Welcome to Deep Reviews—your one-stop destination to discover the absolute best products and brands the beauty industry has to offer. The Who What Wear staffers you already know and trust will research, test, and review the market’s most sought-after and buzzed-about products to see which formulas (of the hundreds up for consideration) are truly worth your hard-earned money and attention. You can expect honest, completely uncensored feedback and no-BS recommendations our hard-to-please testers endorse without reservations.
Sometimes, wearing a full-coverage foundation feels like putting on a latex mask. And on the flip side, going totally bare-faced can feel daunting. For days when both sides of the spectrum feel impossible, it’s best to reach for a base product with flexible coverage that feels breathable and maybe even skincare-adjacent. That’s where BB creams come in.
BB creams are the perfect solution for skin-blurring, even-toned coverage that looks—and feels!—like your skin. Unfortunately, finding the right BB cream can quickly devolve into a Goldilocks and the Three Bears situation. You want a formula that has enough coverage (but not too much), feels hydrating (but not oily), and stays on all day (but doesn’t mattify). Basically, we want BB creams to do the most. We tried 13 BB creams and picked the top eight. Keep reading for our favorite BB creams and why we loved them, plus info on our rigorous testing process and insight from a celebrity makeup artist on everything you ever wanted to know about BB cream.
“To me, the formula is about as perfect as a tinted moisturizer can get. There’s no funky scent or heavy oily consistency, and it just blends into my skin so seamlessly without drying it out or making it break out. I can wear it every single day (and honestly do) and my skin is actually better for it. I’ve actually already been using this product for two or three years now, and it’s my holy grail. I love how seamlessly it glides on, and it blends flawlessly. The formula is just right for my skin so it never feels dry or flaky or, on the flip side, oily or heavy, like so many other BB creams I’ve tried have done. It also works as a wonderful base to makeup, and my cream blush, concealer, and bronzer all blend in well on top.” — Anna LaPlaca, Editor
“I have used many, many BB creams in my day, and I can honestly say that none have ever held up better than this tinted moisturizer from Chantecaille. I don’t know how they do it, but it genuinely looks like an eighth layer of skin—you can’t even tell you’re wearing any base makeup at all with this product, which is genuinely impressive. It does come with a steep price tag, but if there’s anything you’re considering splurging on, this is truly, truly worth every penny. The finish is dewy but not shiny, and it never pills over my skincare and sunscreen. Truly the holy grail.” — Katie Berohn, Beauty Editor
“Since I was test-driving this BB cream throughout New York Fashion Week, I knew I needed lightweight, long-lasting coverage for running around the city and being photographed. Lightweight and long-lasting usually don’t go hand-in-hand, so I was skeptical at best. But shockingly, Covergirl blew me out of the water. It settled on my skin flawlessly and gave me a radiant, skin-like finish. I’ll admit I was having much better skin days at the start of fashion week than at the end, so my first reactions were that it was incredible. Toward the end of the week, I was itching to get it off since my skin was starting to break out (too many slices of stress pizza will do that to you!), but sans textured skin or acne, it looked incredible. Given how low-cost the CG BB cream is, I’d recommend everyone try it out at least once—at worst, you’re out the price of a latte in New York. At best, you’ve found an affordable formula that you can wear without worrying about cost per wear.” — Ana Escalante, Assistant Shopping Editor
“This is the product I use daily, and I absolutely love it. Prior to trying it, I never used a tinted moisturizer or BB cream and just kind of went with whatever my skin looked like. From a product like this, I’ve only ever really wanted a dewy, barely there layer of coverage that looks like skin, and that’s exactly what this product provides. I’ve already bought it at least five times and will continue to for years to come unless they reformulate. It’s something I put on every single day and genuinely adore. I think if anyone’s looking for super lightweight, barely there coverage that still provides you with a glowy, fresh look, this is a great product for them to try. It’s much dewier and more natural looking than most BB creams I’ve tried. It also acts as a better base for makeup than I’m used to.” —Eliza Huber, Editor
“It did exactly what I wanted it to do. It glided onto my skin with ease, gave me a nice glow, and evened out most of my discoloration. I usually still go in with concealer for my under-eye area while using any BB cream, but I’d be okay with just applying this if I just wanted just a little something. Other BB creams either feel like they do absolutely nothing or they’re too close to a foundation. I think this product found that sweet spot right in the middle. And as someone with dry skin, I’ve had the issue of other creams cling to my dry patches and make my skin look even more dry, no matter how I moisturize. This makes it look like I have dewy and healthy skin, which I love.” — Yusra Siddiqui, Associate Editor
“As someone who typically shies away from skin tints or BB creams in fear of looking too oily or not having enough coverage, I was surprisingly excited to try this one from Fenty. I see a ton of content creators using this product, and it has pretty rave reviews from people of all skin tones and skin types. I was hoping for the glowy finish that I see all over my For You page. My biggest hope was for my skin to look like skin. It definitely met my expectations in terms of glow and finish, but I found that the product had such a red undertone that I looked a bit orange immediately after application. After a while, it oxidized and the match felt right, but if I were going to take a selfie immediately after finishing my makeup (like I normally would), I might look a little orange. I will definitely use this product for those light-makeup days. It gives just enough coverage where I feel like my skin can breathe while my blemishes are concealed. It’s super lightweight and perfect for those days when I’m running errands, hopping on a virtual meeting, or heading to lunch. I love that it’s available in so many different shades.” — Aniyah Morinia, Associate Editor, Branded Content
“The shade match process got me the correct shade on the first try. Since BB creams usually have limited shade options, I was so impressed that this one offered up to 25 options. It blended super easily and had the best coverage, while still being lightweight, of the other products that I tried. My mom has been looking for a new tinted moisturizer, and I’ve already pointed her in Fenty’s direction. It reminds me of a step back from my favorite natural finish foundation. That’s a huge compliment, by the way.” — Sierra Mayhew, Associate Editor
“Even though it met me at a rough time, it delivered. I was quite tired during fashion week after a late night and tried it in the midst of all the craziness. It is important to note that the shade range was impressive, and I loved seeing that it brought color to my skin and revitalized me after a rough night. While many BB creams disappear into my skin, this one sticks around with great coverage for a tinted product.” — Mayhew
“My skin truly looked impeccable after application, but during the process of blending it out, the cream was literally white. It changes color as the product is blended out, so it’s safe to say I had quite the jumpscare when the shade didn’t match. After giving it about five minutes, it magically matched my skin and had the most flawless finish. The product is silky smooth and blended in super naturally. It accentuates my natural features without covering too much or too little. I love that this has SPF 30 in it. I’m a huge fan of this product and would happily repurchase it. I will 1000% be keeping this product in my routine. It’s lightweight, easy to apply, protective, and surprisingly doesn’t transfer. I don’t feel like I need additional products to have a flawless base when I’m wearing this. It’s truly everything I’ve been looking for in a skin tint or BB cream. It’s light, slightly dewy, breathable, and creates a nice satin finish.” — Morinia
“There are three things I always look for in a BB Cream: sheer coverage, glowy finish, and blends well with the rest of my makeup routine. So far, we’ve hit the trifecta with the Cle CCC Cream. It brings such a healthy glow to my dull winter skin and feels weightless. After wearing all day long, the coverage has stayed intact with no powdering involved. Other glowy tinted moisturizers I’ve tried tend to transfer easily and wear off throughout the day. If you like decent coverage but hate the feeling of foundation, you need to try this product.” — Natalie Gray Herder, Associate Editor, Branded Content
“Unfortunately, I think my shade was a bit too light, making the product look a bit off on me. Apart from that, though, I actually think very highly of this product. It’s super natural and clean, making it good for sensitive skin like mine, and I love that it’s SPF 50, which is rare in a BB cream. I like how skin-like this product is and that it gives a subtle, realistic glow. My only other qualm is that I think it doesn’t give as glowy a result as I prefer. I probably won’t use it every day, but I think if I got a darker shade, it’d be great for the summer, when I need a daily higher SPF. It’s a great item to keep in your pool or beach bag when you want a bit of tint. I think it’s great for someone with sensitive skin who wants something natural and skin-like. It’s different from other similar products in that when it comes out of the bottle, it’s not colored, and it doesn’t change color until it makes contact with your skin. It has a little bit of a white cast, which is something I wouldn’t want daily, but I wouldn’t mind it at all if I was going to lay in the sun.” — Huber
“It’s definitely heavier than a lot of other tinted sunscreens on the market, and if you’re looking for more payoff and coverage without resorting to a thicker foundation-type product, it’s great. For people who prefer more lightweight formulas for their BB creams or with oily skin, I’d recommend something else. It’ll become my new non-foundation foundation.” — Escalante
“I have been using this product for a couple of years now, and it’s one of my go-to base products, particularly in the summer when I don’t feel like wearing foundation and want an extra boost of SPF over my face sunscreen. (Always remember base products with sunscreen never have all the SPF you need to stay protected.) This tinted moisturizer applies so easily and looks incredibly smooth on skin while giving you a juicy, skin-like finish. My only qualm with this formula is sometimes I find the finish a little too dewy—it can border on glossy.” — Berohn
“Believe it or not, this is the first BB cream I ever used. I never used to wear base makeup at all through high school and college (save for some concealer under my eyes and to cover any blemishes). In the summer of 2016, I wanted to try something with a bit of extra coverage. I was interning in New York City, and I was also broke. I went to Duane Reade and picked up the cheapest BB cream I could find, and it ended up being this one. I personally love the formula and always have—it is a really solid drugstore find that blurs and evens skin and leaves you with a radiant finish. My only qualm is that I found the shade to be a bit too dark and warm-toned for my skin, but it blends out enough to not be noticeable. I recommend applying this one with a brush for the most flawless finish. I wore this to dinner with my friends a few weeks ago for the first time since 2016 and got so many compliments on my skin—might be time for me to break this baby out of retirement.” — Berohn
“It got the job done, and it’s decent for its affordable price, but I wouldn’t reach for it on the daily. While it felt fairly lightweight on my skin, it did have a noticeable sunscreen scent that put me off, and it tended to pill when I blended it in. I just used my fingers like I do with other makeup products, but maybe it would have blended better with a brush or makeup sponge. I wouldn’t want to use it as a key part of my everyday routine because the sunscreen scent bothered me, and it felt too oily on my skin for my liking. I’d be nervous everyday use would make me break out. It holds up for being a drugstore find.” — LaPlaca
To get the lowdown on all things BB cream, I reached out to celebrity makeup artist Renée Loiz who’s clients are Quinta Brunson, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Cynthia Erivo, Jaylon Barron, and Vanessa Rubio. Essentially, BB cream really is a do-it-all product—it’s moisturizer, primer, and foundation all in one. “[It’s] sort of like an all in one product that helps to hydrate, smooth fine lines, and brighten the skin,” Loiz says.
There are plenty of ways to apply BB creams. “You can apply like a moisturizer with your fingers, use a makeup brush, or a beauty sponge,” says Loiz. “I personally prefer to use a beauty sponge, as I feel I use the least product this way and get a seamless finish.”
Think of CC creams as a step above a BB cream—they share all the same benefits, but CC creams have the extra benefit of color-correcting added in. “Also, a CC cream is a much thicker formula and has more coverage than BB cream,” says Loiz.
A tinted moisturizer is the simplest of the three but still shares many similarities to BB cream. “A tinted moisturizer is a moisturizer and foundation mixed together,” says Loiz. “[It] has a very sheer coverage and usually no added skincare benefits.” When it comes to product names, the terms can be pretty interchangeable, which is why you’ll see some products labeled “CC cream” and “tinted moisturizer” on this list.
First, Loiz recommends looking for a BB cream with a wide-coverage range. After that, she recommends looking for BB creams that boast hydrating and skin-blurring benefits. With Loiz’s expertise in mind, I combed through 51 BB creams that had made other publications’ “best-of” lists, and landed on 13 formulas for our editors to test. From those, we chose and ranked the top eight based on coverage, blendability, finish, shade range, wear time, and more.
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