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71 notes

PSA: Is your BB Cream really a BB Cream?

So many of you ask me about BB Creams on a daily basis!  I know that I have a large international audience, so I get asked about many different brands and types of BB Creams.  Before I answer any questions on the topic, I needed to make this Public Service Announcement to help you ALL:

Western (USA, CA) BB Creams are NOT real BB Creams!

A true BB Cream provides quite a bit of coverage, and lots of actual skin benefits (far beyond “smoothing” and “brightening”).  BBs, which stands for Beauty Balm or Blebesh Balm, were developed in Asia and quickly became a beauty staple for many.  True BB Creams provide moisture, can help even skin discoloration, and some are even proven to help with acne.  However you’re not going to find any of these in an American drugstore… for all of the benefits of a BB Cream you’re going to have to spend a bit more money.  Try Dr. Jart, Missha, or Skin79.

Dr. Jart Premium Beauty Balm - $39 - Available at Sephora or

The “BB Creams” popular in the US are from Maybelline, Garnier, L’Oreal, etc… and they are not at all like the BB Creams I’ve described above.  I would classify these as tinted moisturizers instead… the coverage is extremely light, the moisture factor is minimal, and the only skin benefit these provide is sun protection.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream - $9 - Available in drugstores or on

So don’t get excited by BB Creams unless you’re going to invest in a real one.  Eastern (specifically Korean) BB Creams became insanely popular and coveted by the beauty community, and so as a marketing scheme, Western brands chose to market their products as BB creams in hopes to get you to try out their makeup.  If you’ve tried one of these not-quite-BB-creams, don’t be discouraged from the entire category… try out a real one and I’m sure you’ll be pleased.


5 notes

ignore-the-world asked: hi! I just wanted your opinion of which bb cream is better, Garnier or Maybelline? xx

It depends on what kind of skin you have.

NEITHER are true BB Creams, they are simply tinted moisturizers.

The Garnier Skin Perfector is more moisturizing, whereas the Maybelline BB Cream is oil-free, and less moisturizing.  Both have very light coverage and blend out sheer.


15 notes

thumblamp asked: Hello there! First of all I'd like to say I loooove the blog :) secondly, I'd like to ask on what you prefer to use between liquid foundation or BB cream for facial coverage xx

Hello :)

Firstly I need to clear something up - American/Western BB Creams (like Maybelline’s, Garnier’s, L’Oreal’s) ARE NOT REAL BB CREAMS.  They are simply tinted moisturizers.  Real BB Creams (Skin79, Missha) have quite a bit of coverage; more so than some liquid foundations.

Also you have to take into account that the coverage of liquid foundations varies from product to product.  For instance, my Almay TLC liquid foundation gives me rather light coverage, whereas my Revlon Colorstay gives much more full coverage.

So in terms of *general* coverage, from lightest to fullest:

  • Tinted Moisturizers, or American BB Creams
  • BB Creams
  • Some liquid foundations

My preference in the amount of coverage I want changes daily!  So I can’t give you a really direct answer.

But thank you!  :)

156 notes

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

Maybelline Dream Fresh 8-in-1 Beauty Balm Skin Perfector

Costs approximately $8.00 at drugstores

  • Oil-Free
  • SPF 30 
  • 1 fluid ounce of product


It’s finally here!  My review of Maybelline’s BB Cream has been requested almost every day since it’s come into the market, and now I finally feel that I have a good enough opinion of it to publish.

Firstly, I need to mention the true kicker of this “BB Cream”… the fact that it’s not!  Western (that is to say, American) BB Creams are nothing more than tinted moisturizers.  True BB Creams took off in Asia, and are MUCH different from this Maybelline version… they have a lot more coverage and a more matte finish.  THIS IS A TINTED MOISTURIZER.

This product surprisingly comes in five different shades: Light, Light/Medium, Medium, Medium/Deep, and Deep.  In most tinted moisturizers you will only find about three shades, so this is a definite plus.

On the back you will see eight claims that this product supposedly does for your skin (hence the 8-in-1 thing).  

I’m not a fan of cosmetics that make outrageous claims like this, because it’s impossible to live up to them.  Come on, why are “enhances” and “brightens” two different things?  It’s a bit of a stretch.  Well, on to the nitty gritty:

This BB Cream provides VERY light coverage, which it advertises on the package as “Sheer Tint”.  The formula itself is incredibly thin and liquidy, and if you’re not careful it will just pour right out of the tube.  Since it is so thin, you don’t need a lot to cover your whole face.  I definitely recommend applying this with your fingers as well.  

It is easily blendable, but is definitely not suited for anyone with any skin conditions that they’d like covered, such as blemishes, dark circles, or significant redness.  However I must say that the coverage looks much better when set with a powder foundation, it still isn’t enough to cover anything that really needs it.  I always use concealer with this.

Another downside to this is the staying power.  Of course this is a tinted moisturizer, and there isn’t much to stay… since it is so light, it doesn’t take much to make this wear away.  A bit of sweat is a death sentence for this.  If you peel back the Drug Facts panel, the “Directions For Use” even state that this should be reapplied every two hours… of course that is to keep your skin as protected from the sun as possible, but I suppose you would need to reapply it throughout the day to keep some coverage as well.

On the plus side, this feels really nice on your face.  It hardly feels like you have anything on.  It does hydrate a little, but it’s not enough for a person with dry skin that needs a lot of moisture.  

The finish isn’t matte - it’s slightly dewy, and gives your skin a little bit of glow.  If your skin is already oily, however, this might not be ideal.  But it is very soft and natural, and I certainly can’t complain about it.  It makes your skin feel like velvet.

There is also no real noticeable scent… I’ve seen several people say that it smells like sunscreen, but I didn’t recognize that.  Perhaps I just have poor nose skills!   This product is NOT fragrance-free, nor is it paraben-free or dye-free.  It does contain silicones, which make your skin feel soft.  Personally I haven’t experienced breakouts because of this, but I can’t speak for everyone.


Alright, after all that, I have to say that I do like this.  There has been a TON of hype surrounding it, and I can’t say that I agree with all of it.  But if you’re looking for a nice base for your makeup, this will provide.  It contains SPF 30, which provides protection from the sun’s damaging UV rays (which you should be protecting yourself from every day!).  Wearing this is definitely much better than wearing nothing at all!

This is best for people with normal skin.  It is not hydrating enough for those with dry skin, and too dewy for those with oily skin.  It does require setting.

Overall, I will give this a Thumbs Up - and a 7.5/10.0 - because it’s nice.  Just that, nice.


72 notes

themadhattergirl asked: Do you know any drug store products that hide blushing/redness without making your skin look over covered? (hope you get what I mean and love your blog!) :)

Try a tinted moisturizer or BB cream!  They have very light coverage that barely looks like you have anything on, but when set with powder will cover imperfections like redness easily.  **Note that most American brands of “BB creams” aren’t the same as Asian brand BB creams, and are much more like a regular tinted moisturizer**


Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream - $8

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer - $9

Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfecter BB Cream - $10

Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer - $9

These products contain SPF as well as good-for-your-skin moisturizers, giving you a fresh, dewy complexion that looks natural and glowing.  Since tinted moisturizers are much lighter than regular liquid foundation, they are nicer to your skin, and allow your pores to breathe.  If you have any spots, you can simply dab on a little concealer and set with powder for a completely flawless look!  

*I’ll be uploading a video on a Tinted Moisturizer face routine on my YouTube Channel soon!*

128 notes

im-nguyen-ing asked: What are your top 3 tinted moisturizers, concealers, and powder? (drugstore)

Tinted Moisturizers:

Physician’s Formula Organic Wear - $9

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer - $9

Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector - $10


Hard Candy Glamoflauge Concealer - $6

Revlon Photoready Concealer - $7

NYX Concealer in a Jar - $5.50

Powder (you didn’t specify what kind of powder, but here are the three I use most):

Neutrogena Mineral Sheers - $8

L’Oreal True Match Pressed Powder - $7

ELF HD Loose Powder - $6

39 notes

whoreproof-deactivated20120825 asked: What drugstore tinted moisturized would you recommend for someone with oily skin?

Tinted moisturizers in general don’t have much staying power… they’re very sheer and most of them contain oils (for the hydration factor).  For more info on what to truly expect from a tinted moisturizer, check out this post I wrote…

I would recommend Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancers… it’s oil free (and contains retinol, which is a bonus for your skin!).  

Definitely set your tinted moisturizer with powder.  Powder will not only keep your skin from getting to oily and shiny, but it will also help the tinted moisturizer last longer.  Most powder foundations will also build up the coverage slightly.

L’Oreal True Match Powder Foundation

10 notes

thesandra7 asked: I went to your FAQs and saw the one about oily/combo skin. I know that Revlon colorstay isn't much of a sheer coverage. So, do you know any sheer coverage foundations for oily skin?

Revlon Colorstay gives medium coverage, and is buildable.  Sometimes when I want a lighter look, I mix a small amount with moisturizer to create a more sheer tint!

Other options are to go for an actual tinted moisturizer, that is oil-free.  My favorite in this category is Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancers!  It contains retinol, which is a terrific ingredient for your skin (not just wrinkles, but for acne and overall hydration), and gives pretty decent, even coverage.  Love it!

7 notes

heykaitlyn asked: Whats the best matte long lasting foundation and whats your favorite tinted moisturizer?

Foundation - Revlon Colorstay for Oily/Combination Skin;

Tinted Moisturizer - Physician’s Formula Organic Wear

Here’s an in-depth post I wrote on Tinted Moisturizers, including my Top 3:

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milky-murderer asked: is CG Aqua Smoothers Tinted Moisturizer any good?

No - I find it to be horrible.  Like most Covergirl face products it breaks me out like crazy - not even just at first, but forever.  It’s also not moisturizing at all.  It’s simply a runny, sheer foundation that wears off after only a couple hours.

If you want a good tinted moisturizer that actually does good things for your skin, try the Physicians Formula Organic Wear tinted moisturizer, Aveeno Positively Radiant tinted moisturizer, or the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancers tinted moisturizer.  :)

5 notes

colorandchaos asked: I'm using Aveeno Positively Radiant as per your suggestion, and I just wanted to let you know that I love it. Thank you so much for your help - your thoughtful answers are much appreciated! You kick ass, girl.

Awesome!  I’m so glad :)  Thanks haha!

3 notes

am0rcita asked: What do you think of the Sonia Kashuk tinted moisturizer? Hows the coverage? Would you recommend it for oily combination skin type?

I haven’t used it, but I did a bit of quick research on this to give you a good idea of it.  I would say no, this isn’t a great product for you.  This tinted moisturizer actually ISN’T non-comedogenic…. meaning it WILL break you out, and horribly.  Most reviews I read said that, even with a normal skin type, this broke them out with cystic-type acne after two weeks of use.  A lot of them claimed that up until that point it was a beautiful tinted moisturizer, but it was very sheer. Since it’s not oil free and it has such a major cosmetic flaw, I really wouldn’t recommend it to you.. or anybody who cherishes a clear complexion!

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waterpokemontrainer asked: heyyy girlyyy i love the new layout! i have a question. i was wondering what is a good drugstore tinted moisturizer? i've been wearing this Laura something brand but its only a sample and i've loved it but now since its like $45 a bottle i was wondering what kind of tinted moisturizer you might recommend?

Thank you!  This post has everything you need to know about tinted moisturizers and my three favorites :)

61 notes

Tinted Moisturizer 101

As summer is now fast approaching - or here already, for most of you - DSP has been getting TONS of questions concerning summertime skincare, foundation issues, and the ever-confusing Tinted Moisturizer.  Hopefully this quick breakdown will help all of you figure out the purpose, benefits, and uses of these summertime favorites!  (Your skin will thank you!)

2 Things Your Skin ALWAYS Needs, Especially on a Hot, Summer Day:

  • Moisture! - Just like you need to guzzle a bottle of water to keep yourself feeling cool and alive during these humid days, your skin needs an extra kick of moisture for itself. Moisture is the key to healthy, balanced, CLEAR skin - even those of you who complain of oily skin should be slathering on a daily moisturizer, because it will help your skin relax and get back to a natural, even cycle of oil production and clarity. You should be applying a moisturizer EVERY MORNING and EVERY NIGHT - for ultimate hydration. Moisturizers also aren’t limited to your face, although many people seem to neglect one area or another, you should be slathering on the lotion ALL over your body in order to keep yourself healthy, smooth and soft. Facial moisturizers should be applied last in your skincare routine, before you apply your makeup.
  • Sun Protection! - It’s a sad, sad fact that most of us DON’T apply some kind of SPF every day. Even on cloudy days, or days when you’re not going to be outside much, the sun’s damaging UV rays can penetrate your skin - through windows, clothes, and makeup. This is why you should always make sure to put on some sunscreen if you plan on being outside - you should be putting SPF on your face DAILY even in the winter months. Fortunately most moisturizers and even many foundations these days come with some level of SPF protection, which eliminates a step for you and makes remembering your SPF a little easier.

Tinted Moisturizers provide both of these essentials every day, PLUS other great benefits!

  • An Easy, Non-Permanent Sunless Tan! - Yes that’s right. TM’s can be applied on your face, AS WELL AS your neck, chest, shoulders, even your arms - to give you moisture, SPF and a bit of summer glow all at once! Tinted Moisturizers aren’t permanently tinted, so if you’re afraid of going tanning or using those iffy streaky self-tanning products, using a TM is a great option for you.
  • A Daily Dose of Vitamins for Your Face! - Lots of Tinted Moisturizers provide skin soothing and healing ingredients, like Vitamins A and E. Some contain things like cucumber extract, soy, aloe or even Retinol - ingredients that are great for your skin and will help keep your face looking even and clear!
  • Sheer Coverage! - Back in the day when TM’s first made an appearance, they had much less tint in them than they do today. Nowadays, TINTED MOISTURIZERS HAVE THE COVERAGE OF A SHEER FOUNDATION! They can cover up dark spots, freckles, redness, and even some blemishes or undereye circles - just remember, before you jump into them, that they’re very sheer. The first object of a TM is moisture, the coverage is just an added bonus. These are great for summertime when you don’t want to be wearing a heavy foundation, your skin is looking clear or you’re afraid your foundation is going to melt off in the heat.

Things You Should Know about Tinted Moisturizers BEFORE You Buy:

  • Tinted moisturizers generally run dark.  They do not come in a wide variety of shades, and usually even the lighter ones are rather dark.  THIS IS BECAUSE they are meant to give you ‘tint’ - a little bit of summertime glow.  They aren’t meant to be foundation, just give you a bit of color and moisture at the same time.  So don’t purchase one expecting it to be your exact shade - it is sheer enough so when you blend it in, they will look natural.
  • Tinted moisturizers don’t smell like flowers.  Take a whiff of your foundation right now - not half bad, but not pretty.  Smell your moisturizer - a bit different scented, but you’ll live with it.  A tinted moisturizer smells like these two things together.  KEEP IN MIND if you buy a ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ tinted moisturizer, it’s going to smell AWFUL - because they’ve eliminated harmful fragrances which give it a tolerable scent.  NONE OF THE SMELL will transfer onto your face, it goes away.
  • Tinted moisturizers AREN’T going to cover your blemishes completely.  Things like acne, dark undereye circles, or rosacea will be concealed slightly, but they will still be visible.  HOWEVER you can always apply a bit of concealer or foundation over top of these spots, it won’t hurt.
  • Tinted moisturizers sink into your skin over time.  Not to sound scary - but as it is a moisturizer, the lotion will sink into your skin, and the tint can fade.  It won’t look blotchy, but if you’re trying to cover something significant it may wear off.

Frequently Asked Questions about Tinted Moisturizers:

  • Is a tinted moisturizer going to break me out? - It’s possible.  Most TMs contain oil, which is part of the hydration factor, and just like any foundation, there is the possibility of a breakout.  HOWEVER TMs are much lighter than regular foundation, and you CAN get oil free ones.
  • My tinted moisturizer is starting to separate!  Help? - You should shake TMs every time you use them - the ingredients in them have a tendency to separate, but most often they can be shaken back to their normal consistency.  If shaking doesn’t help, start storing your TM in the fridge - humidity can cause it to separate and seem oily.
  • If I wear a foundation primer underneath my TM, will it last longer?  - Please don’t use a primer underneath TM - a tinted moisturizer is a MOISTURIZER and should be treated as one.  If you layer a primer underneath it they will cancel each other out, and the primer will definitely be useless.  
  • Should I use a regular moisturizer underneath a TM?  - You don’t need to, unless you’ve used a TM and your skin is more dry than normal (which rarely happens).  The TM should have more than enough moisturizing properties.
  • My face looks kind of shiny after I apply TM, is that normal? - Yes, just like your face can look shiny after you apply a regular moisturizer.  It will go away as the moisturizer settles into your skin.  If you’re still having issues, sweep a light powder over your face and you’ll be matte all day.

DSP’S Top 3 Favorite Tinted Moisturizers:

Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer - This is my go-to tinted moisturizer.  It is incredibly hydrating, and actually makes your skin look more even and clear the more often you use it.  It provides SPF 15, 30, or 50, and comes in a Light, Medium, and Dark shade.  Usually retails at about $13.

Physicians Formula Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer - This should be my favorite tinted moisturizer, and it would definitely be my go-to; however I use the Aveeno PR moisturizer daily, so it’s just natural that on days I use TM I would select the same brand.  THIS IS THE BEST TM FOR YOUR SKIN - it is 100% PARABEN FREE, 100% FRAGRANCE AND SYNTHETIC COLOR FREE, 100% CRUELTY FREE.  It contains SPF 15, and comes in 4 shades - Ivory to Fair, Fair to Light, Light to Natural, and Natural to Tan.  Retails for about $11.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer - This TM is great because of it’s unique ingredients.  This product contains Retinol - most commonly used to fight wrinkles and signs of aging, but is also thought to help clear acne and even out skintones.  It’s rich in vitamins as well.  This TM is also OIL FREE, and won’t clog your pores like regular foundation!  Comes with SPF 20, and there are six shades - ideal for those with darker skin.  Retails for around $11.

(Source: drugstoreprincess)

1 note

Anonymous asked: Hey do u know or have ever tried a tinted moisturizer from the drug store? If so which one do u reccomend? :D

Haha yes, I have.  I usually use Aveeno Positively Radiant tinted moisturizer, but I also love Physicians Formula Organic Wear TM, Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancers, and the Hard Candy Sheer Envy TM.  :D