I've been looking for a BB cream for ever. The idea of consolidating moisturiser, anti-ageing treatment, sunscreen, foundation and concealer into one easy step is just too appealing to me as someone who isn't a morning person.
I've been scouring BB cream reviews and photos for months, but all the Asian BB creams seem to result in a chalky, unnatural-looking mask for anyone who isn't naturally pale. And most of the "western" BB creams have been deemed too sheer and a waste of time. I started thinking that the treatment+foundation concept was too good to be true.
But, I think I might have just found my perfect BB cream in the form of Amarté Natural Finish BB Cream. I received some mini samples to try and have so far squeezed two days out of them - enough time for me to conclude that I love this product.
This BB cream is SPF 36 and comes in two shades - Light Tint and Natural Tint. Light Tint has a pink tinge and is suitable for anyone who usually buys the palest foundation shades. Natural tint is darker and more beige, and is suitable for anyone with a medium, olive or tanned skin tone.
Below are the two shades on my cheek (Natural Tint on the left, Light Tint to the right). I can get away with either of these shades because they blend out really well, but you can see that the darker shade, Natural Tint, is an almost perfect match for my beige skin.
This BB cream is quite thick and pigmented, like how you might imagine a heavy duty concealer would be. But the consistency is really smooth and refined, which makes it easy to spread and pat onto the skin. I use it straight after my serum and eye cream, without a moisturiser underneath and I've found it hydrating enough even for my dry skin.
After applying the BB cream all over my face, I pat extra under my eyes as it works amazingly well as a concealer. I can also apply it to my eyelids without it irritating my eyes.
Here are the before and after photos, with just the BB cream, no concealer or powder. In the before photo, my skin looks fairly smooth but I have hyperpigmentation, redness around my nose and chin, and a purple tinge under my eyes. In the after photo, you can see that the BB cream has diffused my freckles and also completely covered up redness and undereye circles. My eyelids are also more even toned and less tired-looking.
The finish is neither dewy nor matte, and if I didn't have the type of skin that gets shiny during the day, I wouldn't even bother to apply powder because the finish is so nice on its own.
As one of the main ingredients in this BB cream is titanium dioxide (used as a physical sunscreen), the finish reminds of mineral foundation. Light is diffused which gives a really even and luminous appearance, all without any shimmer.
I stopped wearing mineral foundation many years ago due to it flashing back in photos and generally making my skin look shiny wherever light hit it, so I was worried that a BB cream containing mineral sunscreen would do the same. However, I took the below photo with flash, and there doesn't seem to be any major flashback or whiteness.
As the coverage of this BB cream is medium (it will cover redness and minor spots), it means I definitely need to add contours and blush back on my face to avoid looking too "flat". Here's how the BB cream looks with a light dusting of powder and my face drawn back on.
I've found this BB cream to last all day without melting off or disappearing (the only thing is if I've applied too thickly in areas with creases like my nose to mouth lines, it starts to show a bit). Most impressive is the fact that it covers my dark circles all day, which I find difficult to achieve even with heavy duty concealer. It must also have some oil control properties because I tried going without eyelid primer today, and my eyeshadow has hardly creased at all. So that's one more product I can skip in the mornings!
Ok, what's the catch, I hear you ask. It's $80 for 40 ml (1.4 fl oz). That's a lot for a BB cream. But I am definitely going to buy the full size pump bottle because 1) it makes my skin look flawless all day, 2) I have no upper limit on skincare as long as it does good, and 3) this one product is replacing several products which in total cost more than $80 and take me much longer to apply.
At the moment you can buy Amarté products directly from their website at amartecosmetics.com or at dermstore.com (which usually has 10% off if you add a product to your favourites list). The Amarté website mentions that the brand is coming to "luxury retailers" soon too.
The full ingredients of Amarté Natural Finish BB Cream are:
Water, Titanium Dioxide, Propylene Glycol, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Glycerin, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Human Oligopetide-1 (EGF 2-nano), Caviar Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Althaea Rosea Flower Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Elemental Sulfur, Allantoin, Collagen, Dimethicone, Iron Oxide, Ferric Oxide, Tri-iron Tetra-oxide, Stearyl Dimethicone, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Talc, Phenoxyethanol
Disclosure: PR samples
[Update: I bought the full size bottle of this BB cream and I have been using it every day. My skin has been looking good with and without the BB cream on, and I've had no blocked pores from it. I love it! One pump of the bottle covers my whole face so I think the bottle will last a long time.]