We can’t BBelieve it

BB (blemish balm) creams are the latest skincare trend to hit the UK market. Billed as an all-in-one skincare saviour, and already extremely popular in the Far East, the BB cream was first made famous by a South Korean actress who began to use it in her daily skincare regime. With moisturising properties and SPF, BB creams are designed to improve the condition of the skin, as well as its appearance. They can cut out several steps of skin preparation, including sun cream, primer and, in some cases, moisturiser and foundation. We’ve selected three creams and mousses currently on the market and put them to the test to see if they live up to the hype.

We both tried: Shu Uemura UV underbase BB mousse (£29)

We were particularly intrigued by this new product from Shu Uemura, which, unlike many of the BB products available, comes in a mousse form. Only a walnut-sized amount is needed to cover your entire face with a light layer that sits well either on its own or under foundation. We were impressed by how well it disguised open pores, redness and uneven skin tone, without feeling drying on the skin. For those lucky enough to have clear skin, one layer is enough to create the appearance of a smooth and even complexion. For the rest of us, a dab of concealer or a touch of foundation is still needed to cover up spots and dark circles. No matter what your skin type, this mousse will provide the perfect base for a light and natural look.

Helen tried: 17 BB Blemish Balm, (RRP £6.99, currently £4.99)

17’s BB Blemish Balm claims to be ‘all-in-one magic make-up’, and so it was with high hopes that I dashed home from Boots to try it out. I was surprised to find that its cream formulation felt almost as light on my skin as Shu Uemura’s mousse – but that’s where the similarities ended. After applying it I could barely detect any difference in the appearance of blemishes, open pores or redness – the coverage was extremely minimal, and certainly did not provide the ‘flawless finish’ it professes to. Despite its oil-control claims, it soon left my combination skin looking shiny rather than dewy, making powder an absolute necessity. Perhaps, given its current offer price, it’s worth trying if you need very little coverage and you happen to suit one of the two shades on offer, but for me this ‘cult wonder product’ was a big disappointment.

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Rachel tried: Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector, Daily All-In-One BB Cream (£9.99)

From the first application, Garnier’s Miracle Skin Perfector left my skin feeling smooth, and my complexion looking even. The cream formula is a lot thicker than the Shu Uemura mousse, so blending it in properly is a must, especially around the temples and jawline, to avoid areas of build-up, or worse, stripes! A good tip for application is to start with a thin layer of the product and then to add more layers gradually until your skin tone is even, and areas of redness are reduced. Using this method boosted the glow of my skin, without resulting in any undesirable shine, which can happen with over-application (believe me, I’ve learned this the hard way). When applied correctly, this BB cream doesn’t require a layer of foundation to create an even skin tone, just a bit of concealer on any larger spots or imperfections. It’s a quick and simple way to a natural look, and depending on your skin type, could replace morning moisturiser and foundation in one easy step.