So a few weeks ago, I finally tried a k-beauty BB cream. “WOW, COLLIER, took you long enough.” I know, I know. And I’d heard lotsa good things about this particular brand, so I was pretty excited to give it a go. BUT WHAT HAPPENED?
Skin79 Super+ Beblesh Balm Triple Function SPF 30 PA++ ($13.97/1.4oz on Amazon) claims to whiten (problematic, but I guess nice if you’ve sun damage or other hyperpigmentation issues), prevent wrinkles, and “soothe” the skin. I’m going to call “bullshit” on a lot of that, because if you want a skin brightener — vitamin C as here, or otherwise — you’re much better off using it in a concentrated serum, not a BB/CC cream. But it’s got pretty good sun protection (much better than most foundation-type products) so okay.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
My first impression was “WHOA THAT’S A WEIRD COLOR.” Unlike a lot of other BB/CC creams, this only comes in one shade. (The product does come in six different variants built to address different issues, but as far as I can tell they’re very close, ingredients-wise, tho there are some slight differences in color.) The shade of this one looked darker than anything I’m accustomed to rubbing all over my face … but it’s also extremely cool-toned, almost a greyish taupe color. This seemed promising! As a quite pale and extremely pink-faced person, my #2 issue with most foundation shades is “that’s too yellow for me.” (#1 is of course “that’s too dark.”)
The consistency is thicker and kind of … bouncier than I’m accustomed to for foundation stuff. It felt dense and creamy and easy to spread and distribute. But for real, the color looks super weird to me — here it is next to a little blorp of Guerlain Lingerie de Peau (top left) and Clinique Even Better (bottom), both in shade 01 :
And yet, when I put it on my face? Perfection. Despite having quite a lot of spots and splotches and redness and acne scars, I prefer lighter coverage for my foundation crap. I just can’t get down with heavy opaque foundations — they look too fake on me, they’re uncomfortable, and as a Walking Furnace-Slash-Sweat-Factory with oily skin, that shit is waaaay too high-maintenance for me. But surprisingly, this offered pretty good coverage! Did it erase every flaw on my face? No, and that’s fine, because I like having some flaws (“natural!”) and also because that’s what spot-application of concealer is for. But it did VERY effectively even out my skin tone and cover a lot of redness … while still, amazingly, looking like real actual skin. Holy cow this is fantastic and I love it. It looks great on its own, and it also took powder well for a more mattified look. Yay!
OH YAY, A SUCCESS! OR … ?
Or not. Definitely not. I wore this two days in a row … without reading the ingredients. Yes, even though I have very reactive skin. And by the end of the second day, hrm, what’s this lump? What’s this other lump? What’s that lump? Why, it is an incipient Horrible Cystic Breakout! Oh, hello. Again. Let’s go look up the ingredients of this stuff. Aaaaand, yep. Right up at the top of the list is Cyclomethicone. Damn it. WHEN WILL I LEARN?
Cyclomethicone is actually a class of silicone derivatives (which includes cyclopentasiloxane), and my face’s kryptonite. These are ring-shaped molecules, as opposed to dimethicone’s linear molecules, which means they’re more likely to cling to the inner walls of your pores and contribute to clogs, which of course can trigger or exacerbate acne. So if you, like me, have acne and are sensitive to heavy silicones (not everyone is! not even everyone with acne!), check your ingredients labels for cyclomethicone, cyclopentasiloxane or tri- or tetra- or hexasiloxane. I did not check the ingredients first. I just smeared it all over my face and delighted at the color and the very natural finish. AND THEN I PAID THE PRICE, while my skin took a solid two weeks to calm down and heal.
Do you have normal or dryish skin? If you have oily skin or are acne-prone, are you 100% certain your face is okay with silicones of this type? Then so long as you’re fairly confident the color will work for you (i.e. you’re maybe in the lighter 1/3 of a full range of foundation shades), then this is definitely worth trying, especially if you prefer a light to medium coverage level and a very natural skin-like finish. I mean, it’s under fifteen bucks, it’s got good broad-spectrum sun protection, the packaging isn’t horrible, and it doesn’t smell weird (it doesn’t smell like anything, really).
THE VERDICT : GOOD. Fantastic, in fact. But absolutely catastrophically horrible for me personally, alas. Which is why I recommended that Finch give it a go, as she’s pretty sure heavy ‘cones don’t bother her face. So in just a little while, you’ll have a DOUBLE TAKE on this one! Woo! [Update : DoubleTake is live!]
Ingredients: Water, Propylene Glycol, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide, Isopropyl Palmitate, Talc, Butylene Glycol, Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Sweet Almond Oil, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate/Stearate/Rosinate, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Portulaca Oleracea, Trihydroxystearin, Glycosyl Trehalose, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Talc, Methicone, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Zinc Oxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Silica, Propylparaben, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Citrus Unshiu, Schisandra Chinensis, Lycium Chinense, Helianthus Annuus, Ivy Extract, Caviar, Camellia Sinensis, Aloe Barbadensis, Iron Oxides, Peg-8/Smdi Copolymer, Peg-8, Butylparaben, Aluminum Stearate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ceramide Iii, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Bht, Nelumbo Nucifera, Vinyldimethicone, Adenosine, Triclosan, Phytic Acid, Cholesterol, Ubiquinone, Gold, Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Madecassoside, Cornus Officinalis Fruit Extract, Piper Methysticum Leaf/Root/Stem Extract.
Tried it? Got a BB/CC fave? Tell us! (Especially if it doesn’t have cyclomethicone….)