Review | Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 PA+++

Any makeup brand worth its salt has at least one BB cream in its range. Not one to fall behind this enduring beauty trend, Bobbi Brown has developed its own BB cream too.

When I received this product from Bobbi Brown Travel Retail, the first thing I noticed was its marked similarities to MAC Prep+Prime Beauty Balm SPF 35 PA+++, the MAC version of BB cream (which I love).

Areas of similarity include:

  • Packaging – Both are packaged in a hygienic black squeeze tube. That said, the Bobbi Brown has a flat top opening, while the MAC has a tapered nozzle.
  • Scent – They have a distinctive fragrance that could very well come from their titanium dioxide content (it also reminds me of the scent in the Clarins UV Plus HP sunscreens).
  • Sun protection value – Both BB creams have a sun protection value of SPF 35 PA+++.

  • Ingredients – The first 10 ingredients in their ingredient lists are the same, while the rest are almost identical, with variants here and there.

Even their production and distribution locales are the same! This isn’t really surprising, though, given that both brands are under Estée Lauder.

Despite the similarities, the Bobbi Brown is thicker than the MAC and has better coverage. I like that it can be thinned out and built upon too. It can be a tad cakey if the face is dry and it can sink into my nose pores, if my face isn’t sufficiently moisturised (strawberry nose = not a pretty look). It pairs well with emollient bases, though, as they give it more slip.

The faint grey marks in the photo above come from Topshop Crayon in Zephyr which I’d wiped off in a hurry with a baby wipe. Clearly, it needs a proper makeup remover! :P

This BB cream is available in three shades: Extra Light, Light and Fair. I’m using Light, which fits my MAC NC25 skin tone well. I particularly appreciate the fact that like the MAC, its yellow tone is a great match for Asians; no ashy grey cast, thank goodness!

It gives the face a smooth finish (I’ve received compliments on my skin looking even-toned when I have this on) and when paired with a good loose powder, it lasts and controls oil production fairly well.

In the photo above, I’d patted on Anna Sui Protective Loose Powder SPF 20 PA++ from the Anna Sui Spring 2011 base makeup collection.

Here are the ingredients and benefits of this product, according to the brand:

  • Light reflective pearls instantly brighten dull skin.
  • Emollients enhance skin’s luminosity and offer long-term moisturization.
  • Scutellaria Extract helps reduce the appearance of discolorations and dark spots for a brighter, more even skin tone.
  • Argireline, a natural peptide, helps boost natural collagen production, minimizing the appearance of lines and wrinkles and preventing future signs of aging.
  • Caffeine and Sucrose help prevent redness associated with irritation and blemishes.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate attracts moisture to skin.
  • Vitamin E and Rice Bran Extract help protect skin from free radical damage.
  • SPF 35 PA+++ provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 PA+++ is currently only available at travel retail locations (airports and duty-free stores) and retails at S$52.

Image source: Bobbi Brown Travel Retail


  • TheUndercoverGypsy says:

    Darn, this too contains oxybenzone (benzophenone-3) and I’m severely allergic to it…but it looks quite creamy – do you use this over your usual moisturiser, Mag?

  • Lora says:

    Wow! Who knew Bobbi Brown had a BB Cream? Thanks for the heads up! :)

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Lora,

      Several western brands have come up with their own BB creams, actually – along with MAC and Bobbi Brown, Clinique and Dior also have their versions of this ‘wonder’ cream! ;)

  • Piggygal says:

    wow.. this looks great on your skin. But does it control oil as I have oily skin :(

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Piggygal,

      It controls sebum production fairly well for me but I don’t have extremely oily skin (I do get a sheen along the course of the day, if I don’t wear makeup). You could try blotting after application and using a good pressed/loose powder to set.

  • Jess says:

    Too bad this product is only available at travel counters! I’d like to try it out!

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Jess,

      Take heart – it might make it to regular counters like the MAC BB Cream did! You could also purchase it from DFS Galleria at Scotts, if you’re in Singapore.

  • Ali says:

    Thank you for the review it is very helpful. I’d love to try this, do you think the Extra Light will be too dark for someone lighter than NC15?

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Ali,

      I haven’t seen Extra Light yet, so I can’t say for sure. I’m a MAC NC25/C2 and Light works for me. I’m uncertain if Extra Light suits only NC15-20 or if it extends to a fairer match. Perhaps you could call a duty-free counter to check? :)

  • FJ says:

    Bobbi brown BB cream available in the uk in John Lewis only from the 04th July 2012!!! N

  • Shannon says:

    Hi!!! So glad you did this post because I am so unsure of which one to buy! Do you like the MAC product or Bobbi brown better? Also, have you tried the Tarte bb cream?!

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Shannon,

      I love the MAC and Bobbi Brown equally. I love that they come in a range of shades too. :) I haven’t tried the Tarte.

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