Sheer magic for the complexion

TAKE YOUR PICK: BB creams and tinted moisturisers are essentially sheer foundations with benefits.
TAKE YOUR PICK: BB creams and tinted moisturisers are essentially sheer foundations with benefits.

Do you need a BB cream, tinted moisturiser or just a sheer foundation? We’ve got the guff on going nude.

At first, it was easy to think there was something a bit emperor’s new clothes about BB creams. Weren’t they
just tinted moisturisers – ultra-light foundations, even – in disguise?

The answer – as they say in the ads – is ‘Yeah, nah’. BB creams do contain additional ingredients that you won’t find in many tinted moisturisers/foundations, including light-reflecting particles (to make the skin glow), antiageing ingredients and perhaps an extra boost of hydration.

But the comparative difference is nowhere as big as beauty’s enthusiasm for them.

There’s not a huge discrepancy between a BB cream and a tinted moisturiser like Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturiser SPF30, $24.99, which – like a BB – contains ingredients to help correct pigmentation and light-reflectors to minimise imperfections.

Each are essentially sheer foundations with benefits.

And now we have the ‘nudes’ – lightweight, liquid foundations like L’Oréal’s Paris Eau de Teint Nude Magique, $29.99, and Lancôme’s Miracle Air De Teint, $69.

Both products are incredibly watery (some would say messy, since you’re meant to apply them with your fingers), and go on almostlike a stain.

But they are really good foundations. Both dry down to a soft, velvety, matt finish within seconds, feel as light as air on the skin and are surprisingly good (for such lightweights) at evening out the complexion.

They won’t suit everyone. If you’re a perfectionist about redness around the nose or blueing under the eyes, be prepared to whip out the concealer after about four hours.

But if you’re prone to shine, like your skin to look like skin (e.g. hate discernable foundation ‘texture’), and can’t be bothered faffing around with a foundation brush, the new ‘nudes’ are well worth a try.


Flawless foundations:

Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup, $80.

A real trooper; colour-true, natural-looking and definitely long-wearing. Good at covering blemishes, redness and

Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation, $76.

Sheer to medium coverage, but will still hide minor imperfections. Light reflectors even out blotchiness and leave the skin looking polished.

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Flawless Finish Makeup, $69.

Light on the skin, but still capable of medium coverage, this glides on and is loyal to its long-wearing promise. Also contains anti-ageing ingredients.

Sunday Magazine