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BB Smackdown

Would that have read better if I had said Beatdown? Anyho...

The beauty world always wants customers to be clamouring after "the next best thing" and very often old products are wrapped up in new bows and covered in fancy marketing jargon to make us go crazy. Case and point: BB creams. Before I start to ramble I should just direct you to Dustin Hunter's video which gives more details on just what a BB cream is.

So this is my experience with three BB creams available locally.

Sleek, Garnier and Maybelline BB Cream Comparison -
Sleek, Garnier and Maybelline BB Cream Comparison swatches -
Sleek, Garnier and Maybelline BB Cream Comparison -
(l-r) Sleek Be Beautiful Blemish Balm 'Medium', Garnier BB Cream (Combination to Oily Skin) 'Deep' and Maybelline Dream Fresh Beauty Balm 'Deep'

First some general information: I prefer to apply these types of things with my fingers so I can really work them into my skin. I love the fact that they have in SPF (the higher the better) as that eliminates a step in my routine. All of them require setting with a powder/setting spray but some are more glowy/dewy than others. All of them work better with an oil controlling primer applied first. 

Let's go in the picture order shall we.

Sleek: "Be Beautiful Blemish Balm combines unique properties of skincare with makeup, with this multi-tasking balm that can be used as a primer, tinted moisturiser or concealer. With added benefits of SPF 15 to protect you from harmful UV rays, Be Beautiful Blemish Balm is perfect for those who want light to medium coverage. Be Beautiful Blemish Balm in Medium is ideal for medium skin tones, with warm yellow undertones. For a perfectly polished look use with Luminaire Highlighting Concealer to eradicate dark circles or blemishes. Contains red algae extract to combat anti-ageing, protein peptides that aid in skin repair, and Vitamin C to increase brightness to your overall complexion. Available in 7 shades. Store in a cool dry place. 50ml/ 1.76fl.oz".

Medium is the third darkest shade giving this brand the widest range of the three mentioned. Of the three, this had the least coverage but the best colour match (thanks Dee!). It is also the most expensive at $40BDS available from Essential Trends. This product has the least amount of SPF meaning that it would give less flashback in photos if worn at night. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone that has to be in the heat for extended periods of time. You can see how it looks in this keek after I had it on for a couple hours. The third ingredient in this product is mineral oil, I suspect that has a lot to do with it. As the site says, you get medium coverage - I'd say barely that - at best so you'd still have to use a concealer to cover dark circles and hyper pigmentation. Sleek wins on packaging. I find the flip top cover is easier to use and way less messy than the twist off ones on both the Garnier and Maybelline. 

Sleek BB Cream swatch -
swatch blended out

Garnier: "Instant Perfection + All-Day Shine Control
Is it right for me?
Combination and Oily skin types face a number of specific concerns, such as shine, large pores, uneven skin tone, and visible imperfections and marks. It can be hard to find just one product that can address all these complexion concerns at once. B.B. Cream (Beauty Balm Cream) is an all -in-one formula that offers advanced skincare + immediate skin perfecting coverage. Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream for Combination to Oily Skin immediately mattifies, minimizes pores and conceals imperfections to give skin a naturally smooth, matte, flawless finish. Blends easily with your skin tone.
How is it different?
A new innovation for combination to oily skin types with a hybrid formula that offers instant perfection and all-day shine control in one single beauty product.This oil-free skin care formula combines mattifying Mineral Pigments with ultra oil-absorbing Perlite to deliver an immediate complexion transformation.
- Non comedogenic - won't clog pores
- Non acnegenic - won't cause breakouts
- Oil-free, non-greasy
How do I use it?
Gently apply 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. For best sun protection reapply at least every 2 hours.
Instantly: Skin looks naturally healthy even-toned, and smooth. Controls shine all day.
After just one use:
93% saw a more even skintone
88% had a natural shine-free finish
84% found pores less visible
76% saw fewer imperfections"
Marketing boy.

I dunno bout you, but I surely am not reapplying makeup every two hours.

This is the most mattifying and pigmented of the three BB creams but the worst colour match. Wha 'Deep' wha? I gave this tip on how I make it work for myself but I surely wouldn't recommend this to anyone darker than I. The Garnier has in the most product, 2 fluid ounces, retailing for $30.35BDS in Collins.

posted on our Facebook page April 12, 2013

If any of the three shades actually fit you, it's worth a shot. If not, save yourself the stress (and money of course). The broad spectrum SPF 20 is a definite plus but it does not "control shine all day"; not in dis Buhbaydus heat.

Garnier BB Cream swatch -
swatch really blended out

Maybelline: "One simple step. Eight beautiful benefits. BB Creams are makeups that actually make your skin better. Light and fresh-feeling, Maybelline New York’s one-step wonders instantly blur imperfections and even out skin tone, while smoothing, hydrating, brightening, and protecting with SPF 30. All without oils or heavy ingredients!"

The instruction on this one also advise you to reapply every two hours. #error
Until I had the Sleek Blemish Balm, I actually thought this was a pretty good colour match. I mean, 'Deep' (the darkest of the three shades available) still doesn't fit the darkest tones in our range but on me it isn't bad at all. My favourite thing about this one is the SPF 30 grade. Like the Sleek Blemish Balm, this leaves a glowy finish to the skin so all oil controlling methods are required to prolong its wear time. Of the three, this is the one I would repurchase because the price is right, Around $20BDS (give or take) in Collins and iMart. It has in the least amount of product though; the standard 1 fluid ounce you'd find in most foundations.

As seen in Collins
posted on our Facebook page April 18, 2013

Maybelline BB Cream swatch -
swatch blended out

Final thoughts:

I like the notion of combining moisturizer, sunblock and pigment (to even out discolouration) on those days when I'm just casually going about my business. That's where I think these type of products have a place. Thing is, I still gotta go through as much prep and setting work as if I was wearing a foundation. For occasions where I need flawless skin, I'd opt for a foundation. As much as I fuss about the hyper pigmentation on my face, I know it's not even close to the worst case. Therefore, if your skin is textured I'm not sure you'd want to bother with something like this at all. 

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