Transform dull, dehydrated, tired, lacklustre winter skin with a light-reflecting, complexion enhancing BB Cream.
Beauty balms or beauty blemish creams are a hybrid skincare product to wear on top of your moisturiser and usually in place of foundation, for a naturally flawless look.
We’ve tried a range of products out there to find the hardest working creams, from the budget Nivea BB Cream 5 in 1 Beautifying Moisturiser, to the make-up artists’ favourite, Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow.
Click on the gallery below to see the IndyBest buys
10 best BB creams
10 best BB creams
Nars Skin Optimal Brightening Concentrate
This lovely scented serum is an instant skin brightener and complexion revitaliser. The vitamin C content clarifies and evens out the skin tone, but also works long term to repair signs of ageing – brown age spots have been found to fade over time with continual use. It doesn't contain any colour so if you need more coverage, try a powder, tinted moisturiser or foundation on top. After using it for a week or so, my skin definitely looked brighter and more glowy - I found the most I needed was a quick brush over with a translucent powder for a pretty flawless look.
£50 for 30ml, narscosmetics.com
Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash
A fashion industry legend, Charlotte Tilbury works with supermodels and Hollywood's A-listers. Nobody actually looks like they do on magazine covers though, so it's her job to transform pretty girls into stars. She's created her own products over the years by mixing up lotions and potions backstage, and Wonder Glow is one of her secret elixirs that gives an instant soft-focus illusion, but also treats the skin with anti-agers. Use without make-up for a dewy natural glow, under make-up to enhance luminosity and over the top of make-up any time to lift and perk up your complexion. The subtle scent of rose hip and camellia oils is gorgeous.
£38.50 for 40ml, charlottetilbury.com
Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm
Elemis say clinical trials show this makes skin more radiant and it smooths out fine lines and wrinkles. When I wear it, my skin looks much brighter and more even – almost as if I were wearing foundation, but without the look of make-up, as it's totally clear. A brilliant cheat to flawless skin. Plus some radiance products contain large luminescent particles, which can sparkle under the light – great if you're going for a glittery look, not so good if you're not! This one doesn't glitter at all.
£32 for 50ml, timetospa.co.uk
4/10 MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm spf 35
A beauty balm that comes in 9 different shades means you can get the perfect match whatever your skin tone. It's semi-translucent and super light on the skin, so blends like a dream and effortlessly blurs away imperfections. The 9 shades are also available in a compact, for touch-ups on the go.
£23 for 40ml, maccosmetics.co.uk
Nivea Daily Essentials BB Cream 5 in 1 Beautifying Moisturiser SPF 10
A brilliant budget option, that hides dark under-eye circles, and covers hyper-pigmentation. I found it boosts luminosity and gives a really pretty natural glow, but all with a matte effect finish, which is unusual for an illuminating product. Go for this one if you're prone to a shiny t-zone or breakouts.
£5.99 for 50ml, boots.com
Decleor Hydra Floral Multi-Protection BB Cream 24hr Moisture Activator SPF 15
Available in three shades, this one pretty much does what it says in its name. A light, illuminating, refining and fresh-feeling cream that blends all the benefits of a moisturiser with those of a foundation for a flawless finish. I was expecting it to be more like a moisturiser, but the coverage and staying power was excellent – and lasted well beyond the chaos and steamy bathroom fun of getting three little ones bathed at the end of a busy day.
£29 for 40ml, decleor.co.uk
2 Tru Pro BB Beautiful
With quite a strong colour pigment, this cream covers imperfections brilliantly and leaves the skin super smooth and hydrated. It also leaves you with a matte effect finish, but only a slight luminosity – which if you're prone to shine is probably a good thing as you don't want to be too glowy. It's not as translucent as some of the other BB creams and feels more like you're wearing make-up, but on the flip side if you're prone to blemishes, this will conceal them.
£5 for 20ml, superdrug.com
TopShop BB Cream SPF 20
Available in 3 shades – but be warned it does come out darker than expected. It's great for staying put all day and works well dabbed on problem areas first as a concealer. Also I found that to blend this one in seamlessly it needs a little warming between your finger tips. SPF 20 makes it a good one for summer, but it's also great for hydrating dry winter skin.
£10 for 30ml, topshop.com
Filorga BB-Perfect Anti-ageing beauty balm SPF 15
A great all-rounder, this soothing repairing cream is ideal for sensitive skin prone to redness and irritations, while it also contains skin-protecting anti-agers. The translucent coverage boosts radiance and can conceal imperfections, for a flawless complexion but without the skin looking made-up.
£35 for 30ml, marksandspencer.com
Simple Kind to Skin + Perfecting BB Beauty Balm SPF 15
Sensitive skins can react to too many layers of skincare products, but this colour and fragrance-free balm won't irritate complexions prone to flaring up. Super lightweight, just pop it on top of your moisturiser and it blurs away fine lines and imperfections, evens out the skin tone, and protects with SPF15. Skin loving vitamins B3, E and A, and natural extracts of ginger root, sweet almond and sunflower oils, ensure this is a calming, soothing treat for delicate skins. And easy on the purse strings, too.
£8.99 for 50ml, boots.com
We'd all like to live life in soft focus, so try Filorga BB-Perfect if you need anti-ageing extras. Nars Skin Optimal Brightening Concentrate comes out on top for its amazing skin tone perfecting results, and if you're on a budget, go for Topshop or Nivea’s creams.