Like the hot foreign exchange student that surprisingly trumped the homecoming court, this has been the year of the BB (better known as blemish balm/beauty balm) cream. As Foundation and Tinted Moisturizer have looked on, jealously flipping their hair, this Asian import has been sweeping up all the attention (Sephora shelf space) and awards (beauty coverage.) Originally developed by doctors to speed healing after laser surgery, the product became popularized by Korean actresses who used it to appear flawless and poreless on camera.
As a moisturizer/primer/foundation/tinted moisturizer in one, it’s now become widely popular in Asia and stateside. Leave it to a Harvard MBA student (overachiever) to try to perfect an already overachieving beauty formula. Grace Choi, fashion and beauty entrepreneur has taken the concept one step further, by creating a BB cream range suitable for all skin colors of the rainbow.
A major shortfall of current BB creams is that they’re offered in at best, three to four colors, or at worst, one. Having been originally formulated in countries like Korea, where the variety of skin tones is more homogeneous, the original product color range made sense but left many Americans out of luck. Grace recognized this as an opportunity to create an inspired porcelain skin BB cream in the largest variety of tones yet: 10 different shades ranging from neutral to deep olive.
To refine the formula, Grace, inventor of 4 medical devices and author of 12 publications and abstracts, picked some of her favorite Korean BB creams and used her mad scientist skills to reverse-engineer them to identify the best components. The result is an exceptionally smooth, oil-free, mineral-based tinted cream that glides effortlessly onto your skin with little blending. You can use a dab of the cream for more sheer coverage, and add more to build up the coverage to medium. As the cream dries, it adjusts to match your skin tone, with either a dewy (more radiant) or matte (better suited for on-camera) finish. The product gives SPF 30 protection, while aiding with dark spot repair, anti-aging, and oil-control all day. It’s honestly the best BB cream that I’ve used, and I love its lustrous and natural effect.
Grace Choi Porcelain Skin BB Cream retails for $34. To figure out what shade best suites your skin tone, you can order a deluxe sample kit (which is exactly how I hooked my roommates on it) on the site whose monetary value is deducted when you order a full-size product.