Review: Etude House BB Magic Cream

by Paris B on · 40 comments

in Foundation,Primer,Product Reviews,Skincare

I did not know if I should categorize BB Creams (Blemish Balm Creams) under skincare or makeup so I left the category out from the title. Some people say that BB Creams are like skincare and so good for their skin. Others treat BB Creams as makeup. I would categorize it as makeup actually because it acts like a foundation and makeup base. And because its makeup, I don’t need a 1 month test period before I review! :)

Etude House BB Cream

Here’s my review on the Etude House BB Magic Cream which is the first BB Cream I’ve ever tried and the first Etude House product I’ve tried. So do bear in mind that I cannot compare this with any other brand of BB Cream in the market.

I found the packaging very cute and very strange. It comes in a soft plastic tube like a moisturizer or facial wash, but instead of being capped, it is capped off with a pump. In most cases, tubes don’t come with pumps and this is the first time I’ve seen anything like this.

Etude House BB Cream

To be honest, I detest the pump. The idea behind the pump is probably to make it easy to dispense the lotion. However, I had a problem with it because after a few times of working properly, it will get “stuck” and not pump anything out. And then when it does, it sprays the BB Cream all over the place, even spattering on my clothes and marking/staining it sometimes. I’ve had to change 3 times so far before leaving the house and I’m NOT amused! So, get rid of the pump and I’ll be a happy camper. I have however, worked out by now thatif you hold and store the tube standing up i.e. tube at the bottom, pump at the top, it doesn’t spatter as badly. Still, I detest the pump 😛

The BB Cream I got was in Refreshing which is a light lotion that is recommended for normal-oily skins. The sales assistant told me it worked as a makeup base and foundation so you just have to apply it after moisturizer. Take note that this is NOT an all in one moisturiser, foundation product. I checked the ingredient list and it listed Titanium Dioxide as one of the ingredients but it does not say that this product has SPF (There is a separate BB Cream with SPF). I’m not sure why.

The BB Magic Cream comes in only one shade. The label warns you that upon applying there might be a whitish cast on the skin but it should fade and blend into your skin after a while.

Etude House BB Cream

I was worried when I saw the shade that pumped out from the tube. It looked too dark and yellow for my skin tone which usually takes the lightest foundation shades on offer in Malaysia with a touch of yellow in it. Too yellow and I look tanned and jaundiced, too pink and I’ll look slightly like an undercooked lobster 😛 Tested on my hand however, the BB Cream appeared to blend in after a spell. So, I hoped it would do so on my face.

And it does! When applied, I did not get the whitish cast that the label warns about. What I got was a slight “foundation” look – you know the look that you get when you apply foundation on the skin? Yeah, that look that says “Hey! I’m wearing foundation!

However, I smoothened it out carefully with my fingers and left the cream on my skin for a bit to settle. When I next looked in the mirror, my skin looked evened out and the colour had blended with my skintone and looked natural! Amazing. So, that’s what they mean by the “no-makeup” look :) Still, I think one shade lighter might be better for me. There is also a slight floral smell but it goes away and doesn’t bug me.

The BB Magic Cream is also supposed to cover blemishes so I did not use a separate concealer to first conceal my undereye circles and pigmentation spots on my cheeks during my testing period. Instead, I used only the BB Cream as concealer, base and foundation.

I am happy to report that the BB Magic Cream does conceal blemishes – but only to a degree. If your pigmentation spots are dark, or if you have dark undereye circles, or if you have pitted acne spots it will not give you flawless coverage. You will still see the blemishes and marks. However, it gives medium coverage to even out the skin tone and cover up minor blemishes. Perfect for those less makeup days. If you prefer something with more coverage, apply your concealer as normal then apply the BB Cream.

The texture of the BB Magic Cream in Refreshing is light. However, I found that if I did not dust some loose powder over the cream, my skin would get a little oily throughout the day. With loose powder dusted on, it stayed nicely all day long. Etude House sells a BB Pact which is a pressed powder for dusting over the BB Cream. I asked if I could use any old loose powder and the sales assistant said it was no problem, so I stuck with my old favourite – Make Up For Ever Super Matte. :)

The retail price in Malaysia of the Etude House BB Magic Cream is RM42.90 for 35ml. Not overly expensive for an all in one product. I experienced no breakouts using it and its convenient especially for travel or if you are in a hurry. I did think that this is just like a regular tinted moisturizer – I can’t quite see what makes it so special, and the ingredients don’t tell me much either. I can’t tell if my skin is any better as a result of using the BB Cream but it didn’t mess it up so it gets the thumbs up! You might want to read my previous post if you are wondering what is a BB Cream?

Pros: Convenient, Lasts all day, Light texture, Affordable

Cons: Only one shade available, Can get a little oily, Stupid pump dispenser!

[rating:3.5/5] mainly because of the pump otherwise it gets 4/5

Previous post:

Next post:

[ 36 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

prettybeautiful October 16, 2008 at 11:24 am

glad that this works and we can get this locally now 😀 i use BB as foundation after my moisturizer, and all ready to go out! 😀


ParisB October 16, 2008 at 3:04 pm

@prettybeautiful : Yeah I like the convenience of the BB cream. Apply and go!


Nikki October 16, 2008 at 3:58 pm

I have never used BB creams in my entire life! and it’s refreshing to read an article from someone who is a first time user, it’s like I”m getting the first hand experience of it myself :) thanks! This is something interesting, it won’t be too drying too right? I don’t like creams wherein after applying it, some creams intensify the dryness!


entwined October 16, 2008 at 3:58 pm

ahhh…i was hoping it’ll function as more than just as a foundation, cos it’s the skin healing properties of BB creams that attracted me in the first place. Oh well, i guess using separate specific skincare products is always better than an all-in-one :/


Stephanie October 16, 2008 at 4:07 pm

I tried it when Etude House first came to Malaysia (In Sunway Pyramid)- both the Refreshing and the Moisturising BB cream, but apparently my skin dislikes liquid foundations/tinted moisturisers/BB creams since they tend to “melt” off my face T.T So yeah… sticking to powder foundation to me. Although yes, it does look natural and gives quite good coverage (Hiding pores, blemishes, etc) :)


ParisB October 16, 2008 at 5:00 pm

@Nikki : Its not too drying and they have a different formula for people with dry skin. Its useful, but I don’t see how its any more useful than tinted moisturizer! :)

@entwined: I don’t know if there are any healing properties. I’m not the best person to ask because I have healed most of what needs healing (fingers crossed) thus far! And separate anything is always better than all in one :)

@Stephanie: Maybe its the oils because tinted moisturizers and BB creams are “all in one” so the moisturizer probably doesn’t agree with you. That said, I’m with you in terms of powder foundation all the way!


Annie October 16, 2008 at 5:47 pm

i use the same thing and thought the pump was a bad idea too but i was wrong. in fact, i was ‘pumping’ it the wrong way. I don’t know if you already knew this but u are suppose to squeeze the tube while u pump.


ParisB October 16, 2008 at 5:50 pm

@Annie : Thanks for the tip :) I did try squeezing the tube and maybe I just have poor motor skills but there’s no way I can squeeze, pump and catch the BB Cream all at the same time! I found that storing it and using it upright was best.


October 16, 2008 at 6:38 pm

i have never thought of BB creams are like magic, helping to take care of skin and to make it look beautiful. we have skincare for that! 😛

anyway, it’s a nice little addition, but not a must I feel :)

it’s good for undereye circles i notice 😛


PinkSith October 16, 2008 at 8:10 pm

This was one of the first BB creams I have ever used. (I now have 8 of them) I liked this one a lot because it did help quell the oil slick that becomes my face by mid day, and it was a decent color match. I’m sorry you had problems with the pump. Mine works just fine. perhaps you got a defective one. either way. It’s nice to read your review and hear your perspective. Thanks for the great insight!


ParisB October 16, 2008 at 11:49 pm

@plue : Well thats what BB Creams are marketed for, and some people do report benefits to their skin. So who are we really to say eh? 😉

@PinkSith: Thanks for visiting and I really do detest that pump! LOL… Maybe I’m the only one.


Peny October 17, 2008 at 10:12 am

Wow, new brand foundation! I always use foundation before putting my make-up on. How many type of colour they have? I always hoping to look for a foundation that natural enough to use or nude colour like Bobbi Brown, Kate, or RMK foundation without feeling like you wearing mask on your face. BB foundation makes me remind back the Ellianto o Revlon foundation :)

And by the way, I like following up the latest information and product from “My Women Stuff”. (It’s perfect for ladies like us to know what’s new and good to use.). Thanks :)


ParisB October 17, 2008 at 10:59 am

@Peny : Thank you for your support. This BB Cream is less of a foundation and more of a tinted moisturiser. It comes in only one shade as you can see above.


October 17, 2008 at 6:41 pm

No Etude House here *grumble grumble*. But yeah, funny eh about the tube and pump? Missha’s too.

Anyways yeah, I’d categorise BB cream under makeup and not skincare. I’m liking mine (from The Face Shop) so far. Gonna check out Missha’s at Box Hill tomorrow :)


miith October 17, 2008 at 7:14 pm

maybe u should do a before and after shot test? use it and see the results (skin without makeup) in a few days, maybe even a week? I’ve seen some people done this before.


a.min October 19, 2008 at 11:17 pm

did wonder bout the BB cream, but i will take your word, give it a go! cause other than it seem so convenient (except the pump, it rise a big ? on me), it also works!


ParisB October 20, 2008 at 12:14 pm

@Tine : Missha is available but hard to find for me. If I’m sticking to BB creams, I’ll stick to Etude House.


ParisB October 20, 2008 at 12:17 pm

@miith : Since its just makeup for me, and I don’t have that much blemishes to cover (except pigmentation) a before/after won’t do it. Thanks anyway.


Ice December 6, 2008 at 9:37 pm


just to check where i can get Etude House BB Magic Cream in Klang Valley. TQVM.


¤nOtcUte¤ January 14, 2009 at 1:27 am

There is one in Sunway Pyramid Old Wing… You will not miss it with all the spot lights and Pink interior =)


suki March 15, 2009 at 12:16 am

actually BB Cream is between skin care and cosmetic ~ ^^


joolyn June 5, 2009 at 2:54 pm

stumbled into your blog as i search for BBCREAM
i’m done using etude BB magic cream coincidently my 1st BBcream ever!!
got the same experience like you * hehe goodthing doesn’t do much damage to the skin or causes outbreak but need to dust on mineral powder..

here i am looking for 2nd BBcream to try =.=”
not easy task haha
comtemplating between Legere, Hanskin, BRTC, Dr.Jart


Mandy August 15, 2009 at 4:14 am

I want to buy bb cream that control oil. cuz my face too oily… which items i should choice.. i have no idea.. can someone help me plz


Kim January 20, 2010 at 5:06 am

Hi there, just wondering what Mac shade are you? I am slightly fairer than NC 15 during winter, & all the BB creams that I have tried end up looking either too peachy or tan. However, when I am back in KL I am usually a NC 20 or 25. I really like BB creams but it’s so hard to find the right shade. Thanks in advance for your reply!


ParisB January 20, 2010 at 10:53 am

I should be NC25 or thereabouts. I’m not entirely sure because I don’t use MAC foundations. Sorry!


janice February 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Now got 50% on this BB Cream.Hurry !


Kimberly February 9, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Hi, I got this 2 weeks ago for 50% off, without realising that there was a Refreshing and a Moisturising one; turns out I got the Moisturising one.
I have oily skin, so I really don’t think its suitable for me. Does anyone want to buy it from me at a discount? Or swap if u made the same mistake I did,but opposite? =D


Sharon April 6, 2010 at 9:41 pm

The dispenser is still good to me, the most things that i dislike is it get oily….is really feel bad to see my face “shinny” in the afternoon….


melow June 11, 2010 at 8:43 pm

i bought the speedy total mineral base. it’s a 3-in-1, foundation, base, and sunblock. it works great. i got so many compliments. i’m definitely buying it again.


Minnie November 7, 2010 at 12:01 am

is this bb magic cream need just to be apply before make up or like other ordinary cream where you apply it day and night?


ParisB November 7, 2010 at 10:27 am

Its a makeup foundation – treat it as such.


ijaysee April 4, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I just bought this BB cream from Etude and I’m just wondering, what’s better to apply after using it? Loose powder or pressed powder? :) Hope someone replies!


marie April 15, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I have used etude BB cream for almost 2 years..for me, this BB cream was the best from the other BB cream that i hv tried..when i first apply it, my office mate praise me saying that i’m looking beautiful..i’m not praising myself here but it was really shocking becoz before that nobody praise me..i’m really recommend Etude BB cream..i hate oily cream but with etude it absorbed quickly & perfectly on ur face…and it also last for along period..


artia June 9, 2012 at 2:02 am

hello. I’ve accidentally just bought this etude magic bb cream (moisturizing one), while my skin is oily-sensitive type. is it a big problem? and, should I apply another moisturizing that has SPF, since this BB cream doesn’t has any SPF? thanks


Paris B
June 12, 2012 at 3:16 pm

I don’t know how your skin will react to the BB Cream but I always recommend using a separate sunscreen.


Majda February 12, 2013 at 8:48 pm

I really enjoyed reading your review <3 after reading it I immediatly ordred The BB CREAM ! ^^ Keep the good work !
Majda recently blogged…Une fille d’Arabie en terre inconnue !My Profile


Let's Talk ~ Share your view

No SEO names, rude comments or advertising in comments. Please read the comment policy if new.

Share your latest blog post

Previous post:

Next post: