BB Cream Swatches

I found some BB cream swatch photos sitting on my computer hard drive that were taken some time in late September/early October.

These are all of the BB creams I’ve ever used and owned. I know from personal experience — being a U.S. shopper and buying BB creams over the internet — that choosing the right shade is oftentimes a shot in the dark since there’s no way to test the products out before purchase. I swatched two very accessible drugstore foundations alongside the BB creams to give some perspective so you could get a better idea of the true color of the BB creams.

I’ve listed all of the specific shades of foundation and BB cream I own in the photos below. In the case of the Skin79 Oriental Gold BB cream, it is available in only one shade.

It was easier to spot the differences in shades and tones among the BB creams out of direct sunlight, so I ended up taking some of the photos outdoors in more of a shaded area. Unfortunately, this made the skin on my arm look a lot darker than it is in real life. For reference, my arm is NC15-20.

e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation (Porcelain), Missha Cho Bo Yang #1, Missha M Perfect Cover #13, Missha M Perfect Cover #21, Missha M Perfect Cover #23, Rimmel Clean Finish (Ivory), Skin79 Oriental Gold (purple tube), SkinFood Ginkgo Green #1, VOV Castledew Whitening #1

e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation (Porcelain), Missha Cho Bo Yang #1, Missha M Perfect Cover #13, Missha M Perfect Cover #21, Missha M Perfect Cover #23, Rimmel Clean Finish (Ivory), Skin79 Oriental Gold (purple tube), SkinFood Ginkgo Green #1, VOV Castledew Whitening #1

My face is NC10-15 and the Missha M Perfect Cover in #13 Milky Beige is my best match in terms of how light/dark it is, but when I was closer to NC15-20 the Missha M Perfect Cover in #21 Light Beige was a better match. #13 Milky Beige doesn’t have that obvious grey undertone that Missha’s other BB creams possess but I still wouldn’t call it yellow-toned. Compared to the e.l.f. foundation and the SkinFood BB cream it’s still pinker than I would like. On me (I have a very dry skin type), the Perfect Cover BB Cream has quite a matte finish but I’ve seen many oily skinned people refer to this BB cream as dewy.

The BB cream formula I like the least is the VOV Castledew BB cream. Someone on a beauty board suggested that I try this particular BB cream because I had mentioned that I like a dewy finish. However, she must have a different understanding compared to me of what constitutes dewy. When I think “dewy” I mean a moist or hydrated-looking finish. Apparently, when she said “dewy” she meant anything that’s shiny because the VOV Castledew BB cream contains micro-shimmer/light reflecting particles. I don’t care for sparkles in my foundations or BB creams so I did not like this one. It looks very matte on me indoors and, thus, emphasizes dry skin, but when the sunlight hits it — BAM! — sparkle city. Never mind the fact that it’s also extremely grey.

I was most disappointed by the Missha Cho Bo Yang BB cream. I had heard so many raves about it from various You Tubers but the lightest shade was just too gray and dark for me. I do however prefer its scent over the strong powdery fragrance of the Missha M Perfect Cover BB cream. Compared to the Perfect Cover BB the Cho Bo Yang feels thicker and drier, is more matte and, despite what the company says, I find that it offers slightly less coverage. I have rather dry and fair skin and the matte finish and lack of paler shades are the reasons I don’t particularly care for the Cho Bo Yang BB cream.

e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation (Porcelain), Missha Cho Bo Yang #1, Missha M Perfect Cover #13, Missha M Perfect Cover #21, Missha M Perfect Cover #23, Rimmel Clean Finish (Ivory), Skin79 Oriental Gold (purple tube), SkinFood Ginkgo Green #1, VOV Castledew Whitening #1

Geez, can you see how orange the Rimmel Clean Finish Foundation looks on me? Hate it. Got rid of it eventually. And Ivory, the shade I owned, is the lightest shade of the Clean Finish foundation. Amazing.

e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation (Porcelain), Missha Cho Bo Yang #1, Missha M Perfect Cover #13, Missha M Perfect Cover #21, Missha M Perfect Cover #23, Rimmel Clean Finish (Ivory), Skin79 Oriental Gold (purple tube), SkinFood Ginkgo Green #1, VOV Castledew Whitening #1

The SkinFood Ginkgo BB cream was my first BB cream and I loved it. When I was a little darker it was an excellent color match. This particular product is more akin to a tinted moisturizer since it only offers sheer to light coverage but I liked the grassy scent, it has a yellow undertone that suits me, and it has a rather dewy finish. The Gingko Green BB cream is the only BB cream I own that does not contain any SPF and it supposedly has zero oil control. I have very dry skin, need no oil control, love dewy, and prefer to wear a separate sunscreen under makeup anyway so it was the perfect gateway BB cream for me.

I’m ambivalent towards the Skin79 Oriental Gold BB cream. This is the one that comes in the purple tube, not the more famous Skin79 BB cream that comes in the hot pink tube. The Oriental Gold is the BB cream that Skin79 recommends for dry and mature skin that doesn’t need oil control. I was looking for something more moisturizing and dewy and it just didn’t meet my expectations. I don’t hate it and I wouldn’t discourage others from trying it but it’s not a “wow” BB cream for me. Unfortunately, this BB cream comes in only one shade which is a little too dark and pink/grey for my face.

If you’re interested in trying out Skin79 BB creams, here’s a very helpful picture I found on Skin79’s Singapore Facebook page. It’s what I used to determine the BB cream from their brand that best fit my needs.

Skin79 BB cream – skin type chart

And here’s a tip for U.S. shoppers interested in trying Missha BB creams. Set up an account on Missha’s official U.S. website and sign up for their e-newsletter. It’s free. They often run “secret” flash sales on specfic BB creams and announce it through their e-newsletters. For example I was able to get the Perfect Cover and Cho Bo Yang BB creams through their flash sales for $8-$9 each, and at the time they offered a free full-size BB cream for new customers, too. Also, compared to shopping on eBay or Amazon when you can never be 100% sure if the product is legit, you know when you buy from Missha’s site that you’re getting the real deal and not a counterfeit. No, I’m not being paid or sponsored to say that. I’ve just had very positive shopping experiences with them.

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2 thoughts on “BB Cream Swatches

  1. Oh, I love BB creams! I’m currently using Missha Perfect Cover in #21, and it works really well for me. It’s a bit grey, but it fades away after a couple minutes. I recently bought the Clinque one, because I wanted to try an American BB Cream, and I haven’t tried it out yet, but from the tube, it looks really dark! I got it in #2, because I was scared about the pink tones in #1, but I’m sort of regretting it now. Haven’t actually tried it on yet, though, so hopefully it’ll adjust to my skin tone!

    The Skinfood one seems pretty yellow toned, it looks like it would be pretty flattering on Asians!

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