Garnier BB Cream Review, Swatches & Pictures

By | August 2 2011 | 73 Comments

garnier bb cream

We took a look at the very soon to launch Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector Daily all-in-one B.B. Cream, €14.99, last week and this is an interesting product from a point of view because it’s the first proper European take on the Asian craze for BBs – or blemish balms – which are creams to give light coverage, UV protection, whitening, skincare properties and often other doohickeys besides.

The ones for sale in Asia often have a noticeably greyish cast to them to cancel out sallow tones in the skin; Garnier has left that out of its product which comes in two shades, light and medium. If you’re on the darker end of things, you’re bang out of luck. Garnier has also played with the traditional BB formula in that its SPF at 15 is a lot lower than the traditional 40-50 or so and the skincare benefits in this product don’t include any whitening or brightening, instead, 24 hour hydration is what’s promised.

I got a sample of light to try pre-release from the brand, and needless to say, ripped it out of the packaging in a frenzy to give it a whirl. First things first, you get 50ml of product for your money, which is a decent size. It comes in a squeezy tube and it’s fairly heavily fragranced so beware if that’s a bugbear for you. Scent is a fruity, floral one and while initially it’s quite overpowering, it does dissipate once it’s on the face.

bb swatches

Swatches of Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector Daily all-in-one B.B. Cream in Light, blobbed to the left and lightly blended to the right

Texture-wise, it’s nice: not heavy or dry, this is thick but fluid, spreads and blends very easily. You don’t need a lot to cover a whole face because it smooths out well, but on the flipside of that, the coverage is sheer – expect a Max Factor Second Skin or a tinted moisturiser-style level of hideous-hiding.

bb coverage

I have absolutely no makeup at all on in the shot to the left; none. Zip. No wonder I look so Irish Mammy of the Sorrows, eh?  Oh don’t mind me, I’ll just sit here with no makeup on, while you all have your fun. No, go on now, don’t think of me again, I’ll be fine. *sniff*.

In the one on the right, I have a light basting of BB cream – one decentish blob applied to my face and blended out with fingers (I wouldn’t be bothered with brushes for this, it’s skincare to me). Coverage is enough to take down a bit of redness, even things out a little and unify my complexion, brightening it up a bit, but it can’t camouflage blemishes and spots on its own, as evidenced by that monster on my chin. I’ve no other makeup on here, by the way.

For good skin days, I’m happy with this level of finish and it’s around what I would wear on a daily basis. A little eye makeup, mascara, blush and lipstick to finish things off and I’d be good to go. If you like heavy coverage – you will hate this, be very, very aware.

dewy finish

The finish is very dewy, which I do like a lot but I think if you’re sebum-prone this isn’t going to be a goer for you at all – it’ll slide right off. While I’m sure you could powder over it to set the product, that seems a bit counter-intuitive to me, considering all its skincare claims, so I left it as it was – the initial dewiness as snapped above mattifies slightly but my complexion does stay looking hydrated all day and a satisfying amount comes off on my muslin cleansing cloth at night.

Lastly, can this fill the gap tinted moisturisers tried to plug? Well, I’m not sure – I’m certainly not ditching my serum and moisturiser for it and this went on last after my ‘regular’ skincare was applied. If you’ve a less dry skintype than mine you may find you could leave out your day cream because of all those hydrating claims it makes – but you’d need to try that for yourself.

So, final thoughts? This is a helluva lot better than any tinted moisturiser I’ve ever tried (I hate them, by the way). It spreads and blends well, leaves a glow on skin, wears nicely and doesn’t fill my chin full of face cheese. I like the included SPF, coverage level, the light shade is right for me and the price at a whisper under €15 is affordable. I’m pleased we’ve seen our first foray into BB creams from a mass brand like Garnier who can sell it at this level as opposed to what I would have expected, for the first product to have come from a luxury range with a matching price ticket.

A good buy? Yup, for pale-skinned normal-to-dry types who like a light finish and who have no significant coverage/blemish issues, I think so.

Update: Edited to add ingredients listing:

garnier ingredients

Foundation, Skin , , ,

73 Replies to "Garnier BB Cream Review, Swatches & Pictures"

  • roseanne says:

    Looks lovely, its a pity they test on animal :(

  • ArtDonatella says:

    I hate tinted moisturisers too, I just can’t stand them…mostly because I’m not blessed with that type of skin to actually opt for them :( . As for this yoke, not remotely interested. Maybe as a base underneath the foundation -yes, but even so, that would be way too much!

    Kirstie, you could have been a great actress for you have a great expressive face, love the ‘puppy-eyes’ photo :)

  • While it sounds lovely, I’m still not 100% convinced, I just don’t think it’s for me so I wont be buying a tube of this to try myself.

  • lainey316 says:

    No offence meant Kirstie, but I think it looks quite orange on you. I’ve tried a few BB creams, none has worked for me yet, mostly because of colour, they seem to run very peachy. The Illamasqua one is closest but the colour range is awkward – the one that should have worked (lightest pink undertone) is actually very very pale, so comes up ghostly. Unfortunately not in the selfridges lighting tho, so I bought it.

  • Kirstie says:

    none taken Lainey! I thought that about the pic too but I think it may just be the lighting or the camera picking something up, it looks fine honest guv’nor.

  • Ruth says:

    I just picked up the MAC BB cream in Dublin Airport on Friday. Wanted to give a BB cream a whirl and liked it for its SPF of 35. I need a heavy coverage makeup as my skin is about a million different colours so I’ve just been using it as a primer. My skin is in bits at the moment so I can’t judge how good this product is yet.

  • Lisa says:

    Hmm. Intriguing.

  • Sylvia says:

    I love tinted moisturisers, and have been aching to try this. It does look a touch orange on you though – which is probably the -ahem- ‘imaginative’ use of the term ‘light’. A lot of brands do this, I’m not trying to be horrible.
    Definitely one to test out.

  • Kirstie says:

    Sylvia – I think it might have been something the camera picked up, not sure – it looks fine (am wearing it right now) and you can’t see an orange cast in the closeup either. Odd!

  • Happycurls says:

    Hmm wouldn’t be whacked, to be honest. It seems a bit like it’s a jack of all trades but master of none? I personally like my makeup to be makeup and my skincare to be skincare. Not one for combining. Perhaps it’s my anal, compartmentalised nature. (no pineapples on pizzas, it’s DESSERT!! :)) Kirstie, you’re fab no matter what but….I think I’ve seen better matched colour on you? But then, as you said, it’s probably more about the lighting.

  • Sylvia says:

    Kirstie, that’s good to know. Since trying a lot of good-on-swatches, awful-on-full-face foundations recently, I’m a bit anal about colour matching atm.

  • Kirstie says:


  • le smurf says:

    It’s not that bad Kirstie! Sounds like a nice product for Summer for light coverage. Maybe it’s just that you have no eye make-up/mascara or blusher on that people are picking up on the colour!

  • Kirstie says:

    heh heh – nah it’s grand today, I have it on with a mac blush, bobbi brown gel liner and a neutral rosey lipstick and it looks absolutely fine, very sheer and light, no orDange going on. Have checked with intern and receptionist, both of whom looked at me like I was crazy person.

  • FitznBitz says:

    Ya I’m gonna give this a whirl for sure. I like wearing light foundations or tinted moisturisers (nivea – even though its a bit dark, but gives the same glow/dewy effect) sometimes, as I don’t need much coverage thankfully. Great thorough review.

  • ZsaZsa says:

    Sounds like a nice idea, but it looks too ‘glowy’ for my skin type. I think I’ll stick to my tinted moisturiser for now. I do understand why people would dislike tinted moisturisers as I would have avoided them until this summer due to the struggle of finding a good match for my skin tone or one that works for my skin type. I came around to the idea of them this summer as I found one that seems to suit my skin type and tone

  • CherrySue says:

    I like the sounds of this, am a lover of tinted moisturiser when not a lot of slap is needed.

    Think it’d be ideal for summer months when a lot of people ie Me are wearing a gradual facial tanner anyway so your skin is looking deceptively good.

    Two thumbs up! (After waving Gladiator style midair) ;)

  • gossipgal says:

    Pale-skinned normal-to-dry types who like a light finish and who have no significant coverage/blemish issues is me. Will prob try it and find it does not work. Should really know better and stick to my EL

  • I’d love to try this as I hate tinted moisturisers too. However, I’m not 100% sure that I would like this if the coverage is very sheer. And I don’t always have perfect skin days.

  • I’m not a fan of tinted moisturisers either, I may as well squeeze an invisible tube into my hands and rub my empty hands on my face for all the good it does me! Love the photos though Kirstie :)

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