Right now, the western beauty market is flushed with a trendy new product: BB cream. As SmashBox admitted, when it attacked this particular trend with it’s sharp, fashionable claws, BB cream is a product from Asia whose initials stand for: blemish balm. Since SmashBox jumped on the trend many other brands have followed suit, obviously seeing the money making potential by one of Asia’s best makeup products/trends.
Here is the original SmashBox advertisement/interview for BB:
I don’t mean to pick on SmashBox since they are, in my opinion, the only western company doing BB cream correctly, but there are some facts they don’t have straight. Such as:
BB cream comes in only one color.
Just as foundation comes in many colors so does BB cream. But, like a lot of western foundation brands, many BB cream lines will come with only one undertone. However, BB creams themselves do come in a wide variety of undertones and skin tones.
BB cream started with thebalm.com Asia.
I have no idea where this fact came from. BB cream has been around for an incredibly long time and thebalm.com doesn’t even sell BB cream. Balm Asia, according to Google, is just a reference to Tigerbalm (an herbal Chinese “vapor rub” that people use for sore backs and congestion).
SmashBox “updated” BB cream with their “twist” which was adding pigment.
SmashBox did not “twist BB cream” or make it new or update it. SmashBox created a BB that is a lot like any other BB you will find from an Asian brand. The only thing different about their BB cream is that it is less potent in the skin-care department, comes in a shade complimentary to darker skin (which is a great thing because that is vastly ignored in the Asian market) and is a lot more expensive. BB cream was never a primer with no pigment. It always doubled as skin care, foundation and sunscreen. That is what makes it so wonderful and has earned it the name: Blemish Balm.
Every brand and their mother seems to have come out with the PERFECT BB cream. However, there are a lot of BBs out there and finding the right one for your needs is tricky because everyone’s skin is different. If you have scars there are Asian BBs that specialize in that, if you have red skin there are BBs that work as toners or have tomato in them that will extract the redness. If you are very pale (like me) BB creams can be a saving grace with their fair colors and high SPF. The trick, really, is just trying them all. BB is new to the western market, and most brands don’t have experience making them. The most important thing to realize before buying a western BB cream is this:
To these corporations BB cream is a TREND. It is not a real product to them. They are cashing in on what looks like a FAD. This is why many of them don’t solve your skin woes, don’t do what is advertised, are watery, greasy and just plain poorly made.
This could just be my inner weaboo, but the Korean or Japanese products really are better than their western counterparts. Below is a list of BBs I personally like. If you would like the link to where to buy Asian BB cream check my links to the left of this page.
~Thanks for Reading~