face off: bb creams

know it, use it, love it

by rebecca willa davis

A year ago, most people had never even heard of BB creams before. But now? You probably debate with your friends which ones work best.

At least, that's the case in the NYLON office; everyone has a favorite version of the so-called miracle product--not only do they moisturize skin, but also treat skin problems like acne with antioxidants and help erase redness. So when a new formula comes out, we get pretty excited. And then we test them out. And then we debate them even more.

But these three recently released products are all so different, that there's nothing to argue about; they're all really great, but are just targeting different needs. So to stop the debate, we've got our cheat sheet on which does what--and how it helps you.

The Product: Garnier Skincare BB Cream Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector - $10.79

The Promise: The first oil-free BB cream.

The Result: This isn't Garnier's inaugural blemish balm product, but it is their first specifically for combination and oily skin. Needless to say, it's moisturizing without being greasy (and has a lovely floral fragrance to boot). The secret? Volcanic mineral powder perlite to tackle shine, salicylic acid to control oil, and mattifying tinted mineral pigments to help give a matte finish.

Use It: If you're prone to oily skin, don't like a shiny forehead, and are skink of those mid-afternoon blotting sessions.

The Product: Kiehl's Skin Tone Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream - $37

The Promise: A formulation that specifically targets skin tone correcting--and helping you get rid of a ruddy face.

The Result: The New York-based brand has been making skincare products since 1851--so of course their BB version is less about the frills than the results. The vitamin C and natural mineral-enhanced formula does a great job concealing blemishes and evening out skin tone, with a velvet-y finish helping to reduce the appearance of pores, too. Oh, and it's also paraben-, mineral oil-, and fragrance-free.

Use It: If you're primary goal is to get a flawless face--and you'd like to do it with an SPF 50 product.

The Product: Diorskin Nude Tan BB Creme - $44

The Promise: A limited edition version of their BB creme--with the bonus of a bronzing agent!

The Result: Both shades from Dior's summer Birds of Paradise Collection are deeper than what you'll find in the now-permanent line--think of it as the ultimate face bronzer. The formula is luxurious without feeling greasy, with a very tropical ingredient list that includes hibiscus. And because you shouldn't be getting bronzed from the sun itself, it's also got SPF 15.

Use It: If you plan on spending all summer at the beach and want your face products to match--or are staying inside but don't want anyone to know.

Kiehl's Skin Tone Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream - $37

Diorskin Nude Tan BB Creme - $44

Garnier Skincare BB Cream Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector - $10.79