There was a time, not too long ago, when BB creams completely swept the beauty landscape. The foundation-meets-moisturizer hybrids — which originated in Germany, or was it South Korea? — felt like the kind of innovation we had been waiting for all of our lives. And then, as quickly as they populated our top shelves, they were gone. Maybe it was the onslaught of CC and DD creams that made us, well, OD on the idea. Or maybe it was more dramatic, makeup-heavy looks, like contouring or dewy-dumpling skin, that got us all caught up.
But we're woman enough to admit when we're wrong: Considering their usefulness in providing legit coverage, sun protection, and a believable glow all in one, we never should have strayed so far from BB creams in the first place. Plus, because some of our favorite formulas are also packed with hydrators like hyaluronic acid, squalane, and botanically-derived oils, they're key for keeping your complexion from losing its cool in the midst of moisture-sucking season.
Sometimes rich and creamy, sometimes gel-like, BB creams can get you that highly-coveted your-skin-but-better finish and provide much-needed protection against the elements, too. Naturally, this month marks the perfect time to pull them out of retirement — and now it's our go-to foundations that are getting pushed to the back of the cabinet in favor of the lightweight skin-healing formulas ahead.
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This multitasker offers buildable coverage that doesn't settle into fine lines or dry patches, while also packing SPF and enough nourishing ingredients to rival your best serum (hello, peptides, niacin, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants). Though the formula comes in matte and satin-finish options, we reach for this pearlized version in winter months: Come this time of year, we need all the faux glow we can get.
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This new BB-foundation hybrid, available December 26 on Stila's site, combines the lightweight texture of a BB cream with the full-coverage power of a foundation. Eight shades promise to adapt to a spectrum of skin tones, and feature micas to blur discoloration and enlarged pores. But the best case for camouflaging winter blahs is the actual formulation, which includes more than 70% water and coconut water to keep skin from flaking away.
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Even oily skin can become dehydrated in blustery weather. This creamy formula doesn't mattify to the point of drying skin; instead, it provides weightless coverage that packs SPF and hydrates, to boot.
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We used to reach for the thickest moisturizers and foundations in freezing temps, thinking the denser the product, the more protected our skin. That was the old us: Thanks in part to this bouncy gel cream, we now know better. Ingredients like squalane and sodium hyaluronate make our skin look like it just had a big gulp of alkaline water, while a believable tint evens out blotchy tone.
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This cushion compact may dispense painfully-controlled quantities of BB cream, but just a few light taps was enough to stamp out the redness of an oncoming zit. After hours of wear, it didn't settle into creases or dry out our skin — and, unlike many other cushion compacts, actually comes in a legit shade for deep complexions.
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For no-makeup makeup days, this lightweight cream from 2018's most searched beauty brand evens out the complexion, but not to the point of erasing freckles. Hydrators like dimethicone, glycerin, and blackcurrant seed oil help fake the kind of rich-girl luster that typically only comes with frequent trips to the spa and a chauffeured commute.