Hot on the heels of the CC Creams come a new wave of BB Creams. We’re going to be seeing more of these pop up under the many different brands in the market, so let’s just say that BB Creams are here to stay. I can’t escape them either so I will be telling you about the different ones I come across from time to time. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em you know
Today is the Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream which has received pretty good press so I have to confess I was quite interested in this one. The Kiehl’s BB Cream (as I’ll call it) is released as a part of their sunscreen range so if you can imagine, this is like a tinted version of the sunscreen. I believe there was a tinted moisturiser available (which was not available in Malaysia, I believe) but that’s been now discontinued. The only tinted item in the Kiehl’s arsenal will be this BB Cream. I played about with this sometime in December 2012 but have only now had a chance to trial run it properly.
I have to say that I liked the Kiehl’s UV Defence sunscreen. It was a little heavy so a common complaint was that it would turn oily on most people. I never quite found it very oily but that could be because I’m quite used to oily sunscreens. I was introduced to the Kiehl’s one after using La Roche Posay Anthelios and that one is much oilier (although I do still like it) so perhaps I’m not your best person to ask. Bearing that in mind, and the fact that most BB Creams do tend to have a slightly oilier texture, I was curious to see if this one would combine to be a disaster.
Happily, I’d like to report that it isn’t a disaster at all! In fact, I have to say that I do like the texture a lot. It does not oil up on me, and neither does it feel heavy or slip and slide around on my skin.
The Kiehl’s BB Cream comes in 3 shades – Fair, Light and Natural – and this is something I appreciate in a bb cream. It is a fact that we do not all have the same skintone (If we did, cosmetics companies would go out of business!) so I can never understand brands that do not cater for different skintones and steadfastly insist that one tone can work for every skintone. Face it, it doesn’t.
That said, from recollection, the 3 shades available under the Kiehl’s BB Cream do tend to be for the light-medium skintoned. If you have very dark skin then you will still be hardpressed to find a BB Cream in your shade. I took a look at the international site and saw that their BB Cream comes in 4 shades.
I take the shade in Fair, which is a fair, slightly pink toned shade that blends well into my skintone. Here’s a swatch of the product straight from the tube.
On left is the swatch applied more heavily and on right, is the product blended. Fair blends right into my skintone. The other shade up in Light, from memory, has a touch more yellow tone.
In tube, it does look quite dark which belies the colour when applied on skin.
Packaging wise, it has the same packaging as that of the sunscreen, which is a flat, small, wide tube. This makes it very portable, but it also means that it is quite small. Considering the asking price of RM140/30ml tube I’d say its quite high priced, the same way the sunscreen is a bit too pricey even for me.
Kiehl’s says that this BB Cream will conceal imperfections with lightweight buildable coverage and correct skintone irregularities with the vitamin C ingredient in there, that helps clarify the skin. It also comes with a high SPF50 PA+++ rating for sun protection, and is paraben free, fragrance free, silicone free and mineral oil free. I think the latter is good news for those who may find that their skin is sensitive to those ingredients.
I however, dispute the claims of coverage. I have used this BB Cream off and on for nearly 2 months and I can tell you that I can never get it to go past being just “sheer coverage”. I would say in fact, that it doesn’t even cover much for me, even if I try to build it up. I’ll show you what I mean.
On left, with bare skin, you can see the pigmentation on my cheekbones and some redness around my nose area, and blemish marks around my chin. Blergh! On the right, with a layer of the Kiehl’s BB Cream, the pigmentation marks is still there but you may notice that the tone is more even. The pink tones also help make skin look a little brighter. All these aren’t noticeable from a photo I’m afraid. Skin in person reflects better nuances than a photograph can ever approximate. I usually go out with this BB Cream on, a touch of blush on cheeks and a light gloss or tinted lip balm and brows. Looks as “natural” as I get.
This is what it does best, for me – even out the tone. So my skin looks even toned and a little radiant, as if I walked out the house without any makeup on, yet my pigmentation is still on show, which gives the same impression. That I didn’t bother to cover up So don’t get your hopes up.
This Kiehl’s BB Cream isn’t as thick or as opaque as many other BB Creams out there. This is why I prefer it to many Korean brands (which I generally do not go for). I do sometimes question the transparency and the need to even wear anything on skin if it isn’t going to conceal my imperfections but I get why I need it sometimes. For me, it just gives a slightly better appearance to my skin without the obvious “makeup look”. I do however, tend to use this only on weekends or if I’m on holiday. I can dab on some concealer to conceal, and apply some powder foundation over for better coverage. It works. But not if I want proper coverage.
In the market now are the CC Creams which aim to correct colour and tone without making too many claims about coverage. In some ways, I feel there is an overlap in this area so perhaps this would have been better marketed as a CC Cream (Colour Correcting Cream) than a BB Cream (Blemish Balm Cream).
Monikers aside, I consider this a fairly good tinted sunscreen. The high sun protection can absolve you from wearing a separate sunscreen (although I always do so it doesn’t matter to me) and the tint is sufficient to absolve you from wearing foundation (if you have very good skin, or just want to even out your skintone without having to0 much coverage)
For an idea of shade, here are some shade comparisons and a quick comparison with some other BB Creams I have. As this is a Western style BB Cream I have only compared it to other Western brands. I do not use Korean BB Creams.
(1) Kiehl’s BB Cream in Fair (2) Bobbi Brown BB Cream Extra Light (3) Revlon Photoready BB Cream in Light (4) Diorsnow BB Creme in 010 Light (5) Garnier BB Cream (Asia version) [all links lead to reviews]
I found it interesting how the shades vary quite widely in the different BB creams I do use. They all work interestingly enough! You may notice that the Kiehl’s BB Cream and the Bobbi Brown BB Cream are the most similar in texture and tone although the Kiehl’s one in Fair is a bit pink compared to the Bobbi Brown in Extra Light. So, you may want to consider this when deciding.
The Revlon Photoready BB Cream in Light has more ochre tones as does the Diorsnow BB Creme which appears to be the “darkest”. The Dior also has the thickest texture but also the best coverage out of the 5 featured here. One of my faves, the Garnier BB Cream (Asia Version) also has a slightly thicker texture compared to the Kiehl’s, and a more neutral tone.
In a nutshell
The Kiehl’s BB Cream behaves rather like a tinted sunscreen and comes in 3 shades locally – Fair, Light and Natural. I take the shade Fair, which has slighty pink tones that gives the skin a bit of radiance. The texture is quite nice and it spreads easily. I also find that it does not make my skin oily through the day and the high sun protection factors is very impressive. However, to me, coverage is very very sheer. It will even out skintone, cover up a bit of redness but blemishes and pigmentation will still show on skin. If I want a more flawless look, I go for liquid foundation and a concealer. But for a grab and go weekend look, this works very well for me. The high price however will be a major factor to consider. This isn’t a bad product provided you don’t expect too much out of it, but at the asking price, it will be hard to convince people to buy this when they can buy a high quality liquid foundation for the same price, and get better coverage out of it.
Pros: Skintone is evened out well without looking thick and unnatural, Skin looks a touch more radiant, Light texture, Not oily and does not turn oily on skin
Cons: Pricey, Sheer coverage does not cover skin blemishes
Who will like this: Anyone who has good skin and only needs a little tone correction, Anyone who does not want to layer on too many products as this has high sun protection factor and a decent tint
Kiehl’s is usually very good at giving out samples and I believe there was a sampling exercise going on a few weeks ago for this BB Cream. I’d get a sample before buying just to see if you like the texture and the sheerness of the coverage. Although there is a money back guarantee now, a sample will save you the hassle of returns
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Homosalate, Dicaprylyl Ether, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Octocrylene, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Silica, Nylon-12, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Tribehenin, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxstearate, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Adenosine, Aluminium Hydroxide. May contain: Ci 77891/Titanium Dioxide, Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499/Iron Oxides F.I.L D54108/1
Have you tried the Kiehl’s BB Cream and do you like it? Are you still using any BB Creams?
I usually use my BB Creams only on weekends or when I’m on holiday and don’t need or want to put on full base makeup. I do use the ones with better coverage on days when I don’t want to wear liquid foundation. I personally treat BB Creams as foundation so perhaps I’m not making as much use of the multi-tasking qualities touted but I can’t compromise on my sunscreen!
Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream comes in 3 shades – Fair, Light, Natural Price: RM140/30ml Availability: Kiehl’s stores and counters