Kiehl's Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream - swatches and review

It's just like saying ATM Machine -- ATM stands for Automatic Teller Machine, so are you going to take a $20 out of the Automatic Teller Machine Machine? A few months ago I learned the error of my ways by repeating the trend and calling Beauty Balms, BB Creams; is it a balm or is it a cream? And how do we even begin to address the CC variant? But I digress.

Recently Kiehl's released their own beauty balm, Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream. Presently, this offering is available in three shades: Fair, Light and Natural in Australia and two shades: light and medium in the U.S. Now that summer's through, I found Light to be the best match for me.

Kiehl's Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream

Kiehl's Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream

Light

Light

Flip top

Flip top

In this 30 ml tube, Kiehl's promises an "Instantly perfecting formula clinically proven to correct skin tone irregularities." What I got was a fairly easy to use beauty balm to help with concealing imperfections. One week later, my skin hasn't necessarily improved and my rosacea has even slightly flared up, I'm not too sure if this is my skin's way of adjusting to something new. The scent is pleasant and light -- it reminds me of Clinique's foundation infused with the tiniest amount of maple syrup.

What else?? Did you notice the sticker on the tube? Underneath it reads "SPF 50 PA+++". So, why did we cover it up? For those who live in the States, if you were to travel to Oz with the SPF you purchased over there, it still wouldn't offer you the same amount of protection. Put simply, there's a huge hole in the ozone over Australia and New Zealand thanks to years of pollution and you can pretty much go from undercooked to crispy in less than an hour. SPF 30 is the minimum requirement in Australia and Kiehl's beauty balm just meets the standard. Want to learn more? Check out my in-depth Bobbi Brown BB review I posted last year.

And what's this nonsense about PA+++? Just think of it this way, SPF helps to protect you from UVB and PA aids with UVA protection. Pretty Gossip breaks things down further for you into terms you can understand and even addresses the '+'. As for the Vitamin C, it's known for its "clarifying" properties.

How well does it last? Last Sunday I applied Kiehl's Beauty Balm around 9 AM and by bedtime, call it 9 PM, I was pretty smitten with how well it still looked.

Swatches of Kiehl's Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream in light

Swatches of Kiehl's Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream in light

In terms of texture/consistency, Kiehl's Beauty Balm initially dispenses slightly runny and then turns creamy prior to application. To apply I'll grab my liquid foundation brush and start at the centre of my face, making sure to blend and sheer the coverage out as I reach my chin, scalp, temples and ears. A small dollop, about the size of a five cent piece/dime, is all you'll really need. Want a bit more coverage? Dispense a nickel sized amount.

Afterwards, I set the balm with a small amount of powder foundation and Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light. As the day progresses I've found this formula turns dewier than I would like; to take it down a notch, I place a tissue over my face and gently run the pads of my fingers over the trouble spots. This process helps to sop up the shine and re-blend the colour.

Kiehl's BB Final look

Kiehl's BB Final look

The Bagful breakdown:

Total amount for Kiehl's Actively Correcting and Beautifying BB Cream:

Value for money spent (performance and quality):

  • 7 out of 10 bags – Not too happy about my rosacea flaring up, but I'll wait it out to see if things really improve.

Would another purchase be on the horizon?:

  • I picked up a bottle of Kiehl's Aromatic Blends Skin-Softening Body Lotion in Vanilla & Cedarwood. The feminine and masculine qualities of the scent were extremely appealing for winter. Review to follow :)

Bobbi Brown's BB Cream - swatches and review

I've managed to keep the hype at arm's length until Bobbi Brown joined the party. I grew up with Clinique thinking that was the only option for me - forever reigned in by the silver and medical white finishes. Soft, inviting and good for you.  Well, I lost the Clinique shackles last year and purchased Bobbi Brown's Skin Foundation for those days when I felt I needed a bit more coverage.  It blends and builds up in an instant and leaves me with a soft and natural finish.  If Bobbi's foundation can do that, then obviously I had to get well-acquainted with her BB Cream. Call it what you will - beauty balm, blemish balm, etc., etc.  BB Cream was originally used on patients post-surgery and then made its way to the Far East where it captivated the Asian beauty market for decades. Finally, it was re-imagined for the Western world.  The accessibility of beauty balm is immense - from Maybelline to Smashbox, your options are endless.  It's just a matter of finding the right formula for you.

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Breakdown of Bobbi's formula:

  • Balances (moisturises), brightens (clearer complexion), renews (smooths) and protects (35 SPF).
  • Creamy consistency.
  • Blends well with your fingers or when using a foundation brush.  However, I found I needed more product when I used a brush.
  • My skin felt soft and touchable.
  • The plastic tube is great for travel.
  • I still feel compelled to use my facial moisturiser, because my skin's been flaky thanks to the dry winter.
  • Kept the afternoon shine in my t-zone to a minimum.
  • Available in five shades: extra light, light, fair, medium & medium to dark
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The Bagful breakdown:

Total amount for Bobbi Brown's BB Cream:

  • $60.00 AUS / $42.00 USD.  When I bought this last Thursday, the makeup artist told me it was going to retail for $75.00.  Boy, am I glad they came to their senses!

Value for money spent (performance and quality):

  • 8 out of 10 bags – I think I prefer her foundation over the beauty balm, but it's nice to have options.

Likelihood to purchase again:

  • I really should've caught a whiff of Beach during my visit.  I can always go back ;)

*loving my lippie?  I'm wearing MAC's

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.  I've been toting this baby since November 2009.