Battle of the BB Creams Review Part 1: Too Faced, Tarte & Maybelline


BB Cream? What the heck is BB Cream? I asked this question last year after hearing the term bandied about online and in magazines. It turns out, this is a Korean staple, and American companies like Bobbi Brown made the stuff for sale only in Korea. Highly prized for its’ ability to transform not so perfect skin into the alabaster white skin, sought after by Korean women. It just caught on over here about 2 years ago. People were importing the stuff and selling it on eBay.

Now it has really caught on, and for good reason. No one wants to look like Tammy Faye Baker. No one wants pancake makeup on their faces. They want to look naturally flawless, naturally beautiful. Keep dreaming, right? I know. But my issues are dryness, redness and a few freckles and broken capillaries. All of which are VERY annoying to try to cover. Moisturize, use concealer, put on foundation and the dry skin is accentuated. Ugh.

I have decided to test out 3 BB Creams side by side.

  • Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer in Ivory Agent 2 $36
  • Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm Multi Benefit Skin Care Makeup in Snow Glow $34
  • Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Skin Perfector in Light to Medium $8

Now my skin is typically dry, I don’t have much oil, so I read the packaging to find out what the promises of each of the contenders were.

Tarte promised me “A light-to-medium coverage, oil-free tinted moisturizer that delivers a natural, sheer finish to revitalize all skin types while the SPF 20 protects your skin against the sun’s harmful rays. While it works with all skin types, this oil-free tinted moisturizer is ideal for tartelettes with normal to combination skin.  

This weightless, water-based formula blends into your skin as easily as your favorite moisturizer (and it’s formulated without oil, so it won’t clog your pores) while micro-treated mineral pigments diffuse fine lines and wrinkles, giving you an even, smooth finish. This dermatologist-tested formula is chock-full of skinvigorating™ ingredients like Amazonian clay, apple extract, camellia extract,  chamomile, vitamins A, C and E, and sodium hyaluronate, which all work in perfect harmony to visibly hydrate, soften, brighten the appearance of skin for your most  flawless complexion ever.”

Too Faced exclaimed:

  • Anti-aging, Multi-mineral Complex: Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc as well as Ginseng and Ginko Biloba. 
  • Soothes & Nourishes: Vitamins A & E, as well as Chamomile soothe and nourishes while our oil-free hydrating formula moisturizes.
  • Light-diffusing pigments tint and add radiance (available in 6 shades).
  • Anti-aging, multi-mineral complex primes & prevents damage.
  • Moisturizes with oil-free hydration.
  • Hypo-allergenic and soothing for all skin types.
  • Broad-spectrum, chemical-free SPF 20.

And finally, Maybelline offered this claim: The 1-step wonder for a good skin day, everyday.
Packed with 8 great skin benefits for instant skin perfection and Ideal for Normal Skin.

• Blurs imperfections
• Brightens
• Evens skin tone
• Smoothes
• Hydrates
• Enhances
• Protects with SPF 30
• 0% oils and heavy ingredients

Wow. Those were bold claims. How many micro skin care specialists were hiding in these unassuming little tubes?

It would seem that each of these products would be a good match for me, although the Tarte one stated that this was best for normal to combination skin. I am neither. I am definitely on the dry side.

I tried each cream during my morning routine, and wore it all day.

I tried the Tarte first. It’s creamy, soft, with a very nice consistency, more like a liquid foundation that you would pump out of a bottle. The coverage, from a BB Cream standpoint, is moderate, and buildable, if you desire, you may add another layer for more coverage. Remember, BB Creams are not concealers or full coverage foundations. They should even skin tone, cover up or blur imperfections. Don’t expect the coverage you would get with a foundation. The scent of the Tarte was lovely, as all Tarte things are. My skin definitely felt moisturized. In fact it felt nicely fresh, dewy, but not gloppy. Not sticky, not filmy, it was very comfortable to apply and to wear. I did not use a powder over this, I just let it set, and after I applied my eye makeup, I used some Tarte Cheek Stain. It wore well all day, and stayed the way I applied it. No creasing, flaking, or color changing. It is available in 8 shades. I rated this one excellent!

I tried the Too Faced next. It too was gentle, creamy and the texture was easy to apply. The scent was very nice! It had that nice vintage Max Factor scent of foundation, just a clean scent. The coverage on this cream was just a little more than the Tarte, I would say moderate to high coverage – on a BB Cream scale of course. My skin felt good, and had a nice glow to it as well. I can definitely see the light diffusing pigments they spoke of. I used a powder blush by Mally, on my cheeks after applying this cream, and it set well, and stayed on all day. I felt that the Too Faced was slightly less moisturizing. It is available in 6 shades. Overall, I rate it very good!

Finally, I used the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream. At $8 a tube, it was clearly the bargain leader. But could it perform? The texture was a little more runny, and not quite as creamy as the other two. Application therefore was more like applying a lotion, a sunscreen if you will. You know, like it’s not really there to show you a good time, it has a job to do. The scent was not as pleasant as the Tarte, My skin actually felt dull. Sort of halfway between dry and coated. Not very comfortable, not very moisturizing. The coverage was moderate. It’s not a terrible product, but even if I didn’t know it was only $8, in contrast to the other two, this one was lacking. It did it’s job, don’t get me wrong, and I’m sure if a girl has oily or combination skin, this product could be great for her. If you’re budget conscious, and you DO NOT have dry skin, then definitely give it a try. It is available in 5 shades and has the highest sun protection at 30 SPF. Overall I rate it good.

All in all, the good points of Tarte would be, moisturizing, plant benefits for your skin, comfortable all day long wear, and moderate buildable coverage with 20 SPF.

The best aspects of the Too Faced would be, moderately high coverage, a nice glow to your skin, balancing to the skin, not too dewy, but not drying, with 20 SPF.

The best aspects of the Maybelline would be very high sun protection at 30 SPF, good for oily or combination skin, and bargain priced at only $8.

My personal favorite is the Tarte, for its’ moisturizing properties, and healthful skin benefits. But Too Faced is a VERY close second, and wore well!

There are so many BB Creams on the market now, and trying them all yourself may be an impossible task. Look for sets or special value offers where you can get small samples or trial sizes. If you’re not sure of your color, always go lighter rather than darker.

Enjoy the many benefits of BB Creams, whichever you choose. Just always wash your face before bed. Advice my mom gave me, and I hear her nagging in my head when I’m laying in bed too tired to get up and wash it. But I do it anyway!!!!

2 thoughts on “Battle of the BB Creams Review Part 1: Too Faced, Tarte & Maybelline

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