Monday, August 20, 2012

Flash Swatch: L'Oreal Youth Code BB Cream

I'm a big fan of BB Creams, and as they begin to penetrate the US market, I'm naturally curious about what the western brands have to offer. I've tested one or two brands in store, and the results have been less than encouraging. Most on-line reviews I've run across have reinforced my first impressions: US BB creams seem to be nothing more than a marketing gimmick; re-branded tinted moisturizers that lack the coverage, finish and benefits of their Asian counterparts.

Today, I flipped open my newly arrived issue of Allure to find a partially exploded blister pack sample of one of the new state-side offerings: L'Oreal Youth Code BB Cream. Though there wasn't enough left in the pack to get a full face application, there was enough to do a little quicky hand swatch, so I thought I'd share my impression.

L'Oreal Youth Code BB Cream in Medium
Unblended Swatch with blended portion underneath
The shade pictured here is medium, so it's no surprise to me that it's too dark for my sub-MAC paleness, but the real issue is the tone. The cream is a bright peachy-orange, and I have a hard time believing it would look natural on any skin tone, though it could perhaps bring a little balance to olive skin tones that lean blue or medium tones that have issues with ashiness.

Another disappointment is the utter lack of coverage. To me the magic of a true BB cream (like my favorite, Missha Perfect Cover) is that they can provide flawless coverage while looking and feeling totally natural. This covered nothing and I wouldn't even say it evened out my skin tone, it really just added a bit of tint.

The final mark of distinction of a true BB cream is it's infusion of skin care benefits. Now, I should say, I don't rely on any BB cream or foundation for my moisture or repair- and in the case of Youth Code, that would be a good thing. Though I spied a couple of antioxidants and one of my favorite multifaceted wonder ingredients, niacinamide, on the label, they appeared very low on the
ingredient list, appearing after preservatives and irritating by-products. To me, this is a red flag that the product is simply "dusted" with beneficial ingredients but that it likely doesn't contain them in concentrations high enough to be effective. Even the sun protection in this cream is wanting- though advertised as a broad spectrum SPF 15, the combination of octinoxate and titanium dioxide is lacking in strong UVA (aging) protection.

What do you think? Have you tried BB Creams, and if so, do you prefer the newer domestic versions, or their original Asian predecessors?


boo said...

I agree that the US versions leave a lot to be desired. I am a fan of Skin79 myself (hot pink).

Kimmy said...

I just did a post on my favourite BB cream. No surprise it is Korean (not western). Might not be for everyone because it is quite thick but thats exactly what I like about it because of the coverage it provides too


Phyrra said...

I don't understand why so many drugstores have orange toned foundations :(

I love my Holika Holika, as you know.

Rinnie (リボン) said...

I've got samples of or swatched several Western BB creams, and haven't been excited by ANY of them. By contrast, I've liked at least some aspects of every Asian BB cream I've tried, even if the colour was a bit dark for me. (Skin79 Hot Pink- yes, I'm that pale!)

Have you tried BRTC's Jasmine Water BB cream? The colour is a tad grey-red but the texture is INCREDIBLE. *_*

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