"I am a full face of makeup kind of person — it is very rare that I do activities or go to work without spackling on some MAC Studio Fix Fluid and powder. I'm mega-super-pale, and I like to even everything out and hide some pesky acne/scars. But for lazy Saturdays and hot summer days where putting on makeup just seems like a chore, I wanted a BB cream with solid SPF and decent coverage.
Enter IPKN's Moist & Firm BB cream. It has SPF 45 (🙌), is super hydrating, and actually blurs and evens out your skin — not in a ~made up~ way, but in a 'damn, my skin looks good' kind of way. Infused with vitamin E and skin-soothing ingredients, it feels and looks natural on the skin, neither too dewy nor too matte. I've tried applying it with my fingers and with a Beautyblender and got excellent results both ways! AND the fair shade ACTUALLY works on my better-check-her-pulse-to-see-whether-she's-dead-or-sleeping skin.
This photo is from this past weekend — my allergies were in Full Swing and I really didn't feel like getting all fixed up — my eyes were too itchy for even a coat of mascara and any lipstick I put on would be immediately ruined with nose-blowing. So I pulled out some Benadryl, some giant mirrored sunnies, and my trusty IPKN BB cream — it was the perfect combination to trick people into thinking I was a functioning human instead of an allergic mess. (That is, until I sneezed so aggressively my sunglasses flew off my face.)
With the SPF, lightweight feel, and solid coverage, this BB cream is going to be seeing a lot of face time this spring and summer. If you are a foundation person who wants a BB cream alternative to cut down your getting-ready time, look no further! —Maitland Quitmeyer
I’ve never found a BB cream I liked until this one. Every BB cream I’ve tried has had too-weak coverage and has left my face weirdly greasy (my face is not oily to begin with?), which results in me running back full-force to my full-coverage foundations (Pür Bare It All, you are love). And ever since moving to NYC, my skin has become a raging monster (due to crappy lifestyle habits and also probably pollution), so I'm definitely NOT inclined to keep my base makeup light. Nah, PILE. IT. ON.
No lie, I expected this BB cream (I use the shade light/medium) to be like the rest, providing close-to-zero coverage and quickly disappearing into thin air so all my redness would resurface after an hour (in my head my pimples are yelling, "I'M BACK, BITCHES!"). But IPKN, consider me very impressed. You hold up on your own like a smooth skin-perfecting operator while still being more lightweight and blendable than a full-fledged liquid foundation (it doesn't ~completely~ mask my pimples, but I'm not expecting any miracles).
I second Maitland on the fingers vs. Beautyblender test, which is a lifesaver when I'm really in a pinch and don't have time to be wetting my Beautyblender (like I always do with my foundations). Plus, even without using their green color-correcting primer (which has SPF 15), the BB cream's SPF 45 alone is wonderfully sufficient protection. My skin looks natural and fresh, and it's probably thanking me for going easier on the daily coverage and slathering. And I really do reach for this every day — idk what's happened, but I'm not mad." —Sarah Han
Get it from Amazon or Birchbox for $35 (available in four shades).