Every time a new beauty craze emerges on the market, I am always hesitant to follow through with the new fad product that promises what it very often doesn't deliver.
And after all, weren't some of the arguably most beautiful faces in history results of natural beauty regimens and remedies long before mass product lines hit the beauty market? Think Marilyn Monroe, who swore by simple Vaseline as a moisturizer and facial hair to attract light.
But long gone are the days of egg whites for hair, cucumbers for eyes and guacamole for the face used by other generations. Now there's a product for everything, with a new one out almost every day claiming to be the cure-all.
First, it was serum, the cream-killer formula which promises faster, better and longer results than its cream opponents with a fancy, technical name that signals its heightened potency over your average Joe salve. Then came along Moroccan Oil, a new treatment based from Argan oil promising to tame hair for good, garnering mass popularity since the name exudes an exotic nature which, in turn, has to be effective. Right?
When I heard about Beauty Balms, or BB Creams as they are frequently called, I thought, "Oh great, another way to market a tinted moisturizer." Could this be just another name to tantalize a woman's desire for beauty in something as easy applied as a balm? Another perfect advertising trick a la Don Draper?
Turns out, Beauty Balm is far from just another tinted moisturizer.
Beauty Balm was first formulated in Germany by Dr. Christine Schrammeck in the 1960's as a product to protect skin, and still provide coverage similar to makeup or foundation, post-surgery. BB Cream hit Korea in the 1980's with Dr. Jart Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm as one of the first which set the craze ablaze thanks to prominent actresses who called it their "secret" for beauty. BB Creams spread through Asia before making their way to the western world last summer, reaching a height in the U.S. this summer. Since the original, which many argue was actually formulated in Germany, many other brands have released formulas similar to the original Dr. Jart product.
So what exactly are they BB creams now that they've come to stay?
The balms give the same amount of coverage as your typical tinted moisturizer, much less heavy than a foundation or concealer, but boast additional added benefits. Many Beauty Balms, in addition to light coverage, also have treatments benefits and function as a primer, an anti-aging serum, an anti-inflammatory, a sunscreen from UVA and UVB rays, tone-evener for redness, dark spots and blemished and moisturizer all-in-one. Best of all, over time, these multi-taskers promise to rejuvenate skin and brighten complexions.
Bet your old tinted moisturizer can't do that.
"Tinted moisturizers are too basic - they provide simple moisture and low-level sunscreen, with a few vitamins or extracts thrown in. They work best on perfect skin that doesn't need much love," general manager of North America for Dr. Jart+ Sena King told Refinery 29. "BB creams are the next generation of product because they contain high-performance treatments like anti-agers, antioxidants, brighteners, and botanical actives combined with high-level sunscreen, coverage, and moisture."
The Daily Mail called it "the Swiss Army knife of the beauty industry."
That's when many mainstream retailers decided to follow suit and create its own formula "wonder cream," like Garnier, which launched its BB Cream called the "Renew Miracle Skin Perfector" in January.
"Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream immediately and effectively fullfills your skincare expectations with just one multi-benefit product that combines intense moisturizing skincare + immediate skin perfecting coverage for skin that looks naturally more even, radiant and smooth," the website boasts. "It's a new idea in skincare. B.B. Cream is a hybrid formula that offers advanced skincare + immediate skin perfecting coverage in one single beauty product."
The results could not be any further from the truth in advertising.
While many other lines have Beauty Balms nowadays since the spark in demand, like Smashbox, Maybelline and L'Oreal, Garnier, however, is the best for its price. Ranging from $12.99 to $15.99, Garnier's BB Cream can be found in most mass retailers and drugstores nationwide in two shades: Light/Medium and Medium/Dark.
So now, I've hopped on the BB bandwagon and added Garnier BB Cream to my 19 product -- and that's after ditching my sunblock, primer and moisturizer -- beauty regimen, rounding out to an even 20.