Q: What’s all the hype about BB Creams? And what does BB stand for anyway?

Fri, 9 December 2011 7:50AM

Every year, there’s one standout product or product category that takes the world by storm (think the Clarisonic a few years back and Clinique’s Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour earlier this year). And right now, we’re putting our money on BB Creams as being the next big thing in 2012. Although they’ve been a staple in the Asian beauty market for a while now, especially Korea, BB creams a relatively new concept to hit our shores, so here’s a little run-down to help you nut out what the fuss is all about.

The acronym BB stands for Blemish Balm which apparently originated in Germany many moons ago where it was created to help soothe, heal and protect post-surgery sensitive skin.

So, fast forward to today and what does this all mean? Kind of like a makeup/moisturiser hybrid, think of them as the busy girls’s guide to skincare. Packed with serious convenience, BB creams are hailed the one stop-shop of skincare, designed to tackle a handful of skin concerns in once clean sweep.

The verdict: Basically, they’re a souped-up, more sophisticated version of a tinted moisturiser designed to hydrate, help minimise blemishes and even out skin tone with regular use, all with added SPF and a bonus natural-looking glow.

Here are two that I’ve tried and can recommend.

The Bargain Buy: BB Cream by Garnier (Miracle Skin Perfector Daily All-In-One BB Cream), $13.95. At this price you can afford to buy it in bulk and use all-over. The standout for me was the dewy-finish, but I recommend you swing by here to read what other Primpettes have had to say about it.


The investment: Biotherm White D-Tox Translu.Cell BB Cream, $49, from Adore Beauty, adorebeauty.com.au. Yes, it’s hydrating and it has the strongest coverage of the two but the real hook is the SPF 25+.

biotherm bb cream


Have you tried a BB cream?

Are you a fan of tinted moisturiser? 

Have you tried either of the above?

Have you tried any other BB Cream brands?

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  • Posted by: Lauren // Fri, 9 December 2011 08:06am

    I have been using Garnier BB Cream for two weeks now as my every day make up. I use it with concealer and a little powder instead of clogging up my skin with foundation. I have seen a big improvement to my skin already, less blemishes and all over healthy looking glow, I think everyone should invest!!

  • Posted by: ladolcelana Enthusiast // Fri, 9 December 2011 08:41am

    I love my BB Cream! I use Skin79’s Super + Bebelesh Balm (I order it from Amazon) and it has replaced tinted moisturizer and foundation for me! It is just enough coverage and makes my skin look so dewy. I’ve tried Garnier’s BB Cream, but it just doesn’t stand up to Skin79’s version.

  • Posted by: meltest Enthusiast // Fri, 9 December 2011 08:50am

    I use the Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector and I love it, it has great coverage as a tinted moisturiser and really helps to clear my skin up.

  • Posted by: Mel // Fri, 9 December 2011 09:24am

    I am obsessed with BB cream. I started using it a few months ago after I met a Japanese girl, who told me BB cream is the secret to why most asian women have amazing skin. I wanted in on that! So I bought one by Skin 79, which I LOVE. I would recommend seeking out the makeup section at your nearest Chinatown shops or ordering online. The Korean brands have been working on this stuff for years, and are sure to have better formulas than that of brands like Garnier who are simply jumping on the bandwagon of a new trend.

  • Posted by: Becca Master Fan // Fri, 9 December 2011 11:39am

    I haven’t tried any BB creams yet but I have registered to receive a sample of the Garnier one so I can give it a try. It sounds like a great product so I look forward to trying it.

  • Posted by: jem // Fri, 9 December 2011 11:57am

    Gosh I’ve been wearing the Garnier one for over a month now and loving it….and had no clue what the BB cream aspect of it was…Love the product and I do think my skin is looking great lately.

  • Posted by: louweeez Master Fan // Fri, 9 December 2011 12:14pm

    I’ve read with some the Korean/Asian ones you need to be careful of what you buy because as some of the ingredients are a bit dodge and since it’s all printed in another langauge and you don’t know what you’re getting, is this a scare tatic into buying big brands? Or a legit warning? hmmm

  • Posted by: kristinkate Devotee // Fri, 9 December 2011 12:22pm

    I absolutely love the Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector. I have been using it for over a month and have noticed a big improvement in my skin. I love the level or coverage and find it keeps my skin hydrated all day long. And the price is fabulous too!

  • Posted by: Ami_Jo Supporter // Fri, 9 December 2011 12:25pm

    Wow, I have only just heard of BB cream the other day…what great timing!
    I have Rosacea & have been told this could be a great help. I have just had a look on skin 79’s website & there are so many to choose from! Can anyone tell me one or 2 they have tried & liked?

  • Posted by: Prudielou // Fri, 9 December 2011 12:38pm

    I have used both of the above and I don’t like the Garnier one on my skin, it’s too dewy for my oily skin! I really like the Biotherm BB cream however and the 25+ is definitely a good thing! It has more of a matt finishes and the colour blends in well once applied.

  • Posted by: Julieow Master Fan // Fri, 9 December 2011 01:25pm

    The Garnier one is the best I have used its dewy but great coverage but still light, love it. My video even got on their website which I was stoked about!!

    The Biotherm is a little too chalky for me and Im a fair bear…

  • Posted by: beautybee1 Master Fan // Fri, 9 December 2011 01:54pm

    I really hope I get a sample of the Garnier one sent to me soon – I’m really wanting to try it out.

  • Posted by: PrettyPrincess Master Fan // Fri, 9 December 2011 05:07pm

    Im still using my clarisonic, so the hype was worth it lol
    I have tried the garnier one!
    I loved it at first but now at the end its getting a little orange!
    Im keen to try the Biotherm one but at the moment I have 3 foundations, 2 TM and the garnier BB on go, so think I should finish something first……….lol

  • Posted by: yummii Supporter // Fri, 9 December 2011 07:14pm

    I love tinted moisturiser – I think its the most natural looking coverage (although minimal) there is and BB cream is a great alternative.

  • Posted by: Francine // Sat, 10 December 2011 12:26am

    They are all over the BB cream in Asia! I bought a fantastic one last time I was over in Hong Kong called Cyber Colours – it’s SPF 50 and makes my skin look ever so lovely and glowing. I’ve almost run out so I’m keen to get my paws on the Garnier one!

  • Posted by: sarahbranchy Enthusiast // Sat, 10 December 2011 12:48pm

    I brought Dr. Jart Premium BB cream from Sephora while I was in America recently, and it is AMAZING!! Such good coverage, adapts to my skin tone in a few minutes (at first application it looks slightly grey/pale) and gives a lovely hydrated, glowy finish. Love! I’m sad because I’ve nearly finished it already and I’m going to have to find somewhere to order it online, as I’m 99% sure it’s not available in Aus! :(

  • Posted by: Aurelia // Sat, 10 December 2011 03:33pm

    I love ettusais mineral bb cream in natural and the reported best bb cream in Asia is Dr G brightening bb cream butthat leans too pink for my yellow skin tone,

  • Posted by: jazzy91 Enthusiast // Sat, 10 December 2011 03:36pm

    sarahbranchy, I am pretty sure I saw a small Sephora store in Brisbane in Queen St Mall, but I could be wrong.

  • Posted by: anitae Enthusiast // Sun, 11 December 2011 01:16pm

    I have recently been trying the Garnier miracle skin perfector and have to admit, i am in love it it! Works all day long.

  • Posted by: 8888 Newbie // Sun, 11 December 2011 10:11pm

    I could not feel more strongly about this topic!!

    Definitely a convert (own about 5) and haven’t used a foundation since I got my first. THEY’RE. THAT. GOOD.

    I’ve never had anything suit my skin (very fair) and combat my problems (redness and dryness) quite like Bb cream.

    A distinction must be drawn between the Asian branded creams and ‘Australia’s #1 Bb cream’ Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector. The latter’s redeeming features include a pleasant scent and being dirt cheap. However, it is more than lacking in the coverage department and even the lightest tone was far too dark for my skin.

    If you’re considering trying one don’t hesitate–especially if you’re fair. I’ve tried Misshka, BRTC, Skin 79 and they’re all exceptional!

  • Posted by: Alishes Devotee // Sun, 11 December 2011 10:56pm

    I’m in love with BB Creams. I tried a sample of the Biotherm one and it’s prefect for my skin. Before I had a chance to buy the full size product I won a Garnier one. It is a little dark for my liking, but I suppose for summer it’s okay. I love the coverage so much I don’t even bother with foundation for daytime. And my skin has really improved in term of blemishes in the month I’ve been using it.

  • Posted by: yvette700 Newbie // Mon, 12 December 2011 12:48am

    Haven’t tried it yet but I’m awaiting for my sample.

  • Posted by: VivaLaVicki Master Fan // Tue, 13 December 2011 02:17pm

    Love the BB cream! I can’t wait for more versions to hit our stores though.

  • Posted by: ladolcelana Enthusiast // Tue, 13 December 2011 06:42pm

    @Ami_Jo I use and reccomend the Skin79 BB Cream in the pink container. It works really well for me, or if your older apparently the BB Cream in the gold container works better.

  • Posted by: viviann.ma Supporter // Wed, 14 December 2011 04:57pm

    I have tried the Garnier one but I find there’s not enough coverage.
    However the Maybelline one the UV BB Base is AMAZING. It can be used as a base under my foundation or just by itself with a little bit of powder to set it. SPF 50 PA+++ is a bonus

  • Posted by: SydneyRose Master Fan // Mon, 19 December 2011 08:56pm

    I have never tried a BB cream, but I have a tinted moisturisers. I love Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser and Invisible Zinc.

    If I’m going to be outdoors for most of the day, I wear Invisible Zinc. If I’m going to be indoors for most of the day, I wear Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser.

  • Posted by: Karen-1298334769 Master Fan // Thu, 5 January 2012 01:15am

    Oh wow I actually needed a new tinted moisturiser. I have to get the Garnier one!

  • Posted by: AussieAngelcakes // Fri, 16 March 2012 07:34pm

    I stick to the asian BB creams that have more pink tones in them. I find the ‘Western’ BB creams aren’t proper BB creams at all. In fact they are far sheerer and more like a tinted moisturiser. Western ones give BB cream a bad name. *glares at Garnier*.
    Hit youtube to find swatches and comparisons then buy off Amazon, Ebay or Asian beauty sites. I use my Missha BB cream as a primer. I dont know who would consider this a substitute for foundation unless they have near perfect skin. It’s cheap, covers pores well and is a good base for my foundation, plus the Asian drugstore brands are cheap but still good quality.

  • Posted by: Stephanie // Sun, 5 August 2012 12:58am

    I have been using Cliniques BB cream and it is AMAZING! I need full coverage but hating wearing all that makeup in our California summers…so I tried the Clinique Age Defense BB cream and it worked great! Super moisturizing, very light weight and lots of antioxidents! You can use it as a primer or alone as your foundation. I would recommend this to all skin types. (even helped my girlfriends roscea!!)

  • Posted by: Donna // Tue, 5 March 2013 11:07am

    I have been using the L’Oreal BB cream for about 2 weeks now and LOVE it. I got the Age Perfect with SPF 20 at Target for about $12. I’m 45 but starting to get little crows feet…damn those birds! Comes in 2 shades – light/medium or medium/dark. It is so rich, silky, creamy, moisturizing but not greasy. It takes the place of my moisturizer, sunscreen, primer, serum, and foundation! Have not had one breakout or pimple. Looks radiantly beautiful and it covers my freckles and a couple bigger sunspots! Try it, you’ll love it!

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Sun, 23 June 2013 03:37pm

    I love the Garnier one for oily combination skin and i love, i’m wearing it right now :)

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Sun, 1 September 2013 03:09pm

    I love using BB creams on my no makeup days :)

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Tue, 10 September 2013 09:00pm

    I have tried BB Cream and I love it. I have tried Garnier, Palmers and ModelCo. I love trying new one’s.

  • Posted by: Cathrin Whittaker // Mon, 14 April 2014 12:55am

    Can u use this product n your sixties?

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Mon, 21 July 2014 06:11pm

    I love using tinted moisturisers or bb creams, wonderful products. Some bb creams are nice and lightweight.

  • Posted by: Jenny Pitty // Sun, 15 February 2015 06:39pm

    I have been using the ALDI BB cream for ages and have also used several others but the Aldi one is by far the best! It has made several blemishes totally disappear and reduced many more. I would recommend it to anyone and I have!


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