BPGP: Clinique Age Defense BB Cream

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that BB creams are the latest, hottest thing in makeup.  The concept for BB creams was developed in Asia where the product typically includes SPF, anti-aging ingredients, brightening elements and skin whiteners.  But here in the U.S., most of the creams aren’t such impressive multitaskers.

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream ($37) has a surprisingly short list of performers: 30 SPF and antioxidants.  Not exactly a remarkable list of strengths.  To use a metaphor, this is the reliable mid-size sedan without any extras.  If you are looking for a fully loaded luxury car tailored to fit your needs, you want Dr. Jart.  

The other serious flaw that this product has is that it only comes in three shades.  They range from pale to just lightly tan and aren’t as blendable as other BB creams that I’ve seen on the market.  So if your skintone is dark or difficult to match, this cream isn’t the one for you.

Now that we’re done discussing what this product is not, let’s talk about what it is.

Age Defense is like a tinted moisturizer on steroids.  It covers better.  It blends easier.  And even under powder (Lord knows, I love my powder.), it looks dewy fresh and even.  

The SPF 30 is a nice additive.  My only complaint is that when you have your photo taken wearing high SPF makeup, you look ghastly pale.  Something about the flash reacting to the silver in the sunscreen.

Despite this product being the least BB of all BB creams on the market, I’m still happy with it.  The coverage is brilliant–smooth and natural-looking.  So even though it’s not exactly what I wanted, it’s a surprisingly good foundation for those of us who need a bit more coverage without feeling like we’re wearing spackle on our chin.



  1. Terri says:

    I picked up a large sample of this product during a promotion. To say I have been disappointed is an understandment. I would never buy it for regular use . With so many products out there to try that are in the same price range that do more this would be a waste of money.

    April 24, 2012/Reply
  2. Heather says:

    I picked up a Garnier BB cream this past weekend just to try out this trend and I absolutely love it! It's the perfect thing to wear when you're having a minimal makeup day.

    April 24, 2012/Reply
  3. Anna says:

    Thanks so much for doing a review of this product! I've been toying with the idea of buying it but just couldn't commit. Now I think I'll try a different BB cream.

    April 24, 2012/Reply
  4. DallasSkirtEnvy says:

    I recently went to the Clinique counter to purchase their version of the tinted moisturizer. They talked me into this instead and must say I'm in love. It feels great, provides slightly more coverage (I have good skin but rosacea redness), but like you said, still looks dewy with a little powder.

    April 24, 2012/Reply
  5. CountryStiletto says:

    I have been hearing so much about BB products but haven't taken the plunge yet. Would it replace a foundation or primer or would you just add it to your morning routine?

    April 24, 2012/Reply
  6. XF says:

    CountryStilleto: They're meant to replace your foundation and sometimes moisturizer too for a lighter feel and lighter coverage (but more coverage than a tinted moisturizer) . If you have dry skin, you'd probably want to stick with your regular moisturizer underneath. I've tried the Garnier version, I think it's great for people with dry or normal skin. I have oily skin though, so I'm on the hunt for a BB more suited to my needs. If anyone has recommendations, holler!

    April 24, 2012/Reply
  7. CountryStiletto says:

    XF: Thanks!! I have combination skin so I love lighter foundations, usually go with a tinted moisturizer but find that sometimes it's not quite enough coverage. I will definitely be on the look out for a perfect BB now.

    April 24, 2012/Reply
  8. S says:

    Self Magazine had an article on BB creams last month (or this month?). Here's the link to the online version, which makes a few product suggestions: https://www.self.com/beauty/blogs/beyondthebeautypages/2012/03/multi-tasking-bb-creams-hit-th.html.

    April 24, 2012/Reply
  9. KM says:

    I have a very pale complexion and most foundations, even the lightest shades, leave me looking a pale shade of pumpkin. In addition, I have spot acne and very sensitive skin. Most foundations leave my skin orange, broken out and irritated. The pale shade of Clinique BB cream does none of these things. It stays on all day long, protects my pale skin from sun (I haven't had a single sunburn since I began wearing it months ago) and is actually a natural color with a pink hue. In short, I am in love! I hope this product is on the market for a long time.

    April 24, 2012/Reply
  10. jen says:

    I can't say enough good things about the Smashbox BB. Feels kind of thick when you first put it on, but dries to a sheer, dewy base. I've stopped all use of other primers, moisturizers, and SPF for daytime wear, and I use about a third of the Bare Minerals foundation I was using before. Also not breaking out or becoming an oil slick by 2 p.m., which is unheard of for me with almost all other moistureizers with an SPF. It's a little bit more expensive than the Clinique brand, but a little definitely goes a long way!

    April 24, 2012/Reply
  11. anon says:

    I have the Garnier one as well. It's great and I swear that my skin tone has improved. My coloring is similar Jennifer Aniston's and the light/medium is great.

    April 25, 2012/Reply
  12. H says:

    Sephora has a nice alternative – the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream. I prefer it, because when I bought it, there were a lot more shades available (apparently right now there are only five) and I feel that color matching is the best way to avoid looking cakey.

    April 25, 2012/Reply
  13. MS says:

    I recently bought Miracle Skin Transformer after doing some research on BB creams. I was hestitant because true primers make me breakout (especially Smashbox!), but saw this recommended on Beauty Banter. It's expensive so when I saw a good sized sample available in the checkout line for Sephora, I picked it up. VERY happy with it! They have tons of shades, very lightweight and moisturizing. I love the dewey clean finish. Definitely recommend!

    April 25, 2012/Reply
  14. S says:

    XF- I'd suggest trying the Smashbox version. I have dryer skin and I returned it to sephora because I felt like it was to matte for me (they had me try Dr. Jart, which I adore, but would probably be too oily for you.) While Smashbox didn't work for me, I think it would be great for more oily skin.

    Also, I adore the Dr. Jart. (I have the Gold Label) When you first put it on it may seem a bit grey, but within 15 minutes it somehow adjusts to your skin color and everything just looks flawless. I've stopped having to use concealer for dark circles now that I use this. And while it's expensive, you only use a tiny bit every day so it lasts.

    April 26, 2012/Reply