Monday, July 29, 2013

Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream: Review & Swatch

This is the first product within the new-ish Olay Fresh Effects line that I have tried (thanks to Influenster sending me this to review for free). It's always intrigued me though, and let's just say packaging helps with catching the eye. Today I have specifically the BB Cream Skin Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer to review. This retails for $12.99 at your local drug store of choice, with two available shades of Fair to Light (which I have to review today), and Light to Medium. I'm personally a huge fan of BB creams, and have been since my Mom sent me some from Korea many, many years ago.

To continue the review and see swatches, click the link below.

Olay Fresh Effects lands on the U.S. spectrum of BB creams in that it is more like a tinted moisturizer (as specifically stated in the product name). Olay claims that this supplies 24 hour hydration, while supplying a hint of sheer color to perfect, even tone, and refresh dullness, all to create flawless looking skin. It specifically touts 6 benefits of this BB Cream in their marketing.

  • Refreshes skin instantly
  • Brightens for a radiant glow
  • Evens tone with a splash of sheer color
  • Hydrates for 24 hours
  • Smoothes for softer feeling skin
  • Protects against UV damage with SPF 15

My personal experience is overall good. I do find it to be moisturizing, and during this part of year, I do need to set it with powder since it's a little too dewey for my liking. Oily skin individuals probably want to stay clear of this product. On the upside, on days I have used retinol based products, this is a little miracle worker since it hides the dry patches.  Does the moisture last 24 hours? I don't know since I've never tested that claim, but for the length of time I wear it, my skin does feel moisturized. It also helps to even out my skin tone slightly, by making the redness diminish a little, while not making me have a mask face. My freckles do still peak through. It does have a scent to it, which is sorta fruity? It's hard for me to pinpoint some scents, but it disappears quickly (although it's a pleasant smell), so those sensitive to scents shouldn't have too hard of a time using it.

Application is easy, and I tend to just use my fingers. It feels good on the skin, and the texture of the product is a thinner cream (if that even makes sense). It has form when squeezed out of the tube, but doesn't require muscle to absorb into skin. It works well under foundation as well, or over other moisturizers. It doesn't feel heavy on the skin, but if it's not set, you can feel the moisturizer aspect sitting on top of the skin. I also don't have any issues with the product sinking into fine line/pores and making them more visable.

As for the claim for protecting against UV damage, it does, but SPF 15 isn't enough to protect against skin cancer. The instructions explicitly indicate that reapplication is crucial every 2 hours, and it should be applied 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. It also indicates to use a different SPF formulation if you plan to be in water. All that verbage to indicate that no claims are being broken, I just personally like at least SPF 30 in my face products. The fact that this BB Cream only has SPF 15 isn't a deal breaker for me though, since I don't have a problem layering products with SPF to add up to at least SPF 30 (yes that is a legitimate way to get the SPF of your choice-just always remember the importance of reapplication throughout the day).

The only true con regarding this product is the lack of color range, especially in the darker end of the spectrum. Of course this is not a new problem in the world of BB creams, but something that should be noted.


It's a little hard to tell by the swatch, but the Fair to Light shade tends to lean a little on the pink/cool end of the spectrum. This isn't a big deal even on my warmer skin tone since it's a sheer color that blends into the skin. It doesn't cause any lines of demarcation between my face and neck/chest skin color. Below, a thick blob of product is on the left, and blended out product on the right. You can see a slight increase in dewey-ness, which seems to help diminish the appearance of my faint hand freckles. Nothing crazy, just enough to make the natural skin slightly better looking.

Bottom Line: For those of you that like bare-faced/no makeup-makeup looks, this product is great. It evens out some of your imperfections without obliterating the texture/quality of your natural skin. For those of you that likes more makeup, this is a good step to use underneath to help a look to be more radiant. It's a good one-stop option for moisture and color control. I caution oily skin types since it might be too dewey for you.

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