Blemish balm, beauty balm, call it what you will, BB creams continue to rival foundation for our attention. They still offer coverage, but are clever multi-taskers that also can work as a moisturiser, sunblock and primer, as well as help to even out skin tone. We tested a range of products to come up with a top list, all of which left our skin feeling lustrous and looking radiant. These creams can all be worn on their own without foundation, with just a light dusting of powder required for an all-day matte finish.
1. Clinique Anti-Blemish BB Cream SPF 40: £28, Clinique
People with oily skin will love this lightweight lotion that gives impressive coverage, disguising pores and regulating your skin tone beautifully. A little goes a long way, so there’s no need to worry about emptying the bottle too quickly. Fragance-free and allergy-tested, the professional shine-free finish lasts all day and offers strong sun protection. Ideal for your summer get-up-and-get-outside routine.
2. Skeyndor BB Cream: £39.95, Skeyndor
Make like celebrity fans Penelope Cruz and Monica Bellucci with this high-end cream that evens-out any imperfections for a fresh-faced and natural look. Packaged in a plush shimmery tube, it is delicate and light in texture, quick to apply and gives medium coverage. If you want to minimise the look of your pores and keep your skin looking youthful, it’s worth splashing a bit more cash on this Hollywood hit.
3. Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream SPF 25: £30, Boots
This easy-to-apply, three-in-one cream smooths out your skin, refreshes dull patches and offers sun protection to boot. Despite coming out of the tube thick and mousse-like, it gives a matte coverage that feels light on the skin. Totally oil-absorbing, it is not sticky in the slightest and hides enlarged pores effectively. Not everyone has time to faff with a full-on make-up regime, making this the top choice for ladies with long to-do lists. Comes in three shades.
4. Dior Hydra Life BB Cream: £45, Boots
Silky skin is the order of the day with this new hydrating offering from Dior. Its lightweight texture and glow-enhancing correcting pigments leave skin looking radiant. Don’t let the price tag stop you handing over the cash: you get 50ml for your money as opposed to the more common 30ml tubes.
5. Benecos Natural BB Cream 8 in 1: £9.95, Pravera
If you’re wary of putting non-natural nasties on your face, try this gentle cream packed full of the good stuff from delicious jojoba and acai oil to moisturising shea butter and revitalising pomegranate extract. We recommend this one for those wanting to hide acne scars and lighten pigmentation spots, while avoiding a greasy sheen. Benecos has a total ban on animal testing.
6. Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream: £24.50, Kiehl’s
This cream gets the biggest tick in the sun protection box, with an impressive factor 50. High in Vitamin C, which improves the appearance of skin ageing, it’s a fabulous option for those who prioritise keeping their skin in tip-top shape. There is a faint biscuity smell when using this product and it comes out fairly thick, but it blends superbly and can be layered depending on how much coverage you desire. Comes in four shades.
7. BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream: £26, bareMinerals
If you struggle to find the right colour cream to match your skin, BareMinerals’s collection of ten shades should help you out. Non-sticky and easily spreadable, the thin yet buildable coverage gives you the choice of a more natural, or more done-up look. This cream is particularly good at disgusting any red areas, while the classy metallic-coloured tube makes it look much more expensive than it is.
8. Algenist Anti-Ageing Tinted Moisturiser: £28, QVC
This cream offers thicker coverage than much of the competition, making it a top choice for those not quite ready to give up their foundation. The sweet smell on application is distinctive but not off-putting, while the sleek, pale gold packaging adds a touch of glamour to your make-up bag. Comes in two shades - light/medium and tan - and we found it stayed put for 12 hours.
9. La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur: £16.50, Escentual
Here’s our top pick for anyone with oily skin by sensitive skin pros, La Roche-Posay. This cream from the French brand is entirely non-greasy and luxuriously soft. The airy mousse absorbs immediately upon application to leave a matte look, while colour-adapting pigments match your skin. Comes in two shades.
10. skinChemists Coldtox Advanced BB Cream: £62, Look Fantastic
If you’re looking for a cream with anti-ageing benefits, this luxe option promises to banish your wrinkles in favour of dewy, youthful-looking skin. This slightly fruity-smelling cream cools your skin on application, plumping it to firm your complexion with the help of posh ingredients like glacier water, marine collagen and snow algae that really do revitalise your skin. The stylish, shapely lid deserves a mention too.
It’s tough to beat Skeyndor for the luxury factor because everyone wants to feel like an A-Lister, but the long-lasting, blemish-banishing power of Clinique wins our top prize for price-quality balance. Benecos earns ethical points and is a snip at £9.95 while bareMinerals’ choice of ten shades gives you the best shot at a colour match.
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