The BB cream craze peaked sometime around 2013, when K-beauty began reaching a fever pitch in the U.S. and brands were engaging in an arms race to see who could launch the next super-popular iteration of a multi-functional, lightweight tinted moisturizer. Since then — and with the advent of Glossier Skin Tint, First Aid Beauty Skin Tint and Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint (are you sensing a trend?) — our collective BB cream obsession seems to have fizzled a bit. But mine has not.
For the days when I need more coverage than the aforementioned Glossier product offers and richer moisturization than the First Aid Beauty option yields, I swear by 3Lab Perfect BB SPF 40/PA++ BB cream. This dense, creamy formula comes in a tube with a pump top, and just a minute, dime-size dab of this stuff is enough to offer medium-full coverage for my entire face. The finish is velvety and slightly dewy, but never verges on slick or chalky — it makes skin look like actual human skin. Really, really great skin.
Because the formula is spiked with shea butter, olive oil and glycerin, it creates a super-smooth finish that combats dryness, rather than exacerbating flakes and the appearance of patchiness, as most other fuller-coverage makeup I've tried does. It comes with a funny little paint roller sponge that I immediately discard because I have no interest in taking 45 minutes to be precious while I do my makeup. (Beautyblender or Fenty Beauty sponge 4 life!) And while the SPF in the BB cream is a nice added bonus, the obsessive sun-avoider in me wants to remind you that you still need to wear actual sunscreen and reapply it — what's in your makeup is never enough to actually offer comprehensive protection!
There is one truly glaring downside to what might otherwise be, as its name so boldly suggests, a perfect BB cream: Unfortunately, like all too many color cosmetics (save for those under the Fenty umbrella... ella, ella, ella) the shade range (or, more accurately, lack thereof) is, quite simply, embarrassing. This is a notorious issue with BB creams, which hail from the K-beauty world, but c'mon, it's 2018 and this is being sold outside of Asia. Step! It! Up! That said, for my very pale, borderline jaundiced ghost complexion, the "medium" shade seems to be a perfect fit.
3Lab Perfect BB SPF 40/PA+++, $105, available at Dermstore.
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