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I’m fed up with the mass of BB creams in the US & Europe that are nothing more than glorified tinted moisturisers.

So what attracted me to the Urban Decay BB cream?

I swatched it in Debenhams and it wasn’t totally mismatched against my skintone, actually it blended very nicely. Usually BB creams look muddy in darker shades or they’re only available in light shades. I thought that at £23 there had to be more to it than a tinted moisturiser.
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Price: £23
Weight/ volume: 35ml/ 1.18fl oz
Shades: 1
Features: 5-in-1 BB cream
Purchased/ sample: purchased

Sales blurb:
What it is: A five-in-one beauty balm that minimizes pores, lines, wrinkles, and redness instantly and gives you significantly firmer, more-lifted skin in eight weeks. 
What it does: Blur flaws in seconds and get serious antiaging benefits in just eight weeks. This lightweight, velvety, oil-free miracle works instantly and over the long term. Naked Skin Beauty Balm is invisible on your skin (zero rub-off): the universal shade glides on and dries down to a translucent, flawless finish that works on most skintones.

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Last year I’d planned to test and review the best BB creams for the blog. I bought about 6 or 7 and they were all disappointing to say the least. Yes, even the Garnier one and the Bobbi Brown one. Sleek, MUA, Gosh, Superdrug, Body Shop… all just tinted moisturiser or sheer foundation.

First impressions
I rubbed a small drop of Urban Decay Beauty Balm into my hand and it was absorbed like a cream. My skin felt smooth and the cream didn’t alter the skintone completely, it just gave a nice highlight/ glow. Good start.

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The cream has a refreshing eucalyptus smell but it disappears once blended into skin. It may put some people off but it’s not an overbearing scent so I’m unphased.

The cream itself blends really well without leaving a heavy tint. This is really a pleasant surprise as my skin has a little glow but no obvious tint. It feels very light, like a moisturiser and once absorbed into skin, it’s weightless. The other BB creams I tried either felt heavy, sticky or they sat unnaturally on the skin. This is a refreshing change.

Here’s how it looks on naked skin. It’s not supposed to cover flaws, so my spots show through but it has evened the complexion a little.
So far so good.
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My concerns with the Urban Decay Beauty Balm are around the numerous claims. Here’s my tuppence…

  • Broad spectrum SPF 20 – What does this mean? Well some SPF products target UVA rays and some target UVB rays. Broad spectrum SPF creams target both. That’s a good thing but don’t rely on SPF in makeup alone. As with all SPF cosmetics, you’ll only achieve max protection if you layer it on very thick. Don’t rely on makeup alone for UV protection as you really need proper SPF coverage to prevent skin damage.
  • DNA repair – really? I didn’t realise that my DNA was damaged. This claim is just balls. Seriously? No cream can ‘repair’ your DNA. It can minimise damage but it can’t alter it or repair it. Poor skin condition is sometimes ‘in the genes’ but it’s sometimes the environment your skin is in. Whatever the reason it’s just not possible for a cream to fix your DNA (which isn’t broken anyway!)
  • Optical blurring – if they mean light diffusing then yes, it does diffuse the light and smoothes minor variations in skintone.
  • Oil free – yep, that’s true too. That’s why it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin or greasy.
  • Hydrates instantly and improves hydration over time – I agree it does hydrate instantly, as it has moisturising properties. Over time… I’m not sure, I need to give it 6-8 weeks to really see, but I’m not sure about the science around that claim. Can a moisturiser/ cream improve your own skins hydration? I thought that the age and elasticity of your skin determined how much water, moisture it will absorb. I’d welcome some guidance on this from qualified skin specialists or any doctors.
  • Primes so makeup goes on beautifully and stays put – yep, does that, fine.
  • Protects with SPF20 and contains an ingredient that helps guard skin against daily stress – it does contain SPF. Urban Decay obviously don’t want to give away their secret weapon, but it would be useful for them to define ‘stress’ then we could better assess its efficacy over time. We have no way of confirming this claim as true… sneaky eh?
  • Perfects to instantly even out skin tone and minimise pores, lines, wrinkles and redness – yep, this one’s true too. The primer element smoothes skin, fills pores and softens the edges of wrinkles. You’re not going to get baby’s bum skin though. It just softens these imperfections. The redness is calmed by the subtle tint, which, oddly enough, does actually suit most light to medium skintones.
  • Treats to firm skin, improve elasticity and provide measurable anti-ageing benefits – a good moisturiser will do this anyway, but I’ll reserve judgement for my 6-8 week trial period.
  • No rub-off – Apply, wait a minute or so for the cream to absorb, then wipe against a piece of white paper or tissue. No rub-off. Want proof? Here’s my test below on a sheet of white paper. Btw I gave it a good old rub to test it.

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Round-up
First impressions are that it’s a good moisturising base. Whether it lives up to the many claims on the packaging remains to be seen. I’m going to use it as a base for the next few weeks to see if the reported benefits show over time.

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