Cheapie but Goodie: Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Retails for about $13
The infestation of BB creams has now reached the drugstores! For those of you who don't know exactly what they are, here's a brief rundown: Blemish Balms are all-in-one skincare products originating from Germany, but popularized in Asia, meant to improve the actual tone and texture of your skin as well as provide coverage for any spots or discoloration. Most these days include sunscreen as well, so really, what's not to love?

I can't really speak for the actual skin benefits of this (or any other BB cream I've tried) as those things are very difficult to notice, but coverage-wise, this one is more than a tinted moisturizer and less than your average foundation, making it a lovely halfway house. 

For starters, I was thrilled to see that this one doesn't have that funky gray tint to it all the Asian ones do. I know Asian women are all about whitening their skin, but the shades of some of those creams just made me look dead. They all claimed to adjust to my skin tone, which clearly proved to be false. Here's a side-by-side shot:

Garnier on the left, Asian brand on the right. 

Since I can't avoid comparing the two, in terms of coverage and consistency, the Asian one tends to veer more towards foundation while the Garnier is closer to your standard tinted moisturizer. But there's also some more heaviness where the former is concerned, so I much prefer the feel of the Garnier on my face--it also smells better!

Though this is technically regarded as a skincare product (at least that's the aisle Duane Reade put it in!), I really like the amount of coverage it has for lazy days or, since it is so convenient, travel application. That being said, if you have any spots or discoloration one layer of the product doesn't cover, you could use some more as concealer, but I wouldn't. I have reasonably bad acne and hyper-pigmentation so two or even three layers of this stuff won't cut it, and I suspect it won't for most people. If you really want to cover everything, I would go in and spot conceal with something more heavy duty--though this is usually enough coverage for my under-eye circles.

Shade range is ridiculously minimal here as well, which is typical of BB creams in general. Some brands will number them like foundation, but most only come in one color that supposedly blends out. Garnier offers two--light/medium and deep/dark, I believe, but I can already tell that this one won't work for very fair people so this coloring will definitely be unsuitable for some.

Quite a few Asian BB creams are formulated for different skin problems, and more importantly, different skin types. The one I showed is for oily skin and it does a decent job at keeping me matte, but the Garnier one is another of the general, supposedly all-encompassing formulas. It's definitely not meant for oil control, and I do have to blot and powder occasionally, but I absolutely love the finish it gives. It's not quite what I would call dewy, but it's definitely glowy and really gives your face a lovely healthy sheen. Since my oiliness would break that down into grease, I do a quick dusting of powder, mostly over my t-zone, but even then my skin still has some subtle radiance that I just can't get enough of. 

For me, this could never be a summertime product since it would be melting off my face, but for right now, I'm really enjoying it. My current weekend makeup is some of this slapped all over, the powder, curling my lashes and a bright-ish lip color. That's right--no mascara, concealer or blush! My skin looks healthy and bright, and there's actually something I really like about the softness of the bare lashes with a brighter lip. It's very fresh and undone and perfectly summery, though it's only February yet!

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