beauty balm (sometimes called BB Cream) is the does-it-all cosmetic that a lot of brands are coming out with. and since I love everything there is about make-up, I had to try some myself. over the past month, I’ve been sampling from 4 different products, each claiming to do basically the same thing.
Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB
this cream was light, but felt thick. it was colored like tinted moisturizer (a lighter color than foundation). it seemed like I couldn’t really get the SPF protection it advertised without really caking it on (which I opted not to do). though it has no oils, the product felt oil on my face. however, as I wore it throughout the day, it did not make my face shinier than normal. nor did I experience an excess of oil build-up from using the product. it did even my skin-tone and blur some imperfections, but as I said before about the SPF, I felt as though I would have to put on a lot more of the cream to really achieve the results I was hoping for. it was hydrating to a point (I still used my daily moisturizer before applying the cream), but I would not say it smoothed my skin. as far as brightening, it did a little bit of luminizing, but not much. I probably wouldn’t buy this product again, especially in summer weather.
L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB
this cream was very liquidy, like liquid foundation from a bottle. although it was white, you could see little grey flakes in the liquid. when rubbed together between my fingers, the flakes turned flesh-colored and colored the liquid like foundation. I do not like liquid foundation and never use it because I do not need coverage like that, but I used this product to see how it would be anyway. it did blur imperfections and even out my skin-tone, but only because of the color of the coverage. it was just like using liquid foundation (as far as color concentration). though I tried to put on only the thinnest layer, I felt weighed down by it. I also looked as though I had a mask on (ew, middle school make-up skills!). I felt embarrassed at work and hoped that no one would notice because I could not get a thinner or less-noticeable layer applied instead. it also felt incredibly oil and got shinier throughout the day. my skin did not take a liking to this product, which I could have guessed since my face doesn’t do well with full coverage liquid foundation either. so, naturally, I broke out in several places from it. I would never buy this product and I don’t recommend it if you don’t already wear a liquid foundation that you would be replacing with this product.
MAC Prep + Prime BB SPF 35
this product is a one-color-fits-all cream because it’s only lightly tinted. it is a thicker product, which leads me to believe the claims of SPF 35 protection. but for how thick it is, it doesn’t feel like you’re putting on a mask; oddly, it feels weightless. after prolonged use, I have gotten mild breakouts from MAC’s make-up, so I think there may be some small allergy or something going on there. however, I didn’t noticeably have a problem with this cream. it did get a little shiny in my T-Zone as the day wore on, but it was not any worse than wearing no cream at all. as far as blurring my imperfections and giving my skin an all-around smooth look, this did the job decently. I would say it gives you a good glowing look. you could probably skip a powder and just go with this BB. because of the expense, I am hesitant to buy this again, but would if I didn’t find a better, or comparable though cheaper, product.
Tarte Smooth Operator Illuminating Serum
this is a miracle cream! like the MAC BB, it is a one-color-fits-all product and even though it was more than a little tinted and appeared too light for my skin, it blended in perfectly. I got a golden glowing fresh look with minimal use. it was light and did not feel oily. I did not get shiny as the day went on, just kept the same “glowy” look in my cheeks (I put a powder over top of the BB on my nose, as with all of my other tests). this cream did a great job blending away my flaws without looking like I had on foundation or concealer. and it gave a smooth, fresh look to my skin. I think it would work even better in the summer months, though I’ll have to do another review of creams and how they hold up to the heat of the summer. I would be tempted to put on this cream and go in the morning! though this cream is about the same price at Sephora as the MAC BB, I would definitely buy this product over MAC. I’ve found a clear winner!