Is This The New BB Cream?

The current trend in coverage makeup is all about multitasking. Foundation will always be about evening the skin tone, but instead of treating it as face paint to spackle on and cover yourself up with, new formulas can transform skin while providing coverage. Some standout examples are Perricone MD’s No Foundation Foundation and bareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation.  

In Korea, this “good-for-you” foundation trend absorbs the role of other makeup products, like primer, luminizer, moisturizer, sun protectant, and anti-ager. The expectation is that foundation should contribute to skin health in addition to creating a uniform complexion. Because the Korean beauty industry is highly responsive to changes in consumer preference, brands are quickly rolling out inventive new products that follow the trend of how Korean women like their skin — sheer and dewy. Some are a bit wacky (foundation Jell-O, anyone?), but there are some real revolutionaries in this new part skin care, part face-camouflage class (still seriously impressed with that foundation Jell-O, TBH).

Not all of these will be permanent fixtures in base-makeup history, but it’s fun to check out the X-men of coverage makeup, pushing the boundaries of foundation as we know it. Read on to find your next BB cream.


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Currently, the number-one foundation in Korea is TonyMoly’s BCDation All Master, which claims to combine the weightlessness of a BB cream, the moisturizing properties of a CC cream, and the coverage of a foundation. In its first month of sale, over 200,000 bottles were sold. Amazingly, it’s not all hype. BCDation provides lightweight coverage with a natural, matte finish.
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Chosungah22 is the fairly new namesake brand of a Korean makeup artist to the stars, and the Bounce Up Pact is one of the line’s hero products. For being named after the bouncy-skin trend, I am surprised at how matte this product is. It's unique for another reason: It comes in a compact, and is a pigmented mound that feels almost like super-dense clay.

Poking at it leaves a curious indent. When you use the puff, the product goes on with a light powder finish, which interestingly has a somewhat moist quality. When you use your finger, it works as a concealer to deposit more concentrated coverage to specific areas. And, it's a friend to oily skin because of its powdery finish.
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Though the packaging means less product, this genius self-sousing applicator also requires less to smooth over skin and minimize pores. A few strokes blend into a weightless veil of coverage. It allows the skin to show through, while providing just the right amount of glow.

Honestly, I’m not sure it would be an ideal candidate for those requiring heavier coverage. It’s more of an enhancer. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to cover your whole face in YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Pen, this is kind of it. (Check out this video demo on cofounder Taeyun Park’s Instagram to see what I mean.)
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BRTC Jasmine Jelly Foundation looks like flesh-colored Jell-O. Its mass crumbles when mixed up, and creepily morphs back into a singular blob in seconds. Compared to Chosungah22’s Bounce Up Pact, it’s much jigglier and less dense, but like the Bounce Up Pact, it deposits a fine, even layer of pigment on the applicator whether it be a puff or fingertips. For building light and natural coverage, this kind of application is revolutionary. I like using a sponge dampened with a facial mist to apply this product for a natural, semi-dewy finish.
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The VDL Metal Cushion is one of the newer examples of the cushion compact trend. Except, instead of a cushion, a metal disk dispenses the product with each dab, allowing for a thin, buildable coverage. Korean women love it because of the disk’s cooling effect, and claim it's more sanitary than the cushions.
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As foundation continues to blur the lines between skin care and makeup, the word "gel" gets thrown around quite a bit. Lioele Secret Pore Bright Gel Foundation claims to wear eight hats: moisturizer, primer, skin corrector, foundation, powder, concealer, skin-brightener, and anti-ager. It contains witch-hazel extract, honey, royal-jelly extract, and collagen to nourish skin.

It has a thick, whipped consistency and smoothes on easily, though I have the same wary feeling for it I get when I see a restaurant menu that’s 20 pages long. The same skepticism I hold for whether a restaurant can execute each of these dishes perfectly applies to the eight roles this foundation claims to cover. But, overall, the formula is moisturizing, the application is smooth, and the finish is satin-y and matte.
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Most recently, the cushion compact has graduated on to become a netted product. Instead of a cushion, the reservoir of CC cream is netted over with mesh covering to filter off excess product. Unlike many foundation compacts, Vidi Vici’s version comes with a small brush instead of an applicator puff. The formula is moisturizing, and the coverage is pretty light.
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Listen up, pale people. Aqua Petit Jelly by Holika Holika is a favorite among Korean women because of its cooling texture and light, supple coverage. (It only comes in light shades, though, which is why it's best for the pale ones.) Its texture is like a jiggly pudding — even the container it comes in is modeled after a jelly mold. Cute, fun packaging aside, this popular BB cream is well-loved because of its cooling effect due to mint water being a main ingredient.
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Dr. Jart's BB Bounce Beauty Balm is another base-makeup wonder in a netted compact. The formula is gel-like and creamy, and provides more coverage than most of the other products on this list. The multifunctional formula contains a blend of hydrolyzed collagen and pomegranate extract to firm up skin, as well as grape-seed oil, arbutin, and hyaluronic acid to moisturize and plump. It also packs SPF 30 for that necessary sun protection.
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