Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 20
Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 is an eyeshadow primer that soars above the norm to offer standout results with the benefit of added sun protection, all in an easy-to-use, fragrance-free formula.
Housed in Benefit's usual mix of clever-yet-cute packaging, Air Patrol's formula is dispensed from a click pen component. It's outfitted with what the brand refers to as a "CushionCalm" tip that's "softer than your pinkie!" which we found to be true. In fact, the tip, which we suspect is made of flexible silicone, makes application a breeze right from the component and it's easy to keep clean. You will need to use your fingers or a brush to blend it properly on your lids.
Although Air Patrol doesn't offer substantial coverage, it nicely evens out skin tone on the eyelid and underbrow area, setting to a soft matte finish that feels light. Applying eyeshadow over this is a pleasure; in fact, we noticed it enhanced blending!
A good eyeshadow primer should at the very least extend eyeshadow wear, and Air Patrol passes this test with "flying" colors! It kept our eyeshadow looking just-applied (and perfectly in place) for well over 12 hours. Your mileage may vary depending on how oily your eyelids are and which type of shadow (creams or powders, powders are usually preferred for long wear) you apply, but we were impressed!
Also impressive is the reliable broad spectrum sun protection this eyeshadow primer provides. Its blend of synthetic (octinoxate) and mineral (titanium dioxide) sunscreens had us a bit wary, as octinoxate can be sensitizing for some when applied around the eyes. However, we found it to be a non-issue—and we did test on it a staffer whose eye area normally reacts when octinoxate is applied around the eyes.
Air Patrol only comes in one shade, a sheer, light nude tone with a slight yellow cast. The slightly warm color will work for most skin tones and does a good job neutralizing the pink to bluish-purple some people have on their eyelids. But again, if your eyelid area has more marked discoloration, then you'll want to apply your usual concealer and follow with this eyeshadow primer.
Benefit claims that their "EnviroDefend" complex guards not only against sun exposure but also smoke and pollution in the air. Although the sun protection will happen, we're skeptical that the tiny amounts of antioxidants in the formula can do all that much to shield the eye area from environmental pollutants. Still, their combined presence likely provides some benefit, just not a total shield from pollutants!
To bring this review in for a landing (somebody stop us!), Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 earns a strong recommendation from us for its easy-to-blend, long-wearing formula, applicator tip, sun protection, and ability to not only enhance eyeshadow application but keep shadow vibrant and in place for an entire workday (and then some!). Benefit Cosmetics certainly earned their "stars and stripes" with this fab product.
Note: This product was recently downgraded from 5-stars to 4-stars due to its less-than-optimal SPF rating. Although this does provide sun protection, it's less than SPF 30. The problem? Health experts and medical boards around the globe agree that SPF 30 or greater is best when it comes to providing a reliable defense against the damage the sun can do. Yes, a foundation with less than SPF 30 is acceptable if your daytime moisturizer is rated SPF 30 or greater, but we wouldn't want anyone thinking an SPF under 30 is the best for skin. See More Info below for details.
- Provides broad spectrum sun protection.
- Easy to apply and blends superbly.
- Well-designed packaging + applicator tip.
- Really does enhance eyeshadow application, vibrancy, and wear.
- Single shade will work for a variety of skin tones.
- The "EnviroDefend" claims overstated, as the antioxidants are present in surprisingly low amounts.
- SPF 20 is below worldwide standards for optimum sun protection.
Sunscreens Rated Lower than an SPF 30: An extensive body of research and a growing number of medical organizations around the world have determined that a sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater is mandatory to ensure adequate sun protection.
Although a sunscreen rated lower than 30 will provide protection at the SPF number on the label and may claim broad-spectrum protection, we always point out when it does not have a rating of SPF 30 or greater because that's so important for the health and appearance of your skin.
References for this information:
Journal of Clinical Oncology, September 2016, ePublication
Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, August 2014, pages 212–219
The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, September 2012, pages 18–23
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, May 2008, Supplemental, pages S149–S154
Benefit was developed by twins Jean Danielson and Jane Blackford, whose initial claim to fame was a stint as the Calgon twins back in 1960s television commercials. They opened their first cosmetics store, The Face Place, in San Francisco, circa 1976, and then, perhaps recognizing the need for a name with more impact, The Face Place became Benefit in 1990. From there the line took off and expanded its presence beyond the Bay Area to include national department stores and, eventually, Sephora boutiques.
Benefit's makeup philosophy is outrageously fun and its product arsenal is centered on impossibly cute names and a lexicon that aims to make beauty enjoyable. Benefit single-handedly started the trend of selling makeup and skincare products with ultra-cute appellations for less than ultra-fancy prices. As with most lines, there are enough missteps and problem products to shop carefully, but Benefit shines in several categories, including foundation, bronzing powder, blush, and shimmer products.
Unfortunately, some of the products simply can't live up to their promises. This is mostly true of their skincare formulas, where the showcased ingredients are either present in itsy-bitsy amounts or the claims attributed to them are very exaggerated. Despite this, if you're in the mood for a fun experience and can manage to choose products wisely while enjoying the whimsy, Benefit deserves a look.
For more information about Benefit, visit www.Benefitcosmetics.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.