Swatch & Review: Erborian Ginseng BB Cream — the Magic Solution to Skincare + Base Makeup?

Hey everybody!

I promised you yesterday that I will buckle down and write out this review, and here it is!

BB Cream is a product that holds all sorts of wonderful promises, and the Erborian Ginseng one is no exception. It promises to even out the skin tone and camouflage the imperfections as well as give a “baby skin” effect that feels perfect to the touch. The imperfections are supposed to be erased, and texture of the skin refined. It can be used with or without your day cream and functions as a perfect base of your makeup (I loosely translated the instructions on the box).

When I tried it out for the first time, I was a little shocked. The BB Cream has quite a thick texture, perhaps even thicker than most foundations. After I blended it in, it had a gray cast, and the shade is obviously lighter than my skin tone. I was not sure how to react, but luckily after 10 minutes or so the gray cast disappeared, and the shade blended in with my skin tone.

Here I am going to show you the lighter shade on the back of my hand. Note it was taken right after I applied it, and there was way too much for the back of my hand anyways, so you see the gray cast and shade mismatch I’m talking about:

Here is a picture of my face with the BB cream blended into the left side, but bare on the right side. It was taken 15-20 minutes after I applied it, so the difference in shade is minuscule (I would say it’s there, and the undertone is not as yellow as my own, but if you use the color of my neck as reference it’s not very far off):

Here is a closeup of the side with BB cream. I do think it reduces my pigmentation spots and dark circle (without covering them up completely, but then again that should be the concealer’s job):

I have also received a small packet of the BB Cream in Dore (golden), so I thought I’d swatch for you guys even though the shade is obviously darker than my own:

What I like about this BB cream is that it does even out my skin tone and cover imperfections to a certain extent. I have never been very picky about coverage in terms of base makeup, so this level of coverage is just fine by me. However, I can’t really use this without my regular lotion. It is not hydrating enough for my cheeks, but at the same time it doesn’t really control the sebum production in my T-zone, either. I have never had any problems with my foundation not staying in place, but I did test it out as a foundation primer. Unfortunately I am not the biggest fan of too many layers of base products, and I do think using a foundation over this BB cream makes it look a little too cakey/powdery for my liking.

All in all, the best way for me to use this BB cream is to use it after my lotion on its own. You really only need a VERY tiny bit each time. Just put small dots of this on your face and start blending it in, adding more if you feel the need to. I like the fact that it has an SPF 25. I have tried to take photos with flash in a poorly-lit room, and it didn’t give me the ghost face effect so good job!

Here is one last picture of me wearing this BB cream on my left cheek under the foundation. If you look VERY closely, you will notice the left side is slightly more powdery-looking, and the undertone is not as yellow as my own, but that’s only if you look VERY closely.

Bottom line: Depending on your skin type, you might or might not be able to use this as a lotion and foundation replacement at the same time. If your skin is oilier you might get away with it, but with my normal cheeks that lean dry when the seasons are changing, I do need to use a lotion underneath it. Again, depending on how much coverage you want, a foundation on top of this BB cream might be a little heavy-looking. However, I do like the fact that it has a good SPF without giving a white cast in flash photography!

What do you think? What BB creams you have tried? Are you a fan?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

Disclosure: The product mentioned in this review is sent by the PR for my consideration. All opinions are honest and my own. I am in no way compensated for this review. I have always been, and will always be committed ONLY to my readers.

The full-size tube of Erborian BB cream contains 45ml and retails for 32 euros exclusively at ICI PARIS XL. Here’s the ingredient list if you’re interested in taking a look: