My poor, poor skin.
After over ten years of tanning beds, smokey bars, late nights, and (once or twice or maybe more often than not) forgetting to wash off my makeup before bed, I am currently in a panic over the state and appearance of my almost-thirty skin. I slather on creams, sunblocks, serums, and primers. I scrub, I buff, I peel. I do weekly renewing facials. My face is, essentially, as polished and purged as a pearl.
No matter: the spots/creases/lines creep in. What's a girl to do? Milky, thick, grandmother-scented liquid makeup is one option; to totally cover the imperfections, completely the cover the face. But let's be honest: nothing seems less appealing than suffocating your skin. I assume that I will one day reach an age in which I have no choice but to wear a liquid foundation; for now, however I can get the best coverage with tons of other advantages by using one of the many beauty balms on the market today.
For this article, I tried out three different beauty balms (AKA, BB creams): Garnier's Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector, Neutrogena's Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer, and Estee Lauder's DayWear Sheer Tint Moisturizer.
Here are pros and cons for each product:
Neutrogena's Glow Sheer: This product feels a lot more like a liquid makeup than a "tinted moisturizer." While it does even tone and give your skin a dewy glow, it never really absorbed into my face. The affect was more like "sweaty" than "luminescent." It has great sun protection and forms a nice base for loose or compact powder, but again, the cream likes to chill on the surface of your skin.
Garnier's Miracle Skin Perfector: This BB cream is way thicker than the Neutrogena; it almost feels mousse-y. It smells great and smoothes over your face like a moisturizer, absorbing relatively quickly. Dark spots and uneven tone are immediately less noticeable, as are pores and fine lines. In other words, this product does the job of lotion, sunscreen, primer, and foundation all in one.
Estee Lauder DayWear Sheer Tint Moisturizer: I had to venture into the department store for one of my trials, and after combing the internet, this tinted face lotion from Estee Lauder (still my mom's cosmetic brand of choice) seemed to be the most highly rated. It matches all shades, as it comes out of the tube as a gritty, off-white cream. As you spread it over your face, it reflects your natural skin tone and helps to balance and camoflauge imperfections. It doesn't have quite the sun protection of the other two products, but it is a way more effective facial moisturizer.
Verdict: While the Estee Lauder is by far the most expensive product of the three, the Garnier cream was easily the most wearable for me. It matched my skin beautifully, provided a wonderful base for my powder, and felt fresh and light all day. Using the BB cream allows me to skip several moisturizing/ priming stages with the same great nearly-flawless look. And here's a pro tip: the Garnier cream is located in the skin care section of the drugstore rather than the makeup, which should totally make you feel even better about investing in it. The beauty balm is a godsend for the luvvy who needs just a little boost in her skin confidence!