Do you BB? A look at the newest all-in-one beauty product

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
A selection of BB creams

What started as a beauty staple in Asia has crossed over to the U.S., first at cosmetic counters and finally appearing on drugstore shelves. BB creams -- the BB stands for beauty balm or blemish balm -- promise to prime, perfect, protect, hydrate and control oil. Some have added benefits, like anti-aging ingredients. But are they worth all the fuss?

"BB creams are definitely a hot product because one step does it all," says Megan Sample, senior educating consultant at Sephora in Cape Girardeau. "It's kind of like a tinted moisturizer amped up." BBs have been a hit with busy women and moms on the go, and they sold especially well in the summer, says Sample -- most have an SPF of 25 to 35.

"BB creams would be great in the summertime, if you wanted color on your face but didn't want to put all of your makeup on," agrees Joleta Ludwig, a Cape Girardeau makeup artist. "It would be time-saving to use them, since you would only be applying one product instead of several."

If you're unsure where to start, test a BB cream at the cosmetic counter or request a free sample from the vendor. Most BB creams are sheer enough that they only come in a couple colors, but you still want to make sure you get the right one for your skintone and type, says Sample.

"You at least need to try it," she says. "Why not get the extra benefit in a beauty product?"

As for Ludwig herself, she's not sold on BB creams.

"To me, these products are really fancy names for tinted moisturizers with benefits," she says. "For me, nothing will replace my primer, foundation and powder. I'll continue to use these products until the end of time."