Beauty,  face care,  product review,  skin care

Product review: Physicians Formula Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Concealer and Powder

I don’t normally put a lot of stock in products claiming to be “miracle” products or “do it all” for you. In my experience, those products are 50% hype and 50% outright lies. Want proof? Look at the mascara companies that have been lectured for using falsies in their ads. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

BB creams have been getting tons of hype over the past couple of years, and for the most part, I’ve avoided them, partly out of laziness, and partly because I wasn’t interested in jumping on the hype train. But I finally had to replace some makeup items this week and when I went into the drugstore for new stuff, lo and behold, I found a small display of the new Physicians Formula Super BB All-in-1 products. The line includes concealer, balm, and powder, and promises 10 benefits, including:

  • Smoothing
  • Moisturizing
  • Protecting
  • Firming
  • Priming + filling
  • Perfecting
  • Concealing
  • Brightening
  • Line-softening
  • Long-wearing

That’s a lot to ask of any product, in my not-so-humble opinion. But, I was in the market for new items anyway, and these had $3 off coupons attached. So I thought, why not, I’ll give ’em a whirl.

(Apologies for the blurry product photos. Guess who forgot to switch into macro mode again?)

The products: Physicians Formula Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Concealer ($12.95) and Powder ($13.95); available in Light/Medium or Medium/Deep. (I selected Medium/Deep for the concealer and Light/Medium for the powder.) Available at drugstores (I found mine at Fred Meyer)

The claim: Minimizes the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, imperfections, blemishes, redness, and uneven skin tone. Powder minimizes the appearance of pores. With SPF 30.

I tried them: Right off the bat, I was irritated with the concealer. It’s a liquid concealer, which I dislike anyway; and it’s in one of those annoying click pens with the brush on the end. I don’t know who invented this type of concealer pen, but at the risk of sounding sexist, it must have been a man, because no woman would invent a multi-tasking product and then assume that the user would have time to fiddle with the application brush. I feel like the combo of the liquid concealer and that little brush makes for a very tedious application, as it’s very easy to glop too much concealer onto your face and it takes a long time to blend out the brushstrokes.

So, here’s my advice on using this pen: twist to click out just a dab, then dab it wherever you want to conceal: a spot under the eyes, around the nose, on any acne scars. Use the barest dabs, because it doesn’t take much. Once you’ve done this, you can use the brush, a clean makeup brush, or a clean makeup sponge to blend. It takes a while to blend it all in, but I do think it covers fairly well.

Let’s look at everything I wanted to cover. Eek, naked face time! Look away!

You’ve now seen the most embarrassing photo of me I will ever post on this blog. You’re welcome.

I’ve got dark circles, acne scars, a lot of redness (thank you, dry winter weather), and generally blotchy tone. This is not a face that should see the light of day, especially in the glare of the office window, so let’s see what happens when I use the concealer.

I have to say, this is the first time I’ve used a product and felt like my own “before/after” results actually mirrored those of the in-store display. My frustrations with the click pen aside, I feel like this concealer does a great job of concealing my problem areas and brightening my whole face in general. It feels a tad heavier than my old stick concealer, but I think that’s just how it is with a liquid: the texture is going to feel much more akin to foundation. Once it dried, I didn’t really notice it.

Now, to the powder, which is the finishing touch. (I skipped buying the balm because I don’t like wearing a ton of stuff on my face, as my tendency to break out and yet also be sensitive to lots of different products makes using foundation a rather frustrating exercise.)

The powder comes in a nice little compact with a hidden mirror and brush. The brush is nice for on the go, through I would rather use one of my fluffy makeup brushes at home; I feel like the travel one is a little stiff.

Using the powder helped “set” the concealer in place and also smooth out my complexion. I added a dab more concealer over a couple of trouble areas and added a little more powder over that, and it didn’t feel heavy at all. Using the concealer and powder together really made a huge difference in how my skin looked, and the wear time turned out to be pretty decent (several hours); I think it would last longer over a primer, but I have yet to try that.

My verdict: These items might be pricey, but I think they were well worth the investment. It won’t make your skin look airbrushed-perfect, but it does a heck of a lot to correct, conceal, and perk up your skin, without making it obvious that you’re wearing makeup. II also love the built-in SPF 30. One tip: think about the shade you want to buy. The Medium/Deep concealer was light enough for me, and as you can see, I’m not what you’d normally classify as “deep”. So unless you’re really porcelain pale, you’ll probably want to go a little darker to be on the safe side.


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