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The make-up shortcut we love

02:00 Mon Sep 3 2012
Melissa Williams-King
Thinkstock

BB creams have quickly become the latest beauty craze, and all of a sudden beauty counters are full of options, from prestige to supermarket brands. Here’s a quick primer on what they are, how to use them and how to choose one.

The phrase “BB cream” originated in Asia, where the initials stood for “blemish balm”. The term was used to describe a tinted-moisturiser type product that covered imperfections and blemishes, with many active skincare benefits. Most “BBs” today prefer the term beauty balm, as their skincare benefits are mainly focused on anti-ageing and moisturising rather than fighting blemishes.

The great thing about a BB is that it performs so many functions – why use a separate primer, sunscreen, moisturiser, anti-ageing cream and light foundation when you can get all five in one product? The coverage is usually slightly less than a foundation but more than a tinted moisturiser, so it’s ideal for weekends and for those who prefer a lighter coverage all week long. (For additional coverage, you can layer it under your usual foundation.) Unless your skin is particularly dry, you won’t need to use moisturiser underneath a BB, and you can skip primer too.

BB creams come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re concerned about ageing and pigmentation, try L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Total Repair 10 BB Cream, $39.99. For oiler skins, Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream Oil-Free, $17.49, is ideal. If you’re after a high degree of sun protection, Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF35, $75 and Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream, $64 are great choices. As most of these products are all new on counter, there’s lots of sampling going on, so check at counters for a tester sachet you can take home and try.

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