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Monday, September 24, 2012

Review: Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42 in No. 21

Finally, right? I feel like it's taken me months get this review up (actually, it has, since I bought this product a few months ago). But since this is my first Asian BB Cream review, I wanted to be perfectly sure of my feelings before posting my review. There's obviously been a lot of controversy over the past few months regarding American BB creams and their lack of similarities to Asian BB creams, so I really wanted to take my time and take note of the differences.

That said, let's not waste any time...

 Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42 in No. 21 Light Beige
(retail: $12, 0.68 oz)

Keep reading for my full review with before-and-after photos...

Note: the $12 tube is the smallest tube available on the Missha website. It's a little under 1 oz, which is the size of most US BB creams such as the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream and L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream. You can also purchase a larger tube (1.69 oz) which retails for $22 on the Missha website. Missha also has many other BB creams for sale on their site, but I chose Perfect Cover for two reasons: it's Missha's most popular formula, and it was also easily available at a local Asian market here in San Diego.

back of tube

From the box (not pictured):
The M Perfect Cover BB Cream makes your skin tone clean and natural by concealing blemishes with excellent skin coverage. It is a multi functional makeup cream with blocking UV rays, whitening and wrinkle care effects and simplifies makeup formalities. Its moisturized application with sleek W/S texture makes sleek skintone by supplying moisture and nutrition at the same time. 

Directions: after basic skin care, apply an appropriate amount along the skin texture and finish with powder. Do not need to apply Sun cream in addition.

SPF (Sun Protection Factor): SPF of the product is measured by test methods of KFDA (Korean Food & Drug Administration).
From the Missha website:
 Water(Aqua), Cyclomethicone, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Zinc Oxide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Mineral Oil, Phenyl Trimethicone, Talc, Arbutin, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Dimethicone, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Squalane, Adenosine, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Beeswax(Cera Alba), Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Caviar Extract, Algae Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Fagus Sylvatica Bud Extract, Ceramide 3, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance(Parfum), Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Benzyl Salicylate, Hydroxycitronellal, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Citronellol
MAY CONTAIN[+/-; Titanium Dioxide(CI 77891), Iron Oxides(CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)]
As you can see, this product contains mineral oil and also two forms of parabens. I know that either (or both) can be a deal-breaker for some, so I want to be sure you're aware of that. Thankfully, I've never had any issues with mineral oil in my skincare (I know a lot of people are sensitive/prone to breakouts if they use products containing mineral oil) but I do wish this formula was paraben-free. I've heard that other Missha BB creams formulas are paraben-free and I'd love to try one of those in the future.

As for SPF, I don't know the percentages of active ingredients, but if we're to assume that the order of ingredients above go from highest to lowest, then there appears to be a good deal of both ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate and zinc oxide in this formula (both of those ingredients act as UV filters).

What is a BB Cream?

Well, that really depends on what country you're in. As you know if you've seen my Maybelline and L'Oreal BB Cream reviews, US BB creams make a lot of all-in-one promises, but I've found that the two I've tried don't quite live up to all the promises and more closely resemble tinted moisturizers (with a few added skin benefits). Asian BB Creams, and more specifically, Korean BB Creams such as those by Missha, have a reputation for being true all-in-one products with fuller coverage than their US counterparts.

From the Missha website:
BB Cream (short for Blemish Balm Cream ) was first created by dermatologists to treat and protect skin after skin surgery. Celebrities started to use it for natural-flawless-glowing look, soon it became popular.

Missha has reformulated BB Cream for use with general population. Missha BB Cream maintained original bb cream’s protecting ability, perfected coverage, adhesion, light-weight texture, UV protection and improved fine lines and uneven skin tone correction. M Perfect Cover BB Cream is the most popular BB Cream among Beauty experts. The tremendous popularity spread to Japan, then all over Asia and now even in Western countries such as USA, Canada, Australia and France. It creates natural flawless look and works as a moisturizer, UV protector, concealer and foundation, All in One in a tube.
So I'll be basing my review on the claims (in bold) above. Is this product truly a moisturizer, UV protector, concealer and foundation all in one? Let's find out...

The consistency of this product is nice and creamy. It's not a thin, watery formula, but it's not so thick that it's difficult to spread on the skin. I find that I need about 35% less product to cover my face than the average liquid foundation--a little goes a long way. The fragrance reminds me of baby powder (perhaps in part due to the talc in this formula).

Here's a set of before-and-after photos:

My face, freshly washed (no moisturizer)

As I always say, my skin is far from perfect. I have redness, old acne scars, sun damage, fine lines, darkness under my eyes and enlarged pores near my nose (gosh I hate always writing that out and reminding myself of it!).

Moments after applying Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream No. 21

I used my fingers for application (I find this to be my favorite method) and as you can see, there's a serious gray cast to this BB cream. But this is temporary, as this is a self-adjusting product that needs to warm up to your skin and oxidize a bit:

Ten minutes after application

Waiting ten minutes makes all the difference in the world. This product is still a bit light for my NC20 skintone, but it's nowhere near as gray as it was immediately after application.

After applying setting powder

Bare skin vs. Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream + setting powder

The short version? I love this product. 

The long version:

For me personally, Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream absolutely lives up to its claims. Not only can I skip my usual moisturizer, but I can also skip my foundation and concealer when I use this product. Granted, this is not a full-coverage product, but compared to the US BB Creams I've used that provide pretty much the same amount of coverage as a tinted moisturizer, Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream feels like a dream. In fact, if you look at the darkness under my eyes, I swear to you, I've used concealers that deliver less coverage/correction than this BB cream! Also, this product evened out my redness far beyond my expectations. 

As for moisturization, please note that I have only tested this product in the summertime and I have extremely oily skin. For me personally, I have never felt the need to apply a separate moisturizer before using this product, and I would say that one of my only complaints is that it delivers a bit too much moisturize to my oily skin. I think it's best suited to those with dry to normal skin, but I definitely can make it work by keeping blotting papers at hand for use a few times throughout the day.

I honestly can't count how many times this summer, when temperatures have reached 100 degrees+ and I haven't wanted to put a single product on my face, that I have reached for this product and worn just this with a bit of cream blush and that's it. It's one of the few products I own that I can slap on and feel confident enough to wear by itself for a quick trip to the store. 

So let's run through this product's claims once again:

Moisturizer  - YES
UV protector - I believe the ingredients are effective, yet I have no way of knowing for sure
concealer - YES
foundation- YES

FINAL VERDICT: Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream has lived up to the hype for me. I think the shade I purchased, No. 21, is a bit too light for my NC20 skintone, but other than that, I couldn't be more pleased with this product when it comes to sheer convenience. It's a true all-in-one product that can certainly take the place of my moisturizer, concealer and foundation when I'm in a hurry and don't have time to apply a full face of makeup. When I want to feel extra confident, I do use a separate concealer on top of this product and, as instructed, finish the look with an application of setting powder. But if your skin is in better shape than mine, you can probably skip concealer altogether and be quite happy with results. Those sensitive to fragrance may find the baby powder scent a bit strong, but I personally haven't been bothered by it. Those who tend to avoid products containing mineral oil and/or parabens should avoid this product as it does contain both. I have used this product countless times this summer as my go-to product when I'm in a hurry or the weather's too hot to sit in front of the mirror for longer than five minutes, and I've been extremely pleased with the level of coverage, ease of use and hydration this provides my skin (but as I mentioned above, if you have very oily skin, be prepared to use blotting papers a few times throughout the day, especially on your T-zone). I prefer this BB cream to both of the US BB creams I've tried to date, and I now fully understand why Asian BB creams are considered superior.

You can purchase Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream via the Missha USA website

Have you tried this BB cream or any other Asian BB cream? If so, please share your experiences with us. For those of you who have tried both Asian and US BB creams, which do you prefer?


  1. Great review G.! I am really intrigued by the Asian BB Creams...was going to order a Skin 79 one off last year but hesitated since I cannot swatch them :( hate buying base products off the Web! Maybe I'll further research shades and try one out this winter!

  2. I have the same shade! That looks great on you! I also love their new honey beige #27. Perfect NC 25-30 shade.

  3. I have it in 23. It worked out nicely at first & since it was summer, I got tan & it ended up being too light for me! lol. I think I need the newer shades they came out with! So I have the biggest bottle & only used it about 5 times?

  4. I'm glad it works great for you. i have it in shade 23 natural beige in 50ml tube which is way way too light for me, and maybe that's why the grey cast won't fade away. the oil control is rather poor, within 2 hours i can see my face starting to get oily. so i only use it on my neck as a sunscreen cos it has lots of spf.

  5. I have this in 21, 23 and 27. I mix the colors depending on how much/little sun I've gotten. I really love this product.

  6. I got this product in the same shade last week and have been extremely happy with it. Good coverage that isn't cakey. It has held up very well in the heat and sweat, and is moisturizing without being too much. We'll have to see about long- term benefits, but so far it's a winner.

  7. Hey G,

    Looks like the small size tube is on sale right now on the the Missha website for $9.09!

    If the 21 shade is too light for you, it might be right for me. Hmm.

  8. Interesting! I'll have to look into this. I'm so glad I held off buying the Maybelline BB Cream! (I thought it was a bit too expensive for such a small tube.) Thanks G!

  9. I've needing to get my hands on it for awhile now. But holy cow, your after picture look photoshop Flawless. D: It's amazing

  10. Just a warning, from personal experience, to resist the urge to order from some other online retailers for a cheaper price. The first time I ordered Asian cosmetics online, I got it from a supposed 'trusted' source, and Im about 99% sure it was a fake. Just go with the official online stores!

    I know the Missha 'official' prices are high, but they have HUGE sales every summer/winter (Ive seen up to 70% off), and lots of other little sales all year long, so you dont ever really have to pay full price for anything. And the 'small' containers really arent that small. Just a little smaller than the Covergirl Natureluxe bottles!

    I love all three of Misshas bb creams, btw! 'Perfect Cover' is my least favorite because its kind of 'tacky' from the sunscreen, I think. That being said, I still love it, and totally wear it on days I want extra sunscreen!

  11. I love this stuff. I buy it on ebay for less than half the price of the Missha site. I wear it to work most days. Feels great on the skin and lasts well with a setting powder.

  12. Yep, this was the first BB cream I ever tried and it was love at first use for me. I have a really hard time finding a match for my skintone when it comes to foundation-like products, but this BB cream in #21 literally melts into my skin. I'm amazed at how lucky I got with this, to be honest.

    I am so happy with the price, too! A 50ml tube cost me a little over $15, I've had it since March and it's still going strong. I wish the ingredients were a little less harsh (I'm especially not crazy about the talc in it), but as for what it does to my skin I am pretty much in love with it.

    So glad you had a good experience, G!

    And how awesome is that SPF count?!

  13. This looks great on you! I only have one Asian BB cream - Holika Holika Peach Girl BB cream. I like it, but I don't find myself reaching for it very often.

  14. thank you so much for posting about this! i have been dying to try the real bb creams and thankfully we have similar coloring! i took your advice on the elf tinted moisturizer and i love it! im definitely looking to place an order with missha! im always looking forward to your posts!

  15. This is my go to foundation. I have this in 23 and wear it daily (I'm Asian and NC 30), it really does need to oxidize though, my face was positively grey-tinged post-application. I love the SPF and parabens schmarabens, my skin has been absolutely fine.

  16. This is currently on sale on the website. $9.09

  17. Hi G, FYI. Missha website is having a sale now at their site. I have purchased several times with out problems. Also love the CHO BO YANG version, elegant formulation. Linda

  18. I'm so glad you liked it, G! I totally agree with your review. My skin is dry so it provides just enough moisture to my skin and I prefer to apply with my sigma 84 (I think that's the one).

  19. Thank you so much for this review! I've been using Maybelline BB Cream and I've tried the Garnier and L'Oreal ones, but with my acne-prone, red, oily skin, they're all less than ideal. This sounds awesome, and as I'm heading into winter here my skin is starting to change and I need something new than my usual foundations for oily skin. I'm trying to simplify my routine so this sounds great. I think I'm going to order it and try it! Thanks again!!

  20. I had the No. 23 in this for MAC NC 25 skin. This really is an amazing product and is enough coverage for me with my active acne and acne scars as well, and it didn't make me break out. My only complaint is it isn't vegan (I've veganized my makeup collection and reluctantly gave this up), which isn't really a legit complaint b/c most people don't care if their makeup is vegan ^.^ This stuff is definitely worth the hype.

    1. I'm actually the person Sarah sent this BB cream to (haha). And I have to say, it really is amazing! Such great coverage & such a great, weightless feel as well. Love it!

  21. Sorry to spam you with comments, but right now with your above link it's 30% of so it's $9.09! Just an FYI!

  22. I bought a tube of #23. Very impressed with the coverage but it's too light and I am not sure what color to try next.

  23. I'm afraid to try this because it "adjusts" (aka oxidizes) and I'm super pale. The color out of the tube aside from being a tad grey looks about right for my skin so if it gets darker I'm screwed LOL. But I always have this problem with face products.

  24. What a helpful, thorough review! I've been using Missha Perfect Cover for over a year now and it's such an excellent product. I keep it in my gym bag because it saves me tons of time- truly a moisturizer, foundation, and SPF in one! I have combo/oily skin so I definitely have to top this with a setting powder and keep some blotting sheets handy, but I've been impressed with its overall staying power and the fact that it's never broken me out. Glad you're enjoying it too!

  25. How what an awesome review and product! I had never heard of BB creams before they started coming out stateside and you started to blog about them. I tried was Garnier and was so unimpressed that I tossed it into my "fail pile." I should save receipts and return these things...but that is another story. Anyway I am really impressed with how it looks on your skin! It makes it look flawless! I have to get to the website soon and look at these! Hopefully I can find the right shade without alot of problem! Thanks for this G.!!!!!

  26. #21 is a little light for me as well so I mix it with other foundations/BB creams to make them more full coverage and longer lasting.

  27. I have this one, the Cho Bo Yang, and the M Signature real. I like all 3 of them, but i have dryer skin (and slightly darker), and for me the Cho Bo Yang, and the M signature real are better for me. I think the CBY will be best in winter when I'm parched and the M signature real is really nice right now. I think BB are going to replace every foundation I have (and I have a few! :-) ) I like them a lot!

    As an aside, there are 2 sellers on amazon who are very reputable and reliable who sell Missha, as well as other BB brands from Asia. They are pinkgelee, and seoulglamour - I've not bought from them personally, but have read scads of reports from others who have and have been 100% happy. I don't get anything from this, nor do I work for them or any of that.... I just want to make sure people can get the products for the best price possible! Missha seems to run fairly frequent sales, so you could wait for one of those, or you could order from one of the amazon sellers for cheaper. :) Hth someone!

  28. There's a Korean mall not too far from my house, I might just have to go and see this product for myself! Very exciting. Right now I'm using the too faced bob cream and I love it, but I'd love to find a less,expensive version. Thanks for the review!

    P.s. love love love your blog! I've gotten the best advice here.

  29. I still need a moisturizer under this product, but I have quite dry skin. Also, I feel like a beauty blender would work best with this. Hands work well so far, but I want to buy a new sponge to test it.

  30. Great you should investigate CC Cream! Is is the next generation BB and is supposed to be life-changing! I cannot wait to get my hands on a tube. Rachel K is the line I'm looking at...not many have tried it so it's difficult finding reviews.

    Thanks, Lisa

  31. I do have a few Asian BB creams and I'd say that Missha Perfect Cover is my favorite. The tone is a little light on me, but a light dusting of powder or bronzer takes care of it. I love using it for rushed mornings and it's staying power is phenomenal. I definitely enjoyed reading your review. :)

  32. Hey, G! I am absolutely stunned at the before and after pictures! I haven't tried the authentic BB creams, but I have tried the Garnier version (not impressed, returned it) and the Maybelline BB creams (eh, so-so). After reading this review I decided to look into the Missha one. When I saw the smaller version was 30% off, I thought "what the heck?" and decided to get it in the same shade as you since I am a little lighter in complection. Here's the awesome part: when I went to their website, they had a deal where if you signed up for emails, you got a BB Boomer 40ml for free, which is a primer/luminizer. THEN when I signed in, my gift as a first time purchaser was a full size bottle of the Perfect Cover in #21! All that was required was a purchase of $1 or more. I purchased a hand cream for $2, and shipping was $8.99. So, including shipping, I paid $10.99 for $57 worth of product! Even if it doesn't work out for me, I can't complain given the great deal I'm getting!

  33. glad you finally tried this! i love it too!

  34. Yayyy, I'm happy to see your first Asian BB cream review and it's a good one. ^^

    Missha is also my first Asian BB cream brand. I have used M Signature Real Complete BB Cream in No. 21, which is a bit light for my NC20-25 skin. But it's a been a few months since I've used it.
    I like it, but I started drifting from it to finish another product. Now I wanna get back to it, haha.

    I have a mini Perfect Cover BB cream, which I'm more excited to try now. :D

  35. Oh, and I forgot that this BB cream is suppose to be a moisturizer too. I have always put on my separate moisturizer before applying the BB cream.

    Gonna try it without and see how it goes.

  36. I am a NW 25, I wonder if it has too much yellow in it, anyone know?

  37. Coincidentally I just received this product in my Glossybox this month. (I am really sorry if I ruined anyone's surprise but I am just too excited not to share!) I just got my box and it included the 1.69 oz size of this BB Cream. I received it in number 23, which swatched on my hand matches me very well. I can't wait to try this tomorrow. I probably would have thrown it to the side if it wasn't for your post. Thanks! Now I am super excited to try this!!!

  38. I just received this in my Glossybox as well and was super excited because I was going to order from the Missha website last night (have been waiting for a welcome email w/ hopefully a coupon). So glad I didn't. It's 50ml in the shade 21 (light beige).

  39. FYI - I just bought this at the Missha website. Registered an account, gave my birthdate. As it's in October, just got a "gift" - free travel sized Perfect cover BB Cream. I have to pay shipping for it, but hey - free!

  40. Very informative! Thanks for the review. I tried the Garnier bb cream. I have sensitive dry skin and I didn't like it because it didn't moisturize enough and I didn't get the coverage they promise. Thank you for this review. I'm going to try Missha. Thank you thank you. Once I tried it I'll be back and let you know how it goes.

  41. I read this review and then immediately went to go buy one. They're giving a coupon right now for new members. The coupon? A FREE FULL SIZED PERFECT COVER BB CREAM

    This is perfect!

  42. Thanks for the heads up Jennifer! I just placed an order for the Tea Tree Oil mask ($1.99) and received the BB Cream for free so, with shipping it was $10.98 for both!

  43. They are still giving coupons for free BB cream as of 1/24 -- thanks for the tip, Jennifer!!

  44. oh my god.. finally I found beauty blogger that have EXACTLY the same skin type&problems!!! starts from now, I will reading all your blogpost. thanks!! :) xxx

  45. You should give The Face Shop magic cover BB cream a try. It's what I've been using for three years now. I actually ordered a Missha perfect cover BB cream online. I thought of trying it since it received such a positive reviews. I hope it will work out well for me too. Thank you for the review!!!

  46. Have you tried Skin 79 hot pink blemish bb cream for oily skin, all you need is pump to cover your whole face, and it remains for 8 hours! In the Baltimore City summer humidity! I am too dark for it, because I am an nw 35, but it would be okay for you! Joey

    1. Hey Noveau Cheap Try Misha in No 23, I use 31, they are so much cheaper on, you may like Holika Holika petit in #2, these are all to light for my medium olive complexion, but they will work for you!

  47. I've just purchased a 50ml #23 (from huge online store previously more famous for selling books and stuff) or $10 or so, which included shipping (!).

    I had to check the seller's background too, because it just seemed too cheap but evidently they're legit.

    Anyway. This post is a few years after your review, but I can't wait to try the product. I have a constant battle with foundation and BB creams haven't done a whole bunch for me.

    Thank you massively for the review - it really did help!

  48. Thank you for this review! I'm late to the K beauty party, but this review answered all my questions!


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