Review: Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream

bourjois 123 cc creamI’ve waxed lyrical about the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream in a previous post. It really is a versatile thing. The picture above shows this multitasking miracle in action, providing believable coverage and a finished professional look with a dusting of my current favorite loose powder, Guerlain’s Les Voilettes loose powder. It’s a current favorite day-to-day look that’s very quick to do; I use the shade Rose Beige.

Review and Swatches: Tinted Moisturizers Alphabet Soup

Tinted moisturizer alphabet soupThey are tinted moisturizers. Period. BB cream, CC cream, ZZ cream… those are marketing rather than functional categories, for me. Over 15 years nothing has convinced me otherwise, so there!

My initial bout with BB creams weren’t a success, mostly they were ashy and gave too much glow. In the last couple of years, a few have wowed me: Hada Labo BB Moist Emulsion, Kate BB gel cream, and Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream. They’re swatched below.

BB and CC creams

Rohto Hada Labo BB Moist Emulsion was the first finding amongst the trio, based reviews of Keto (who sadly has ceased blogging). Although she didn’t like this too much, it sounded like something I would like and the shade match seems good. It’s not until a few years later that I was able to find this item – in slightly used condition so the price was also right. Verdict? I really like this. It is lightweight yet provides sufficient coverage, which can be taken up to medium. The finish is very nice, especially atop moisturizers. The sun protection is a great bonus. The shade is spot on (I aim for MAC NC25).

Kate BB Gel Cream was bought on a whim when I saw this in a store in Manila, and was able to swatch it in person. There’s been a mini hype of this product, and so it went to my cart. Verdict? The shade OC-D is great, but the finish is too dewy for me. It is also thicker and provides higher coverage at one layer. I’ve let this go, but for those looking for a dewy finish and is around NC25 with strongly yellow tones in their skin, this might be worth a try.

bourjois cc cream rose beige
Using Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream in Rose Beige

Bourjois’ 123 Perfect CC Cream in shade Rose Beige was acquired late last year, and it’s the best of all the above. On its own, this shade is a bit too apricot-y for me, in a good way. It gives that peaches-and-cream kind of complexion which is slightly unnerving given one’s age. Ehem. What’s amazing with this CC cream is that it’s such a great addition to my other foundations which are mostly slightly too red. This CC cream evens out everything, making my already HG foundations even better! How about that. This is a must have for me, and I hope Bourjois does not discontinue this – I am hopeful as this brand is quite good about keeping their line up for longer.




Review and swatches: Cargo ‘Key Largo’ blush and MAC Prep+Prime BB Cream

Cargo Key Largo powder blush and MAC Prep+Prime BB Cream
Cargo Key Largo powder blush and MAC Prep+Prime BB Cream

I’ve been loving a couple of new makeup lately, the Cargo ‘Key Largo’ powder blush (didn’t these used to be called beach blush?) and MAC Prep+Prime BB Cream (the liquid version).

The Cargo blushes have achieve legendary status amongst beauty addicts and the beauty blogosphere, but I wasn’t too impressed with my first one that I did not bother to buy another. But a recent Hautelook sale brought me ‘Key Largo’ which looks absolutely ravishing online that I must have it. It does not disappoint although time will tell if I am keeping this, as I have several blushes already yielding the same color when applied on the cheeks.

I am also not a fan of BB creams in general for various reasons that evolved over the many years of observing the BB cream hype. I still think ‘BB Cream’ as a marketing jargon rather than a functional product category but I’ve found myself not as averse to them as previously. In my mind, however, they are tinted moisturizers.

With that said, I tried the MAC Prep+Prime BB Cream (the liquid version, not the compact) at a MAC counter recently. It was in the early evening after a tiring full day of left-brain activity. My makeup has faded here and there, and I let the beauty associate put the bb cream on my face (shade medium plus, applied with the MAC 130 brush, which I’m now contemplating to get). Voila, my face was instantly brightened  and smoothed. Alas, I went away with a tube, and have been using it almost exclusively for more than a week.

I use the shade medium plus, and it matches my facial skin tone relatively well although it is slightly darker compared to my neck. However, two of my favorite face primers/bases have a slight white cast, so he end result is good. What I like most about the MAC Prep+prime BB is the oil control, which is excellent amongst tinted moisturizers and foundations I’ve ever tried. Shade comparison with other foundations is below.

Comparison swatches
Comparison swatches

The coverage is sheer but buildable to medium, and the finish is quite natural. The strange thing is that I’m able to coax stellar performance out of my tub of Chanel Universal Loose Powder when used with this BB cream, which I have not been able to do by pairing it with other foundations/bb creams. Until now, I’ve  been one of those people quite puzzled by the hype surrounding this  powder, but now I understand – the powder does set and prolong makeup.

I am currently trying out Paula’s Choice Resist Triple Action Dark Spot Eraser 2% BHA Gel, so my skin is  bit raw and plenty red. But below you can find the evolution from bare skin, to a layer of the MAC Prep+Prime BB Cream (applied with a skunk brush), two layers, and the finished result with the Cargo Key Largo Blush and Chanel Universal Loose Powder (in shade 30). It is quite a natural yet sufficiently polished everyday-look for me, which takes less than 10 minutes to achieve (including a smudged taupe smokey eye).

Left to right: bare face with a swipe of MAC Prep+Prime BB Cream; with one layer; with two layers.
Left to right: bare face with a swipe of MAC Prep+Prime BB Cream; with one layer; with two layers.


Done! With Cargo Key Largo powder blush and Chanel Universal Powder shade 30
Done! With Cargo Key Largo powder blush and Chanel Universal Powder shade 30