Asian Beauty Obsession: BB Creams

BB creams, or blemish balm creams, originally used to protect and smooth out very sensitive skin caused by laser surgery is the latest beauty phenomenon in East Asia.  Practically every line, ranging from local names to western drugstore brands like Maybelline to department store lines such as Bobbi Brown and Clinique carry them.  Most formulas are a combination of moisturizer, primer and sunscreen and with some brands, concealer and tint as well.

I am currently trying a BB cream from Bobbi Brown (above).  The product isn’t greasy, has an SPF of 35 and has some tinted coverage and feels like any other tinted moisturizer, but with the bonus of other goodies like primer.  For someone who often wears nothing more than primer, BB creams are definitely a good choice. One thing I have issue with is that the shade I got might be a little too light for me in the summer.  There were only three shades available at both Lane Crawford and Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong – fair, extra light and light.  The light shade is fine for me right now, but I tend to get darker in the summer, moving me towards medium. Perhaps this would mean a brand switch, maybe to one that doesn’t provide tinted coverage.  More affordable brands like Maybelline carry slightly more choices in terms of colour.

BB Creams from Maybelline

BB creams are slowly making their way to North America, but I’ve only seen some of them online and in magazines.  Brands that carry them online include Dr. Jart and Clinique.  Smashbox is selling a version on QVC in the United States.  If primers were the IT product in North America a few years ago, could BB creams be the product of 2012?

About Cynthia Cheng Mintz


Cynthia Cheng Mintz is the founder and webitor-in-chief of this site and the petite-focused site, Shorty Stories. She has also written for other publications including the Toronto Star and has blogged for The Huffington Post. Her first novel, Aspirations, was published in 2007. Outside of writing, Cynthia researches and advises philanthropic ideas for family funds and foundations and also volunteers.

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Cynthia Cheng Mintz

Cynthia Cheng Mintz is the founder and webitor-in-chief of this site and the petite-focused site, Shorty Stories. She has also written for other publications including the Toronto Star and has blogged for The Huffington Post. Her first novel, Aspirations, was published in 2007. Outside of writing, Cynthia researches and advises philanthropic ideas for family funds and foundations and also volunteers.

  • BB creams are definitely making it big in North America for 2012! Marcelle has one and I believe Garnier too. I also heard Estee Lauder will be launching as well. BB creams don't really work for me as I need more coverage but perhaps if I ever have clear skin one day this will be a nice option.

  • That's good to hear! Hopefully, many other brands will do the same. I'd love to see Bobbi's version come to North America, but with more shades.

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