Flawless & Ready BB Beauty Balm SPF 15 Broad Spectrum
Prestige's Flawless & Ready BB Beauty Balm is simply an average entry into the ever-expanding BB cream market. It's not terrible, but it could have been so much more!
First, the good: Flawless & Ready is fragrance-free and has a creamy texture that slides easily onto skin without needing much blending to get a good amount of lightweight coverage. The finish is natural-looking and slightly dewy, and doesn't emphasize fine lines or pores. It wears well throughout the day with minimal fading, and though there are only two shades available, both are good choices for their intended skin tones in the light to medium range.
Now, the bad: Prestige claims this BB cream contains ingredients to provide broad-spectrum sun protection. While this is technically true, those ingredients (octinoxate and oxybenzone) aren't the best for protecting against the full range of UVA rays, which are more penetrating and more damaging than UVB rays (a product's SPF rating is based on its UVB protection). To ensure the best protection against UVA rays, a product should contain one or more of the following UVA-protecting ingredients listed as "active": avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule), or Tinosorb. Flawless & Ready contains none of these as actives, and thus cannot be relied on for broad-spectrum protection.
Another shortcoming is the boring formula. The best BB creams include beneficial ingredients such as antioxidants, which this one lacks. That's a shame, because otherwise this is a good BB cream. Unfortunately, it's not as flawless as the name may lead you to believe!
- Creamy texture applies easily.
- Finish is natural and doesn't emphasize fine lines or pores.
- Wears well throughout the day.
- Shades available look natural on their intended skin tones.
- Only two shades available.
- Does not provide true broad-spectrum sun protection as claimed.
- Lacks beneficial ingredients such as antioxidants.
Prestige Cosmetics At-A-Glance
Strengths: Inexpensive; some winning products in almost every category, including foundation, concealer, powder, blush, and eyeshadow (the singles); great liquid eyeliner; excellent automatic lip liner.
Weaknesses: Many so-so lip products and eye pencils; average mascara; uneven and incomplete distribution of products, even in the same city (which is very frustrating); the makeup brushes are almost impossible to find (and as such were not re-reviewed for this book).
Prestige is a bold name for a cosmetics line that is sold in mass-market outlets and drugstores at prices that any self-respecting makeup snob would scoff at. Yet that would be a mistake, because there are some undeniably good products, especially pencils, powders, and eyeshadow. The quality of these items often exceeds the reasonable price, and is a prime example of a case where expensive does not equate with being better.
Keeping in step with its name, much of the packaging in this line is sleek and functional. All of the compacts are one-piece units (meaning no caps to twist off or fumble with) and the compact foundations include handy mirrors and sponges. Weak points to ignore or consider carefully include the liquid foundation with sunscreen, the eyeshadow duos and quads, and the lipstick, which has taken a turn for the worse since its last review.
You may still find some Prestige makeup brushes available, but these were not reviewed because their availability is haphazard and the company no longer promotes them on their Web site or in their catalog. In fact, "haphazard" is a good way to describe how this Florida-based line is distributed. Found in most major drugstores, the mix of products tends to vary greatly. For example, we had to visit seven locations in the Seattle area just to find everything listed in the Prestige catalogand this isn't an overwhelming line. It's impressive that there are over 60 eyeshadows and 70 lipstick shades available, but you'll be lucky to find a fraction of that in any single store. The only consistently available items (and all shades were available) were the eye and lip pencils. However, if you don't insist on seeing everything Prestige offers in one place, there is every reason to pursue some essential beauty purchases with them.
For more information about Prestige Cosmetics, call (800) 722-7488 or visit www.prestigecosmetics.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.