blog. my fave original Korean BB cream is the skin79 oriental gold, hands down! i’m so glad you reviewed this. this seems to be very similar to Josie Maran’s Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation. it even looks the same! Josie’s is thicker and goes on so beautiful and looks amazing but then it oxidizes and i looked orange!!

  • Cali

    I love and hate that BB creams are getting US recognition. Love, because true BBs are amazing products that everyone should have in their beauty arsenal. Hate, hate, hate, because the ones that are coming on the market and are basically the first a lot of people are hearing about BB creams are such trash.

  • Nichole

    Do you know of any Asian BB Creams for Dark Skin tones?? This is the problem, and why we’re FORCED to waste money on US brands! LOL! At the very least, there is something I can use!

    • the Muse

      mmmmmmmmmm no idea on that one yelena never heard of LeoBon…! sorry hun!

  • Miss Makeup

    Oh no! I personally find that No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream works wonders. It comes in a 40ml bottle and it’s great for all skin types. Mine is SPF 15 and UVA Ultra, so it also gives me sun protection. I don’t use foundation, but I find it tinted enough to cover up my imperfections and a great substitute.

  • Avalith

    oh god I tried this and it was absolutely terrible. It’s not even a tintined moisturizer either! it’s just.. terrible.

  • joanie


    My mum told me to use this L’Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream as we both have very sensitve skin with lots of redness and red broken veins. She send me a tube over from Holland and I have to say I thought it was realy amazing! I might be very green with this BB cream stuf but I was really impressed how it covers the redness in my face.
    You guys say that this is not a good cream, if there are better once please let me know so I can try them out πŸ™‚

  • Christine

    I stumbled upon the launch in Norway on saturday, and the makeupartist tried this on my skin, and I quite liked it. After several hours of wear, like 8 hours or so I went to take it off, and it still covered the pad quite a bit, so I do actually plan to spend the 180NOK / $30 that this costs in Norway when it hits the market in the small place where I live.

    It is crazy expensive for a drugstore-product, men you don’t really have a choice here…

  • jorge mai kelly

    tried this one and was really disappointed. the beads felt like sandpaper when applying the cream. it blended well enough as far as color goes. it didn’t live up to any of the promises on the package. adn i broke out in a rash from the product. returned it…still searching lol

  • RH

    Can someone tell me what a good Asian BB cream is, and where I can buy one (or order) in Australia?

  • Christine

    I really like the skin79 BB cream πŸ™‚ I ordered a miniature set on eBay for $7.50, and it has 4 5g tubes with 4 different BB creams πŸ™‚

  • Layla

    I recived a sample of this, and thought it was okay. I huge pores, horrible acne, and tons of scarring πŸ™ After having a particuly bad acne day (where even my beloved Retin A wasn’t working!)I tried this. I dont really wear makeup since it breaks me out even more. It made my pores appear slightly smaller, and covered up the not so bad acne scars. I would buy a full size, but it broke me out the next day πŸ™ Great review though πŸ™‚

  • Rouba

    I like using this as a ‘primer’ before my missha perfect cover bb cream which doesn’t last long on me at all, and is often drying on my skin. It helps my bb cream to last a lot longer, and also provides just enough coverage to even out my skin tone, so I don’t have to use so much of the missha VN cream. It also gives me a dewy glow which my dry skin appreciates! It’s funny that you said it didn’t provide you any moisture, and this leaves me feeling moisturised, makes wearing drying perfect cover a lot easier! I sometimes wear this alone too, give it another go! I think it’s a really good product, and it doesn’t irratate my super sensitive skin!

    • Isabella Muse

      Hi Rouba! Glad this worked for you! Sadly, wasn’t quite great for me. But we all have difference experiences with products! I’m just glad it worked out for you! πŸ™‚

  • Amber Poole

    I love it also!!! I am nearly 50 though but wow, my skin hours later looks amazing! I’m wearing it thru winter and did a friend’s makeup with it yesterday, she introduced me to it and it is really softening on the skin.