Apologies if I am a tad slow on the uptake with this one (both in terms of BB creams in general, and the 17 brand in particular), but I have been trying this out over the past few months in order to make sure I could give it a proper review! (I hate 'reviews' of products that have very obviously only been tried out once or twice - I know in my experience that I can love a product on first use, then dislike it for whatever reason thereafter, and vice versa - or have been specifially sent for review!)
Like many product releases of late (such as gel eyeliners, for example), the BB (or Blemish Balm) cream trend seems to have been sparked on the highstreet by the one company/brand - in this case the Garnier with their Miracle Skin Perfector - with the vast majority of other cosmetic companies jumping on board soon after.
So what's the story behind Blemish Balms?
The formula is reported to have come from Germany where dermatologists use it for healing laser skin surgery because of its characteristic soothing and skin-regenerating properties.
Although BB cream was not specifically created for the Asian market, it provided a solution to a common skin problem for many Asians: impure skin. The cream eventually found its way into a broad mainstream market when Korean actresses recommended it publicly, and thus a craze was born. The trend then spread to Japan, south-east Asia and now Europe and the USA.
BB creams come in a variety of different formulations and qualities mainly perceived as being anti-inflammatory, regenerative and having a soothing effect. Some are said to have skin whitening or brightening properties. Others are said to be anti-acne or anti-wrinkle, some are intended to even out skin tone, and yet others to lighten blemish scars. BB creams are sometimes used like a primer under foundation, and if tinted may supposedly replace foundation and some newer ones are advertised as having functions of primer, foundation, moisturizer, sun block, pore minimization and skin refining together, making them an economic skin care solution
17 Blemish Balm
17's offering to the BB market is a relatively new one, having been launched in November last year (something I find quite odd as I have came to associate BB, like tinted moisturisers, with summer time, therefore a winter launch seems out of sorts!).
Described as an all in one magic make-up, it claims to provide full, flawless coverage whilst hydrating skin and controlling oil, along with SPF 15 protection - basically its a foundation, moisturiser, concealer and sun tan lotion in one teeny tiny bottle!
First impressions on pulling the slim tube out of the box was that it was tiny, but it is, in actual fact a standard 30ml like most foundations available today.
I quite like the sleek black packaging, the discreet scent, and the nozzle will appeal to the hygienists out there (although it does mean you can't put back any excess product!).
The shade range for this is very (very, VERY) limited: currently only 'light' (which I have) and 'medium' are available, which immeditely excludes several entire skin tones/shades - putting the product at an immediate disadvantage.
I'm really rather pale skinned and I will say that even 'light' is still a teeny bit too dark for me, but not obviously so if I buff it in to my skin and make sure I continue it down my neck to avoid tide lines! If anything the extra colour is a bit of a bonus in perking my skin up and making it look more healthy.
I have been applying it with either my ELF powder brush or Cosmopolitan blending sponge - the brush is good for really working it into the skin and the sponge gives a nice dewy effect.
As you can imagine as a cream it is definitely a lot thicker in consistency than your average tinted moisturiser, and even some foundations, and I personally think it is an excellent dupe in terms of coverage, consistency and general all-over similarity (apart from price and smell!) to Liz Earle's Sheer Skin Tint.
In order to avoid the tacky experience I had with the Liz Earle product, I tend to cautiously apply this fairly thinly, and it does help even skintone and lightly cover spots, but I usually need to go back over obvious spots, red bits round my nose and undereye circles with my concealer.
Staying power is somewhat average - it manages to avoid sliding off my face (lovely), but does admittedly go a tad patchy towards the end of the day, particularly round my nose and chin (as you might be able to see from the face pic).
But it did get me thinking - if I really needed heavy duty coverage, why would I not just use a foundation?!
I like, therefore, to use this on days where my skin is quite good or when I don't necessarily feel like going through the entire full-on foundation routine.
Overall I do think it is a good little product - and would be particularly ideal for the young girl/teenage market as a first foundation-type product - but I will say that it appears to give me spots. Cue sad face.
I'm not entirely sure what it is that's in this to give me spots - as far as i'm aware it's oil free which should prevent spots if anything! - but my skin doesn't like it.
I have been experimenting, however, and mixing it with my foundations, as i'm determined that it's not going to be another unused product in the cupboard!
I would recommend this, but at the same time i'd also advise you to think about what it is you want from it, especially in terms of coverage, and how you plan to use it, as sadly it doesn't quite provide the flawless effect it promises!
£6.99 for 30ml.
Where can i buy?
Boots, both in-store and online.
Have you tried this, or any other BB creams? I'd love to hear your experiences/opinions!