The BB Cream Showdown No One’s Been Waiting For

As someone who is consistently six months behind every awesome trend I am just now coming around to trying a blemish balm – or “bb cream” – as they are sometimes known.  (Aside: I have a weird issue with the fact that second “b” in “bb” stands for “balm” and yet there is a “cream” added at the end, too.  Isn’t that redundant?)  Being a zillion miles away from a Sephora means I must rely on drugstores, Target, and my monthly Birchbox arrival to help me experiment with the latest and greatest.  After reading that a bb cream can do the job of both a primer and tinted moisturizer/light foundation I was intrigued.  I mean, I’m pretty damn devoted to my BeneFit POREfessional primer and tinted moisturizer.  How would this product – claiming to be The Highlander of primer/moisturizers – replace my preciousness?

The answer was clear: I would need to try it out for myself.  It would be an Iron Chef-type showdown pitting two different balms against each other.  Only one can emerge victorious!  OK, I may watch too much Food Network, but whatever.  My (limited) research may help you in your quest.  You’re welcome.

Contestant #1 – Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector in Light/Medium

Pros: Easily obtained at your local Target or RiteAid or whatever.  Not crazy expensive.  Smells yummy.  SPF 15

Cons: Too dark for my pasty self.  Doesn’t blend easily.  My skin just generally doesn’t seem to react super well.  Only an SPF 15.

Analysis: I wanted to like this, I really did, but meh.  While I didn’t have any breakouts, it just left my skin feeling kind of dry which is the OPPOSITE EFFECT IT SHOULD HAVE.  There is another formula out there, so maybe that would be better suited to my needs but I’m not really willing to buy another tube in order to find out.  I’m sure that 90% of my reaction is due to the fact that the color itself isn’t the most flattering on me but that was my own misplaced optimism that a light/medium would work.  However, I could see this working well on someone with not-so-dry skin and who isn’t a shade off from Albino.

Contestant #2 – Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm

Pros: Came to me via Birchbox, which means it’s so adorably tiny and perfect for travel and basically cost me $2!  SPF 25.  Not much blending necessary since the color was actually a pretty kick-ass match for Ol’ Whitey.

Cons:  Need to order online and definitely pricier than ye olde drugstore brand.  The name “Jart” rhymes with “fart” and “shart” which is kind of funny (OK REALLY FUNNY SHUT UP I’M 12) but also sort of gross.

Analysis:  Love how it feels but I don’t love how it looks alone – still need my primer.  Sheer and light, which is perfect for the insane heat that has hit us this week, but still offers enough coverage.  Definitely a better match for my complexion, which is a huge plus.  I mean, if it looks like I’m wearing a mask, I’m not going to use it.


Winner: Dr. Jart+ (Heh – jart still sounds like fart/shart.)


I really wanted to love the Garnier but it just wasn’t meant to be for me.  I’m not sure if it’s a case of you get what you pay for, or if I would love the Garnier more had they not tried to make it a light/medium, but Dr. Jart+ is the clear winner.   Still not willing to forsake my precious primer, but this could replace my Mary Kay Tinted Moisturizer, which kind of blows my mind

Wow, can you all stand the excitement of this thrilling showdown?  Now don’t you feel like you can sleep well with all this knowledge?  Again: you’re welcome.


3 thoughts on “The BB Cream Showdown No One’s Been Waiting For

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