Jan 5, 2013

Review: L'Oreal Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator

The BB cream rage does not seem to be dying down any time soon. I've tried a few already: some from the drugstore and some high end. I've found hits and misses from both ends of the spectrum. Overall, most are really just tinted moisturizers with a different name. Is the L'Oreal Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator an exception? Read on to find out!

This product comes in two shades: Light and Medium. The bottle contains 2.5 fluid ounces of product (quite generous, in my opinion). This BB cream contains broad spectrum SPF 15. The product comes in a silver tube that is honestly quite messy with distribution. Below are the promises on the package:
  • Evens skin tone (with a hint of color)
  • Illuminates
  • Perfects texture
  • Moisturizes (24 hours)
  • Corrects (listed on the front, but it is not explained on the bulleted list on the back)
  • Helps protect against future damage if used as directed
Within the first use, it promises that your complexion will appear more luminous and have an even finish. Within one week, your skin should appear smoother and softer, and within two weeks your imperfections should be reduced without makeup and texture should be refined.

Whew! The package makes some bold claims.

The first complaint I have is the color range. Yes, the product itself is sheer, but it comes in two shades. I say L'Oreal needs to add at least three more to the mix (Fair, Medium/Deep, and Deep) before this product can work for more than a few people. Light is borderline orange on my fair skin.

My second complaint is that this stuff is loaded with fragrance. This could be because (from what I have read) this product is essentially the same thing as the Garnier BB cream. I haven't tried Garnier's product, so I personally cannot say if they feel or smell the same, but I've seen videos and read reviews saying this is the same with the exception of the SPF (Garnier's is not broad spectrum). I believe L'Oreal owns Garnier, so this doesn't surprise me. By the way, if Garnier's formula was too greasy for you, you might be in luck! They are releasing a version for combination to oily skin. But this is a review for L'Oreal's BB cream, so I'll stop talking about Garnier.

My mom actually used this (in the shade Medium) for about three months before I got around to trying this and she raved about it, so my hopes were high (after all, what has usually worked for my mom works for me). My mom used it instead of foundation some days and under her Bare Minerals foundation on other days.

Like I said above, the lightest shade available is too dark for my skin. The coverage is very sheer, so that makes it less of an issue, but it is just an annoyance for me because it was yet another face product that didn't match me. Since it has a more "glowy" finish, I always felt the need to set it with powder. Since I am trying to use fewer products in my routine, this can be a good or bad thing. I don't need moisturizer when I am using this, so I don't have to apply any before using it (this can also be because I have changed my skin care routine and barely even bother to moisturize any more). Since I don't get much sun exposure (especially in the winter), the SPF is useful too.  But it would be great if I didn't need to set it with powder. I'm just not in love with the finish of this product. I've actually come to realize that BB creams just might not be for me. I love powder foundations. I tend to reach for them more often since they don't require much thought or effort to apply. I've had great liquid foundations, but I always gravitate toward the powder foundations when I am shopping for foundations.

Rambling aside, I think this is an average product, but when you take the price into account ($17 in a lot of stores), it's just not worth it for what I need.


How do you feel about BB creams? I was really excited about them at first, but as I said before, I'm over it now.