After I posted my L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream review, I told you that I'd be reviewing the Maybelline version next, so here it is! I purchased the Maybelline version shortly after I purchased the L'Oreal version and I've been using both of these products off and on for several weeks now. I've got a lot to say about this one, so let's jump right into it:
Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm Skin Perfector SPF30 in Light
(retail: around $8.50, 1.0 oz)
As I mentioned in my L'Oreal BB Cream review, I know that many of you don't think highly of US BB creams. I know that many people think that Asian BB creams are far superior due to their ability to be true all-in-one products (primer, foundation, concealer, skin treatment, SPF, etc.). And like I mentioned before, I have no idea why US brands have chosen to go a different route with their offerings, but they have. So I'll be reviewing these US versions based on their own merits, and whether or not they deliver on their own claims (not how they stack up to their Asian counterparts).
That said, let's take a closer look:
This product claims to provide broad spectrum SPF30 and the following eight benefits:
To me, the word "enhance" pretty much equals "blurs imperfections" + "brightens", but continuing on...
I'd like to take a moment to discuss the SPF in this product. The only active ingredient here is titanium dioxide. This product states that it provides "broad spectrum SPF30", which means that the sunscreen in this product should filter both UVA and UVB rays (for more information on this, please refer to skincancer.org). Based on various studies, titanium dioxide IS effective for filtering UVA and UVB rays, so we're off to a good start. However, the percentage of titanium dioxide in this product seems quite low when compared to other products I own. To give you some perspective, my CeraVe SPF30 moisturizer (which is also broad spectrum) contains the following active ingredients: homosalate 12%, octinoxate 7.5%, octocrylene 2% and zinc oxide 3.5%. In fact, most broad spectrum sunscreens on the market (whether they be foundations, moisturizers, or just plain sunscreens) usually contains a combination of ingredients (in higher percentages than you find in this Maybelline product) to provide effective broad spectrum sun protection.
I'm not a chemist, so I cannot tell you exactly how effective this product will be when it comes to sun protection, but I would not advise that you use this as your only means of sun protection if you're going to be outdoors (or even indoors if you'll be sitting near a sunny window for an extended period of time).
Let's take a look at the inactive ingredients:
Unlike the L'Oreal BB Cream, this product does not contain parabens. But just like the L'Oreal product, this product contains a high amount of glycerin (third ingredient) and also propylene glycol, which both can act as humectants (a fancy word for an ingredient that pulls water from the air and keeps it on the skin). So in other words, by just looking at the ingredients, I can tell that this product is probably going to feel pretty moisturizing on my skin, but let's see...
The texture of this BB cream is MUCH nicer than the L'Oreal BB cream, in my opinion. It doesn't contain the harsh grains of the L'Oreal version, and it's also creamier (the L'Oreal version feels more like a lotion). And of course the most obvious difference: it's not an opaque white, self-adjusting cream (although the label says it does adjust to your skintone).
The shade I purchased, Light, is a good color-match for my MAC NC20 skintone. It's not perfect (it's a tiny bit too light) but it is definitely workable. By the way, there are five shades in the Maybelline range (there are four in the L'Oreal range) and I've heard from several of you with deeper skintones who have been been able to find a good match in the Maybelline range (not so much in the L'Oreal range). So props to Maybelline for making shades that work for a larger variety of us!
After rubbing this product into the back of my hand, you can see that it blends so well that you can barely see the part of my hand that is makeup-free (see the arrow above).
Now I'd like to show you what the Maybelline BB Cream looks like on my face. As I've said before, my skin is far from perfect. I have redness, old acne scars, dark circles, fine lines, you name it.
Here's my clean, bare face:
After applying Maybelline BB Cream in Light:
As you can see, it's a little too light for me, but other than that, I think it does a nice job of evening out my skintone, dimishing the look of my fine lines, and also providing a fair amount of coverage (I could never walk out of the house wearing just this product on my face though--I still definitely need a concealer for under my eyes and other imperfections and also a setting powder). I DEFINITELY like the look of this product on my particular skin more than I like the look of the L'Oreal BB cream on my skin.
Summary: the Maybelline BB Cream does a decent job of covering minor imperfections, evening out redness and smoothing fine lines. It's creamy, spreads well and blends easily. It's very moisturizing, yet it doesn't feel thick, heavy or sticky on the skin. It really feels light--almost like a second skin. I can wear this product without having to apply a regular facial moisturizer beforehand, so it's nice that I can skip that step in my routine. But as with many tinted moisturizers I own, after about four hours, this product becomes far too greasy on my oily skin. In this hot weather we've been having lately, the natural oils in my skin literally eat up this product, and after about five hours, it looks like I'm barely wearing anything at all. I've tried setting it with oil-control powders and that doesn't really keep things in place longer than five hours. I would say that if your skin is dry to normal, you'll have much better luck with this product, but if you have oily to very oily skin, I don't think this will be able to take you through the day. It does a little bit better if I wear a primer underneath, but not by much. The fragrance of this product is very mild, sort of like a regular foundation, and I have experienced no breakouts or irritation since I've been using this BB cream. As for sun protection, as I stated above, I would not advise relying on this product alone for any type of serious sun protection.
Comparison to L'Oreal BB Cream: If I had to choose between the two, I would go with Maybelline, because I think it gives a more natural look to my skin (no grayish cast) and I prefer products that don't self-adjust to the extent of the L'Oreal product. Also, the grains in the L'Oreal product are not my favorite (I already use a physical exfoliator so I really don't need more scrubbing on a daily basis). As for SPF, the L'Oreal product doesn't contain any but, to be honest, I've been treating the Maybelline product as if it doesn't either, because I think the percentage of titanium dioxide is just too low to be effective when compared to other sunscreens I own. The L'Oreal BB cream retails for $10.95 in my area, whereas the Maybelline retails for $8.49, so that's another bonus since they're both 1.0 oz tubes. The only thing that I prefer about the the L'Oreal version is that is has a nice mattifying effect. The finish of the Maybelline version is not matte--it's definitely "glowy", which doesn't work for my oily skin.
FINAL VERDICT: The Maybelline BB Cream feels very much like a tinted moisturizer on my skin, but I think it's a good tinted moisturizer if you have dry to normal skin. Those with oily or very oily skin might be disappointed with how much breakthrough shine you'll see a few hours after application, and I really don't think I'd recommend this product to those who have skin like mine (super oily, especially during the summertime). That said, if you take this product for what it's worth (basically a nice tinted moisturizer) and don't expect any miracles, you might be very happy with your purchase. Plus, like I mentioned above, those with deeper skintones should have a much easier time finding a good color match with this line vs. the L'Oreal line, based on feedback I've received from readers. So that's a definite plus. If you're already a tinted moisturizer fan who's not looking looking for full coverage and you don't have oily skin, I say give this one a shot. Just don't forget to apply some sunscreen first! PS: if you're looking for a true all-in-one product that can take the place of primer, foundation, concealer, moisturizer, sunscreen etc., I don't think you'll find that with either the Maybelline or L'Oreal BB creams. So I'd suggest lowering your expectations and taking them for what they are: tinted moisturizers with a few added benefits. If you lower your expectations, you might be happy with either one, depending on your needs.
Do you already own Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Skin Perfector? Do you prefer it to the L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream or does the L'Oreal version work better for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts!