I received a sample foil of the new Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream in Light to Medium recently, and because I was feeling kind of blah but not blah enough to break out my foundation, I ripped the sucker open to slap it on my face. This is the first product I have written about that I did not bother to research before slapping it on my face – crazy. I felt like living on the edge, I guess. I had no idea what kind of marketing or claims were associated with this product other than that it is new, it is from Olay, and it is listed as a BB Cream.
Here’s what the Olay site has to say:
Finish your daily beauty regimen with the all-in-one solution with 6 skin-perfecting benefits:
• 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
• Infused with essence of honeysuckle and white tea
As far as my experience (which, again, occurred before I checked the product out) – the contents of the foil packet felt light on the pads of my fingers and was easy to apply – smoothing it on and blending it out was easy with just my fingers thanks to the light consistency. Though it looked pretty opaque when squeezed from the packet onto my fingers, I found that it was actually quite sheer as I applied it to my face. Using my lighted mirror as well as varying mirrors and levels of lighting, I tried (and failed, fortunately!) to see any lines where the color was showing or off – although I did not see any harsh lines, this did pull a warmer on me than my skin actually is.
Although the Fresh Effects BB Cream’s packaging says that it is, well, a BB Cream, it then indicates that it is a, “skin perfecting tinted moisturizer.” The distinction is important – although a lot of popular Western brands are trying to cash in on the BB cream market, most offerings are not really BB Creams, and are typically just tinted moisturizers with the addition of sunscreen – meaning they are not actually alternatives to foundations and so forth. This product, though it felt nice going on, is entirely too thin to be a true BB Cream.
The first trait of this product that struck me, though, was not how light it felt, how easily it applied, or how sheer it was – it was the scent. As it turns out, Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream really means, “Olay heavily perfumed BB Cream.” If you are familiar with the fragrance used in Olay’s Quench line of body washes, lotions, etc. — it is that scent, or something very close to it. I’m indifferent to the scent as a body product but for the love of cats why would you add that to a face product and not warn people? Not thrilled with that aspect at all, especially as I started sneezing shortly after putting it on. I do not have any known allergies (unknown-unknowns, etc) to anything in this stuff, but I abhor strongly scented products that are designed to linger on my face (i.e., moisturizer, foundation, etc).
Because I only had a foil pack, I don’t have any pictures for you, so we’ll live with a stock photo.
Now, to tackle the claims:
Refreshes skin instantly – The fact that it feels moisturizing is quite nice, and that may be what they mean – but something like this should not be applied onto anything but freshly washed skin that shouldn’t already need refreshing.
Brightens for a radiant glow – I do not feel that it brightened my complexion but it does leave a dewy finish, but doesn’t appear to be shimmery like some products boasting radiance have.
Evens tone with a splash of sheer color – The product does have sheer color, but if you have anything other than light splotchiness, you may want something heavier duty like a Korean BB Cream or straight-up foundation because this is little more than a tinted moisturizer.
Hydrates for 24 hours – Nope. Not in the winter, anyway. Beyond that, do not forget that this, and products like it, are cosmetics. Wash your face before bed!
Smoothes for softer feeling skin – Immediately after applying, my skin did feel slightly softer than before I applied, but otherwise my skin felt normal throughout the day.
Protects against UV damage with SPF 15 – It is true that this product contains sunscreen, but like any sunscreen it is recommended that you reapply. Don’t be that person reapplying tinted moisturizer without removing the old layer, okay? It will not be flattering.
Infused with essence of honeysuckle and white tea – Great, I like both of those things – unfortunately neither of those were what the smell is. White tea has antioxidants, but I can’t imagine the concentration in this product is high enough to combat a thing.
This is by no means a bad product, but it is important to recognize it for what it is – a tinted moisturizer, not an actual BB Cream. If scented facial products do not bother you, Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream is available online and at drugstores for between $10-14. Between the dewy finish (not cute for me, I have some pores that were a little obvious) and the smell that I just could not get past, I washed it off when I got home and will not be purchasing a full sized tube.
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