PhotoReady BB Cream scores points right off the bat for its fragrance-free formula blended with mineral and synthetic broad-spectrum sunscreen, but you must apply it liberally to get this benefit, something not everyone is willing to do with a foundation-like product. The lightweight, creamy liquid texture meshes well with skin for easy, smooth blending. Its dewy finish is ideal for normal to dry or combination skin, assuming that the oily areas of combination skin are only slightly oily.
There are three flattering neutral colors, all of which go on sheer and stay that way, so this isn't the product to choose if you want more than minimal coverage.
The hydrating formula does contain some skin-repairing ingredients, and although these are present only in small amounts, that's better than none at all. The opaque squeeze-tube packaging has a small, see-through window that lets in a bit of light, which isn't the best for keeping the beneficial, light-sensitive ingredients stable. In this case, the window is so small that it's not much cause for concern, but if you're concerned, you can limit exposure to light by keeping this in a drawer or closed makeup bag to maintain the stability. While this is a good BB cream option, don't get too caught up in their hype (see More Info).
- Fragrance-free, hydrating formula that provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Texture meshes well with skin and blends easily.
- Sheer coverage and dewy finish is ideal for a soft, natural look.
- Flattering colors for light to medium skin tones.
- Not enough coverage to hide flaws.
For the most part, BB creams are little more than tinted moisturizers, often with sunscreen. Most include some beneficial ingredients that may or may not be present in tinted moisturizers, but that's where the excitement stops. BB creams hold no advantage in terms of multi-tasking beyond what the best tinted moisturizers with sunscreen provide. And despite their names, they're not particularly beneficial for blemishes (think acne, red marks, white bumps, etc.). BB creams from east Asian brands tend to be thicker and offer more coverage, but again there's nothing particularly special about their formulas.
Active: Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5%), Titanium Dioxide (6.5%) Other: Water, Dimethicone, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Isotridecyl Isononanoate, Isostearic Acid, Boron Nitride, Alumina, Zinc Gluconate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Algin, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Seed Extract, Lecithin, Stearic Acid, Polyacrylamide, Steareth 2, Tromethamine, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Steareth 21, Methicone, Xanthan Gum, Laureth 7, Simethicone, Sorbitan Laurate, Polysorbate 20, Propylene Glycol Laurate, Propylene Glycol Stearate, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide
It may surprise some of you to know that Revlon has been around since 1932, when the company launched a unique nail polish that used pigments instead of dyes. Lipsticks followed years later, and then a full line of cosmetics, which is how we know Revlon today. Although the company has had its continual share of ups and downs over the years (largely due to out-of-control debt coupled with aggressive spending), the line has recently made numerous improvements, especially in the realms of foundations, powders, eyeshadows, and mascaras. It is quite a feat that Revlon products earned more Paula's Pick ratings per category than any other drugstore line reviewed. If their goal was to close the competitive gap between themselves and L'Oreal, for the most part they have succeeded. Revlon definitely has the edge for foundations with reliable sunscreens. But despite Revlon's attempt to improve their mascara range, L'Oreal remains the clear winner (as well as L'Oreal-owned Maybelline New York).
Revlon's vast selection of makeup is divided into three main brands: Age Defying for the forty-something and older woman concerned about wrinkles, ColorStay for the teen to mid-thirties woman concerned about keeping oily skin in check and making sure her makeup stays put, and PhotoReady for women of all ages. These brands present some outstanding options and include products for all skin types (although the range of skin tones is not as well-represented here as it is by L'Oreal).
An intriguing fact is that the longevity claims for ColorStay are quite accurate: this collection of products really does offer extraordinary staying power. Conversely, Revlon jumped on the works-like-Botox bandwagon with their Age Defying range, going so far as to name their antiwrinkle complex Botafirm. Is there any confusion about what that term is supposed to relate to? Despite the claims, Botafirm won't reduce expression lines or control the muscles that cause them, though the products themselves do have many impressive qualities.
Note:Revlon is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Revlon may not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.
Suffice it to say, Revlon has more commendable products than ever before, and although they rely heavily on celebrity spokespersons, their best products ably speak for themselves.
For more information about Revlon, call (800) 473-8566 or visit www.revlon.com.