Thursday, May 10, 2012

BB Crème au Ginseng - Erborian

Ok, let's talk BB cream. 
First of all, what exactly is BB cream? Well, it has 4 basic functions:
  1. Unifies your skin tone
  2. Moisturizes and nourishes
  3. Offers a wonderful "baby skin effect" and velvety touch
  4. Sun protection
This product is meant to adapts itself to all skin tones, with a natural effect. And that's the point of BB cream, it's like Photoshop in a tube. But it's not a foundation. Nor is it simply a tinted moisturizer. Actually 'BB' stands for 'blemish balm' or 'beauty balm', depending on the formula. I think 'beauty balm' was brought to life for the western part of the world. Marketing, you see.

DISCLAIMER: With this newbie lesson over, let me give you a little background info. If you want to skip 'my story', please proceed to the actual review ;)
I have combination to oily skin, especially in the T-zone.
So after a while I said to myself that it was time to get an actual skincare routine, if I wanted to do something about it.
I went to my local beauty store (Ici Paris XL), and the lady helped me to find a decent product for my skin. I finally chose Dr Brandt's 'Pores No More' series, (which, by the way, helped me A LOT). 

After that, like every employee in the sales business, she introduced me to a new product, the Erborian BB Crème au Ginseng. She started doing that little speech; "It's a new product, very big in Korea" and "I have it at home too!" and "It does great work!". Cautious as I am with those seller-talks (and I had just bought a whole ton of skincare products), I politely declined, but I asked for a tester, 'just in case'.

I must admit that I was very critical when I first tried it. Back then, I was very insecure about the look of my skin, I wanted makeup with full coverage. As a result, the BB cream didn't work for me.

Until a week ago. I switched to water-based makeup, with light to medium coverage. Summer approaching, I figured I could get a product with a light formula, a tinted moisturizer or something. Because every summer I tend to make the same mistake by using my 'regular' makeup. Result: *My face is meltiiiiiiiiiing!!* SO, I tried the Erborian BB Crème au Ginseng again. Here's my review! (Finally!)

First of all: the packaging. As you can see in the picture above, it comes in a very simple, slim squeeze tube, which is obviously more convenient than any other packaging for a cream (e.g. Urban Decay's Primer Potion). It isn't heavy too, so there you go. You can easily carry this in your makeup bag! There's even a smaller 'pocket size' version too, but I don't think you need it.

When I squeezed some cream out for the first time, I thought: "Wow, this is very light!" (I'm NC20-25/MUFE 125-130). But once it was on my face, my skin was evened-out and smooth like silk. I still looked a bit paler then before (not ashy!), but nothing a bit of bronzer/blush can't fix! Personally, I also 'set' it with a translucent powder.
Now, for the actual color: You have the choice between the 'original formula' (light) or the 'doree' version (dark). I think both would suit a lot of skin colors, but mostly those with a yellow undertone! Then again, I'm not an expert, and asking for a sample doesn't hurt. ;)

What I noticed is that the formula is very dry(ing). For me, combination/oily skin, this is a LIFESAVER! It stays on better than any foundation I've ever tried (and I've tried a lot), and I get by with blotting paper after 4-5 hours of wear (usually I have to re-powder and stuff). Then again, a friend of mine with dry skin tried it, and she said that it felt like 'cement on her face'.

The price: here in Belgium it costs 33 for a tube of 45ml (or 1.5oz). Since little goes a long way, I don't find the price extremely high!

Conclusion: I LOVE this product! I recommend it to anyone who has combination to oily skin, and is looking for something light-weighted for the summer. The little choice of color isn't such a problem, since it blends in with your skin tone pretty well. I advice to use a bronzer/blush to give yourself more color though! Or otherwise it can look too perfect... ;)