We’re sure you’re acquainted with the fundamentals of makeup, but truly foraying into the arena is a daunting prospect - and one that necessitates extensive research. If you’re a beginner, navigating the nuances of the makeup world can perplex you. You visit a website, for instance, and it’s thronging with scores of products that attempt to tuck themselves into your makeup pouch - and they all serve a multitude of purposes. And some of them bear a striking resemblance to one another in the way that they’re marketed to us. Did you know that there’s a definite distinction between a BB cream and a foundation? Both of them are formulated with the idea of enhancing the look of your skin, but there’s a vital difference between the two - each provides a varying level of coverage. How do you decide which option is better for your skin? We’ve broken down the BB cream vs Foundation dilemma for you.
- What is BB Cream - and What Are Its Benefits?
- Back to The Basics: What is a Foundation?
- The Difference Between The Two
- Which Foundation is Perfect for You?
- How Do You Use BB Cream?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is BB Cream - and What Are Its Benefits?
A BB cream, also called a beauty balm or blemish balm, is designed to provide light to sheer coverage for your skin. Endowed with skincare benefits - SPF, antioxidants, hydrating properties - these creams correct your blemishes, and are ideal for a ‘no-makeup makeup look’. They’re lauded for their ability to even out your skin tone, and assume a ‘skin-first’ approach in the way that they illuminate, mattify, hydrate, and protect your skin - rather than merely providing coverage. If you’re looking for a product that serves these purposes without feeling excessively heavy on the skin, these lightweight formulas - just a little thicker than tinted moisturisers - are your go-to beauty sidekick. The Ponds BB+ Cream Instant Spot Coverage + Light Make-up Glow a blend of vitamin-enriched cream, SPF 30, and light foundation, revives your glow, and rids your skin of dark spots as well as dark circles. Just dot your face with a bit of the cream, and blend it in with your fingers.
Back to The Basics: What is a Foundation?
We’re a little more familiar with foundations as compared to BB creams. A foundation’s primary function is to provide coverage - and effectively so. Apart from camouflaging your blemishes and blurring out imperfections, foundations strive to create a uniform tone - and with much more intensity than a standard BB cream. They provide your skin with an even-toned, flaw-free canvas that sets the base for the rest of your products.
The Difference Between The Two
Foundations are available in a slew of shades - each concocted to flatter different complexions, skin tones, and skin types - and they’re suitable for casual outings as well as occasions that call for heavier coverage. BB creams, however, don’t provide much scope in terms of the options they offer. You won’t stumble upon an aisle doused in multiple hues of these creams - there are limited shades you can choose from. BB creams, though, do prioritise your skin. A majority of them are enriched with antioxidants - and we know how they ward off free radicals, and defend our skin against pollution. It’s no shocker that they’re better products to apply onto your skin in the long-run. This double-duty cream is known to address acne, wrinkles, lines, and rosacea as well - these conditions, though, only seek fleeting shelter under foundations.
BB creams don’t provide the same level of coverage as foundations. Though the consistency of BB creams remain relatively uniform, foundations vary in thickness (light, medium, and heavy), and you can select one that suits your makeup requirements. Both products are fashioned to render varying finishes on your skin: matte, dewy, velvety, and natural. There’s no verdict that favours one over the other. It’s all contingent on what you’re looking for - if your skin is sensitive, for instance, it’s only logical that you invest in a BB cream since it’s enriched with mild and non-irritating, skin-loving ingredients.
Which Foundation is Perfect for You?
If your skin is dry, don’t invest in a matte-textured foundation - or even a powdered one. These products will only emphasise the dullness and dryness of your skin. A light-to-medium coverage formula with a dewy finish will flatter you more. Look for words like ‘medium coverage’, ‘natural’, ‘buildable’, and ‘dewy’ when scouring the internet for foundations, and opt for creamy formulas only. For oily skin, a matte-textured, higher-coverage foundation is ideal - these properties inhibit the production of oil, and hence, allow for extended wear. A powder foundation works as well on oily skin. Apply a mattifying primer before layering your skin with foundation. Even a translucent setting powder can absorb any excess oils on your skin - and, in turn, hold your foundation in place.
As for sensitive skin, steer away from foundations containing talc, mineral oil, alcohol, and fragrances. If you have combination skin, it’s advisable to mix-and-match different formulas, and avoid oil-rich or emollient foundations. As part of your pre-makeup routine, try hydrating the drier areas of your face with serums - and look for products that mattify the oily zones. The application of a mattifying primer on your oily T-zone can go a long way in controlling the production of oil too. Choose a medium-coverage foundation that’s blendable and buildable. A general rule of thumb is to start off by covering problematic areas, and blending it into the rest of your face to even it out.
How Do You Use BB Cream?
Don’t substitute your skincare routine with a BB cream. Before applying makeup, prep your skin with your usual cocktail of skincare products. Next, stipple your forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin with some BB cream, and blend it all together with your fingers, a foundation brush, or a damp sponge. Massage the product into your skin in circular motions. If your cream is a little thick, you can try blending it in with a brush, and finish with a damp sponge or beauty blender to slough off any residual product. The driving principle behind application remains the same. If you have oily skin, opt for an oil-free or oil-controlling BB cream with a matte finish - this works for acne-prone/sensitive skin as well - and a moisturising formula for drier skin. There are BB creams formulated for combination skin, and they work toward mattifying your T-zone without drying out the rest of your face - ensure you’re purchasing an oil-free one that contains hyaluronic acid or salicylic acid. You can complement a BB cream with foundation, if you’re looking for additional coverage. You can use a concealer as well - since it has the power to camouflage hyperpigmentation, dark circles, and breakouts. Dab a little on problematic areas, and you’re good to go.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Koreans use BB creams or foundations?
While BB creams have reserved a spot for themselves in our makeup aisles just recently, Koreans have been using it as their go-to product for coverage for a while now - and we can see why. Why do you think K-drama actors appear so radiant on screen?
Can you wear BB cream without foundation?
A BB cream, regarded as the holy grail of coverage, is a standalone product that’s enriched with skin-loving properties, and endowed with the ability to diminish your blemishes and scars, and provide light coverage to your skin. If you identify with a minimalistic look more than a heavy-duty one, this is the product for you. And if you don’t have the time to work foundation into your makeup routine, this is a quick fix that works well. You can layer your skin with a BB cream, and for additional coverage, use a little bit of your foundation before proceeding with your makeup. In this way, you’re also saving on foundation.
What is the difference between CC Cream and BB cream?
A CC cream, also known as a ‘complexion corrector’, aims at neutralising the appearance of discoloration by utilising colours that cancel each other out: it diminishes the visibility of redness, hyperpigmentation, dark circles, scars, acne, pores, uneven skin tone, and dullness. BB creams, on the other hand, are formulated to provide minimal coverage while delivering a medley of skincare properties to your skin - and nothing beyond that. A CC cream is lighter on the skin, but it provides more coverage in comparison. Basically, it’s a BB cream on steroids. Infused with the characteristics of a concealer and colour-corrector, it condenses your multi-step makeup routine into one product. The Lakmé 9to5 CC Complexion Care Cream is the perfect CC cream to invest in if your primary skin interests have more to do with skin brightening, moisturising, and minimising dark spots.
Are tinted moisturisers better than foundation?
It depends on what you’re looking for. In terms of coverage, foundations fare better than tinted moisturisers; however, tinted moisturisers are equipped with hydrating properties that enhance the health of your skin while leaving your skin with a hint of colour. It’s ideal for ridding your skin of unevenness and redness, but it cannot tackle dark spots or blemishes. If your skin is particularly dry, you can layer a tinted moisturiser over your regular one.
What can I wear instead of foundation?
You can use a CC or BB cream as an alternative - or even a tinted moisturiser. Now you know what unique purpose each serves, so choose a product that satisfies your needs. Remember that a tinted moisturiser is lighter than a BB cream because it’s not as pigmented. This is the level of coverage you can get from each product in ascending order: tinted moisturiser, BB cream, and CC cream.