Why Guerlain Makes the Best BB Cream

It gives natural but foundation-like coverage; the light colour is actually light enough—what's not to love?
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Michelle Villett
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It gives natural but foundation-like coverage; the light colour is actually light enough—what's not to love?
Guerlain BB Cream

This review's been a long time coming, since I believe Guerlain first introduced its BB cream last year—or maybe it was even the year before that, during the height of the BB cream craze. (Which, as you know, has now moved on to CC creams... but more on that in a sec.) God knows how many of these things I've tried at this point; enough, at least, to tell you that in my opinion, Guerlain's is the very best.

I know! Bold statement. But it's true.

First let me address the issue of CC creams, because they're newer, being better than BBs. They're not. I've learned there is absolutely no rhyme or reason for the naming conventions with these BB and CC products. All the coverage claims are meaningless—there are ones that might as well be clear for all the camouflaging they do, while others actually give decent medium coverage. CCs supposedly have more skincare benefits, but personally I think it's a little silly to rely on them for anything tangible in that department. But that's just me.

At the end of the day, navigating the whole BB/CC maze is about finding a product that measures up to the performance you expect from a foundation, except a little more lightweight, similar to a tinted moisturizer. (You could, of course, just use tinted moisturizer—I still love Laura Mercier's no matter what.)

But if you're specifically wanting a BB, and are fair to medium in skin tone, Guerlain's Lingerie de Peau BB Cream SPF 30 is the way to go. It's earned a spot beside my favourite skin makeup products, the coverage and finish is so good. It dispenses from a hygienic pump, just the way we like it:

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Cream SPF 30 (pump)

And then looks like this on the skin. (This is the Light shade; there is also a Medium.)

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Cream SPF 30 (swatched)

As you can see, it's not one of the typical pink-/orange- toned products that Melanie Inglessis warned us about. It's got enough yellow to be pretty much neutral, which is what I look for (but can be a real pain in the ass to find). My fair skin is right in between warm and cool, so I can't go too far one way or the other.

Just to give you some context, I thought I'd show you how it compares to the other faves in my collection.

Best neutral foundations swatches

So it's right in line with the Holy Grail that is Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk. (Guess I have to do a proper review on that one next!) And also very close to the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in 115 Ivory, another go-to that I've raved about over the years. (The Laura Mercier and Joe Fresh tinted moisturizers are even lighter and more yellow, but I think I get away with them in the sheerer formats, as they help cancel out redness.)

As you can see, the Guerlain is also a slightly better colour match than the Nip + Fab CC Cream (reviewed here), which I recognized was a bit more on the pink side but still totally wearable and again, close to the Armani. I would show you how Guerlain's BB compares to the Chanel CC Cream I just reviewed, except I left it at my parents' house after I brought it over for my mom to try, thinking she'd love it. (Her opinion: Guerlain is a better match for me because the Chanel is even more yellow. But def check it out if your skin has warmer undertones than mine.)

As for Guerlain's texture and finish? Very thick and creamy, giving you a semi-matte, slightly luminous coverage without looking greasy. There's actually so much pigment that you only need to use, say, half a pump MAX to do your whole face. (That tiny blob above was plenty.) So that kind of compensates for the not-enormous tube. At least you don't have to use very much per wear.

Make sure you take the time to apply it with a brush instead of your fingers (that's a tip I have for the Joe Fresh product, too). Otherwise you'll find it way too thick and you'll use too much. I don't love the heavy fragrance, but can live with it for the results you get... and I've had no problems with this causing reactions or breakouts. I don't think this is the best choice for someone who is super-oily, nor super-dry. I find it lasts as well as a regular foundation, expecting that I'll need to powder the T-zone once or twice throughout the day.

Your thoughts? Leave 'em below....

Have your say

Have you tried the Guerlain BB cream?
What's your favourite BB or CC?
Have you tried any of my other foundation hall-of-famers?