Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review:Comparing Maybelline, Dr. Jart, and Boscia BB creams

(Note: No picture just yet, camera is a bit out of commission)

Now that BB creams seem to be all over the place I've had the chance to try a few.

Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical and I must say that I've never tried any Asian brands (most only come in a few colors, typically a bit too light/grey for me, and since I have no desire to lighten my skin I never bothered).

I got to try three different types: Boscia, Dr. Jart and Maybelline.  I've had the first two for a while and I used them on vacation.

Dr. Jart BB ($39 at Sephora) cream has SPF 45, which is great, and a light sunscreen smell, so not too bad (I can be a bit sensitive to that).   I found it to be pretty thick though, at times a bit hard to spread, and for some reason (for me) it played up some imperfections more (any irritated/peeling skin, pores, etc).  But when my skin is "okay" it works okay, and the coverage seems to be fuller, probably because it's thicker.  It's the most "grey" out of all of them, so that dulls my warm skin tone which I don't really care for.  It feels a bit heavy and greasy (though that settles down after a while), perhaps because of the SPF

Boscia ($38 at Sephora) is SPF 27 and as such has even less of a sunscreen smell (though still lightly present).  There is less coverage and it was easier to spread.  It was far too light one me so it had a similar effect in highlighting certain imperfections (small hairs, pores, uneven texture...I sound like a goblin).  However it was a warmer color (more yellowish, but not excessively so) and therefore looked a lot better. 

Both Boscia and Dr. Jart only come in one color.  While the effects of that can be toned down (and admittedly, I wear powder foundation over it) the color does not suit my warm, tan skin tone.   They both washed me out and were too light or grey for me.  That, combined with the prices, makes them kind of a no-go for me, but for someone lighter and more cool toned it would work.

They were very similar to me, and I found neither particularly moisturizing (though is BB cream supposed to be?  I always wore it on top of my typical moisturizer).  I can feel both of them on, admittedly.  

Anyway, oddly enough (maybe?) the best out of the three was the Maybelline (around $8, average).  It was the thinnest of the three, but it spread itself out well.  Out of the three it covered up imperfection the best and did do an actual good job of blurring out pores and so on...probably because, unlike the others, it comes in a range of colors.  I tried out the "light/medium" shade and it worked out surprisingly well for me; typically I'd have gone up a shade darker, but I wear a very thin layer and it's winter now, maybe that makes a difference.

I found this to be be really nice, it feels moisturizing, doesn't have any scent (no SPF though) and it is very smoothing.  I still use a concealer to cover up imperfection and a powder over to matte it out, but I'd actually buy this again if I were in the market for a very light, moisturizing foundation type of thing. 

I may be wrong but I generally get the feeling that BB creams are just hyped up tinted foundations. 

(Note: I got the Boscia/Dr. Jart creams from some Sephora sampler deal, and the Maybelline one from an online free sample opportunity; as of this typing, it is available from Target's site as a free sample).  

More Shameless Begging and Cool Results

A few weeks ago I decided to actually make an effort to save money with my biggest expense outside of rent: food.  In looking at my spending habits I ran into the (American?) issue of my biggest food expenses being fresh food, namely produce.  Not only do I consume a lot of it, but it's something that doesn't necessarily go very far (though of course, this varies, a pound of potatoes goes much further than a pound of spinach). 

Anyway, I decided to try to take note of the companies that produced the fruits/vegetables I bought and see if I could get coupons and samples from them.  This is rather difficult as coupons for any kind of fresh, non-processed food seem to be nearly impossible to find.  The most recent ones I saw (from Walmart, I think?) was to save some cents off of fruit when you bought a certain amount of cereal, which is...not so great. 

Of course I haven't been able to find all the producers who supplied to the stores I regularly shop at, but with the few famous ones I did (Dole and Chiquita) I had no luck.  They either didn't offer coupons at all or refused me any when I did write to them.  I did find their feedback to be pretty lacking; begging for coupons/free shit aside, I do like it when you can get a friendly little note back from a company, even if they refuse you anything (I got this with Carmex; no savings, but a nice thank you note for the comment I did leave). 

I should also say that I did (and do) feel a bit of residual guilt in asking certain produce companies (or farmers, at farmer's markets) for reduced prices; after all, it's a hard business to be in, and as we all know, the government doesn't subsidize the healthiest of produce, unfortunately.

Anyway, I did hit gold with Earthbound Farm Organics.  In signing up for their site I got a $.75 cent coupon for organic carrots (always great :3) and in requesting information/coupons I received a wonderful little letter, information/recipe pamphlet and several (six) excellent coupons. 

I have always wanted to eat more organic produce (and animal products) but it's one of those things that I only "indulged" in when I had extra money or if I found anything for sale (rare for produce).  That, combined with the fact that organic produce can be relatively difficult to find in many stores resulted in me rarely eating any (though more organic goods are popping up now, due to recent trends).

I have admired Earthbound Organics for some while, actually.  I have always been a regular buyer of their packaged salads, for example, because if I'm going to go organic with anything it will definitely be leafy greens (that I am not washing, because I hate washing salads and I only buy the packaged ones).  Not only were these very high quality and always fresh, but they are readily available at most big chains AND very reasonably priced for both packaged salad and an organic product (same can't be said for other big names that will not be mentioned, ahem).

Anyway, the coupons are excellent (free stuff, basically) the little pamphlet is great too.  It has some nice background information on the company itself (Including a great mission statement) and on organic farm practices, which is obviously better for health and the environment (they brought up enriching the soil as one that I wasn't aware of, which is great since we had studied food availability and practiced in regarding to soil depletion in one of the last biology classes I took).

I also think it's great that their cartons are from recycled materials :3

Information aside it also had several recipes (twelve total) for some excellent looking food.

And no, I wasn't paid for this.