If you’ve been following makeup trends for some time now, eventually you might grow weary of claims of greatness. For a base makeup junkie like me, who has less than perfect skin, I’ve come to realise that fancy labels and expensive branding does not necessary translate into great makeup. The ultimate vindication comes when my mother-in-law tells me my skin is looking flawless recently. Ladies, this is the same woman who did not think to filter her words before telling me that I am FAT the day after I gave birth to her 1st grandson. So, I believe a talking mirror could not utter greater truths than this woman. And the secret to my seemingly flawless skin was Anna Sui’s Illuminating BB Cream and Loose Face Powder N.
I was a total skeptic when I twisted open my new tube of Anna Sui Illuminating BB Cream. But after I applied it to my skin, I will never look at BB creams the same way again.
Anna Sui Illuminating BB Cream comes in a slender tube containing 24gm of product and retails for SGD39, making it the most affordably priced base makeup item from a departmental store brand that I’ve ever encountered. The signature Anna Sui design flare is contained on the twist cap and printed on the tube itself, sufficiently limited for the minimalist in me to accept, still pretty enough for the most girlie of girls.
The product is a slightly thickened fluid (do remember to give the tube a good shake before squeezing to thoroughly mix the oil and pigments), and has an ultra silky texture that spreads over the skin easily. It has a good medium coverage which is able to cover up most of my redness, and dries to a glowy satin finish. The oil-based formula allows this BB cream to float over any textural imperfections (pores and bumps) to create the illusion of a smooth canvas! At the same time, inclusion of skincare ingredients such as Rosa Canina Fruit Extract and Hydrolysed Silk keeps skin moisturized and helps counter moisture loss as the day progresses. The Illuminating BB Cream also protects with SPF30 PA++.
Apart from the brightening effect, the Anna Sui Illuminating BB Cream has corrected all redness and patchiness (especially in the area around my nose) and lightened my dark eye circles (though I still require a separate concealer for that). If you click on the comparison photo above and zoom in, you will also see the BB Cream has made my skin incredibly smooth without pores nor bumps!
For my dry skin, I did not actually feel the need to apply any powder on top of the Illuminating BB Cream, but out of habit and also for those with combination / normal to oily skin, a good setting powder is always a good idea. Anna Sui has redesigned their loose powder this Fall 2015, and brings us 3 different shades of loose powder – Purple Lucent with silver pearl (200) for highlighting, Light Beige (700) as shown in the picture above, and a slightly darker Natural Beige (701). It retails for SGD65 for the powder, puff and jar; and SGD48 for the refill 18gm. Personally, I love the big fluffy purple powder puff, but the jar is a little much for my tastes. It also does not close securely, and the powder refill comes in a paper packaging that you simply place inside the jar, and you have to cut open and carefully peel off the top, then lie a paper mesh over the powder. Unfortunately the mesh does not actually cover the entire space, so from a practical standpoint, if you topple the jar, the entire contents could get spilled out. So an alternative is to simply purchase the refill, open it up, and decant the powder into another container of your choice!
All the trouble is worth it because the powder is finely milled, and sits well on the skin without emphasising any lines nor looks cake. The new formulation contains Amino Acid and Phospholipids to ensure the powder melds well with the skin’s natural structure. Pearl powder adds a touch of radiance to brighten up dull skin and blurs imperfections. SPF20 PA++ is also a generous rating to this powder, making it ideal for touching up your sun protection throughout the day!
And here is how the Loose Powder N looks over the Illuminating BB Cream! No lines, no bumps, nary a pore visible! More importantly, there is still a healthy glow where the light hits the skin, and no dew in sight!
Tip: If you’d like an even more natural aka less powdered look, you could apply powder only to the outer perimeter of the face, leaving the highpoints (nose ridge, middle of forehead and the apples of the cheeks) powder-less to retain more of the glow from the BB Cream. This is actually quite a handy tip for those of us with dry skin but still needing a bit of help keeping our makeup from sliding in humid climates!
We are easing into the Fall/Winter seasons with heavier makeup typically used, so it is interesting to see Anna Sui launch a BB cream (a product variety that are more often seen in Spring/Summer). However, this particular BB cream has sufficient coverage and is so flawless that I will not hesitate using it anytime of the year!
This post features products that were kindly sent to me for my consideration. Regardless, all opinions expressed here are my own honest, unbiased views.