If you thought BB, CC, and DD face creams were confusing, wait until you try to sort through the next generation of so-called “alphabet” products.
According to a recent article in WWD, BB cream sales alone (not counting CC creams) reached $36 million in 2012, up from $2 million in the prior year. That’s 1,800% growth. Last week alone I got samples for three new BB creams, two CC’s, and even one BBB cream. So with the skyrocketing popularity of BB creams (and its other ABC relatives), it’s not that surprising that companies are trying to expand the category beyond skin.
BB has generally come to mean a product that has multi-tasking capabilities. Within that broad definition, beauty companies have started releasing BB and CC creams for the hair and eyes, and even… get this… BB beverages. (It’s getting to the point that we wish beauty companies would just call the products “F.U.” creams and be done with it.) Anyway, here’s what you need to know about all the new BB products on the market and what they claim to do.
So the leap from all-over face BB creams to targeted eye BB’s is the most obvious one. Currently there are two on the market–one at mass market and one luxury. Garnier’s BB Eye Cream Roll-on (currently available in the UK only) claims five benefits in one product–hiding dark circles, reducing appearance of bags, making fine lines less visible, hydration, and “illumination.” Dior just released a fancy version, called Hydra Life BB Eye Creme ($45). Dior’s version offers pretty much the same as Garnier’s, but it also has SPF 20 and a more traditional foam brush applicator instead of a roller ball.
Two different formulas, Keratin Perfect Hair BB Cream ($28) and Keratin Complex KeraBalm ($28), kicked off the hair BB craze. Both of them claim to have three benefits in one formula–strengthening, hydrating, and perfecting texture.
Not to be outdone, Pantene and Alterna have just released formulas claiming 10 benefits in one formula.
Pantene Ultimate 10 BB Cream ($5.29) targets different hair scourges like frizz and flyaways, while providing shine, hydration, heat protection, and softness, among other desirable things. Alterna–the brand fronted and partially owned by Katie Holmes–just-launched the first ever hair CC cream, called Caviar CC Cream Leave-In Hair Perfector ($25). It targets most of the same things as the Pantene version, but it also offers UV protection.
This is where it starts getting weird. Kusmi, a very upscale tea brand beloved by fashion people, just released BB Detox Tea ($19.50), which it’s billing as a “beauty beverage.” It contains maté and green tea which help you to eliminate excess fluid, and is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins. I have no idea if it’s working on my complexion yet, but it’s one of the most beautiful (yes, that’s the right word) beverages I’ve ever had. When you open the can, it’s like the most gorgeous, aromatic potpourri, and it tastes divine. Am I detoxed? No idea, but it’s a pretty pleasant experience.
The juice people, who have sort of cornered the market on detoxing over the last two years, want in on the BB craze, too. Or more specifically, the DD craze. NYC juice chain Juice Generation DD (“dynamic do-all”) shots ($3.95) come in one ounce bottles and seven different flavors, and claim to address everything from improving digestion to decreasing inflammation.
We’re waiting for BB toothpaste or deodorant next. Get going, beauty industry.