Road Test: Maybelline BB Cream

If you don’t need or want to wear full-on foundation, or are looking for a product that combines functions of moisturizer, sunscreen and light foundation in one, a BB cream might be an option for you. I’ve tried a few different department store brands with mixed results. Karen had been after me for months to try this Maybelline BB Cream. She felt it was just as good as some of the pricier BB creams.

I finally got my mitts on some a few weeks ago and tested it for a few days. (Our local drugstore cosmetic departments seem to be in a perpetually depleted state, and it took a while to get the right shade.) I have to say…this stuff is pretty good.

Pros:

  • Good range of shades…have often had trouble finding BB creams that were light enough for my skin tone.
  • Goes on smoothly, doesn’t cake. It’s more fluid than many BB creams I’ve tried.
  • Gives a soft radiant finish, a little “dewy.”
  • Doesn’t settle in lines or pores.
  • Great price!

Cons:

  • Doesn’t seem to last as long as other BB creams. Noticed that my skin seemed “bare” by mid-afternoon.
  • The actual amount of sunscreen ingredients is actually quite low. (Titanium dioxide 1.15%) I’d guess you’d have to apply the product pretty heavily to actually get the 30 SPF indicated on the package. If you need sun protection, you might want to use a broad spectrum sunscreen underneath this.
  • If you prefer a more matte finish, you might want to use a translucent powder over this cream…it’s definitely a little on the shiny side.

Overall, I’d probably give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Have you tried BB creams? Do you have a favorite?

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24 Comments

  1. January 20, 2014 / 4:28 am

    I have tried BB creams with mixed results. I recently returned to Bobbie Brown Foundation and I am really happy. I think I prefer it for now…but this is good to know in case I want to try another BB cream.

  2. Ginger
    January 20, 2014 / 4:29 am

    I have a tube in my travel bag that I keep packed all the time. It does the job and the price is right.

    • Heidi // Frantic But Fabulous
      January 20, 2014 / 8:21 am

      This is exactly how I wound up acquiring a tube. I already used and liked the Garnier BB cream at home, but hadn’t packed it on a recent trip. I looked for the least expensive option at Target and this was it. Have to say I was pleasantly surprised, given the price point.

  3. Jennifer
    January 20, 2014 / 4:52 am

    I used Bobbi Brown’s BB Cream for awhile and did like it. Not a ton of shades but seemed enough of a range. Good coverage, lasted most of the day. Then I found Supergoop’s CC cream. I really like it. Especially great for the summer. Great coverage. I did notice this winter that it is not combating as much redness as I thought it would. Might be trying a new product or primer soon.

  4. Susan
    January 20, 2014 / 5:33 am

    I have tried BB creams, but find that I prefer a light foundation. I have very good skin, but like the idea of evening out skin tones that a foundation offers. I also want my makeup to last all day and sometimes into in the evening without changing it out. Right now, I am using Lancome’s Teint Miracle. I apply it over Bobbie Brown’s Face Base which is a product I love.

  5. Carol
    January 20, 2014 / 5:52 am

    I use Garnier BB cream. It doesn’t come in many shades, but the lightest one is perfect for me. I use a brush to apply it and it goes on very smoothly. Like you, though, I find it doesn’t last all day so I end up dusting on a little powder before any evening activities.

    • Heidi // Frantic But Fabulous
      January 20, 2014 / 8:22 am

      I use the Garnier, too. Of the drugstore brands, so far it’s been the best combination of coverage and price that I’ve found.

  6. January 20, 2014 / 6:24 am

    The only BB I’ve tried so far is The Body Shoppe. It’s lovely: goes on smoothly, leaves your skin radiant and so silky soft. I really like it. I’m not sure how it compares price wise with others; but as I have someone who works there, I get it for an excellent price.

  7. January 20, 2014 / 6:29 am

    Very good point about supplementing the sunscreen.

  8. January 20, 2014 / 6:29 am

    I have tried this very one! Agree that it’s not long-lasting, and I didn’t love the fragrance. I have switched to a Tarte mineral powder foundation for the moment.

  9. amelie
    January 20, 2014 / 7:06 am

    Got super excited when BB’s first came out, tried a whole slew of them! Thought what a perfect idea for weekends, low key occasions and maybe travelling. But as you mention, if you have to apply sunblock first underneath, powder the T zone and perhaps other areas and possibly re-apply during the day AND coverage is minimal or nonexistent, what is the point, really? Is this really a streamlined, quick, effective alternative to foundation? Not for me.

    I love my two foundation favs, Lancome Renergie Lift and Makeup For Ever HD Invisible Cover and alternate between them. Yes, I sunblock underneath and powder T Zone very lightly, but coverage is flawless and no touchups required!

    I will say, though, I wish BB’s were around in my 20’s! They’re probably ideal and designed for young, pretty much perfect skin. We had to settle for Revlon Touch and Glow!

  10. Cornelia
    January 20, 2014 / 7:16 am

    I use Clinique’s BB cream and am quite happy with it. My skin is in pretty good shape, and I used nothing but a tinted moisturizer before trying the BB cream.

  11. Jill Ann
    January 20, 2014 / 9:19 am

    Bought my first BB cream recently, but not a bargain, certainly; the YSL Top Secrets. It hadn’t occurred to me to check the sunscreen %; one reason I bought this one was the SPF 25. The label says 7.49% Octinoxate. I get pretty good coverage with this product, and the lightest shade is light enough for my pale skin. I was previously using Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer, which I wasn’t crazy about.

    —Jill Ann

  12. January 20, 2014 / 9:52 am

    I like Maybelline BB Cream! I put a sunscreen-containing moisturizer on first, then the BB Cream. Blend in a little undereye concealer and dust on powder with a brush. If I put powder on bare skin, it makes my skin look dry and rough, but over the BB Cream, it’s great. Just enough coverage to lighten some redness on my forehead.

  13. January 20, 2014 / 10:44 am

    I’ve tried a few BB creams, but not this one. I’m currently liking Revlon’s CC cream so far.

    Monica

  14. January 20, 2014 / 11:05 am

    I generally use a tinted moisturizer instead of foundation in the summer and had been searching unsuccessfully for a while for a BB cream that I liked.Since I have really sensitive skin, I often find after a few days that I cannot use some products. And since most samples give you just enough for one or two applications I have trouble finding new products that work for me. I was happy to discover that Sephora will give you samples of just about any product they carry…and enough to last for several days. So last spring, I “test drove” about 5 different BB creams. And I have been using (and loving) Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream for months now. I find Clarins has good coverage, good sun protection and feels great on my skin. I’ve only just stopped using it to return to my winter regimen of Bobbi Brown foundation. But I’ll be digging it out when we head south in a month or so.

  15. Shawna
    January 20, 2014 / 12:00 pm

    I tried two brands of BB so far and didn’t like the first one I tried, though I can’t remember for certain which brand it was, I am pretty sure it was an Olay variety. I am currently using Loreal Magic BB which comes out of the tube as a white cream but seems to disappear nicely into my fair skin tone as it changes to suit. It’s very thick and I’m not sure I like that. I sometimes just use it as a concealer. it doesn’t contain sunscreen and that is actually my preference.

  16. marily sturman
    January 20, 2014 / 12:31 pm

    try boots tinted moisturizer – have tried them all and think this is great and low priced, too 🙂

  17. January 20, 2014 / 2:58 pm

    I am a great fan of Clinique’s BB Cream. It gives great coverage, lasts all day and the Shade 01 is great for very pale skin.

  18. Diane
    January 20, 2014 / 3:55 pm

    Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer is my favorite.

  19. January 20, 2014 / 8:47 pm

    I have not tried BB creams. No reason really. Maybe because I’m happy with my light foundation. Something to think about for the future though, and thanks for the review.

  20. January 20, 2014 / 8:50 pm

    I haven’t tried any, and I thought I might look for the Maybelline until I saw Patti’s comment. I don’t want something smelly on my face!

  21. debby
    January 21, 2014 / 8:29 am

    I like L’Oreal Youth Code BB cream. I’ve tried a few and this works great for me. I like the price, too. Love your blog, by the way. I’m going to Paris in May and love your tips!

  22. Kris
    January 21, 2014 / 2:50 pm

    I’ve tried a bunch as well. I like the loreal youth code the best of the ones I’ve tried. I’ve been using the revlon photo ready and do not love it. I only purchase makeup at the drugstore but as I get older, I think it might make more sense to spend more for richer products if it means getting better coverage.

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