A 5'3 Perspective


Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35

If you are even remotely interested in beauty, you’ve probably noticed that BB creams are taking over. But what is a BB cream?

BB stands for beauty balms – or blemish balms – the jury is still out on that one. Originating in Korea, these creams often had a “whitening” effect and were used by Asian actresses seeking a more porcelain skin tone.  Shortly after their debut, BB creams were mass produced and marketed in Asian countries where they quickly became a staple product in most women’s everyday beauty routine.

Although it has been possible to find certain brands of BB creams in Asian specialty stores, 2012 is the year of the BB creams. Most major players in the North American beauty industry have developed a BB cream in hopes to paint the faces of women across the land. North American BB Creams have moved away from the whitening aspect and towards the “be all end all” of facial coverage. Now this leaves us with a few dilemmas – first, should we switch to a BB cream? Why fix something that isn’t broken – if you are happy with your current makeup routine, stick with it. The only compelling argument I can come up with to dispute that is that using a 5-in-1 or 7-in-1 product will probably save you a bit of money. If you’re looking for a change, you’ll be faced with your second dilemma- which one should you choose? From drugstore brands to high end luxury products – how do you decide which one is best for you? My advice… trial and error… and read lots of reviews.

After spending more hours than I am proud to admit pouring over BB cream reviews, I decided to try Smashbox Camera Ready SPF 35. Honestly – this product wasn’t my first choice. I had my heart set on Dr. Jart+ Premium BB Beauty Balm SPF 45, which isn’t readily available in Canada – so I’ll have to wait a bit to try that one.

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 in Fair

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 in Fair

I have pale skin, especially in the Winter, so I chose the colour Fair. Unlike many other BB creams on the market, Smashbox offers 5 different shade choices as opposed to just one. Unfortunately, if you have skin that is lighter than mine, even the lightest colour (fair) will be too dark for you. Camera Ready is described as “a 5-in-1 complexion miracle-worker proven to moisturize, prime, perfect, protect and control oil in a single step.” Almost sounds too good to be true! This BB cream provides quite a heavy coverage in comparison to many of its competitors. Personally I like that aspect because I can skip [unless I’m having a really bad skin day] the concealer.

Now I have dry skin… like extremely dry, especially on my nose and I was skeptical that a BB cream would keep my face sufficiently hydrated throughout the day – especially since one of the main ingredients listed is a form of alcohol. For the most part, my skin was quite moisturized – my nose needed extra care throughout the day, but that is no different than usual. I have been using this cream for a week now and I am not noticing any negative effects on my skin.

I really like the way the cream blends into my face and matches my skin tone. A little goes a long way with this product, a pea sized dollop is all you need to cover your entire face. By the end of the day my face actually looks the same as when I first put my makeup on in the morning. I love a product with staying power. I am sure you can all understand why – no one likes a 3:00pm mirror check to find out they have cakey patches and mascara flakes!

Do I think this product is perfect? No – it still could use some work. Ideally I want a BB cream that can moisturize even the driest of skin all day long – I know it’s a lot to ask, but if we can send space shuttles to Mars, I don’t think it is that far fetched [just saying]. Also, a lighter shade option would be nice for those who have trouble finding a match – but this holds true for most brands, not just Smashbox.

All in all, I like this BB cream. Until I can get my hands on some Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm, Camera Ready will be my go to product. Let’s just hope it can keep my Winter skin soft and hydrated when the the mercury drops below -20.