In a comment on my previous post, Katie Puckrik teased me about the ambitious scope of my two hour speed romp through Zurich's finest perfume outlets:
"Judging from the amount of perfumes covered in this post, you have fully lived up to your Flittersniffer moniker. I'm wondering if your Miller Harris ennui had something to do with the fact that you'd already given the best of your love to the 79 fragrances previously sniffed."
I realise that my sniffathon in swish Swiss shops was the perfume equivalent of a supermarket trolley dash, but that is the thing about living in the sticks, as I do most of the time: when you are lucky to find yourself in one of Europe's scent meccas, you want to pack as much in as possible. But between the afternoon in Zurich, the session in Parfumerie Hyazinth in Basel, and the cafe grab-fest that preceded it, I guess I am feeling a bit sniffed out now, while readers' heads may also be spinning. And so I decided to take a break from perfume and write a palate-cleansing post about a beauty product instead.
This is also a cynical move on my part to boost my flagging Wikio Beauty Blog ranking, given that I managed to acquire this mysterious categorisation in the first place. And ideally, I guess I should be taking a chocolate-based beauty product as my subject matter, the better to bolster my emerging Klout reputation for chocolate-themed writing. Quite by chance, I did once feature such a product following my initiation into eyebrow waxing, but you can't pull a stunt like that off every day.
So in the meantime I would like to sing the praises of a new all-purpose beauty product that is getting rave reviews in the media, and of which I received three complimentary samples at the time of its launch: Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector Daily All-In-One B.B Blemish Balm Cream. The name of this cream is a bit of a mouthful to put it mildly, but then this is a multi-tasking product with a lot of benefits to convey!
In a nutshell, Garnier B.B Cream (as I will call it for short) is a light foundation and moisturiser combined that hydrates the skin, evens out blemishes (thanks to its mineral pigments), and gives reasonable yet sheer coverage. It has SPF 15 sun protection and is ideal for people like me who dislike the faff of a multi-stage beauty routine.
Here's the official blurb on this product:
"B.B. creams (short for Blemish Balm) are hybrid products which combine the benefits of skincare and make-up in one.
Initially developed by a German dermatologist in the 1950s to soothe skin and provide coverage, B.B. Creams were made famous in South Korea by an actress famed for her beautiful skin."
Now as a rosacea sufferer, I have been loyal lately to the very wonderful (leaving aside the matter of the missing "u") Revlon Colorstay 04 foundation in Sand Beige, which is just a foundation, but covers redness brilliantly and stays put - and stays matte - all day long and all night, should your lifestyle happen to be a tad more exciting than mine.
Given my usual levels of spot outbreaks and ruddy complexion, I wouldn't have touched this product with a bargepole, for I can no more entertain a product offering merely "sheer coverage" than I could wear a diaphanous blouse without a camisole underneath. As it happens though, the launch of Garnier B.B Cream coincided with my skin being in a very good phase (for me). And so, sold on the convenience of a foundation and moisturiser combined, I did not hesitate to apply for my trial pack of three samples, and tested Garnier B.B Cream every day for about a week. I applied it all over my face instead of just to my nose and chin, as I do with the Revlon foundation to avoid too heavy and mask-like a look.
Well, the first thing to say about the Garnier product is that a little of this goes a very long way, and I got about three days' coverage out of a single sachet. I can only imagine that some users have Very Large Heads and/or a worse distribution of blemishes than even me on a really bad day.
The second thing to say is that Garnier B.B Cream goes on beautifully smoothly and does indeed "melt into the skin" as the sales bumf claims.
"Feel the sensation of the light texture that instantly melts into your skin."
It genuinely is a lovely feeling, doubtless due to the moisturising component of the formulation.
You can build up a bit of coverage in key areas, and Garnier B.B Cream does even out skin tone up to a point, but I don't suppose it would conceal my bad outbreaks of spots or redness - it would be hard to top Revlon Colorstay on that score.
And yes, my skin does feel very soft to the touch with the blemish balm on - "luminous" might be stretching a point, indeed it looks a little greasy if anything, at least initially - but the sensation on the skin once the cream has been on for a while is luxuriantly smooth. So my oily skin does present a bit of a challenge, but I patted powder on top and that takes away most of the greasy aspect. That is the only negative point I can think of really, and for anyone with dry skin Garnier B.B Cream could be just what it is crying out for.
So whilst I wouldn't wear this product on a bad skin day, on a good skin day it is a jolly useful all-in-one product. Like those lipsticks known as YLBB ("your lips but better"), this tinted moisturiser or hydrating foundation or whatever you want to call it in the end is YSBB ("your skin but better"). I shall certainly be buying a tube when I have used up my samples.
UNPHOTOSHOPPED SCARY CLOSE UP ALERT!!!
Just to clarify, in all three photos this is Garnier B.B. cream immediately after I put it on and before applying foundation (ie when at its most shiny!)
And hold on a minute - I just applied some Garnier B.B Cream to the back of my hand to watch the seamless blending in action again, and something prompted me to sniff it. I can report that the blemish balm does in fact smell (very faintly) of something, which I hadn't really noticed before: a vaguely lemongrassy, spa product-type fragrance. A less herbal, more lemony Clarins Eau Ressourcante maybe - something in that ballpark anyway. Now I see that Clarins Eau Ressourcante includes notes of sarsparillia, robinia and longan, and am frankly none the wiser.
Photo of B.B cream from Superdrug blog and Garnier campaign, photo of Lycon wax from Ebay, other photos my own