A Brown Girl’s Guide to BB Creams, featuring Marcelle BB Cream and Maybelline Dream Fresh BB

I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the newest face base product that has hit the North American market: the BB cream.  In a nutshell, these “blemish balms” or “beauty balms” that are widely popular in Asia promise to deliver a more even skin tone as well as a slew of skincare benefits.


Maybelline Dream Fresh BB / Marcelle BB Cream

If you have a tan or deeper skin like me (about MAC NC40 and deeper), BB creams might not have caught your attention yet because well, there aren’t many options for us out there.  But there are options, and I must say they are pretty great!


Marcelle BB Cream in Dark to Darker and Medium to Dark

Marcelle BB Cream ($22.95 for 45 mL) was the first Canadian-made BB cream with two shades, Light to Medium and Medium to Dark back in January 2012.  Recently, a third shade — Dark to Darker — was added to the lineup (available exclusively online at Marcelle.com).  Marcelle BB Cream promises to:

  1. Minimize the appearance of imperfections and pores
  2. Even out skin tone
  3. Provide an excellent make-up base and replaces primers
  4. Mattify skin and controls shine
  5. Offer immediate and long-term hydrating benefits
  6. Soothe and calm skins
  7. Protect from premature aging and environmental stresses
  8. Promote skin regeneration

If you are really keen on streamlining your skincare and makeup regimen, then Marcelle BB Cream is a good bet.  Depending on your skin type, this product may replace your moisturizer, primer and foundation.  Dry-to-normal skin types will still need a moisturizer.  This has the most coverage of all BB creams I’ve tried thus far; it is one I would liken to a tinted moisturizer with a medium coverage.  The consistency is thick; it’s like 50% silicone primer and 50% liquid foundation formula.  It is oil-free and paraben-free.  Oh, and it dispenses product with airless-tube pump!  It is heaven-sent for the germaphobes, am I right?  It also makes it feel more luxurious.

I disagree with its claim of having a weightless feel on the skin, though.  I find that with my fingers, I really have to work to spread this all over my skin.  Besides that aspect, I really like Marcelle BB Cream.  It dries to a semi-matte finish, provides shine control and evens out my skin tone nicely.  A little goes a long way with this one.  The Dark to Darker isn’t really a match for me yet.


Marcelle BB Cream in Dark to Darker and Medium to Dark — swatches


Wearing Marcelle BB Cream in Dark to Darker (before / after)

Bottom line: Marcelle BB Cream is a fantastic multi-tasker.  It is truly a moisturizer, primer and foundation in one.  If you’re a regular foundation wearer, you’ll probably like it.  Good for all skin types, but oily skin types will especially appreciate its shine control properties.


Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm SPF 30 in Medium/Deep and Deep

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm SPF 30 ($10.99 for 30 mL) launched in June 2012, with an impressive lineup of 5 shades (Light, Light/Medium, Medium, Medium/Deep and Deep).  Maybelline Dream Fresh BB boasts the following benefits:

  1. Helps prevent sunburn with SPF 30
  2. Helps blur the look of imperfections
  3. Creates a natural looking glow
  4. Skin looks visibly smoother
  5. Compliments skin tone
  6. Hydrates all day
  7. Feels fresh
  8. Oil-free

While some of these benefits are repetitive and redundant ;) (blurs imperfections = visibly smoother looking skin), I do appreciate the SPF 30 BB cream.  Dude!  An SPF 30 mineral sunscreen BB?  That’s totally unheard of.  I’m already a fan.  This feels runny like a regular liquid foundation.  This is considerably smaller than Marcelle’s, so don’t be fooled by the low price tag.  I appreciate the light feel of this especially on very hot and humid days.  I love that it doesn’t feel silicone-y!  Recently I’ve become weary of heavily silicone-based products, as I more and more often get random zits popping up on my face.  That said, I prefer the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB for my skin type (normal) and this weather (hot, humid and all-around gross).


Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm SPF 30 in Medium/Deep and Deep — swatches


Wearing Maybelline Dream Fresh BB in Medium/Deep (before / after)

Bottom line: This BB cream is perfect for the sun-conscious, thanks to its titanium dioxide sunscreen.  The coverage is surprisingly good (it covers minor redness).  I am in love with the light dewy formula for summer, but it may look overly shiny on oily skin types (may I suggest Cover FX Matte FX?).  Makeup newbies will appreciate the lightness of this BB cream.  It really does feel like nothing!

For those who are interested, here are the two darkest shades from both brands to show you the difference in undertones.  The Maybelline has a more golden tone, while the Marcelle is just brown.


Maybelline Dream Fresh BB in Deep / Marcelle BB Cream in Dark to Darker — swatches

Are you using a BB cream regularly as a part of your skin regimen?  I’d love to know what you think of it.

Keep Reading to Read the Ingredients!

Marcelle BB Cream Ingredients

AQUA/WATER/EAU CYCLOPENTASILOXANE OCTYLDODECANOL. DIMETHICONE GLYCERIN DIMETHICONE/VINYL DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER CYCLOHEXASILOXANE ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE BIS-PEG/PPG-14/14 DIMETHICONE ALUMINUM STARCH OCTENYLSUCCINATE XYLITYLGLUCOSIDE CETYL PEG/PPG-10/1 DIMETHICONE POLYGLYCERYL-4 ISOSTEARATE HEXYL LAURATE SILICA SODIUM CHLORIDE ISODODECANE ACRYLATES/DIMETHICONE COPOLYMER DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER ANHYDROXYLITOL XYLITOL TOCOPHERYL ACETATE LAUROYL LYSINE HYDROLYZED HYALURONIC ACID TRIETHOXYCAPRYLYLSILANE ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE CAMELLIA OLEIFERA LEAF EXTRACT CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (MATRICARIA) FLOWER/LEAF EXTRACT DISTEARDIMONIUM HECTORITE PROPYLENE CARBONATE TRIHYDROXYSTEARIN TALC BUTYLENE GLYCOL PROPYLENE GLYCOL DIAZOLIDINYL UREA IODOPROPYNYL BUTYLCARBAMATE SODIUM BENZOATE POTASSIUM SORBATE PHENOXYETHANOL TITANIUM DIOXIDE MICA IRON OXIDES

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm SPF 30 Ingredients

ACTIVE INGREDIENT: TITANIUM DIOXIDE 1.15%. NON MEDICINAL INGREDIENTS: AQUA, ETHYLHEXYL PALMITATE, GLYCERIN, OCTYLDODECANOL, SILICA, PENTYLENE GLYCOL, OCTYLDODECYL XYLOSIDE, PHENOXYETHANOL, SODIUM ACRYLATE/SODIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE COPOLYMER, HYDROGENATED LECITHIN, ISOHEXADECANE, HYDROXYETHYL ACRYLATE/SODIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE COPOLYMER, PEG-30 DIPOLYHYDROXYSTEARATE, SODIUM DEHYDROACETATE, PENTAERYTHRITYL TETA-DI-T-BUTYL HYDROXYHYDROCINNAMATE, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, DISODIUM EDTA, CITRIC ACID, POLYSORBATE 80, POTASSIUM SORBATE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA EXTRACT, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF EXTRACT. MAY CONTAIN: CI 77891, CI77481, CI 77492, CI 77499.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This entry contains a sample product(s) sent by PR or the manufacturer for consideration only. For information on my posting policy, please see my Disclaimer.
  • http://bronzerbunny.com Joyce (bronzerbunny)

    AHHH i still want Marcelle. I need this. You look good! :)

    • http://www.glittergeek.ca Arianne

      You didn’t get the Marcelle yet, Joyce? It’s available online!

  • http://callitbeauty.blogspot.com/ dani@callitbeauty

    I’ve been thinking about getting the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB, actually. Perhaps this is a sign? :p

    I definitely need the Cover FX Matte FX in my life. My skin’s definitely been getting pretty oily in this heat (the Marcelle BB Cream doesn’t control *my* shine enough =/). But thankfully, IMATS is tomorrow — I shall pick one up for myself!

    • http://www.glittergeek.ca Arianne

      Hi Dani! You must! What’s on your IMATS list, love?

  • http://www.thebudgetingtool.com mochiandmacarons

    I ultimately tossed the Marcelle BB creams because:

    1. Not a good match on my skintone. Too light, or too dark. Had to mix the two, but getting the mix right was annoying.

    2. NO SPF. WTF? I totally spaced on this as being the awesome part of BB creams.

    I’ve gotten samples of Smashbox’s BB cream and I like it so far, but I use foundation so rarely these days, I may end up not buying anything.

    I still have a few samples to go through

    • http://www.glittergeek.ca Arianne

      Hmm I’m pretty much in the same boat as you mochi! Medium to Dark is just too light for my skin. But hey, whatever works for you, eh? :)

  • http://mybeautysample.com/ Becca @ The Beauty Sample

    I just got the Maybelline one and I’m anxious to try it. Only thing is, I have pretty oily skin–so I’m definitely going to need powder, blotting sheets, and/or primer. Since the purpose of the BB balm is that you don’t need all the extras, I’m not sure how much I’ll really like it :/

    • http://www.glittergeek.ca Arianne

      Hi Becca! I’m curious to hear your experience with this. :) I hope you share it. Like I said, my skin is more normal than oily now, so I actually embrace that dewy glow in the summer.

  • http://www.bellachique.be Teri

    Oh I never thought about that now I think about it, but idd, the tanned ppl need an option too in this! I love BB creams, and both of them sound really good, I never heard about Marcelle tho, I guess it’s a US brand? Love the pump system! I really though that it would be super dark, but it looks great on your skin! :)

  • http://theasianpear.blogspot.com The Asian Pear

    You didn’t say which one you prefered overall?

    I wish Marcelle’s had SPF. That’s the only thing missing in my opinion. I love it so much!

    • http://www.glittergeek.ca Arianne

      Hi Pear! I prefer Maybelline’s!

  • http://eyeheartit.blogspot.com Larie

    Thanks for ingredient lists, Arianne! And now I’m curious to try the Maybelline one. The Marcelle one does get a bit silicone-y, too, and I think it does break me out after a while…will look for the Maybelline one, maybe.

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  • http://pixiemania.wordpress.com Soha

    You look great! I am a pale brown girl, so finding anything to match my skin tone without making it look too yellow or too orange is THE MOST FUN I’VE EVER HAD. So far every BB cream I’ve swatched has been less than flattering, but I have yet to try Maybelline’s!

  • Sophia

    Great review! Sucks that they don’t have SPF, though :(
    By the way, BB cream isn’t meant to be rubbed in in the same way as liquid foundation or tinted moisturiser. Instead, dot it around your face in key locations (forehead, cheeks, chin, wherever) and then pat it in for the best results :)

  • http://twitter.com/TOBeautyReviews/status/227819871130513408/ @TOBeautyReviews

    BB creams for darker skintone, from @theglittergeek ! http://t.co/qo5WkcQF

  • Citrine

    I tried the tester at CVS here and while I like the texture, I really doubt a 1.15% concentration of TiO2 will provide enough sun protections. I mean, a similar one from Neutrogena would contains 7-8% and you are suppose to use at least a dime sized glob of that to get the labeled result….

  • http://www.jennysuemakeup.com JennySue Makeup

    Even though I don’t have dark skin, I had noticed that the color choices from all of these bb creams were on the lighter side, kinda sad. So this is great to hear about these 2! I have tried 3 diff bb creams so far (Smashbox is my all time fave one for sure) and I am just an absolute fan of them for these humid summer months and not wanting to have the feel of a pancake face!! These look gorgeous on you for sure.

  • http://radiant-brown-beauty.com Michelle @Radiant Brown Beauty

    for some reason I’m not surprised that you didn’t find that cream weightless.I find there are very few face creams that provide coverage that are actually weightless.

    By the way i’m stopping by from Radiant Brown Beauty! I saw your post in my blogher feed and decided to pay you a visit. Love your blog layout :-)

  • http://www.beauty-obsessed.com Toya

    Thank you for this post Arianne! I have definitely been frustrated with the lack of darker-skin options. It sounds and looks like Maybelline would be the right fit for me, as I barely wear foundation now I’d like something lightweight, and the ingredient list looks excellent to me too.

    Hurrah for brown girls!! :D

  • http://brigidbeautyblog.wordpress.com Christine Brigid

    I’m so glad you wrote this post. I’m fair skinned myself, but I totally object to companies coming out with only light colored foundations, bb creams and the like. It makes me really upset that ladies with tan to darker skin tones have to rummage around and wait. Go Maybelline and Marcelle!

  • http://thesmalllittlethingsinlife.blogspot.com/ annie

    Wow, your skin is BEAUTIFUL! I was totally skeptical of the Maybelline BB Cream but now I’m very curious! Thanks for the review! :)

  • http://www.theperfectclothing.com fashion and beauty

    I like Maybelline Dream Fresh BB!

  • http://morelikespace.blogspot.com Kate MacDonald

    I’ve been using Marcelle’s BB as a foundation for much of the summer and it’s excellent. It’s definitely dark for me (the lighter shade), but it does seem to blend to match my skin colour really well. I’m not sure how that works, but I’m very happy for it. It’s been enough of a moisturizer for me that I don’t need another, which is great, because I have a wee tendency to sleep in, which means I don’t have a ton of time in the mornings…

    • http://www.glittergeek.ca Arianne

      That’s great to know Kate! I’ve seen it on other fair skinned bloggers and it does suit the lightest skin very well. :)

  • http://candiceandbeauty.blogspot.com Candice

    Thanks for the reviews! I found the Mabelline claims just too ridiculous and silly to respect them enough to even try the product. I got Marcelle’s BB cream (also 8 claims but they did a much better job with them) and I’m loving it :)

    • http://www.glittergeek.ca Arianne

      LOL that’s totally fair Candice. :) When I read the press release it definitely raised my eyebrows. It is a good product though.

      Glad to hear you’re having a great experience with Marcelle’s!

      • http://candiceandbeauty.blogspot.com Candice

        I had to come back to this post because I actually did end up getting the Maybelline BB since it was reduced and I’d seen a lot of good reviews as a tinted moisturizer. I like Maybelline overall so I put aside the weird claims and the not-really-a-BB thing and yeah, I do like it :P

  • Rica

    I’ve been using Marcelle BB cream all summer and the medium to deep shade works for me. Last winter I started using a BB cream by Missha, which I bought at a Korean store. I’m a bit paler in the winter and their darkest shade matches my skintone. As with most BB creams, a little goes a long way so even if it does have an SPF I find you still need a moisturizer with an SPF to really protect your face.

    BTW, I was at Shoppers the other day and noticed that Gosh has come out with their own BB cream and they have 5 shades. Will be trying that out soon.

  • http://aliceinnappyland.blogspot.com Alice

    The Marcelle BB Creams sounds amazing! Thank you so much for introducing it to me! I’ve been so frustrated because I really like the idea of a BB cream but so few companies actually make them in brown girl friendly colors. ;__;

    • http://www.glittergeek.ca Arianne

      You are very welcome Alice. :)

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