So far, 2012 has been the “Year of the BB Creams” here in the US. Many Drugstore versions have cropped up from several brands, including Garnier, Maybelline, and two from L’Oreal. Cover Girl even took one of their existing tinted moisturizers and gave it a new name so that they could jump on the BB Cream bandwagon. Today, I have L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream for review.
First up, let’s talk abut what a BB cream actually is. BB cream stands for Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm cream. Traditional BB creams, which are super popular in Asian countries, are multi-purpose products that can function as foundation, primer, and moisturizer all in one and should contain many beneficial skin enhancing properties. American drugstore BB Creams, despite the name, do not do any of this. In general they are glorified tinted moisturizers. Don’t expect to find an appropriate substitute for a Korean BB Cream in a US drugstore. It simply is not going to happen. However, that doesn’t mean that all drugstore BB Creams are terrible products. They aren’t BB Creams, but they can serve as great tinted moisturizers, as long as you have the right expectations going in.
Unfortunately, the L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream isn’t even a good tinted moisturizer. I got a hold of this product because my sister bought it and hated it, so she passed it on to me for review. That’s why I have it in the shade Medium, which is certainly not my shade. L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream comes in four shades, Fair, Light, Medium, and Deep. I would advise choosing a lighter shade than you normally would because from the swatches that I’ve seen online, as well as the shade that I have, these shades run dark and tend to go orange.
L’Oreal has this to say about their Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream: “Encapsulated pigments are infused in an ultra-light lotion with antioxidants vitamins C and E. You get four beautifying actions: primes to smooth skin’s texture; perfects to hide imperfections; hydrates for all-day moisture; corrects skin for a healthy-looking, even complexion. L’Oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream instantly transforms to your perfect shade for a flawless bare-skin finish.“
The consistency of L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream is rather runny, like a white lotion with tinted “Beautifying Beads” that break while you blend it in. The beads are actually kind of hard, which give the product a grainy or gritty texture. I found application to be really scratchy and irritating, like I was using an exfoliator. I also did not find it hydrating at all. On the contrary, I found the mattifying formula to be a bit drying on the skin. Of course, I do have dry skin, so those with oily skin may appreciate that it isn’t too hydrating. But since hydration is one of the four major selling points, I’d say it’s a fail in that department.
I did think that the L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream did a great job of smoothing out texture. It gave my skin the same “soft focus” look that my Revlon Photoready primer gives me. That is probably the only thing that I thought the product did well. I would not recommend trying to use the product as a primer under foundation, though, because once it sets foundation gets “stuck” on it making it hard to blend and somewhat cakey looking.
When it comes to perfecting and correcting, the L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream comes up short. The coverage is extremely light, even for a tinted moisturizer. Though it does sort of “soften” the face, any redness or imperfection will show through. Coverage can be built up some, but you have to work very quickly because, again, one it sets it gets really hard to blend and starts to look cakey. I just don’t think it’s worth the trouble for such minimal results. Please keep in mind that these swatch pictures are of a shade that is way too dark for my skin, but even so you can still clearly see the scars on my hand and the blue/green of my veins. If you have very good skin you may be able to get away with using this product, but the rest of us will need a lot of concealer.
I personally thought that the L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream was a complete fail. Even if you disregard the great BB Cream debate and just take the product on it’s own, it’s not very good. I thought the application was irritating and the coverage almost non-existant. For a product with such lofty claims, I found it to be a huge disappointment. My recommendation is to skip the L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream entirely. There are just too many competing products that are so much better, so don’t waste your time. I have heard good reviews for both the Garnier and the Maybelline BB Creams (though I have not tried them myself), so if you are determined to try a drugstore BB Cream, aim for one of them and skip the L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream altogether.
Don’t forget to enter my Giveaway to win one of two prizes, open until 8/12.