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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Review: Physicians Formula Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Powder SPF30

Continuing my series of reviews of some of the new 2013 Physicians Formula products, today I'll be reviewing the new Super BB Powder. As most of you know, this is just one product in the Super BB line--there is also a BB Cream and a concealer in this line. 

I purchased the powder because, whenever Physicians Formula comes out with a new face powder, I have my fingers crossed that it can replace my beloved Physicians Formula Healthy Wear Powder Foundation SPF50, which is not yet discontinued but getting harder and harder to find locally. So let's see how this one worked for me!

Physicians Formula Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Powder SPF30 in Light/Medium
(retail: $13.95, 0.29 oz)

This powder comes in two shades: Light/Medium and Medium/Dark.

Keep reading for my full review...

The packaging is very cute (gotta love the holographic design on the front!) but I was surprised to see how bulky the compact was. Here is it compared to my Physicians Formula Healthy Look Powder Foundation compact, which is kind of bulky to begin with:

This is standard two-tier compact. The first tier holds the powder, while the second reveals the mirror, as well as the accompanying brush. My one gripe about the location of the mirror is that, for touch-ups on the go, you have to keep toggling between the powder and the mirror, which is a bit awkward. I wish the mirror were in the same tier as the actual powder.

The brush is identical to the brush in the Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Airbrushed Pressed Powder compact. So if you like that brush, you'll like this one too. I personally prefer a sponge for powder touch-ups, so I replaced the brush with a separate sponge for travel. 

What surprised me the most about this powder is that it actually contains very fine shimmer:

Here it is swiped on the back of my hand--you can really seen the shimmer/sheen here:

Now I'd like to show you some before-and-after pics, wearing this powder three different ways. 
First up, over bare skin:


Over bare skin, you can see that this powder has very nice coverage. It also gives my skin a lovely, air-brushed glow, without looking too shimmery. Unfortunately though, on my super-oily skin, this powder does not wear like a powder foundation. It fades to almost nothing in about three hours on my skin.

NEXT: I tried wearing this foundation over a BB Cream (for these photos, I'm wearing the Rimmel BB Cream, which I'm currently testing for review):

 Rimmel BB Cream + Physicians Formula Super BB Beauty Balm Powder

You can see that this powder gives a nice, air-brushed quality to my skin over the Rimmel BB Cream. However, after about two hours, this happens:

Once this powder interacts with the BB cream and the natural oils of my skin, this combination becomes very cakey and it starts to settle into my pores and fine lines. Not good.

So finally, I tried using this powder over an oil-control foundation (for these photos I used CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation, which I'm also currently testing for review):

 CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation + Physicians Formula Super BB Beauty Balm Powder

SUCCESS! Here's another shot of me wearing this combination on a different day:

(You may remember this photo from my Flower blush review)

So here's the deal: this powder didn't work for me on bare skin, over a BB Cream or over any of my more emollient foundations. However, it worked WONDERFULLY over my matte, oil-control foundations (I also tried it over Revlon ColorStay foundation). If you love oil-control foundations but you don't like the matte finish of them, this could be just the thing to give your skin a nice sheen or glow on top of your matte foundation.

Staying power over my matte, oil-control foundations is great. This product really helps set my foundation, while giving my skin a nice glow, for a full eight hours. However, this is NOT an oil-control powder, so if you have an oily T-Zone, expect some breakthrough shine. 

I've been applying this powder with my Real Techniques Multi-Task Brush, and I find it works wonderfully that way. On the go, I use a sponge (like I mentioned earlier) instead of the accompanying brush.

I detect no fragrance to this powder whatsoever. 

FINAL VERDICT: I'm not usually one for shimmery setting powders, but the shimmer/sheen in this powder is so lovely that I'm breaking my own rules here. It took me a while to find a combination that I liked but, for my oily skin, this product works best on top of matte, oil-control foundations. If you use oil-control foundations and you don't like the heavy matte finish they can leave on the skin, this powder could be your new best friend. For my oily skin, this is not an oil-control powder, and I get my usual breakthrough shine throughout the day.  Other than that, I like the coverage, finish and staying power of this powder quite a bit (but only when used with my oil-control foundations). If you have normal or dry skin, you might have much better luck with using this product either on its own or over a more emollient foundation. I think it's definitely worth a shot, especially if you're looking for a product that can give your skin a soft, glowy sheen.

 Do you own any of the Physicians Formula Super BB products? Thoughts?


  1. Nice review G, this looks pretty cool! I've never heard of a BB powder, but it seems like a nice idea! :)


  2. I have oily skin too and I've been wearing this over their BB cream(which light/medium is medium and they need to come our with a fair light!) and love it. I use a Real Techniques powder brush and dab it on, otherwise it gets cakey. This seems similar to their Airbrushing powder, which I love, but with extra benefits.

  3. Thanks for the review! I look forward to hearing about the Stay Fabulous foundation. It seems like a good product. I may get it along with this BB powder. :)

  4. Dear Physicians Formula,
    Please streamline your packaging and reduce your prices by a few dollars. I bet that'll improve your sales!

    1. I have noticed they are getting pricey too. I wanted to purchase a few things yesterday but I just couldn't get away from how over-priced they are.

  5. I've seen that healthy glow powder big lots.

  6. Thanks for the review - that does look really great with the CG foundation - I've also found that I prefer that foundation without a setting powder or with a luminizer mixed in and I can get oily too - it is verrry matte! Also - I just wanted to say that your pics are looking great! Did you get a new camera? That last one with you blush is so pretty!

  7. G, you look beautiful in this picture! Other than the Flower blush, can you tell us what makeup you're wearing? It looks stunning!

    I have this powder too, and have been trying to figure out how to make it work best. Sometimes, it just looks to shiny and cakey on me (w/ pore-pooling problems like you discussed above, and/or settling Into fine lines).

    It seems to work better for me if I apply it with a light hand and a dual fiber brush, which seems to pick up less product. Funnily, I actually tried it w/ the Covergirl
    Outlast foundation yesterday. It was my first time trying the foundation, and I think I was just too heavy-handed with both the foundation and the powder, because I ended up with lots of pore-pooling and a really unnatural look. I am going to try again after seeing your pictures and review. What method do you find works best for applying the foundation and powder? Do you let to foundation "set" a bit prior to applying the powder? Thanks!

  8. I just can't get over how *not* light their light/medium color formulations are... I'd *like* to try their light/medium BB cream and concealer, but they are WAY too dark for me.

    1. I've been wondering about that as well. I purchased this powder in the light/medium shade, and while I'm certainly not the fairest of the fair, this one is still almost too dark for me. Only two shade options for this? Really? I like that a very small amount (with a LOT of blending) brings a nice sort of glow to my pasty winter face, but I think that aside from that, those with fair/light complexions are going to have a bit of trouble using this one.

  9. G, glad to see this review. Been wanting to try this but having a hard time finding it at any of the stores near me :( I was planning on using it as a powder over my BB cream too, so hopefully I can find it soon because it does look nice on you.

  10. Yay, I'm glad this worked out for you, G!

    I also got this powder recently, but I've yet to use it (using PF Healthy Look Powder Foundation right now actually, haha!). I'm surprised to see that there is fine shimmer in this BB powder though.

    Well, you make me want to open mines and use it right away... I'm going to try it soon with different foundations and not give up until I find something that works.

    Thanks for the review! :)

  11. I love the way this (And the flower blush) look on you!!
    I bought this, and the bb cream, and for my combo skin they work well together. I also tried it over my rimmel BB cream, and colorstay whipped foundation. It looked great with rimmel, however I felt "too" perfectly done up with it on over the colorstay whipped, and I'm a full coverage kinda gal!

    Anyway, good product, great review!

  12. This review was awesome! I have never heard of this powder, but me being another oily girl, I am intrigued. I will have to add this to my wish list and pray it looks okay on my darker skin!

  13. That initial after photo with just the powder is amazing, but if it fades quickly ... My skin isn't oily so I'm wondering if I'd have better results. I kind of wish I'd picked this up (for curiosity's sake) during the last sale. I instead got the PF BB concealer, and it's OK, but I wouldn't buy it again, unless it miraculously ends up improving my skin in the next month or two, but at covering spots, it's so-so.

  14. This looks absolutely beautiful on you! I will have to give it a try - my skin has been looking dull, and hopefully this can give me a pick-me-up ontop of my foundation! Thanks for the wonderful review!

  15. Did you try this over the covergirl+Olay foundation? I read that it was in your year favorites and I tried it cause I have oily skin too and I love it!

  16. I bought this a few weeks ago just because I love a lot of Physicians Formulas powders & bronzers. Oh and btw, I've been using the Healthy Wear bronzer for a year. It's my favorite bronzer. Anyway, the first time I this BB powder, I used it on bare skin and I felt like it gave me coverage but didn't blend to well. Also, it seemed a little light for my skin tone. So I haven't touched it since then but after reading this Im gonna try it over a few different foundations. My skin is more on the dry side so I dont know how it will turn out.

    Great Review!!


  17. I have dry skin and my skin can look very dull so i wonder if this powder would add a glow to my face without making it look caking?

  18. i have to say, though, that while i loved the formula and the coverage of this, the color is all wrong. i've tried it twice and it ended up being VERY yellow on me for some reason, which is disappointing because i liked it so well.


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