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Coming Soon: BB Creams Conquer the Drugstore

By Wendy Rodewald-Sulz / May 30, 2012

When Garnier debuted the first BB cream to hit U.S. drugstores back in February, we knew it was only a matter of time before the souped up tinted moisturizers that have swept Asia would colonize beauty aisles stateside. Now this summer, two more brands are bringing the multitasking balms to the American mass market. And this round has shades to suit every complexion.

First up, in June, Maybelline is joining the BB cream frenzy with its new Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm ($8.99): an oil-free, water-based formula that blends seamlessly into skin with a smooth, non-shiny finish. The five sheer shades (light, light/medium, medium, medium/deep and deep) feature broad spectrum titanium dioxide SPF 30 - good news for those with sensitive skin that can be irritated by chemical sunscreens.

Meanwhile, L’Oréal Paris is set to launch a double team of BB creams this July. All four shades (fair, light, medium and dark) of the brand’s Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream ($10.95) are colorless out of the tube, but when blended into skin, pigment beads burst to disperse a layer of sheer color - a pretty cool trick. This balm primes, evens skin tone and moisturizes with a blend of panthenol, vitamin E and glycerin, but it doesn't have SPF, so apply it over your sunscreen.

L’Oréal Paris Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator ($16.99) packs even more skincare benefits, with vitamins B3 and CG to brighten, glycerin and hyaluronic microspheres to moisturize and antioxidant pro-cysteine to protect skin from environmental exposure. SPF 15 offers a layer of sun protection while light-reflecting particles give the complexion a diffuse glow, all with a texture that feels amazingly creamy. This one only comes in two shades, light and medium, for now.

So, to BB or not to BB? At these prices, we’d argue all three are worth a try.