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.