These BB Creams Challenge Our Love for Foundation

You might have thought that the BB cream trend would fade out, but the beauty craze, which started in Germany and went global once Korea got in on the act, continues to go from strong to stronger, with new products launching every season. Still haven’t found your perfect match? Fear not. We’re here to play beauty matchmakers, because your best BB cream + U = FF (flawless face). In case you need a quick BB cream refresher, here’s why we love them: Beauty balms (or blemish balms, as they were initially called in the Asian beauty markets) offer lightweight, buildable coverage but boast numerous skincare benefits, too. It’s a most pleasing cosmetic marriage of moisturizer, foundation and (usually) SPF, and what’s more, there’s an A+ choice for every skin category.

Red-haired woman with clear, beautiful skin
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Before we run you through a few of our favorite picks, there are just a couple of things to remember: Firstly, beauty balms, contrary to some reports, are not one shade fits all, so you’ll need to color-match your BB just like you do your foundation, especially if you’re relying on it as your only color base. Secondly, for best results, you should apply it just as you do your foundation, with a clean beauty brush, a sponge applicator or, if you want to massage further into the skin, your fingers. And don’t think that you can’t combine one of the best BB creams with our usual beauty heroes—if you’ve got really dry skin, apply your BB after a hit of your usual moisturizer, or if you want a more long-lasting color, use before a heavier-duty foundation.

Keep scrolling for our pick of the best BB creams.

The Undetectable One

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 $42
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You’ll need a Beautyblender on hand to control the super blendable formula, but this BB cream glides on so smoothly and has this uncanny ability to melt into the skin—you honestly can’t tell there’s anything there.

The Medium Coverage

Erborian BB creme
Erborian BB Creme Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 $39
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This cult-favorite BB cream formulated with skin-smoothing and hydrating ginseng and SPF 20 is great for when you want a little bit more coverage but you don't want to look like you're wearing foundation. The shade range is pretty limited, but the colors are fairly adaptable for tan, medium, and fair skin tones.

The Acne-Fighter

Clinque acne solutions bb cream
Clinique Acne Solutions BB Cream SPF 40 $40
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BB creams aren't just for those with clear skin. Keep breakouts at bay with this oil-absorbing formula from Clinique, which also has SPF 40. Unlike similar products, this one leaves behind a matte finish. Just be sure to shake it up really well before you apply.

The K-Beauty Classic

Missha bb cream
Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42 Pa+++ $16
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This is an extremely popular base product—the brand claims over 50 millions bottles have been sold around the world—and with good reason. It provides comfortable, buildable coverage with soothing, moisturizing skin care ingredients.

The Luxe Treatment BB

Omorovicza bb cream
Omorovicza Complexion Perfector SPF 20 $95
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Available in two shades—light and medium—this sheer, buildable cream is a true beauty hero. Yes, you may need to add a dash of your usual foundation to make the perfect match, but this all-in-one moisturizer, foundation, sunscreen, concealer, and anti-wrinkle cream is a cult classic for a reason. Skin texture looks and feels instantly improved.

The BBB (Bargain Beauty Balm)

Best bb creams: Maybelline Dream Fresh BB
Maybelline Dream Fresh BB $9
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This oil-free SPF 30 cream color is a light, non-greasy BB cream that you can build to create a flawless finish. We love the smooth texture and sheer but buildable color.

The Shade Match

Best bb creams: Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue
BareMinerals Complexion Rescue $32
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Technically a tinted moisturizer, BB cream and CC cream in one, this multitasking color offers a shade spectrum we love. It launched initially with 10 shades, and the brand later expanded the range to include 20, so you should be able to find your perfect match of this hydrating skincare hero.

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