Back when BB Creams first took the world by storm, I tried a few and found that from a personal perspective, I never really liked the “real” BB Creams that came out of Asia and especially Korea. I found them heavy, grey (!!) and oily. When the western brands started jumping on the bandwagon and came out with BB Creams, I realised that their versions of BB Creams felt better on my skin. Nevermind that it was not “real” or that it was akin to a tinted moisturiser. I am more likely to use something that feels comfortable as opposed to something that is not.
There are quite a few Western brands out there doing BB Creams but they do tend to be a little pricey. Last year, UK brand Sleek Makeup launched their version of a BB Cream called the Be Beautiful Blemish Balm. And they did something right by my books. They launched a BB Cream in 4 different shades (Fair, Light, Medium, Dark), to hopefully suit all or most skintones, yes, even dark skintones! So, dark skinned ladies, you too can now wear BB Cream
I had the opportunity to try this Sleek Makeup BB cream in Light. Whilst I could make it work, I definitely think that Fair is my shade. Have to trust my instincts next time and go for the lightest end of the spectrum and then work my way up
Like most, if not all BB Creams, the Be Beautiful Blemish Balm serves to perform a myriad of functions – conceal, repair, protect, with full coverage and SPF15. SPF15 is a bit light for our blazing tropical sun, but it is better than nothing I suppose. Unlike many conventional Western BB creams, the texture feels more close to that of one from Asia – it is thick and it spreads well so you only need a thin layer for best effect. Not quite surprising, when I noticed that this was made in Taiwan.
Whilst the shade did not make me feel comfortable enough to wear it often, there is one thing I absolutely love about this BB Cream. It is seriously, hand on heart, not oily at all. I can wear it all day without it slipping one bit and I don’t oil up as I will with regular Asian BB Creams. I have drier skin but this feels comfortable. Its pretty amazing in that regard!
The product comes in a fat squat tube that reminds me of the Nars tinted moisturiser. It does in fact, feel a little like the Nars Tinted Moisturiser (which I happen to like! Remind me if I forget to tell you about it!) which is good news for anyone hankering after the latter
The cream is a little thick so it is easy to control and to squeeze out just a little, or enough for use. I must caution that you use only a light layer because that’s how BB creams operate. You aren’t supposed to slather on a thick paste on your skin.
The problem I had with the Light shade was that it squeezed out brown. I know, its awkward.
Sleek Makeup BB Cream Swatch in Light Left: Straight from tube Right: Sheered out
If you can see, it comes out a light caramel brown which does nothing for my skintone. When I sheer it out as you see on the right, it is a bit better but it still adds a bit of “warmth” to my complexion that I don’t feel very comfortable with. There is one shade lighter – Fair – and if I have the opportunity, I may give that one a go.
Here’s the regulation before/after shot. On left is bare skin where you can see spots, dark circles and redness in all their untouched glory
On right is after I’ve applied a layer of the Sleek BB Cream. It helps to even out the skintone somewhat, cover up redness around the nose and undereye and a little of the pigmentation spots I have. But although it is touted to be a full coverage cream, you can clearly see that it isn’t. I still touch up with concealer for a more evened out skin complexion. I could not layer on more product because you may already notice that my skintone in the “After” shot is a little warmer than that of my natural skin. If I layer on more, it will conceal more of course, but I will also have my face looking darker than the rest of me.
Texture wise, as I’ve mentioned above, it is a little thick but spreads very well and it is easy to get it to go on a thin layer on skin. The best part, as I have also mentioned above, is that it does not oil up nor turn oily at all. Some foundations do that, but not this one. I have to say its pretty amazing because here I am, running in and out of hot humid sunshine, into cold dry air-conditioned offices and it still looks pretty good at the end of the day without me looking like I could fry an egg on my face. I did not expect that, and I am very happy with that quality.
Just to give you an idea of shade, I have swatched the Sleek Be Beautiful Blemish Balm next to a few other BB creams that I sometimes use.
I think you now understand my grief pertaining to shade. The Sleek one is definitely deeper and more brown in tone than the rest I use. I do not know if the Fair shade is close but I do hope so. As I said, someday if I get to try it, I’ll update
Generally, I think this is a pretty decent BB Cream as bb creams go. Its thick and easy to spread but not uncomfortable, it does a fair job at evening out skintone in a natural manner, and most importantly, it does not oil up one bit on me!
In a nutshell
The Sleek Makeup Be Beautiful Blemish Balm comes in 4 shades – Fair, Light, Medium, Dark – which is to me, an excellent idea. This means that those who have darker skintones now have a choice of BB Cream they can potentially use. The texture is thick but very easy to spread and you only need a little for it to go a long way. It claims to be full coverage but I found it pretty light as it evened out redness in skin but did not quite cover dark spots or blemishes. You can layer on product on affected areas that need more coverage of course. I tried, but it still isn’t full coverage. I prefer using just a light layer on skin and then touch up the areas I need more coverage with concealer. Overall, I think this is a pretty good product, and doesn’t make my skin oily!
Pros: Easy to spread, Compact packaging, Light on skin, Non oily
Cons: Not quite full coverage as claimed
Who will like this: Anyone with darker skintone who wants to try a BB Cream, Anyone who may want to try a BB cream that does not make their skin oily
There is another new product that you see in the photos above – the Face Form palette, which also comes in different skintone shades. The one in the photo is Medium, and contains a contouring powder, highlight powder and blush, so you can contour, highlight and glow all in one handy kit. The shades are much too dark for me to use, but I have the swatches for you to have an idea.
Left-Right: Sleek Makeup BB Cream from tube, sheered; Face Form Medium shade: Matte contouring powder, Shimmer peach highlight and shimmer bronzer
Again, I think I have to go for the Fair version, which has a lighter contouring powder, highlight and Rose Gold blush.
Finally for completeness, here is the ingredient list for the BB Cream
Have you come across or tried the Sleek Makeup BB Cream yet? Do you still use BB Creams? If you have darker skintones, have you found a BB Cream that works for you?
I think Sleek Makeup does some interesting items at relatively affordable prices, and this one’s no exception. I do like how they have different shades for different skintones, which is very helpful. I’m sure many darker skinned ladies appreciate that, as they do tend to be ignored sometimes. I don’t use BB Creams very much (I never have) but I like using them when I travel because its so easy to have an all in one product in a tube, you know! Especially if you want to travel light
Sleek Makeup Be Beautiful Blemish Balm comes in 4 shades – Fair, Light, Medium, Dark Price: US$11.49 Availability: Superdrug stores in the UK and the Sleek Makeup website (ships internationally)