This whole conundrum began after going on two beach trips several weeks apart. The first trip was okay, but before my tan completely wore off, I went on another one which sealed my fate—I’m now a few shades darker, and I reckon, will be for a few more weeks/months. Which is okay, I was never really into whitening. My color isn’t an issue to me, but my makeup is! I’m now officially too dark to get away with my daily face bases so I had to do the inevitable: buy a new one that suits me better.
Well, for starters, here’s a list of what I’m looking for:
1. I am looking for a BB cream, because that’s what I’ve been using almost daily for years now. For me, foundation is makeup, BB cream is slash-skincare. I believe it has helped make my skin better. And of course a minimum of SPF 25/PA++ is essential.
2. This is silly, but I only look to Korean and Japanese brands when it comes to BB creams. Because, I’m purist like that (he he) and I believe they do it best, it sort of started there, and we’re only too lucky be Asians who have access to Asian brands.
3. I am out to try BB creams with shade options. I know most BB creams come in a single shade so that’s a bit of a stretch. I’m also curious as to how BB cream formulations have evolved so I’m very much open to finishes and formulations.
So I sought out the BB cream to tide me over this [literally] dark phase. I went to mall early, wearing only sunscreen, face ready for swatching.
In the end, I had only two contenders, and both from the Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream line (as they have the most number of shade options available: 3 for Cotton Fit, 4 for Bright Fit):
Left: Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream Cotton Fit Right: Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream Bright Fit, both in shade W24
Isn’t it weird that the same shade, W24 Honey Beige look so dissimilar from each other? I tried each on either side of my face and walked around the mall to explore some more. Missha carries several shades too, with a great formula, the but it was too expensive, Php700 for a small 20ml tube. Other honorable mentions include the Face Shop Aura CC Cream (3 shades, great texture, weird packaging), and the Nature Republic Collagen BB Cream (relatively cheap, but still too gray for me). Anyway. In the end, I settled for the darkest color among my swatches:
Etude House Precious Mineral Bright Fit BB Cream in W24 Honey Beige, Php798
What I like about the Bright Fit, initially:
1. The darkest shade, W24 Honey Beige disappears on my skin even with little blending, so the shade is probably what I’m looking for.
2. The Bright Fit texture feels light and comfortable on the skin, and applies sheer so I can probably still use it even after my skin lightens up a bit. (Cotton Fit was thicker and more opaque—see above swatch, a good choice if you want more coverage.)
3. It’s pearl-infused, and whatever that means, I like my skin looking a bit dewy than matte. But even so, this doesn’t seem to make me oil up more than usual.
4. It has SPF30/PA++ and it contains sadenosine and arbutin for anti-wrinkle and whitening. Again, I don’t care so much for whitening but I’m very much against wrinkles.
5. This has 60ml/2.11 oz of product—that’s a lot!
For comparison, here now are my daily face bases. Take note of the undertones, I’m now too light for all the others!
L-R: Face Shop HD Perfect BB Cream (my favorite, but now a tad too gray/light), Etude House Precious Mineral Bright Fit BB Cream, Dr. Jart Black Label BB Cream (too pink), Tony Moly Cats Wink Shiny Skin Foundation (too yellow)
Finally, here it is when worn. I use about a little less than one pump to cover my entire face. I applied it on my bare face with a bit of cheek tint.
What’s curious about the Bright Fit is how really, literally illuminated your skin gets (to the eye) without the sticky/tacky feel since it sets to a comfortable, flat finish (to the touch). It’s a bit hard to believe, but I’m sure you can see how bright my skin looks here. That’s amazing considering there’s no visible shimmer to it at all! The coverage is about light to medium, but because it’s reflective, you might getaway without covering imperfections so much.
This BB cream seems to oxidize a bit (though you really cant see it in this photo because it’s so freakin’ bright, it reflects the light back), closer to the arm swatch color. I did not need to powder over this even after a very hectic 6 hour period. But, if you’re kind of averse to shine, a blotting powder would probably keep things in order.
Here’s a photo from my phone (and away from the sunlight) which hopefully shows the real color after it has oxidized.
So, do I think the Etude House BB Precious Mineral Bright Fit BB Cream is for you too? I can’t say for sure. As you can see, choosing a BB cream is kind of a serious business for me, and if I am to suggest anything: make at least a mental list of your BB cream qualifications (see above). The options can be really dizzying with all sorts of BB and CC creams popping left and right; it helps if you have at least some boxes to tick off. Lastly, you HAVE TO try it out and walk it off! You have to give it a chance to settle and work into your skin to see the actual effect on you. Needless to say, you can’t hurry into it. You can wipe off lipstick, or rub off eye shadow, but if you’ve got the wrong face base on, it’s back to the kitchen for you.