updated 1 Oct 2012, 17:05
user id password
Fri, Jan 13, 2012
my paper
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
Get your bases covered
by Sue-Anne Lim

Beauty report: The BB effect

CHINESE New Year is just around the corner. When it hits, you'll want to put your best face forward before doing the rounds of New Year visiting.

And what better way to start the Year of the Dragon than with a flawless complexion? There's no easier way to achieve this look than with BB creams.

Originally created in Germany by a dermatologist who designed it as an all-in-one balm to soothe and protect post-procedure skin while covering redness, "BB" stands for "blemish balm", though Western brands also call them "beauty balms".

BB creams grew in popularity in Asia when Korean cosmetic brands began integrating them into their base-product ranges in recent years.

With the allure of a single product offering skincare benefits ranging from whitening, hydration, healing and oil control, along with smooth coverage and SPF protection to boot, BB creams became the product of choice, particularly in South Korea, and were dubbed the secret to many Korean celebrities' flawless complexions.

Korean actress Song Hye Kyo was one of the first celebrities to list the BB cream as one of her must-have beauty products (at the time, she was in favour of Skin79's offerings).

Now, most mainstream and Western brands - from Maybelline to Bobbi Brown and M.A.C - have released BB creams of their own, with newly formulated (and improved) versions of the blemish balm.

The new generation of BB creams comes in more South-east Asian-friendly yellow-based shades, and incorporates the best of BB ingredients as well as natural mineral pigments, previously found only in powder-form mineral make-up.

The multitasking blemish- balm concept has even been extended to more-specialised items, such as BB eye products.

my paper tests the most interesting new kids on the block.


Pure Mineral B.B Mousse By Maybelline ($23.90)

The Pure Mineral B.B mousse is part of Maybelline's new BB generation and offers an 8-in-1 skincare solution that moisturises skin, conceals imperfections, and brightens skin tone while providing UV protection of SPF 30++ in just one step.

Mineral pigments and BB ingredients are combined into a breakthrough mousse formula that has micro air bubbles embedded within the foam for a more-even dispersal of colour. Buy it at Watsons stores, Guardian outlets, SaSa stores, major supermarkets and hypermarkets and selected department stores.

Test run: The innovative mousse goes onto the skin with a comfortable watery texture that dries into a natural, sheer matte finish. Used with a light dusting of powder on top, it gives surprisingly good oil control.

The one available shade is sheer and neutral enough to suit most light to medium Asian skin tones.

my paper rating: 4 and a half stars


B.B Eye roll-on By Garnier ($22.90)

Designed especially for the eyes, Garnier's BB Eye Roll-On is enriched with caffeine, pure lemon essence rich in vitamin C, and mineral pigments to reduce signs of fatigue, while remaining gentle on the delicate eye area.

The convenient roll-on applicator stimulates micro-circulation and refreshes the skin. Available in light and natural shades at Watsons, Guardians, major supermarkets and hypermarkets and selected department stores.

Test run: This works as a great multitasking under-eye concealer as the rollerball head feels cool and refreshing on the skin and allows for easy, direct application to the eye area. The formula is more pigmented than a BB cream meant for the whole face, and offers enough coverage to brighten and conceal those pesky dark eye circles.

my paper rating: 4 stars


BB Mineral cream & BB Mineral powder by Ettusais ($38 each)


Ettusais' first BB cream contains 79 per cent skincare ingredients, along with its star ingredient, AC-Control Oil, to prevent acne.

It also contains six kinds of moisturising ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, and also SPF 30 PA ++. Three shades are available.

The BB Mineral Powder is made of 100 per cent mineral powder and comes with the award-winning ingredient, Ettusais' Skin Roughness Preventing Powder, to reduce sebum. It also contains SPF 16++. Two shades available. Buy them at all Ettusais counters.

Test run: The BB Mineral Cream has a light and smooth, almost gel-like, consistency that applies very easily onto the skin.

Coverage can be built from sheer to medium with a slightly dewy finish, and layering the finely-milled BB Mineral Powder over it creates even more coverage and increases oil control, with a soft-focus effect. The powder can also be worn on its own for a natural look.

my paper rating: 4 and a half stars

Pore eraser HD powder By Dr Young ($37.90)

Made with fine corn powder to minimise pores optically, Dr Young Pore Eraser HD Powder was developed with the aim of ensuring sebum control without clogging the pores. It is rich in organic herb extracts and contains essential oils, such as lemon, grapefruit and rose, to brighten and moisturise the skin.

Available in one shade at BHG (Clementi, Bugis, Choa Chu Kang and Tampines), John Little (Marina Square), OG (Albert), Beauty Spring and

Test run: Though not a BB product, this ultra-fine powder helps to create a flawless finish.

The powder appears solid white in the container but is completely colourless and sheer when dusted onto the skin; a small amount is all that's needed. Good for using as a last step on top of any other base items and BB creams as it increases the oil control slightly. The petite container makes it handy to take along for quick touch-ups.

my paper rating: 4 stars

The author is a freelance beauty writer and a director of a home-grown streetwear brand.

For more my paper stories click here.



readers' comments

Copyright © 2012 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.