Save or Splurge? BB creams

I LOVE makeup, but I'm not one of those girls who cakes on a whole new face every morning. I'm actually of the opinion that perfect makeup should basically make you look really fresh faced, as if you just naturally rolled out of bed looking divine! We all wish, right?

This is part of the reason I was so excited about trying out these new BB creams. Last spring, when these all-in-one formulas started gaining traction, I sort of felt like they were too good to be true. I mean, come on--it's sort of hard to swallow that one product would ever be able to smooth out my skin, minimize pores, cover blemishes and dark circles AND moisturize and protect my delicate facial skin from the sun. 

So, I tried two of these miracles-in-a-tube out, one high-end and one drugstore: Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 ($42, bobbibrowncosmetics.com) and L'Oreal Studio Secrets Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream ($10.99, ulta.com).

Here's my verdict...

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First, the good: Both the Bobbi Brown formula and the L'Oreal formula smelled fine, which is a big deal for me. I HATE it when makeup has weird chemical odors so I was relieved that neither of these offended my sensitive nose (or skin). Given that they both promise to deliver so many positive effects in one product, I was a little nervous.

As far as coverage was concerned, the Bobbi Brown formula absolutely KILLED it. I was really concerned that their medium/deep option wasn't going to be dark enough for my skin tone, but was pleasantly surprised at the way it seamlessly blended in. What really won me over was the way it totally even my skin tone, covering up dark circles and spots without the use of ANY concealer!

L'Oreal left a little to be desired. The medium color was WAY too light for my skin and while the cream felt GREAT when I was blending it--it was super light-weight--it barely covered my dark circles. One of our writers tried it all over her face since she was lighter than me and it did manage to even her skin-tone, but didn't help with any of dark spots either. Neither would work for anyone with a darker skin tone than mine, so that is clearly still an area that needs improvement across the board with these creams.

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I actually found that both BB's kept my skin very matte. Neither of them were emollient enough for me to wear them without an additional moisturizer underneath. This is where Bobbi Brown won out again though, because since their BB has SPF, I didn't have to worry about making sure my moisturizer did (I LOVE this because my fave moisturizer is SPF-free). L'Oreal unfortunately did not provide this extra layer of sun protection.

Overall, I have to say that I feel like it's really worth the splurge on the Bobbi Brown BB Cream. It cut out multiple steps from my morning beauty routine and I was able to dash out of the house after applying this cream, a little blush and mascara. The L'Oreal formula would work great as a first layer, but you'd still have to work with concealer and some sort of SPF to get all the benefits of the Bobbi Brown formula.

In this week's Save Vs. Splurge: BB Creams, Bobbi Brown won out. Even with the higher $42 price tag, you have to factor in the savings on concealer (around $10) AND SPF (another $10-15 at least), so it might not really be a waste of money in the end!

Topics: afro-latina beauty  beauty trends  covering dark spots  makeup  skin tone