I told you about the new Lancome BB Base early this month and I said it was a matter of time before we saw the Western brands get in on the BB Base or BB Cream hype. BB in case anyone is wondering, stands for “Blemish Balm” – a concept popularized by the Koreans and picked up by the Japanese. It is no surprise that the Koreans are the forerunners in the BB Cream game – the top brands for BB Creams or BB bases are Korean. The Korean/Asian element explains the cartoon teehee! :D
Lancome has chosen to call their latest UV Expert GN-Shield sunscreen a “BB Base” because it is slightly tinted. I will save my comments about BB Creams for another post (and I do have a LOT to say about it) so lets just concentrate on how the Lancome BB Base performs.
The Lancome BB Base is quite essentially a tinted sunscreen. The SPF 50 PA+++ rating makes it good enough to wear on its own without having to first apply sunscreen and the tint is enough to even out skin tone. It is light coverage so your skin tone is more even but it does not cover scars, marks or blemishes. It would help if you apply it thicker.
I find that it performs well enough for a tinted sunscreen. I have worn it on its own with a dusting of pressed powder (I used the MAC Mineralized Skin Finish Natural powder) and a touch of Guerlain Meteorites. My skin does take on a pretty smooth look that is at once natural yet better than the real thing. You could also pair this BB Base with the new Lancome Mineral powder which is quite pigmented. I haven’t quite tried it on my face, so I don’t know how well it plays together but I’m assured that used together, you get a luminous glow to your skin that is quite lovely.
If you prefer higher coverage, you can use 2 way foundation powder over it as I sometimes do. It does not make me too oily but do bear in mind that I have dry skin and whilst I can get shiny around mid day, I don’t turn into an oil slick. I also have not used the Lancome UV Expert sunscreen so I cannot compare the performance of the tinted and non tinted version.
The Lancome BB Base only comes in 1 colour – a strange grey-pink. On lighter skintones, you should have no problems with a colour match – I don’t once its sheered out and this does not oxidise on me. However I must say that this BB Base should only be used by those with Light-Medium colouring. If you are dark skinned or very tanned or very warm, you might find it leaving a grey or slightly pink cast on your skin.
If you want a more dewy finish, apply the BB Base immediately over your moisturizer, before the latter is fully absorbed into your skin. Used this way, those with slightly darker skin tones might also be able to get away with using this base.
I’ve shown a before and after picture collage above. You can see that the Lancome BB Base evens out the skin some. But once pressed powder (not foundation) goes on and a touch of Meteorites, its much more evened out. I cannot explain the pinkness – it could be lighting because in person its not so pink.
There is a floral scent which is quite strong but it does not linger too long so it does not bother me. On an overall basis, I’m quite happy with the Lancome BB Base because it works to:-
- even my skin tone
- has high SPF and PA rating
That said, I pause at calling this new Lancome offering a “BB Cream” because BB creams are supposed to be more than just sunblock, moisturizer and foundation in one. Its supposed to help heal problem skin.
Lancome makes none of those lofty claims. What it claims to do is to screen your skin against UVA and UVB rays and help even out skin tone. So, for me, calling it a BB Base is a bit of a misnomer.
I personally do not find the Lancome BB Base sufficient for use as a moisturizer so there goes one of the functions of a BB cream/base. It performs well enough as sunscreen and fairly well as foundation (if you are the right colour and don’t mind light coverage) but above all, it performs best as a makeup base because I think it makes a good base for makeup. A 30ml tube retails at RM165.
Pros: Makes a good makeup base, Good enough to be used on its own to even out skin tone if you don’t have problem skin, Makes a good foundation base to build coverage
Cons: Strong fragrance, Not enough to be used as moisturizer, colour is not suitable for all skintones
Am I a fan of the Lancome BB Base? I’d have to say I’m on the fence about this one. I like it for being a tinted sunscreen – it does what it says – protects me from the sun and gives me a good base for makeup and even replaces foundation on some days.
On the other hand, I don’t like the whole BB Cream/base hype because I see this product more as a tinted sunscreen and I feel that is what it should be marketed as. My 2 cents.
The Lancome UV Expert GN Shield BB Base SPF50 PA+++ sunscreen retails at RM165 at all Lancome counters