It’s great to have choices in the makeup bag and in ours, we love having the option of using a fountain when the occasion calls for it or a decent BB cream for the lighter, carefree days when we “don’t want to look like we’re wearing makeup.”
Every major makeup manufacturer seems to make a line of BB creams these days, and if you’re not interested in spending 40 bucks a pop, then you’ll love the brands that we have on our list below.
These are some of the best drugstore BB cream options for those of you who want to affordably supply your makeup bag.
Can’t afford Clinique or Estée Lauder? No problem! You’ll find some excellent alternatives here along with some great tips about using BB cream.
BB Cream vs Foundation
If you’re new to BB cream, you may be wondering what exactly is the difference between it and foundation.
- Main Difference. The main difference between BB cream and foundation is the amount of coverage it provides you with (BB cream provides you with lighter coverage, foundation is heavier).
You do have fewer color choices with BB cream since their designed to blend in with your natural skin tone once you apply them, but for some, this presents a real challenge since they have an in-between coloring.
- Why Use It? When Do I Use It? For daily use, BB cream is awesome. If you’re on the go and need products that allow you to have a fast makeup routine or if you’re headed to the beach and want some added protection, this is the product for you.
It also acts as a sunscreen and protectant, which is why many use it as their daily “foundation.”
- Other Benefits. Another reason to opt for a BB cream is the fact that it does much more for your skin than a foundation does: it hydrates better, acts as a primer, contains anti-aging ingredients, helps prevent blemishes, brightens and soothes.
These drugstore brands also cost less, which means you can save your more expensive, higher-quality brands for those special occasions!
Top 10 Drugstore BB Creams Ultimate Table
Finding the Right Color
As we mentioned, BB creams aren’t always easy to match to your skin tone. They typically come in fewer shades than foundations do, which means that you may have to choose one based on the range of colors the brand provides rather than other factors.
- Test on Your Face. We don’t get why so many makeup consultants at the stores still dab the makeup in question on your hand! The color of your hand is different from the color of your face, and since the product will be applied to your face, that is where it should be tested.
In order to find the right color, make sure the person assisting you does some test patches between your face and neck. If you’re already wearing makeup, clear off a small patch (you can fill it in later) in order to get an “accurate reading.”
- Check Return Policy. If you’re worried about getting the wrong color (testing in-store under artificial lighting is way different than the natural light outdoors), find out what the return policy is.
See if you can get some testers first if you’re worried!
Q & A
Here are some of the top questions (and their answers) when it comes to choosing BB cream.
- How to Apply? Use Your Fingers. One of the things we love about BB cream is that you put it on just as you would a moisturizer or a facial cream: with your fingers.
Some of you might prefer to use a brush or a sponge if you want extra coverage, but it’s actually better to use your fingers since your body heat makes it easier to apply (smoother coverage).
If you have oily skin, then a sponge might be the best option since the oil on your fingers may create problems (transferring oil from your hands to your face).
- Do I Need to Set It with a Powder? Nope! This is another reason to love BB cream. You use fewer products, which means you save money in the long run.
Powder might come in handy when using concealer, which we’ll discuss next.
- And Concealer? Of course? If you have dark circles or blemishes to conceal, then apply it after you’ve applied the BB cream.
You might need to spend a little more time blending with a sponge and you’ll want to set the concealer with a powder.
Top 5 Best Drugstore BB Cream Reviews
Left to Right: Nude, Natural, Golden
For those of you who want to hydrate and prime your skin while evening out your skin tone, NYX’s BB cream is a great product. Not the right one for all of you out there since it only has three color choices, but if they match, you’ll love this product!
Fair-skinned users seem to have the best luck with it and those who have tried many other creams find that this one is the answer to their BB cream woes. Great on sensitive skin, too!
If you’ve already tried this and it wasn’t right for you, then head on down to check out the next few BB creams.
Left to Right: Bright Beige #13, Light Beige #21, Natural Beige #23
Honey Beige #27, Golden Beige #31
One of the reasons that Missha is one of the best drugstore BB cream brands on our list is because of the color choices. They have six!
This provides you with 42 SPF (awesome coverage and sun protection at the beach, at the pool or any other body of water outdoors), it provides you with excellent coverage so you can hide blemishes and other imperfections (more coverage than some other BB creams out there) and it helps diminish wrinkles!
If you’re in need of a BB cream that helps you control your acne, then check out the Maybelline Dream Pure line.
As we mentioned…
The color options make it easier for those with darker skin tones to find a match and this particular formula contains2% salicylic acid,
which is the highest percentage that you can get without a prescription.
Left to Right: Green, Gold, Pink, Orange, Purple
This is a Korean brand that launched in 2006.
Each one offers you different benefits (purple for color correction and blemish coverage, pink tones and helps control oily skin, green (?) and orange helps those with acne scars, redness and large pores).
The Gold (featured here) is great for smoothing out your skin and providing moisture for those with dry skin.
We searched the Skin79 website but couldn’t find info on the green option. Discontinued perhaps? The list of ingredients on the back of each one is different and some offer different levels of SPF.
Overall, this is best for those with pale skin. You’ll notice that the label says “whitening,” so if you have dark skin, skip this product.
Left: Light/Medium Right: Medium/Deep
Hmmm. We’re definitely not excited about the color selection here (they only have two!), but if your skin color closely matches either one, then this won’t be an issue for you!
In terms of coverage, this is pretty good. It is designed for combination and oily skin, so if you use it and the product agrees with you, then you’re likely to notice a more even skin tone, less shine and smaller pores. The “less shine” factor is what hooks most users. It makes a big difference!
Some find that the Light/Medium coloring has more of a yellow tint to it, so if you have more of a pinkish/white skin tone, this may not work for you.
Trial and error! Test it first for a color match. If it doesn’t work, check out some of the other great products on our list to find the one that works for your color and skin type!