Sunday, 14 June 2009

Beauty - Babe, you have to get some 'BB'!

Its the end of the day, my skin still looks great! Dewy, matte and fresh, words never used before to describe my 40 year old complexion. Borrowing the words of philosopher Descarte "I am because I 'BB'!".

No clue what I am going on about? 'BB' or 'B.B cream' is the biggest buzz word in the North Asian skin care and foundation market, a solo foundation product that is taking up prime display space as its simply flying off the shelves of the Korean and Japanese make up manufacturers, especially here in trend driven Hong Kong.

'BB' stands for Blemish Balm cream and it is basically a 4-in-1 multifunctional cream that soothes, moisturizes, protects and gives a natural dewy finish to the skin. Apparently the product was developed by dermatologists to help patients recovering from laser skin surgery, burns and skin related problems by providing ample coverage as well as soothing and regenerating the skin's surface as part of the complete healing process.

How did it soar to fame? Apparently the big home grown make-up manufacturers in Korea caught on to it as a marketable product and used Korean celebrity endorsement to introduce it. Overnight, this product evolved and emerged as the hottest 'must-have' make-up item to achieve that long-wearing and constantly youthful glow.

Ok so its not botox and does not smooth the wrinkles we are all starting to have at 40 but this product definitely does deliver! I got a tube of this 'miracle' cream by Korean brand Charmzone (Natural Skinade B.B cream with SPF15/PA+) as a gift from my well travelled girlfriend who heard her Korean aircrew friends rave about it. Yours truly decided to test the hype by taking it on a trial run.

I have the worst kind of combination skin, very oily on the T zone and dry everywhere else. I also have an uneven skin tone with the odd age spot appearing here and there and open pores especially along both sides of my nose. The instructions for use were simple. I followed the usual tone, moisturise and sun block routine first and then applied a thin layer of the product all-over focusing on the spots that I wanted to 'cover' as with a regular foundation or concealer. The product instantly reminded me of a tinted moisturiser with an additional mattifier or pore tightening effect. I very pleasantly surprised at the product's creamy and yet light texture. It did not invade the pores or rest heavy on the skin like a two way cake does. Instead, it spread evenly disappearing quickly into the skin, efficiently and almost instantly closing up what I call the 'pot holes' (pores) camouflaging them and evening out my overall complexion bringing me from pasty to radiant without looking 'shiny'.

Twelve hours later, back from my supermarket run and even after a 45 minute visit to the gym, I was still pretty dewy and sufficiently matte rather than looking like an oozing oil well, which I normally am after being out in the humidity and heat of a Hong Kong Summer. Before my final verdict, I did a 'morning-after' test, the next morning just to see if I had clogged pores or any breakouts. Nothing! I was sold!

With the advantage of being both a makeup and a skin care product, BB cream formulations are suitable for all skin types, even those with sensitive and acne-prone skin. BB creams generally come in one or two shades as they are not meant to mask your skin but rather to sink or seep into your skin to even up your skin tone. Note this product is NOT meant as a replacement to the regular, tone, moisturise and sun block routine. Also not to be used as a treatment product if you have existing acne or stubborn blemishes as the product is more cosmetic in nature ie. used for concealment.

Where can you find this? Try the Korean brands (some of these brands are in Singapore) Bio Remedies Therapeutic Cosmetics (BRTC), Skin Food, Missha, Skin 79, Etude, The Face Shop.

Go ahead babe, your skin is in crave mode and you definitely need some BB love!

- Elaine


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