If you're never quite sure whether the ads for popular beauty products can be believed, relax. Our 4you Beauty Board is made up of veteran testers ready to try the latest when it comes to all things beauty. We'll share what worked and what bombed with the hope of making life a little easier for you.
Check out our online database of reviews at TBO.com, search: Beauty Board.
Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream (SPF 15)
Available at Macy’s, Nordstrom and other high-end department stores, also Sephora and online at amazon.com; $33 for 1.1 ounces
“Gives skin a bright, even tone and healthy glow while concealing pores and minimizing skin unevenness”
Michelle says: Oh, Shiseido BB cream, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! You are my all-in-one facial product: a lightweight foundation, a moisturizer, a sun protector and a skin perfecting lotion. You’re not greasy, you brighten my skin and you hide all those ugly sunspots and oversized pores. Now I know why Korean women fell in love with this German-developed product known as “Blemish Balm” and why it’s become an international sensation for women of a certain age. Cosmetic companies are all on the BB bandwagon these days, offering their version of this miracle cream. Shiseido does a fabulous job, though it might expand its customer base by offering more than two shades (medium and dark). I’ve just narrowed down my morning beauty routine by several steps, because BB is all I need to get my face ready to greet the day.
Michelle Bearden, 57, covers faith and values for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and WFLA-TV.
Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream
Available at Target, target.com, amazon.com and pacifica.com; $16 for 1 ounce
"A true multitasking miracle that hydrates, primes, illuminates, and perfects leaving a sheer bare skin finish."
Wendy says: "A true multitasking miracle" it is not, but if you're looking for a light, tinted moisturizer, this reasonably priced BB cream might be for you. Unfortunately, I need more coverage -- and sunscreen -- than this product provides. The maker says the product will illuminate the face with its skin-matching technology while also diminishing the appearance of pores, fine lines and uneven tone. This product is very light, and I couldn't see that it helped my pores or lines; nor did it even out my skin tone because it's just too light. And it doesn't contain any SPF. This might be the perfect product for a teenager or young woman with near flawless skin, but I'm past that stage in my life. The maker says you can build coverage, but I didn't have much luck with that. The good points: Alight is 100 percent vegan, and cruelty-, paraben- and phthalate-free.
Wendy M. Whitt, 46, is a freelance writer and editor.
OFRA BB Cream in medium; $39.95 for 2 ounces
Available at ofracosmetics.com
“A combination of medicated cream and tinted moisturizer formula, BB Cream contains anti-aging silk peptides to hydrate and protect your skin and diminish fine lines significantly.”
Kim says: It was my idea for the Beauty Board to review BB creams (short for beauty balm or blemish balm). TV and magazine ads praise them as the answer to every woman’s prayers – one product that works as a moisturizer, primer, foundation, setting powder, and an SPF sunscreen. Some promise to brighten, others vow to get rid of age spots, wrinkles or blemishes (if you have them). Put all that in one jar, and you are eliminating time and cost. Hurrah! Unfortunately, the BB cream I tried didn’t do much for me. It didn’t offer enough coverage, and there’s no mention of sun protection on the label. The OFRA brand is packed with lots of great ingredients – and I think it would be a good product for a younger woman – but it didn’t fulfill my needs. I’m back to my basket full of jars and tubes.
Kim Franke-Folstad, 54, is the editor of 4you.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Eventone BB Cream in Medium/Dark
Available at Wal-Mart, Target, amazon.com and palmers.com; $8.19 to $11 for 1 ounce
Clarisa says: I had seen magazine ads for BB creams and wondered what they were all about. Now I can't imagine not having it in my daily routine. I started recommending Palmer's Eventone BB Cream after using it for just two weeks. I fell in love with it right away. Lately I was feeling the powder I normally use wasn’t providing the coverage I needed as more discoloration spots popped up, in addition to some redness. (Joys of hitting the 40s?) I’ve never been a fan of foundation, especially in the Florida heat. The BB cream is lightweight and can be used either as a base layer or by itself. I used it under powder during the workweek and solo on the weekends. After a bout with melasma 10 years ago, I’m a nut about using sunscreen. Bonus: The cream provides SPF 15 and didn’t cake up when I used it over my daily SPF 40 facial sunscreen. At $11 or less for a bottle, I’ll be stocking up!