Have you been on the look-out for a good BB cream? Today I'm reviewing the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35. Smashbox are known for their amazing pre-foundation skin primers, so I was interested to find out how they'd do with BB creams.
|Here it is, the box and the actual product.|
"Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 25 is a 5-in-1 complexion miracle-worker proven to PRIME, PERFECT, PROTECT, HYDRATE and CONTROL OIL in a single step. This revolutionary tinted formula instantly evens out complexion to create smooth, radiant skin without settling into fine lines and pores while banishing shine without the chalky matte finish. Visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles after only 4 weeks. Wear alone or under your favourite foundation for more coverage."
I think it meets 4/5 of its claims. It does PROTECT (SPF 35), it does HYDRATE, it does CONTROL OIL and it would be a good PRIME(r). However, it will only PERFECT if your skin is close to perfect anyway.
*Updates on shine control and finish.
|How much of the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF35 I used for my swatches|
|Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF35 swatch, |
one swipe with the amount of product shown in the picture above.
- Packaging: The packaging on this is OK. It's a screw-top lid, which is fine, but hinge-opening lids are much easier to juggle. My bugbear is that it's a completely opaque tube, so you can't tell how much you've used.
- Like I said above, this Is Fair, the lightest shade and it's a match for me.
- It comes in five shades from Fair to Dark. BB creams in general are notorious for having a poor range of shades to choose from- most have only three choices and cater very poorly for women of colour. This range does go to "Dark" so hopefully there's a better chance finding a colour match with Smashbox than with other lines out there.
- Pros: This is thick! I said the Kat Von D foundation was thick, and this is just as thick if not thicker. I don't like overly-runny products as I feel they're messy when you're in a rush.
- Cons: It has a bit of a sunscreen feel, actually, in that it's thick and it's a bit difficult to spread out. To overcome that, you need to take small amounts and blend out on smaller sections of your face. This takes some time! So it's not the best thing if you want an even, non-streaky application and you're in a hurry.
- This will make the natural-look lovers very happy. It looks like skin, moreso even than the Urban Decay Naked foundation.
- Update: The following comment only applies with a very thin application. I was at home and not looking for full coverage, so used this as a tinted moisturiser, effectively. Applied thinly over Clinique Dramatically Different Mositurizing Gel it was great- it was not greasy, not shiny and it hadn't made my face into an oil slick. Many BB creams (yes, even the Asian ones) leave me very shiny. Thinly applied, this one didn't. It's not what I would strictly call matte. Let's call it demi-matte.
- After 2 hours of wear, this had settled into my laugh lines. It can be smoothed out, but it's claim of creating "smooth, radiant skin without settling into fine lines and pores" is not true. Most things do this to me, so I've given up on finding one that won't.
- It does emphasise rough, dry patches. Not to the extreme, but if you look at your face close up in the mirror, you'll see it's settled into your dry patches.
- Update: If you apply this more thickly, it is shiny. I applied it more thickly over Nivea SPF15 Moisturising Fluid and it was so shiny! I'm not sure if it just doesn't like being mixed with the Nivea moisturiser, but it was a dramatic change from my previous application of it over the Clinique moisturiser.Some people like the "luminous" look, but I find I produce enough oil already and don't need the extra shine. Even with mattifying translucent power applied over the top, which did its job initially, this became shiny after 2 hours of wear. I will give it another go tomorrow, with the Clinique moisturiser again, and get back to you on how it wears.
- This is better coverage than a lot of BB creams out there, which I find to be glorified, over-priced tinted moisturisers.
- This is great for those with only minor skin imperfections. It's better than a tinted moisturiser, but controls oil and looks more natural than a foundation.
- You'll see what I mean in the swatches above. It's a small area that I managed to blend it out over and it still looks like skin- I deliberately left the edges unblended so you can see where the swatch begins and ends. If you look at my skin spot in the first swatch vs the second, you'll see that it's lighter and that it looks like it's been blurred. So in terms of imperfections, as long as you don't have many, it does a good job.
- Even with that said, this is still sheer. It's equivalent to a light coverage foundation. It can be built up to be a medium coverage product, much like the Naked Foundation. On a good skin day for me, this can do for a natural look, at a stretch.
- You'll see in the swatches that it could only be blended out over a small area of skin and that it provided only light coverage (contrast that with Kat Von D's foundation, with which a tiny amount goes a long way at full coverage).
- For something so thick, I would have expected better coverage. To be truly happy with this product, I would need to use concealer.You're not going to look flawless with this unless your skin really is flawless.
- Again, like with the Naked Foundation, for those of us needing to use more product to get better coverage, it means that this will not last very long, which makes it very expensive.
- Pros: This has sunscreen! A decent SPF 35, too. It doesn't say whether it is broad-spectrum, though, so I would still advise using a moisturiser with broad-spectrum sunscreen underneath, to be safe.
- Cons: The active sunscreen ingredients in this are both physical and chemical (octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 4.00%, Oxybenzone 2.5% and Titanium Dioxide 1.10%). The chemical suncreens in this have caused some people to break out, so if you've got very sensitive skin, trial a sample before committing.
- Longevity: After 2 hours in 28 degree Celsius heat at 53% humidity, it's held up well. I'm not shiny and it hasn't broken apart. I'll update this post later for more information on longevity.
- Cost: USD$39 in America. AUD$54.95 in Australia. *Insert obligatory rant about unnecessary mark-ups for the sole purpose of profiteering from a geographically isolated population.*
For those with close to perfect skin, this is great for you. This product is moisturising, it does a decent job of oil control, it has the added benefit of SPF35 and it has better coverage than most BB creams, making it the equivalent of a light coverage foundation but with a much more natural finish. However, it is very expensive, which gets it an A-.
For those needing fuller coverage, this is not the product for full coverage. However, you probably know that already, as it's a BB cream. So, I'm going to work off the premise that like me, you want something for your good skin days and something that can act as a base for all the other stuff you're going to put on your face on your bad days (foundation, concealer and powder).
So on your good days, because you (unlike the people in the first category, above) don't have perfect skin, this isn't going to give you perfect-looking skin, but it'll make your skin look substantially better and with a tiny bit of concealer, you're good to go. Thus, this product gets a B/B+.
As for the second scenario, this is a pretty good base. It has light coverage, it has SPF (which most primers don't) and it's not oily. It can save you a step as it can substitute for your moisturiser (with SPF) and primer. However, it's expensive and for how much you'll need to use of this to blend it all out, your moisturiser and primer combo is probably cheaper. Thus, this gets a B-/C+.
What are your experiences with the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF35? Please share below!