Review: 3CE | Back to Baby BB Cream

Korean urban brand Style Nanda is having a major style moment in the past few years. Since opening their shops in 2004 their cool girl style has not only been trending in Asia but has also gained popularity overseas where they frequently shoot their ad campaigns. As part of the total package, Style Nanda offers a range of beauty products sub-branded as 3CE which caters to an aesthetic that’s flawless, simple but with a pop of colour.

Brand: Style Nanda / 3CE (3 Concept Eyes)
Product: Back to Baby BB Cream* SPF35 / PA++ (one shade)
Size: 30ml
Price: $35 via YesStyle
Availabilty: YesStyle online
Would I (re)purchase: Undecided

In the category of base products, 3CE’s Back to Baby Skin BB Cream caught my eye and rightly so, with its claims of a second skin feel and a glowing luminous finish. Small and compact in size, this comes in a simple squeeze tube packaging and (as most bb’s seem to be) is only available in one shade. Unboxing it for the first time, you’ll notice a sticker seal on the lid as well as on the squeeze nozzle tip, an expiration date is stamped on the crinkled end of the tube.

Ingredients wise, this bb cream contains a mix of both physical and chemical sun protection from zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and octinoxate for a combined factor of SPF35 on the rating scale. While this doesn’t claim any particular skin benefiting properties, it’s worth noting that it does contain niacinamide, adenosine and sodium hyaluronate, all of which are commonly found in skincare products to promote hydration and soothe skin irritation.

Having owned a good number of bb creams in my collection, the term “baby skin” usually meant a sheer, light coverage product but surprisingly this is quite the opposite. A thicker, creamier consistency with a soft “skincare” scent, this 3CE Back to Baby BB Cream gives medium coverage with a slightly velvet touch yet imparted a pearl sheen on my skin.

My skincolour : MAC NC15-20
(see more matches in My Stats)

While this is only available in one shade, it seemed to be a relatively likeable match to my skin. A tinge grey perhaps but nothing that a little powder can’t fix and for the most part, it doesn’t bother me. However I did notice some ashy tones when applied over the darker areas of my face such as my forehead so this wouldn’t be idea for medium to darker skin tones. In certain lighting, I might even say that it looks a bit too pale for myself and does seem to have a slight white cast.
Best method for application came down to the just using my fingers though their website recommends a puff or sponge. This bb cream does have enough slip to be used with a brush but I feel the thicker consistency and quick setting time will make it hard to work with that way. When applied correctly, it indeed feels light and thin my skin.

I’m also rather impressed by how easily this cancels out redness and with just a small amount can cover my entire face. Any problem areas (like that perpetual red spot on my nose) can be layered over with more product until it almost disappears and that’s more than I can say for most bb creams which often build up very thick and heavy on the skin. While this does a fabulous job of evening out the complexion, it’s formulation isn’t the most friendly towards large pores or skin texture irregularities. If you do suffer from pore issues, either try it with a smoothing primer or skip on it altogether.

I am also thoroughly pleased with how long this bb cream lasted on my combination skin. In mild to warm weather this was a solid 5hrs before I felt the need to whip out my compact for a blot. The combination of moisturizing ingredients did their job of preventing my skin from drying out yet did not cause any excessive greasiness either. For those living in a hotter climate, I’d say this is better suited for dry weather rather than humid ones.
And while this didn’t cause any breakouts, the thicker consistency does have tendency to clog pores so a thorough cleansing with a cleansing oil or heavy duty makeup remover is highly recommended. Take the time to do a double cleanse and you should be in the safe zone.

When it comes down to combination of texture, coverage, long lasting ability and overall effect I’d say this Style Nanda 3CE Back to Baby BB Cream is a very likeable product. Personally there were a are issues with colour as well as pore coverage that prevented this from being a total hit with me. Having little to no skincare benefits, I’d categorize this as a luminous, medium coverage foundation rather than a bb cream. A good product none the less and one that I can see myself reaching for until it’s gone but not quite a perfect pick for me.

De-Stash: Base Product Clearout + Mini Reviews

Having a bit of a beauty addiction definitely means you have to keep your collection in check. I like to do clear outs once in a while to make sure I’m keeping the really good things, this is especially important for foundations and bases which don’t keep that long to begin with. In a way I find cleaning and reorganizing my stash rather therapeutic (in a strange beauty blogger in of way) and I love the look of a clean and primped drawer.


  • A’PIEU | Flawless Cover BB Cream | reviewed
  • MAYBELLINE | Dream Fresh BB Cream | reviewed
  • HADALABO | BB Whitening Cream 
  • RIMMEL | Wake Me Up Foundation
  • ETUDE HOUSE | Precious Mineral BB Cream
  • PERIPERA | I Love Pact Powder | reviewed
BB Base Destash swatches

I think over the years I have acquired quite a distinct taste in base products both in terms of finishes and textures that I really like. Many of these didn’t score high enough in the important categories for me to keep them around. When I first started using foundations, everything was quite nice but with time and experience I’ve certainly grown to be much more selective and with good reason… makeup has become more than just a “product” for me, it’s a little bit of luxury that that makes me feel womanly and happy… and thus if the items don’t do the same then it’s time to say good bye.

Do you share a similar makeup philosophy as me?
How do you keep your collection in check?

A’PEIU // Flawless Cover BB Cream (spf30/pa++)

If you’re an adventurous beauty lover like me, sometimes curiosity just gets the better of you and you bring home a product that you know little about. Sometimes luck gets it right (see my beauty lottery winner here) and sometimes it gets it very very wrong. Well, ladies this is one of those times.

APIEU_Flawless Cover BB Cream_01
A’PIEU | Flawless Cover BB Cream // Light Beige | 12,000 Won (full size: 40ml)
You may remember my excited enthusiasm for my very first A’Pieu product a few months ago when my KoreaDepart order arrived at my door. The brand is popular for being affordable and also attracts much attention with it’s use of natural ingredients and plant extracts, featuring a green appeal.

I picked up this BB cream in the lightest shade available No.13 Light Beige but for those who have more colour to their face there is also No.21 and No.23 in this range. Unfortunately, here’s where to problem started. With a small dot of product this actually swatched nicely, being a similar paleness to my skin but once blended into my face I realized this turned out be an unflattering shade of peachy pink. Nice as a blush, not so great as a foundation or BB cream.

APIEU_Flawless Cover BB Cream_02
It also had thick dense texture which required carefully patting onto the face with fingers or a damp sponge, use a buffing brush and you are almost certainly pick up every single dry patch on the skin. The finish once set the look was matte while being slightly powdery/velvet to the touch and although it did not feel like a burden on my face, I still couldn’t help notice that the combination of mismatched colour and thicker consistency looked very unnatural on my face. In fact, this is one of those rare occasions in which my bare skin actually looked better than wearing a base product.

To redeem itself slightly, I can say that this does provide great coverage that goes on medium but is also buildable to cover most imperfections and discolouration that you’d like to hide, in addition you can absolutely go without setting powder and it will still look finished. If you can find a matching shade in this range, the combination of a matte finish and high coverage might be a winning combination for you especially those with oily skin.
While I fully intended to give this BB cream a good run and an in depth review, it just looked too ridiculous on my skin and I quickly gave it up without using it further to test its skincare benefits. I hope some of you have better luck out there!

APIEU_Flawless Cover BB Cream_04
This is a FLASH REVIEW : these are my initial thoughts and/or first impressions on beauty samples that I have been trying out. I hope these mini posts will give you some basic information on certain products even if I haven’t had the full experience with them some of them yet. 

Review: L’Oreal | Youth Code BB Cream

L'Oreal YC BB Cream_01
Having made my run through the popular bb options in the Canadian drugstore, it’s finally time for me to jump into L’Oreal. Truth be told, it was the last on my list of things to try because I’ve never had very much success with the brand in my makeup experiences (True Match was just not for me) though popular they may be. But having really enjoyed one of their newer foundations and quickly running out of drugstore bb options I picked this up around Christmas time and have been giving it the full throttle for the past few months. Here are my thoughts.



L'Oreal YC BB Cream_02
Brand: L’Oreal
Product: Youth Code BB Cream
Variations: 2 shades (Light, Medium)
Size: 75ml / 2.5 fl oz
Price: $20CAD / $14 USD
Availability: Drugstore
Would I repurchase: Possibly.
L'Oreal YC BB Cream_05
I don’t get too much sun on my neck and chest so my face is relatively darker, especially on my forehead. These photos show my skin with one layer of the Youth Code BB Cream over my entire face and a second layer over any redder areas (like the spots on my cheek). Despite the colour being not pale enough, I really liked how it made my skin look soft while still natural with a bit of glow.
L'Oreal YC BB Cream_04
Having gotten this right around the holidays, I wore it to all kinds of dinner parties without ever pulling out a foundation. It sat on my skin well, keeping it hydrated without turning patchy. Photographs well without flash (flash will pick up too much luminosity). It’s still something I continuously wear during this spring transitional period but will likely be too weak to hold up during the warm summers. It’s definitely on par with Marcelle as my top drugstore bb cream with Marcelle being better for slightly oily complexions (satin matte finish) and the L’Oreal for drier complexions (satin luminous finish).

Recommended for: Very dry to slightly oily skin seeking light coverage with a natural slightly luminous finish that’s great for everyday wear. Easy and foolproof and skin friendly. Might be sufficient for combination/oily skin as a moisturizer and tint in one.

L'Oreal YC BB Cream_03

Asian & Western BB Creams | How to choose the right one

It’s not a surprise to anyone that knows me that I am crazy about foundations and since I’ve discovered bb creams a few years back, they have quickly been fighting for prime real estate in my base drawer. I’m often asked what is the best bb cream and that is nearly impossible to answer because the answer is a combination of what skin type you have and what results you are looking for.

BB cream collection_05

However since the push of bb creams into the North American market (renamed into “beauty balms”) and companies are all going bb crazy, I thought I’d do a quick breakdown for those curious to know how they stack up against their Asian counterparts. For those who are bb beginners this might also help you decide which type is better for you and make the selection a little more manageable.

Below is a closer look at my bb cream collection as of right now. I fall into bb cream phases where I’ll be all over them and then get tired of them and move onto foundations for a few months again. Overall though, I always have a few of them in my drawer at all times. The links to the bb creams I have already reviewed will be listed below (you can see swatches, including before and after photos) next to the product name.

BB cream collection_01
  • Maybelline | Dream Fresh BB Cream | Shade: Light  (reviewed)
  • Garnier | Skin Renew BB Cream | Shade: Light-Medium  (reviewed)
  • Marcelle | Skin enhancer BB Cream | Shade: Light-Medium (reviewed)
These bb creams are available in local drugstores like London Drugs or Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada. Marcelle’s bb cream is also available online through their makeup boutique for shipping to Canada and the USA.
BB cream collection_02
  • Skin79 | Vital Orange BB Cream  (reviewed)
  • Skin79 | VIP Gold BB Cream  (reviewed)
  • Skin79 | The Oriental Gold BB Cream
Skin79 products can be found through ebay, Amazon and many other Asian product stores online because they are quite popular and should be easy to get a hold of even internationally. Just be sure to check for the authentication sticker on each product and purchase from a reputable seller/shop.

BB cream collection_03
  • Hadalabo | BB Moist Cream | Shade: 02  (reviewed)
  • Hadalabo | BB Whitening Cream | Shade: 01
  • Laneige | Snow BB Cream | Shade: 02
Hadalabo products are from Japan and can be found on ebay, on Adam Beauty online. Laneige can be found through ebay, Strawberry Net online and any Amore Pacific locations across the world.

BB cream collection_04
  • Etude House | Precious Mineral BB Cream: Bright Fit | Shade: Light Beige
  • Mizon | Snail Repair BB Cream (reviewed)
  • Scinic | Marine Drop O2 BB Cream 

Etude House can be found all over the place online, including ebay, Amazon and many various Asian beauty webshops. Mizon is quite elusive and I’ve only seen it through ebay. Scinic can be found on ebay as well as on Sasa online.

Got a favourite bb cream? Leave me a recommendation! 

Review: Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream

As one of the first Western BB creams to be made available in the Canadian drugstores, the Garnier Skin Renew BB cream hit the ground running and despite the higher than average price tag, it seemed to be gaining quite a reputation. I was amongst those eagerly awaiting it’s arrival after hearing about it from American bloggers (they usually get the first look) and went running to the store as soon I saw it in the flyers.

Garnier BB Cream--08
I have already been using Asian bb creams for quite a few years but as this was my first western version, I had no idea what to expect. The packaging glamourized the product with clinical statistics and claims, it was practically marketed as Photoshop in a tube. Before we get all caught up in the excitement, let’s take a look at it’s stats.

Brand: Garnier
Product: Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream
Size: 75ml
Colour Selection: Light/Medium, Medium/Deep
Price: $16-17 Cad
Availability: Drugstore
Would I repurchase: Likely not.

Garnier BB Cream--06 ingredients
So you might be wondering why it took me so long to post a review if I’ve already had this in my arsenal for months? Quite frankly, I couldn’t make up my mind about this bb cream for the longest time but after much deliberation, I think we’ve reached a verdict.

A look at the ingredients list below reveals that this bb cream reads more like a pumped up foundation. I can see a few skincare ingredients but nothing overly impressive when compared to it’s Asian counter parts.
Garnier BB Cream--02 Swatch
Here’s a much more true to life swatch, taken in sunlight, of the Light/Medium shade. I quite enjoy the smooth texture of the product but it has a slightly orange cast and is surely not pale enough for who consider themselves porcelain or fair skinned.

Below are swatches done on my face, bare faced with just some moisturizer and on the right is with 1-2 layers of the bb cream. The second layer is mainly just over the areas where I’m breaking out, bad time to take bare faced photographs but a perfect time to test out a base item.

Garnier BB Cream--03 before/after
Garnier BB Cream--04 before/after
Now that I’m looking at the before and after photos myself, it does seem to brighten my skin tone slightly but nothing I would consider very visible in person. The best best qualities about this bb cream would be its texture and the natural looking coverage, everything else was quite average for me.

  • Try it if you can find a good shade match between what is offered, would make a great daily light coverage foundation.
  • Fragranced, no SPF, claims non-comedogenic.
  • The extra kick of skincare ingredients is nice but didn’t do anything majorly impressive for my skin, I think the only noticeable improvement is a little firming of my skin (the caffeine perhaps.)
  • Texture is very smooth and blends effortlessly, light buildable coverage will be appreciated by those looking for something natural looking on the skin.
  • Quite long lasting (5-8hrs) but oxidized on my skin.
  • Best for: Combination skin, normal skin, slightly oily skin, mild acne.
Things to note: Although it claims to be non-comedogenic, I did experience a few spots when first using this. Remember to remove it completely with a makeup removing cleanser or cleansing towel. It has no SPF so use your own if you plan on heading into the sun.
Garnier BB Cream--07
I think the Garnier Skin Renew bb cream still has quite a few kinks to work out but being a first release I’d still say it’s a reasonably good product to try. The way it looks on the skin is certainly one of the most natural I’ve seen in a while, not too dewy and not powdery, especially for a drugstore product, I just hope in the future they will improve on the colours.
Garnier BB Cream--10

Review: Skin79 Vital Orange BB Cream

If you haven’t yet heard of Skin79 in the fantastically crazy world of BB creams, well then you have been missing out… immensely. With the success of their two previous products, the Hot Pink BB Cream and the VIP Gold BB Cream, the brand has put out two new formulations to add to the line.

Skin79 Vital Orange BB Cream-01
Today’s post features the Vital Orange BB Creams which is meant to provide 365 days of flawless protection with its “Vital-V” complex, a combination of vitamins to keep skin healthy on a daily basis. What initially drew me to this product, having heard whispers of it from other bloggers, was the promise of impeccable coverage while being perfect for the summer weather.
Skin79 Vital Orange BB Cream-05

On top of all this, the colour for this new Vital Orange BB cream was supposed to be more forgiving which is a huge attraction especially since colour was one of the few things I didn’t like about my favourite VIP Gold version. Since I was already quite confident with the brand through my previous encounters, I quickly made the purchase to try out this one. Ready to get up close and personal with this bb cream? Watch the video to hear my thoughts!

The Little Details
A quick look at the back of the ingredients list will tell you that Skin79 does not play around when it comes to their products. As a cosmeceutical brand, they really take care to blend the best of skincare ingredients into their colour products as well. It’s not merely about covering up the skin but treating it everyday as an extension of your skincare.
Skin79 Vital Orange BB Cream-03

A quick look at the colour swatches here, as you can see this is a huge improvement over the greyish tone of their previous bb cream releases and I am hoping that all feature products will start moving forward in this direction. Honestly, who’s skin is really grey anyways? I would say that the Vital Orange is more of a light olive beige, not quite as yellow as you might be seeing here on the screen. Compared to say my Lancome Teint Miracle foundation in Buff 2W, it lacks a lot of yellow pigment.

Skin79 Vital Orange BB Cream-02

Conveniently I just happen to be battling some breakouts recently and from the photographs below, the coverage of the bb cream is clearly evident. The before and after images have not been edited (other than resizing) and shows one layer of Vital Orange BB Cream applied on freshly moisturized skin, no primer, powder or concealer.

Skin79 Vital Orange BB Cream-Swatch3

I really adore the satin glow it gives to my skin, very similar to my beloved CHANEL Pro-Lumiere foundation but the way that this sits on my skin just isn’t attractive at all. It feels rather heavy, emphasizes lines/dry spots and cakes up within a few hours.

Skin79 Vital Orange BB Cream-Swatch2

The Roundup
  • 3 major functions: sun protection, skin whitening, anti-wrinkle
  • SPF50 physical sunscreen (zinc oxide & titanium dioxide), not oil free, does not contain mineral oil
  • Impressive list of skincare ingredients, mainly planet extracts and vitamins.
  • Medium to full coverage, very good for large pores, mild acne breakouts and sunspots.
  • Leaves skin soft and hydrated after removal, lessens redness and helps heal spots faster.
  • After continuous use, it does show improvements in brightening up overall skintone.
  • No breakouts or any adverse skin reactions.
  • Things to note:
    •  Remember to finish off with a bit of setting powder and watch out for transfers onto your clothing (or other people’s clothing for that matter). Make sure to apply this over very well moisturized skin and use a makeup remover or cleansing oil to take this off properly.

Skin79 Vital Orange BB Cream-07

I’m saddened to say that this version will not be replacing my VIP Gold BB Cream any time soon. In fact, I am already stressing out over how I am going to finish using up this full sized bottle that really just doesn’t look good on my skin. It takes too much work to make it look decent and while the initial look is flawless, its just not something I can see myself reaching for on a daily basis. It’s certainly not a product that I would repurchase again.

Skin79 Vital Orange BB Cream-04