In the world of beauty products, the sad truth is that sometimes the outside of a package matters more than what’s inside, at least when consumers are standing in front of endless rows of similar products and trying to choose one. People are also pretty label conscious, and have certain quality expectations for luxury vs. mainstream brands. But does any of it matter when it comes to a product’s efficacy?
I started thinking–it’s time to get less superficial with makeup. In a truly blind beauty test, where the testers have no knowledge of brand, packaging, price range, or previous reviews, what products would reign supreme? And so with that in mind, we at Fashionista conducted the “Blind BB Cream” test.
BB cream, for those of you who don’t know, is basically a hybrid between a tinted moisturizer and foundation. It’s a little thicker and offers more coverage than a tinted moisturizer and is supposed to make your skin look super awesome, poreless, and smooth. Sometimes they have added benefits–like SPF protection and ingredients that help with anti-aging. They’ve also exploded on the market–and with so many options it’s hard to know exactly which one to choose.
So, inspired by the scientific method (see, we were totally paying attention during science class,) we blindly tested BB creams in an attempt to objectively find a favorite. Check out our surprising, high-low results, presented here in proper lab manual format:
To find our top three BB cream favorites in a makeup test, where the testers are unaware of what brands they are using.
Question: Do beauty packaging and price point matter?
Seven members of the Fashionista team. (For the purposes of objectivity, I took myself out of the testing population.)
BB Cream samples, Light shade (8)
BB Cream samples, Medium shade (8)
BB Cream sample, “One Shade Fits Most” (1)
20 clear, plastic sample receptacles
Makeup Removing Towelettes (1 pack)
UPDATE: Per commenters’ request, here are the brands we tried:
L’Oreal Paris Youth Code BB Cream, Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm, Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm, Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream, Flower Beauty Balm BB Cream, Dr. Brandt Skincare Flexitone BB Cream, L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Instant Radiance BB Cream, Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream
1. Start squeezing BB creams into the plastic receptacles, designating each one with a letter and a number (ex: A1.) Record the super-secret designations in notebook.
2. Hand out samples to testers. Samples are applied to clean, bare skin.
3. Collect comments and quotes independently from test subjects
Three clear front runners came out of testing. But before we reveal the favorites, some select quotes from BB creams that didn’t make the cut:
“Smells like menthol, feels tingly.” “It feels powdery and just sits on top of my face.” “Weirdly orange.” “Too chalky, powdery and thick.” “This one is just not working!” referring to a BB cream that sat on top of her face like chalky ‘80s sunblock.
And now, the winners: