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BB Cream For Cinnamon Complexion Girls


Maybelline Dream Fresh and Smashbox Camera Ready BB Creams
Maybelline Dream Fresh and Smashbox Camera Ready BB Creams

As a blogger, it’s very important for me to present my best image in my posts. This means that the outfit, hair and makeup has to be on point.  At 40, I am still fighting the scourge that is acne and also acne’s equally ugly cousin, hyperpigmentation (aka dark spots).  Because of this, in the beginning of my blog, I had to resort to the crutch of photo editing to help me look my best more times than I care to admit.  I never felt comfortable with the editing and I don’t know anyone who would feel their best while displaying their newly minted acne scars . I’ve tried various fade creams which helps to even out my skin in the long run. However, for short term fixes, last year, I finally resorted to using foundation to help cover my blemishes before taking photos for this blog.

Most of you who are brown with red undertones already know how difficult it is to find a match for our skin tone.  I’ll spare you the story and drama of my hunt for foundation that I wouldn’t have to mix and didn’t make me look ashy, cakey or like a corpse.  The two that came closest was something from Mac Studio and bareMineral’s READY foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20 which I actually used for a little while until I discovered BB Cream.

BB Cream is still very new to the market for American consumers and it is growing in popularity because of its multi-tasking properties. BB Creams (Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm), conceals, protects, hydrates and brightens.

They are tinted and therefore, can be used alone, as a primer or like foundation. Most of the early products on the market were for light complexions and/or was best suited for women with yellow undertones.  I learned about Maybelline’s Dream Fresh BB cream  from YouTube beauty guru Tiarra Monet (<—click to watch her video). Luckily, I was able to find it in my local drugstore and I’ve been using it since. I apply it, just the same as I would lotion (yes, it gets all over my hands) and then I set it using Clarin’s Everlasting Compact Foundation.  I was so happy with it, that I’ve actually wear it when I am not prepping for a photo shoot. Recently, I tried Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Cream  and I was also really impressed with the results.

Maybelline Dream Fresh vs. Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Cream

Both products are an exact match for my complexion. Smashbox’s BB cream is thicker than Maybelline and therefore provided me with more coverage to hide the dark spots on my face. It also offers more sun protection, SPF 35 in comparison to Maybelline’s SPF 30. It’s not really a huge difference, but the protection from both of them is greater than what I get from my moisturizer (SPF 15).  Maybelline’s Dream Fresh is only $7 (drug store or Target) versus Smashbox’s $39 (Sephora or Ulta).  Smashbox is oil free and is a better product for people that have oily skin.  It leaves a matt finish vs. Maybelline’s “glowing” finish. I haven’t had any additional break outs or irritation since using these products and it makes my skin look a lot better in my photos.  I haven’t experimented with applying this under my bareMineral’s READY foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20. I am little afraid that it will look cakey.

As you can see, I like both of them and recommend that you go with the one that best suits your budget. I have also heard great reviews regarding Garnier’s Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream ($10.79 Target). (<—click to read review) and Iman’s Skin Tone Evener BB Cream  ($20 Target).

Have you tried BB Creams?  If so, please tell us what you think and what brands you have tried.

XoXo, Natasha



About Natasha Samuels

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  1. thank you for sharing my post on the BLM girls group! i didn’t even know that it existed! i just sent them a request to join the group 🙂
    humanityisbeautiful recently posted..MENMy Profile

  2. I use the Smashbox under my Smashbox foundation. It works well without leaving me to look cacky…I’m also oily in my tzone area and this BB cream helps to control the oils there for sure. One thing I realize is that you only need a little though. I use the darkest color, and I actually mix it with the foundation. I get the perfect color along with some serious oil control. Enjoy.

    • Marquita, thanks for that tip re mixing Smashbox’s BB Cream with foundation. I agree regarding the oil control. I wore it today for an event that I was covering and my face is not at all shiny despite, some serious running around. I am hoping to eventually work my way up to using liquid foundation. I am not there yet. (-:

  3. thank you for those videos! it would be great if i could go outside with my tripod but i live in brooklyn in a high traffic area 🙂 but i will be giving that group idea a try!
    humanityisbeautiful recently posted..CASUAL CHICMy Profile

  4. Your blog post was perfect timing! I was in Target yesterday, and contemplated purchasing the Maybelline BB cream, but felt it would not give me the type of coverage I need. I too suffer from hyperpigmentation, and will be giving the Smashbox BB cream a try this weekend.

    • Whether it’s Ulta or Sephora, make sure you look at it under different lights before you make the purchase. Get one of the employees there to assist you in picking out the right shade, BUT look at it in artificial and natural light if you can to make sure that is the right shade. My Mom and Aunts were discussing foundation yesterday and this was their biggest issue. “Looked great when it was applied in the store” but under a different light it wasn’t the same. I am not sure about Ulta, but I know Sephora will allow you to bring it back, just in case. (-:

  5. i need something to put on when i’m doing a quick video and a BB cream seems to be an inexpensive solution…thank you! what shade of Maybelline do you use?
    miss donna recently posted..keep the change | $20 budget – Jan. & Feb.My Profile

    • Hi Donna, I use Deep 140. Although I think I could have done fine with Deep 130. The color is not marked on the tubes, so make sure that you are selecting the right one. People don’t always put them back in the right slot. (-: I wore it on Saturday for an event where I was moving a lot and the oil thing became an issue. Let me know how you like it. Let me know how you like it though.

  6. thank you for this post! i was wondering about bb creams for black skin and i also suffer from acne! thank you for the comment. i have a dslr and i have tried to do the photos myself but i don’t like the way they look inside my apartment. i was thinking about starting a group for bloggers where we could take pictures of each other. are you in the nyc area?
    humanityisbeautiful recently posted..STREET STYLEMy Profile

    • I live in the north of Connecticut. )-: I think the group idea is great. You guys could pair up weekly and take pictures of each other. I know a few bloggers that take their own outfit posts (tripod, remote) and you would never know. I think when the weather gets warmer, I am going to chance it. Photos taken indoors with an old borrowed Nikon also look muddy. Here are a few videos that I’ve found on the web that might help if you decide to go solo. http://youtu.be/Z2wJ3517HWc | http://youtu.be/rD5n3g30YB8