By Lily Ryden

If you’re like me and don’t frequently use foundation, blush, cheek primer, etc., the world of BB creams seems a little intimidating. BB (short for beauty/blemish balm) creams have achieved the “next big thing” status in cosmetics, considering there are advertisements all over the place and everyone’s writing about ‘em, including us!

But considering how every BB is a multi-purpose makeup tool, it can be really confusing trying to find the best one for you. If you’re not sure exactly what a BB is and what it offer, then how are you supposed to use it?

This nifty article will quell your questions quicker than a BB fights signs of aging, or moisturizes, or protects you from the sun – you get the point!

3LAB Perfect BB SPF 40
Highlights: For Sensitive Skin, Anti-Aging, Comes with a Roller
There is so much to gain from this BB because there’s so much it does! First off, this is great for sensitive skin. I had a bit of dry skin on my face when I first tried this out; not only did it not irritate it further, it actually cleared some of it up. Another great thing is that it has two unique anti-aging properties: Nano-Claire GY™, a patented hgh that treats lines and wrinkles, and PhytoCellTec™, stem cells from a super rare Swiss apple that is proven to slow the signs of aging. Finally, this BB comes with a roller, just in case you’re not so graceful with your fingertips.

Available at:

Boscia BB Cream SPF 27
Highlights: Oil-Free, Moisturizing, One Shade
Boscia has a great BB on their hands (or your face) here. It’s really lightweight and at the end of the day there is no oil on your face. Seriously, zero oil. My face can get pretty greasy throughout the day so this was a very pleasant surprise. An interesting thing is that this BB only comes in one shade because it is “self-adjusting.” When I squeezed some out of the tube, it looked far too dark for my far skin. But once it was applied it matched my face flawlessly.

Available at:

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30
Highlights: Contains Anti-Oxidants, Doubles as a Primer
Depending on the look you’re going for this BB can be used as-is or as a primer. Neat, no? It’s light enough that if you want to put a good amount of blush on over it you’ll still feel refreshed and won’t feel like your pores are gasping for air. Though I’m not at a point where wrinkles are worrisome, I did notice that this BB made my skin visibly smoother and even covered some minor blemishes really well.

Available at:

Josie Maran Argan Balm
Highlights: Petroleum-Free, Fragrance-Free, For Use on Skin and Hair
Yes, yes, I know this isn’t a beauty balm by definition, but I just had to include this gem! This may not cover up blemishes or protect you from the sun, but it moisturizes like crazy. Seriously. I have occasion eczema – used this – gone. I have really bad fly-aways in the rain – used this – gone. My boyfriend’s dry elbows should be in the Guinness book of world records – used this – gone! There has yet to be a patch of skin too dry or a piece of hair too unruly for this stuff.

Available at:

Omorovicza Complexion Perfector BB SPF 20
Highlights: Contains Hyaluronic Acid, Instant Blemish/Wrinkle Reduction, Smells Great
After applying this I immediately noticed some freckles and uneven tones vanish. I even let a few friends and family try it out and they noticed instant results also. This BB contains Hyaluronic Acid, which may sound scary but it actually resurfaces fine lines and wrinkles over time. Though this BB is a bit pricey, it is totally worth it for the results.

Available at:

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35
Highlights: Illuminating, Truly Camera Ready
So, I wanted to see just how camera ready this BB in fact was. I got together with some friends, we put on the BB, and another friend (pro-photog) took some shots. Once the shoot was done we peeped the pics and they looked absolutely perfect! Considering we just used the BB with no foundation or blush, that is simply amazing. In addition to making you look a total star on film, it makes you look that way off-camera too as it gives you a healthy, fresh glow.

Available at:

Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm SPF 20
Highlights: Nourishing, Light Weight, Slight Glittery Shine
This BB is absolutely lovely. It felt so light once I applied it that I actually forgot I was wearing it. While applying I actually noticed that the cream looked a bit glittery. Once I put it on there was no glitter present (thankfully) but it managed to create a very radiant, sun-kissed glow. Looking like I went to the beach without actually going to the beach? I’ll take it!

Available at:

Originally published May 2012
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