B.B. Queen

The lady of the hour, posing with tea.

For the longest time, I wanted to try a B.B. (or, Beauty Balm) cream, of which there have only been about three major players on the field: Dr. Jart+ (which, I believe, is the original), Clinique, and Boscia. These B.B. creams, all the rage in Asia, finally made their way stateside to pretty great reviews. Basically, they promise to do a million things: moisturize, prime, protect, and repair– all the while providing coverage. I was, needless to say, dubious. And I was also, needless to say, totally willing to buy one. Perhaps because I am huge sucker for new beauty products. So sue me.

After reading a million reviews on Sephora.com before investing (seriously, the cheapest of these creams, Dr. Jart+, is $32), I meandered over to the store itself to try the Clinique version, since it’s the only line with two shades and I figured one must work on moi. By the way, I should probably note that these creams come in very, very limited shades. The Dr. Jart+ just comes in one color that is ideal for fairer types. Lucky for me, I am a pale ghost, but I still wanted some options, please. I liked that the Clinique version came in two tones: “Very Fair” and “Very Fair to Moderately Fair” (wildly creative). And I feel like Clinique can be trusted with skincare as well. So I tried it. Again, I am insanely pale, but the “Very Fair” looked too white and the “Moderately Fair” a bit too yellow. Alas, victory was not to be had that day.

Then, weeks later, at a quiet, well-organized, clean Sephora (that never would happen in the city) at a lovely mall in New Jersey, I asked one of the salesgirls which B.B. cream she recommended and she said the only one she suggests in the Boscia version– one I definitely would have put third on my list for no good reason other than I’m irrationally skeptical of “all-natural” brands. What can you do. But she put a bit on one side of my face and the slightly-darker-than-Clinique’s-version liquid, which is designed to fit most skin tones, not just the palest of pales, smoothed into my skin quite nicely. In fact, my face instantly felt tighter, but in a good way. So, after testing the everlasting patience of one very nice boyfriend and $38 later, I owned a Boscia B.B. Cream.

At this point, I’ve used it a few times and I have to say the oil-free formula is definitely non-drying and non-irritating, but I can only really use it as a base. My blemished skin laughs at the “tint” that the B.B. cream provides. So I would recommend this product if you’re moderately fair and have good skin and are looking for an antioxidant-packed cream with SPF and just a tint of color. It’s not a heavy moisturizer and it’s certainly not a real foundation–two things I definitely need. I’ve been using it over my moisturizer and under my foundation and for that– as a primer with some added SPF that also tightens– I think it’s great. In that respect, it totally does what it says. So, nice work, Boscia. But, perhaps unfortunately, I need something more. I’ve learned that these creams, overall, are only “perfect” for a small subset of women. Sigh.


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