I’ve been wanting to try a BB cream for a while, if nothing else just to see what all the excitement is about. Add to that the fact that I don’t love the full-foundation look in summer, and the news that a local outpost of South Korean super-brand Skin79 just opened, and I finally climbed down off the fence.

Skin79 was one of the pioneers of bringing BB creams to the mass-market and they have many, many versions. I wanted some personal input as to which one would be best for me, so I headed off to their new boutique (literally, a puesto in a market in posh Barrio Salamanca) with my friend Xtina in tow.

The lovely saleswoman with absolutely perfect-looking skin pointed us in the direction of a version that would be best for our rather dry, 50+ skin, demonstrating it on the back of our hands. Poof! My age spots freckles disappeared. The name of this wonder-worker? Snail Nutrition BB Cream.

Before you allow yourself to be totally grossed out, remember that snail slime is the new must-have beauty ingredient. Reports are that it is beneficial for acne, scars, burns, and wrinkles. The snails themselves are not harmed during the extraction process, and the slime is filtered multiple times before it is used in cosmetics. (I’m not sure why it’s important to me that they don’t hurt the snails, given that I have no such compunction about eating escargot!)

Skin79 sells travel sizes of most of its products, which means that you can buy a bitty one and test drive it thoroughly — my 15g pump bottle cost 12.90 euros; the full size is 40g and 28.50 euros. And a little goes a very long way. Read on and you’ll see what I mean.

When I first tried it out yesterday, I put it straight on bare skin, reasoning that since it’s been so hot, I wouldn’t need moisturizer. That was an error on my part, because it made my skin a little tight-feeling. However, since I also put way too much on (kabuki-face!), it’s also possible that some of the tightness was due my heavy-handedness.

Today, I’m wearing it over my moisturizer. The only place where it feels tight is on my cheeks, where I built up three coats to camouflage my pink rosacea patches and broken capillaries. So there’s definitely something about using less that I’m going to have to get used to. After all, the point of a BB cream is lightweight coverage.

So how much is the right amount? I’d say go for a blob the size of the head of a dressmaker’s pin. The pump bottle will allow this kind of precision dose, so don’t worry about wasting any. Apply it as you would foundation and give it a chance to “rest” and oxidize (so it can blend with your own skin tone) before you add a second coat anywhere. Three coats are too many!

The coverage is amazing: I’ve had it on all day in 90-degree (F) heat and it hasn’t budged. My skin feels great — soft, smooth, and hydrated. I don’t have that tacky-gloppy feeling I get at the end of the day with foundation.

Skin79’s BB creams do not come in multiple shades, although each type of BB cream tends to be a slightly different shade — because I’m very fair, I found a good match for me, but if you’re darker-complected, you may not. I’ve heard that Skin79 are developing additional shades for their North American and European markets, so stay tuned.

All in all, I’m convinced. The only thing that I’m going to keep tweaking is what to wear underneath it. I think that a hydrating serum will probably do the trick. Those of you have don’t have Sahara-dry skin, or who live in a more humid climate than Madrid will probably be able to wear it bare-faced, at least in the summer.

I’ll post an update in a couple of weeks to let you know if it’s still a keeper. In the meantime, if you’ve tried a BB cream — with or without slime in it — won’t you please share your experience in the comments?

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