For those that use Korean makeup or BB creams, you will probably know the the Holika Holika brand. It’s one of the most celebrity endorsed makeup lines in the Korean makeup scene. Months ago, I read a bunch of reviews on this amazing BB cream and thought I’d give it a go. After all, the weather was so hot and humid in the South, I needed something that would go on matte and not feel like it was melting right off of my face, but still be hydrating. Most Korean foundations are light, but they tend to prefer to go with a dewy look, which is great, but not in the heat and humidity.
Holika Holika’s description of it’s Aqua Petit Jelly BB Cream:
It contains 80% Aqua Mint Water, which made from various fruits extracts and Alaskan glacial water. This is a water-based BB cream that creates light and refresh finish. The jelly texture BB cream makes skin look moist and hydrate. It is perfect to cover up facial blemish.
From the ingredients lists, there are a bunch of collage laden ingredients, with water and SPF as the first and second ingredients. This BB cream has an SPF of 20, broad spectrum. Which is less than what I like to wear but I always wear SPF 50 broad spectrum sunscreen in a water gel under my makeup anyway.
The Aqua Jelly BB Cream only comes in 2 shades, #1 which is a Beige-Light and tends to have a pinker undertone to it. It’s probably better suited for Caucasian or fair Asian skin tones. Shade #2 is Neutral, which is somewhere between pink and yellow undertones, it’s much like it’s name, neutral. Since my skin doesn’t have pink or yellow undertones and because I am a tad bit darker than most pale sun-fearing Asians, I opted for shade #2. I feel like Holika Holika is doing it’s product and itself a disservice by not introducing 1 or 2 more shades. Especially, since it has now started selling directly in Canada and other countries where there isn’t a homogeneous “look” if you will. By limiting themselves to 2 colors ways, and even these two are super light, they are not capturing the product’s true potential and limiting its own brand reach. But that’s just my $.02.
Back to the product review, the BB cream is delivered via a small spatula attached to the lid. The box included a sponge wedge but I find that using a foundation brush and then wetting a sponge puff and dabbing works well. The cream spreads pretty effortlessly and goes on smooth and even. The reason I go over it with a wet puff in a dabbing motion is not to spread the BB but to blend out the lines I get from the foundation brush. This BB cream is build-able, but I do caution that too much of the cream can create a white cast. I also loved that it did dry semi-matte and was not sticky/tacky at all after application–which is one of my biggest pet peeves with all these dewy BB creams and cushion foundations. It does not settle into my pore or my fine lines, which is great. It was moisturizing and didn’t budge or get oily even in the hot Southern sun/humidity. After it oxidizes it does darken a bit but not significantly so.
These run any where from $9-14.00 and you can easily order these off Amazon. So the ease to get another bottle at an affordable price after you finish the first is high. But the one reason why this BB cream won’t score an A in this review is that I can only wear this in the winter because it is just way too light. Wearing this BB in the winter isn’t really an option because while it’s moisturizing, it’s not enough to moisturize my winter skin. I can probably swing wearing it now (Spring, before I get a tan) and maybe in late fall, beginning of winter. When I get even a tiny bit tan, this BB cream just won’t work for my complexion. So for the summer, which is when I would love to wear this, it just isn’t possible unless I want to have a white face and tan rest of me, which isn’t the most flattering look. I’ve heard of some bloggers adding darker BB colors or even just plain makeup pigment to make it a shade or two darker. And that seems like a potential option but my beef is when you buy something, why do you have to play mad scientist just to get it to a place where it will work for you? Shouldn’t it come that way? Shouldn’t there be options because not everyone is pale and paler?
Even though I loved the product and every time I use it, I am reminded why I love it, it’s just not diverse enough in it’s offerings for it to be a contender year round. And regardless of how easy and affordable it is to buy, none of that really matters if the color is off. So, while I love it and will probably reach for it again before I get darker, it’s just not something I will wear time and time again. Overall grade B.