Lauren Snow
November 4th, 2012

Friends are lovely.

Beautiful: Friends are beautiful. This past week I received an email from Michelle in Denver and here is what she wrote, "Dear Lauren, what the heck is BB Cream, do I need it, and will it make me beautiful?". When I read her email, I laughed. Simply because I loved the tone. I felt like I was reading an email from one of my sisters or close friends. For some reason makeup brings out the "girlfriend" in all of us. Trust me, if you ever get a group of women together to have their makeup done, you'll see what I mean! It's guaranteed there will be plenty of laughs, tons of smiles, and a lot of shared experiences!

Gorgeous: "BB Cream will only enhance what makes you gorgeous and beautiful!", I write back to Michelle in a response email. "I promise to arm you with as much information as I can so you can decide if BB Cream is best for you!", I say. "Thank you lovely!", she writes.

Makeup: BB Cream - What the heck is it?

The story: First question. What does BB stand for? BB stands for Blemish Balm or Beauty Balm. BB Cream has been all the rage recently in the makeup world. Originally developed by a German dermatologist for post-surgery patients, it is part skincare, part foundation. Some have referred to it as tinted moisturizer on steroids. I actually review BB Cream in my Makeup For Mommies and Teenage Dream education classes becasue it is a multi-tasking product for multi-tasking women and it's super easy to use. Think of it as a moisturizer, sunblock, primer, and foundation all in one. Very popular in Asia, it's just now making it's debut in the U.S. and may of the big brands have introduced their own version BB Cream.

Pros: Super easy to apply, lightweight, covers blemishes (kind of like a concealer), soothes skin (mineral-based), multi-tasking (mositurizer, primer & foundation), UV protection, anti-aging ingredients (hyaluronic acid & vitamin c)

Cons: Limited shades (many brands only have 1 - 5 shades) and it may be hard to achieve full coverage

Expert advice: Always do what works best for you! However, any beauty expert will tell you that there is no one product that can do it all. In the beauty industry, we often use the example of 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner to explain this point. Think about it. You never get the full benefits of the shampoo or the conditioner. Instead, you get that weird feeling of half-clean / half-soft hair, right? That's kind of my experience with BB Cream. I felt like I wasn't getting the full benefits of a moisturizer, sunscreen, primer, or foundation. If you know that going in, and you are okay with it, I think you will love it for all that it is (or isn't)!

Here are my Top 5 BB Cream picks (see above):

1. Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream SPF 15...$11.99 at Target. Details: Renews, brightens, evens, hydrates, protects, dermatologist tested

2. Stila Stay All Day HD Beauty Balm...$38. Details: Leaves a silky, powdery finish, helps reduce pore size and provides oil control, paraben-free, HD formula, no SPF

3. Clinique Age Defense BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30...$37. Details: SPF protection, antioxidants for prevention, coverage to banish imperfections, available in 3 shades, use sparingly

4. Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm SPF 20...$32. Details: Anti-aging multi-mineral complex, vegan friendly, available in 4 shades, light-diffusing pigments add radiance

5. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Specturum SPF 35...$39. Details: Cruelty-free, available in 5 shades, guaranteed to improve skin moisture in 4 weeks, great primer when used with foundation for more coverage

Do something lovely: Before the craziness of the holidays is in full swing, grab your sisters, friends, or both, and have some lovely girl time! I promise there will be endless laughs and countless memories. I'll bring the champagne and makeup!

Special thanks to Michelle for agreeing to share her email with the world. It's official...we are "girlfriends". You'll have to let me know which BB Cream you decided on! Xo, Lauren

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