BB creams. You hear about these balms practically on the daily, and more recently, cc creams as well. Since they hit the western market a few years ago (they started off in Asia as an all-in-cream for women who just had plastic surgery on their face), people have been raving for these multipurpose bases. And though I’m not a loyal wearer, I can see why. The convenience of a sunblock with coverage and hydration is too good. And with the pricey primers, foundations, concealers, serums and face creams these days, these things are the perfect fit for both the no-fuss and thrifty woman.

These BB’s have been available in both the drugstores and the high-end makeup stores for well over a year now. Which is why I was slightly confused that Kiehl’s only joined the skin-perfecting Congo line this spring. But hey, better late than never. This beauty balm promises to reduce the appearance of fine lines and enlarged pores, luminosity, 24 hour hydration and enough coverage to both even your skin tone and hide minor blemishes. Oh, and it has a sun protection factor of a whopping 50 and is infused with vitamin C.

Okay, so let me tell you how ALL these wonderful features played out on my skin. The texture was much like of a sunscreen, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing… not too heavy, but definitely smelled like sunblock. It goes on very smoothly, however it looked really light immediately following application. It settled out with my skin tone soon after– I assumed this was its “skin tone correcting” magic at work. Why? Because it really did cover my red patches on my lower cheeks! As for blemishes, well, the majority of my zits went uncovered– however I would get similar results using a high coverage foundation all the same, so, I can’t really complain. My face did have that certain brightness that I’ve found most BB creams provide, which I absolutely love. But like most BB cream’s, these things aren’t the best with oil control. And that is simply a factor I can’t ignore when I’m staring my shiny complexion in the face. I have to set this one with a powder and touch up with blotting papers throughout the day. Like I said before,  I would do the same with a foundation, so I guess we’re even. Also, I hate to end on a rough note, because this stuff is a solid 4/5, but it only comes in two shades (light and medium)– the light one surprisingly was not too dark for me. I believe these things are those kind that adjust to your skin tone (or at least claim to).

I’d say this beauty balm (or any BB in general) would work great for the no-nonsense girl/guy that has normal/dry/comination skin and doesn’t have too much to hide– if you fall into this category, I’m extremely jealous.

Anna Raponi

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