BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35

$42 - 1.35 fl. oz.
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Makeup > Tinted Moisturizers/BB Creams > BB Cream
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Bobbi Brown's entry into the BB cream fray is a very good one, though we wish it wasn't so unnecessarily expensive given it is just a well-formulated tinted sunscreen. Like most BB creams, this provides broad-spectrum sun protection and includes titanium dioxide for reliable UVA (think anti-aging) protection.

One issue: The amount of titanium dioxide is on the low side for great UVA protection. Although the other sunscreen actives this contains provide varying degrees of UVA screening, none of them protect as well as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, so ideally, the formula should contain more than it does or both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (now that would be impressive and is a standard for most BB creams in Korea where the idea of BB creams originally caught on).

Texture-wise, this is light, yet creamy, and wonderfully smooth. It's a pleasure to blend, feeling very much like a skin-care product rather than makeup. It sets to a soft satin-like finish that looks natural while providing sheer to light coverage (in Asia BB creams are not natural looking or light—BB creams have been redone for the U.S. market to sell a new product with new claims and an Asian theme). This BB cream's formula is best for normal to slightly dry or slightly oily (combination) skin. It is suitable for breakout-prone skin, too.

A formulary element worth noting is that Brown added antioxidants plus cell-communicating and skin-repairing ingredients to this BB cream, which makes good on the purpose of a BB cream to not only provide color and sun protection, but also treat skin to the beneficial ingredients it needs. It's fragrance-free, too, which is always preferred (fragrance can be a source of irritation).

As for the shades, Brown offers five, most of which are decidedly yellow to peach, but not terribly so. Still, be sure to test the shade carefully before purchasing (or ask at the counter for a sample). The Extra Light shade is great for fair skin, while Medium to Dark is good for tan skin tones and won't look ashen.

  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Fragrance-free formula contains a good range of beneficial ingredients.
  • Beautifully smooth, easy-to-blend texture.
  • Looks natural while providing sheer coverage.
  • Expensive.
  • The amount of titanium dioxide is low enough that ample UVA protection is questionable.

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 4%, Oxybenzone 2.5%, Titanium Dioxide 1.1% Other Ingredients: Water, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Trioctyldodecyl Citrate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, PEG-40 Stearate, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Polyquaternium-51, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Trehalose, Oryzanol, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Urea, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Propylene Glycol Laurate, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sucrose, Glycerin, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Caffeine, Linoleic Acid, Cholesterol, Lecithin, Squalane, Sodium PCA, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Propylene Glycol Stearate, Stearic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Laurate, Xanthan Gum, Aluminum Hydroxide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Silica, Disodium EDTA, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Iron Oxides

It all began with lipsticks. In 1991, New York based makeup artist Bobbi Brown debuted a collection of ten lipsticks at Bergdorf Goodman, expecting to sell about one hundred units in a month. She sold more than that the first day. From there, it's been mostly success after success, as Brown launched her classic foundation stick, wrote her first book, Bobbi Brown Beauty The Ultimate Beauty Resource, and enjoyed continued attention as an in-demand makeup artist and beauty educator.

The popularity of the line, particularly the makeup, did not go unnoticed by Estee Lauder, who acquired Bobbi Brown Cosmetics in 1995. Since Lauder has been at the helm the line has expanded well beyond what Brown likely envisioned back in the early 1990s, and it now includes fragrance and body-care products, among others. Yet it is Brown's makeup that continues to excel with superior foundations (though the ones without sufficient UVA protection disappoint), true matte blushes and eyeshadows, and with all of the other basics that are essential to a woman's classic makeup wardrobe. It isn't the least bit surprising that this makeup collection continues to do so well, because for many women, it's one-stop shopping that combines classic makeup application techniques with enough fun-yet-functional products to keep customer's interest piqued season to season.

Turning to the skin-care collection, there isn't a great deal to say or extol. The prices are rather steep, especially when you consider how many well-intentioned products use jar packaging, and fragrant irritants are a common thread, including in most of the sunscreens, which is a shame. Color is Bobbi Brown's strong point, but you will find a few sleeper hits among the selection of mostly inadequate or problematic skin-care products.

For more information about Bobbi Brown, owned by Estee Lauder, call (877) 310-9222 or visit

Bobbi Brown Makeup

We admire Brown's latest philosophy on beauty. She says, "The secret to beauty is simple—be who you are." No arguments here! However, it's clear from promotional materials for this line that Brown believes being who you are should involve some amount of makeup, a concept many women may disagree with. Still, there's no question that the right makeup, applied and blended correctly, can make a world of positive difference to a woman, and in this regard Brown's counter staff is well-prepared. It was nice to overhear the makeup artists explaining step-by-step application tips to customers, rather than just pushing products. With just a few exceptions, this is a makeup collection its namesake creator should be proud of—not only for the products, but also for the level of service and education provided.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
Page of 1
  1. Kash S.
    Reviewed on Thursday, June 26, 2014
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    I am a BB lover now!
    • I was never interested in BB or CC creams because I was always looking for more coverage until I got this little sample in my Sephora order. It's amazing! I didn't need anything over it if I was going for a "no-make" look because it did a good job at covering my post acne marks and scars. When you first put it on, it does have a shine but give a few minutes to settle and dry and you will have a nice even and soft skin.

  2. SAN M.
    Reviewed on Thursday, April 17, 2014
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    I do like this a lot
    • I have tried many, many tinted moisturizers and BB creams with little luck. I like more coverage than the tinted moisturizers provide...but many BB creams do not come in much of a color choice. I like this Bobbie Brown BB cream because it has some coverage and for my sort of dry sort of combo skin type it's not too dry or too oily. I'm on my third tube. Yes, it's sort of expensive. But seems to last a long time for me as I trade off with a regular foundation some days.

  3. Jomel
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 30, 2013
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    Just OK
    • There just is not anything special about this cream that would warrant the $42 price tag. It's basically a tinted moisturizer that is creamy and easy to blend. I have fair to light yellow undertone skin and found the medium to be a good color. The others surprisingly were way too light. I would not purchase this product again for this price.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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