I tried to design this review so that those too lazy to read can get a good gist from looking at the pictures only, and those looking for more details can read more into it.
What do you guys think? I’m open to comments and suggestions for future reviews.Let me know what your purchase decisions end up being, whether it includes anything from this review or not.
Enjoy, and happy shopping! ^^
1. shu uemura face architect illuminating moisture fluid foundation (784 fair beige)
2. Hera HD Foundation (21 natural beige)
3. Dr. Wu Clinical Skincare Magic White Blemish Balm Cream
4. Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm B.B Triple Functions
5. Skin79 Diamond Collection The Prestige Beblesh Balm
6. Skin79 Diamond Absolute Total BB Cream
I have been using Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm and Skin79 Diamond Prestige (#4 and 5) for over a year until I either finished the bottle or passed the shelf life, so I am most familiar with it. Hera HD Foundation (#2), I have used for about 2-3 months, but usually mixed with Skin79 Diamond Prestige (#5). Everything else is new to my collection and I have used about 2-3 times.
The letters were drawn with a waterproof brown eyeliner (Urban Decay’s 24/7 Bourbon). The amount of product placed under the letter is the same amount dabbed onto the letter to cover it.
Low Coverage: #3 (Dr. Wu)
Low-Medium Coverage: #4, 5, 6 (Skin 79)
Medium Coverage: #1, 2 (shu uemura, Hera)
The BB Creams may seem like they offer very low coverage, however, BB creams are meant for everyday use and to look more natural. The overall coverage of the above BB creams are good enough for those with uneven skin tone, slight dark circles, and light acne scars. It will not cover freckles or major breakouts and scars. You will need to use concealer or a medium to high coverage foundation for that.
Foundations tend to provide more coverage than BB Creams, so there was no surprise there. However, the strange thing is from personal usage, I find Dr. Wu’s BB Cream (#2) provides more coverage than Skin79 (#4-6). However, in the test above, the ‘W’ (Dr. Wu) was not as covered as the ‘K’s (Skin79).
Before we start, let’s look at how paper and oil blotting paper absorbs water and oil.
Paper absorbs both oil and water, but the water will eventually dry out once soaked into the water.
Blotting oil sheets absorbs oil but not water. The water retains its original form and dries out much more slowly than on paper.
Now let’s see how the products perform on both.
Oil Test on Paper
Most Oil: #4, 5 (Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm and Skin79 Diamond Prestige)
Slight Oil: #2, 3, 6 (Hera HD, Dr. Wu, Skin79 Diamond Absolute)
Least Oil: #1 (shu uemura)
This was real news to me! #5 (Skin79 Diamond Prestige) is my personal favorite BB cream because it gives me a real natural and dewy look, but I didn’t know that dewy-ness actually came from oily content! I’m also very impressed that while #1 (shu uemura) is a dewy finish foundation, it has nearly no oil content on paper.
Oil Test on Oil Blotting Sheet
Most Oil: #1, 4, 5 (shu uemura, Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm, Skin79 Diamond Prestige)
Slight OIl: #2, 6 (Hera HD, Skin79 Diamond Absolute)
Least Oil: #3 (Dr. Wu)
#2, 4, 5, and 6 remains the same. However, the results are quite different for #1 (shu uemura) and 3 (Dr. Wu) than on paper!
The oil blotting paper shows more oil from the shu uemura foundation (#1) than on paper, and less oil from Dr. Wu (#3) than on paper.
While I am not underscoring the paper results, the oil blotting paper is probably closer to what happens on our skin. Try blotting your face with paper — don’t see much, right? Try blotting your face with blotting sheets — much more clear?
I also think these results are closer to my own personal experience. The Dr. Wu BB cream is more dry and gives a matte finish on the face. The Shu uemura results are a bit more confusing though. On paper, it is the least oily. On blotting sheet, it is the most oily. Personally, I don’t get oily enough to blot my face after wearing the shu uemura foundation for 5+ hours (I have combination skin with an oily T zone). I haven’t worn it for longer than 5 hours though!
The top 5 attributes I give to each product are their most prominent features. They are the first things that pop up in my head when I think of that foundation and define the main advantages they have to offer. Also, while something may be a Con for me, it might not be the same for you!
The stickiness test was done by placing the same amount of tissue pieces onto the back of my hand after product application. After lightly pressing the tissue onto my skin, I turn my hand upside down slowly. The more tissue that remains indicates the more sticky the product.
The fragrance rating goes from 0-5 (0: no frangrance, 5: very strong fragrance).
Also remember different products work differently on different skin. Just because something works for me, it may not for you! I also have my own particular preferences that may affect how I feel about it (ex: I prefer very natural skin coverage, so something that might be too heavy for me, may be too light for you). You must consider your own preferences, skin type and color, daily conditions (do you wear it to school, work, exercise?), the weather of your country (are you in dry/humid weather?), etc.
1. shu uemura face architect illuminating moisture fluid foundation (784 fair beige), $44 USD; 27 mL/0.9 FL.OZ.; Shake well before use; Made in Japan
Stickiness Test: medium
Fragrance: 1 / 5 (very light)
Shu uemura offers two types of fluid foundation:
1. face architect smoothing fluid foundation:
fits exquisitely to smooth out the skin for beautifully unified semi-matte finish. medium coverage
2. face architect illuminating moisture fluid foundation:
provides luminous glow on the skin with rich texture, enriched with high concentrations of natural origin ingredients. medium to high coverage
I am reviewing the 2nd one, released not long ago, in fall of 2010. It offers higher coverage, more dewy finish (“illuminating moisture”), and boasts high natural ingredient contents (Coconut Palm Kernel Oil Derivative, Depsea water TM, oils of macadamia seed, wheat & corn, and vegetable origin glycerin).
Shake well before use!
I bought this foundation for higher coverage when I do shoots on my DSLR. I wore it in Lookbook: Three. While it’s great that it offers medium to high coverage, as with all higher coverage foundations, it definitely doesn’t look natural. It slightly accentuates the bumps on my skin and it’s very obvious that I am wearing foundation. However, it is not as cakey or unnatural as I expected. I would not wear this foundation for everyday use (but that is my personal preference, I never wear high coverage foundation when I go out because I prefer natural looking skin) but I love it for shoots.
Although it has become too light for me after I tanned on a recent Thailand trip, the color, shade, and undertone is perfect for my skin — enough, but not too much yellow. It’s not easy to find the perfect shade + undertone for my Asian skin. I would purchase it again.
2. Hera HD Foundation (21 natural beige); SPF 15 PA+; 30 mL; $29 USD
Stickiness Test: medium-high
Fragrance: 4.5 / 5 (very strong); perfume scent
To me, this product is not what it’s raved out to be. It does it’s job — provides medium+ coverage, blends relatively well, and has a semi-matte finish, but it’s not as wonderful and great as some people make it out to be.
This foundation is definitely not a natural looking foundation and it accentuates the bumps and lines and my face. On top of it being too yellow for my skin, I look like an old, yellow granny with this product worn alone all over my face after a full application. It also feels a bit heavy on my skin. I only use it as a mixer now — and it works great as such when I need to add a yellow undertone to anything too grey or white.
Because it’s a bit too yellow and dark for my skin, I often mix it with my Skin79 Diamond Prestige (#5) when I need a boost of coverage but still want the natural dewy look. The strong yellow undertone in this foundation also helps neutralize the grey undertones in the Skin79 BB Creams. This also works great as a mixer with Skin79 Diamond Prestige which is very liquid/water based, while this is slightly more on the creamy side.
I personally don’t like the almost overpowering fragrance — I can still smell it from my face after application! Although it doesn’t claim to have oil control, I find that I get oily within a few hours of wearing this foundation.
I would not buy this again because it doesn’t suit my skin tone + color and doesn’t have anything spectacular about it.
BB Cream Reviews:
While foundations function only as a skin coverage product, BB Creams are actually tinted skin healing products (hence “Blemish Balm”). They were originally created in Germany for patients who underwent facial surgery to help heal post-surgery skin and provide light coverage for facial scars.
Since then, BB Cream has been made very popular in Asia, especially Korea, offered by a large variety of brands. Unlike foundations, BB Cream are multi-functional, offering such things as: whitening, anti-wrinkle, SPF & UV protection, etc. They usually don’t come with many shade or color options, as BB cream is designed mainly for Asian skin and is meant to oxidize to match your skin tone within 30 minutes.
BB Cream is intended for natural, everyday coverage and applied with fingers rather than a brush. It is meant mainly for evening out the skin tone and light skin coverage. Do not expect it to completely cover freckles, major breakouts & scars, or heavy dark circles.
3. Dr. Wu Clinical Skincare Magic White Blemish Balm Cream; Multi Functional: Mineral-Based, Hydrating, Whitening, UV Protect, Lightening, Anti-Oxidative; 30 ml / 1 fl.oz.; $23 USD; Made in Korea
Stickiness Test: Medium
Fragrance: 2 / 5 (slight)
Target: Dull and Sensitive Skin
Step 3: Hydrate / Protect
Apply small amount to face and neck using firm and smooth circular movements from the central T-zone of the face towards teh outer edges. Use daily, Once or twice. Apply other DR.WU Clinical Skincare solutions concurrently for better results.
I decided to buy this on a whim in Hong Kong, and got it as a gift from my friend who recommended it to me. Unfortunately, after trying it on my face, I don’t like it very much.
It is a cream based BB cream, so it’s quite dry (although it claims to “Hydrate” and to be for “Dull Skin”), which also means its harder to blend out small amounts on the face. I like very natural looking skin, so I often only apply BB cream to where I need it on my face (T-zone, trouble spots, and dark circle). However, because it doesn’t blend out easily, applying small amounts only to certain areas of my face makes it look patchy and uneven.
It’s also a bit sticky when I touch my face after application, especially my under eye where I apply the most product to cover my dark circles, but overall, it doesn’t feel heavy on my face.
When I apply the same amount of Dr. Wu as I do my Skin79 BB creams, it makes me look very pale and unnatural. This BB cream is very white and doesn’t fill in my lines and pores naturally — in fact, it slightly accentuates it. It is very matte and gives me the “I am obviously wearing makeup” look. I personally prefer the dewy look more. I also generally try to stay away from twist-off caps which are inconvenient and gets messy easily.
However, the funny thing is that I can’t really blame the BB cream for all the things I don’t like about it. It makes me look too white and pale, but it’s called “Magic White” with “Whitening” and “Lightening” function. It’s very dry because it’s cream based, but it’s called “Blemish Balm Cream“. I just didn’t take the things it said on the bottle to be so literal!
Because I always try to make use of any cosmetics I own (I never throw stuff away if it’s still good!), I tried to make it work. Putting too much on my face makes me look unnatural, so I put half the amount I do my Skin79 BB cream. It also has very good coverage for a BB cream (Skin79’s coverage is much more sheer) and is “Mineral-Based” and “Anti-Oxidative” and is a “Clinical Skincare” product meant for “Sensitive Skin”, so I use this when I am having bad skin days to cover breakouts (I use much less concealer with this BB cream because of it’s good coverage) and use something ‘less chemical’ on my skin. However, it only says it’s “Mineral-Based” and not “100% mineral made”. But I still think this is probably better for sensitive or acne prone skin than normal BB cream. It’s fragrance is also barely noticeable, which is another plus for sensitive skin (I personally don’t like fragranced product — the less funky stuff on my skin, the better).
While I will still use this BB cream on bad skin days, or mixed with a product to lighten it up, I would not purchase this product again because it is too white and dry for my skin. However, if you are or want to look more pale and need a matte BB cream for extremely oily skin, you may consider trying this product. It’s also a very healing based BB cream that is “Mineral-Based” and “Anti-Oxidative” from a “Clinical Skincare” brand, so those with sensitive or acne prone skin may want to give it a try.
Skin79 BB Cream Overview:
Skin79 offers a variety of BB cream lines. I actually have samples and travel sizes of nearly all of them (free with purchases!) but these are the only ones I have tried as they are more suitable for my skin. The “Gold Caviar” one is meant for mature (and dry) skin, which is not me. The “Oriental” BB cream I didn’t like the pump so I didn’t purchase it. The “Pearl” and highlighting BB creams have glitter/shine to them which is not appropriate for my combination + oily T-zone skin.
All three of the Skin79 BB creams I am reviewing offer Triple Functions of “Wrinkle Improvement,” “Whitening”, and “UV Protecting SPF 25-37″. I would like to say that the “Wrinkle Improvement” and “Whitening” functions probably refer to when you have the product on, it makes your skin slightly more pale and fills in lines and pores without accentuating it. However, of what I have noticed, they do not provide long term effects or changes to your skin.
Also, all Skin79 have a strong grey undertone, which is not a problem for me as I use very little product on my face (I prefer to use BB cream only to even out my skin tone and then spot cover with concealer). However, if you put too much on, it can make your skin look very pale and dull.
4. Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm B.B Triple Functions: Whitening, UV Protecting SPF 25 PA++, Wrinkle Free$12
Stickiness Test: light
Fragrance: 2.5 / 5 (light-medium), rose/flowery scent
This was my very first experience with BB cream a few years ago. I bought it because my friend wanted to get a better deal in a 2 in 1 package, but only wanted one. I didn’t know anything about BB creams but thought, why not? I used it for an entire year before nearly finishing the whole bottle in Canada. That’s why I currently only have the travel size now.
I don’t have much to say about this BB Cream. It sits in the middle of everything. It gives average coverage (less than Dr. Wu, more than Skin79 Diamond Prestige), has average consistency (not as thick and creamy as Dr. Wu, but not as water-based as Skin79 Diamond Prestige), and has a semi-dewy finish (not as matte as Dr. Wu but not as dewy as Skin79 Diamond Prestige).
If you look in the Coverage Test photos, you can see this has the strongest grey undertones — heck, the BB Cream itself is practically grey! However, as mentioned above, this is not a big problem for me as I use very little product on my face. However, if you put too much on, your skin may look very pale and dull.
I wouldn’t buy it again because the consistency is a bit thick for me (although I’m sure it’s fine for others). I personally like really liquid-base BB cream because it looks the most natural and gives the most dewy finish. Otherwise, there’s nothing I particularly like or dislike about it.
See the bottom of this post for a comparison with Skin79 Absolute Total (#6).
5. Skin79 Diamond Collection The Prestige Beblesh Balm; Wrinkle Improvement, Whitening, UV Protecting SPF 25 PA++; 40g; Made in Korea; $30 USD
Stickiness Test: light+
Fragrance: 3 / 5 (medium), perfume scent
On Product Package:
KFDA 3 FUNCTIONS CERTIFICATION: Wrinkle Improvement, Whitening, Ultraviolet Rays Interception SPF25 PA++ / It is 3 effects functional BB cream. By Adenosine and Arbutin ingredients which are effective in whitening, wrinkles improvement cultivate more bright and elastic skin. / Intercept ultraviolet rays UV A and B at the same time and protect your skin exposed from the sun more thoroughly. / Diamond Powder and Jewel Complex Powder of Ruby, Amethyst and Pearl make skin all the more radient. / Directions: Use it proper quantity on the area of your face like patting at the last step of skin care.
Don’t let the poor grammar drive you away from this product! =p
I bought this product after finishing the Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm mentioned above (#4). I’ve been using it for about a year and it just recently expired.
I really love the dewy look this product gives me. Hours after application, I still look like I just stepped out of the mist after a rainy spring day =p It really gives you that glowy look without the glitters and sparkles common in highlighting products (which I can’t stand). I realize that in the oil tests above, this has the most oil content, but 1) that could be due to the fact that this product has expired and gone funky (I noticed even the smell has changed), and 2) I’m willing to blot every few hours in return for the dewy look. I have combination skin (oily T-zone, dry cheeks) and I find myself needing to blot after wearing this for 4+ hours, which is not that bad considering that is the case with almost anything I use. However, for those with extremely oily skin, you may want to stay away from the extra shine and go for a matte BB cream (ex: Dr. Wu’s Magic White, #3).
I also like the water/liquid base to this foundation, which means that it gives a lot smoother and more blend-able application. The coverage is sheer – light, but this is not a problem for me as I tend to use BB cream just to even out my skin tone. Anything that needs extra coverage, I dab on a little extra BB cream and concealer. Because this is water/liquid based, I also mix it with other foundation/BB cream that are too thick/creamy/heavy for everyday wear (ex: Hera HD foundation, #2).
I’ve also worn this in the hot and humid Korean summers, where just standing outside for 5 minutes will bead my face with sweat and water. However, I noticed, and was impressed that this BB cream held up (as long as you don’t use your hands to wipe the sweat off your face!) and didn’t melt off my face. It also didn’t make me any more oily in the hot summer weather than I would normally be.
This also has a grey undertone, but not as much as Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm (#4). If you don’t overdo the amount you use, you won’t get the dull pale grey look.
I would purchase this product again. I even bought it for my friend as a birthday gift and she liked it enough to buy one for herself. I would recommend this BB cream for anyone with dry to combination skin who doesn’t need heavy coverage from their BB cream, or are willing to use concealer on top of it.
6. Skin79 Diamond Absolute Total BB Cream; Wrinkle Improvement, Whitening, UV Protecting SPF 37 PA+++; 40g; Made in Korea; $35 USD
Stickiness Test: light
Fragrance: 3.5 / 5 (medium+), perfume scent
On Product Package:
KFDA 3 Functions Certification: Wrinkle Improvement, Whitening, Ultraviolet Rays Interception SPF37 PA+++ / The BB cream has tripel functions of whitening, anti-wrinkle and more intensively protects exposed skin by blocking UV ray A and B by keeping skin beautiful and healthy through offering brilliance of diamond and vitality of just blossomed floral. / Diamond Powder and Blooming Jewel Complex consisting of 5 jewels including Amethyst and Ruby makes skin more radiant and shining like jewelry with Flora Bouquet Complex extract making skin vital and glossy by keeping skin healthy from harmful environment and sensitive stimulus. / Natural Complex extract, a patent ingredient in improving skin trouble keeps skin healthy and clean by soothing skin from external stimulus and easing troubles. / Directions: After using basic products, grab the top of the pump and rotate it clockwise to unlock the pump. Gently push the middle of the pump at top and put proper amount on the entire face, then spread it evenly for absorption.
This is the newest release of Skin79’s BB cream. I bought it as a replacement for my Skin79 Diamond Prestige (#5). Since I liked the previous Diamond Prestige so much, I thought Diamond Absolute Total was going to be even better, but it did not live up to my expectations.
When I first used it, I thought this BB cream was exactly the same as Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm (#4)! The relatively thick/creamy texture, the grey undertone, and the coverage seemed very similar. However, after taking a closer look, they are actually quite different.
Skin79 Absolute Total (#6) is thicker, more whitening, and offers better coverage. It also has more of a pink-grey tone than the very strong grey undertone of Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm (#4) — which could be a great alternative for those looking to escape the grey overdose which can make your skin look very dull and dead.
I would not buy this again because I don’t like thick BB Creams — it’s harder to blend and looks less natural. Keep in mind that when I say harder to blend, that’s just because I use BB Cream almost as a spot concealer instead of all over my face, so if a product is somewhat thick, it can make my spot concealing look patchy (some spots pale, some not). However, I’m sure that most people will not have problems blending this. It also looks a bit too pale for me and doesn’t suit my skin well.
WOW! Finally finished! From laying out the products, taking the photos, editing the photos, writing the reviews, re-reading/editing the reviews… I don’t even want to imagine how long it took. T_T But it was definitely a lot of fun and now when I pick up one of my products, I feel like looking at it and saying “I know all about you!” XDD
I can finally go eat dinner now… at 10 p.m! Eek!