Product Review: Marcelle BB Cream

If seasons are defined by beauty trends, then this might very well be the Spring of the BB Cream. Alternately known as beauty balm, blemish balm, or blemish base, BB cream was first invented in Germany as a post-surgery skincare product. It has since become all the rage in Asia, where women attribute their flawless complexions to the cosmetic multi-taskers. Depending on the formulation, BB creams can act as an all-in-one moisturizer, sunscreen, anti-blemish or anti-aging cream, and illuminating lotion. The BB cream craze has now hit North America, with department and drugstore brands rushing to bring their versions to the market.

I had a chance to try one for myself the first time when London Drugs sent me a sample of Marcelle BB cream ($22.99 at London Drugs). Marcelle's version promises to even out skin tone, hydrate, protect from aging and environmental stress, and control shine, among other benefits. The paraben-free, non-comodegenic formula is fragrance-free and oil-free. What's more, the formula contains a slew of skincare ingredients: hyaluronic acid, aquaxyl and aloe vera to smooth and hydrate; vitamin E, green tea and chamomile for antioxidant and soothing benefits; and light-reflecting powders to even out and enhance skin.

Marcelle BB cream in the light-to-medium shade proved to be a great foundation alternative, providing just enough coverage without looking cakey. Not only was my skin evened out, it looked healthy and glowing, especially with a little concealer under my eyes and a peachy-pink blush. I didn't notice a significant improvement in the overall condition of my skin, but I did like the consistency of the formula and the fact that it was fragrance-free and non-greasy.

That being said, the biggest downside to Marcelle BB cream is the lack of SPF. I tried to make up for it by applying sunscreen or SPF powder, but that diminished the radiance and even tone, resulting in a pale ashy look. Overall, I found Marcelle BB cream to be a good alternative to foundation and liked the formula; however, the lack of SPF also makes me curious about other BB creams.

Have you tried BB creams yet? Which one is your favourite?

P.S. My Givenchy beauty giveaway is still on. Enter now!


  1. I've been hearing a whole variety of pros and cons about the North American BB creams, apparently the Asian ones are still the only way to go (?). I've definitely become a huge stickler for SPF though, so I don't think the Marcelle one would do the trick for me. It's good to hear that it doesn't make you look to pink/ashy right off the bat, I think that's the most common issue people have with BB's.

  2. My only complaint with Marcelle is the lack of SPF. I hear that the company is working on adding it.

    From the ones I tried, Estee Lauder is my favourite so far. It gives medium coverage, so you can definitely ditch the foundation. At $45 it's a little pricey but it has all the goodies, including SPF, inside.

  3. I've just bought the BB cream from Garnier after I had heard quite some positive things about it. I actually hadn't heard of BB creams until last week, but I was looking forward to trying it. I usually don't wear any foundation, just a little bit of bronzing powder, and I kind of have to get used to the BB cream. My skin looked quite dry when I tried it, although granted, the constant weather changes have been a bit harsh on my skin, so it might not be the cream's fault. I will have to try it for a little longer before I can really give a good review (will probably post one on the blog), but so far I at least like the idea of the BB creams.

  4. Hello Ladies,
    We are, in fact, working on a version with SPF. Both formulas will eventually be available side by side as many people's skin (including myself!) have a hard time tolerating SPF formulas in the long run.

    Overall, the biggest differences between Asian and North American formulas are: 1) NA versions are not whitening for the skin; 2) Asian formulas are thicker (Hello, SPF!).
    -Isabel, for Marcelle

    1. Thanks for the update, Isabel! That's great news.

  5. I'll have to give the Estee Lauder one a try.

    I've tried 2 Asian BB Creams (which reminds me, I need to do a review on my blog!)-the Skin79 VIP Gold and Missha Signature. I'm torn on both. The Missha one comes in a #13 shade which is perfect for pale westerners, but if I rub my face at all (for example, if I take a nap) it flakes and basically needs to be redone. The Skin79 is a bit better, but the colour makes my skin look dirty-something I didn't even realize until I switched back to it for a day after using Missha for weeks.

    I have tried SO many foundations with SO many primers and all of them "clump" (for lack of a better word) on my face after a few hours. On the other end, tinted moisturizers don't give me enough coverage. I'm pretty satisfied using bb cream for now as a happy medium.

  6. I'm so curious about BB creams - I've heard so much about them and given their multipurpose use, I'm really dying to try one. I hope Marcelle comes out with a BB cream formula that includes SPF...sun protection is so important! Right now I'm just using a tinted moisturizer, which works fine as I only need light coverage to even out my skin tone, and it has SPF too, but none of all the other fancy benefits that I'm seeing a lot of the BB creams have.

  7. I bought the Garnier one a few weeks ago, and while I haven't noticed a dramatic change in the quality of my skin, it's definitely more glowy when I have it on. My tone is much more even and healthy looking.


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