Today we have a battle between two Asian BB creams: Japanese brand Kiss Me’s Heroine and Korean brand Innisfree’s Trouble Free. Both were used as my main BB cream for 3-6 weeks, separately, before this review.
Innisfree’s Trouble Free BB Cream, brought at an Innisfree store in Samseoung’s COEX mall in Seoul, was chosen out of all Innisfree’s cream because it was the cheapest. The packaging uses a pump dispenser. I can’t remember exact prices, but my estimate is that Trouble Free was around 11000-16000won, while the Green Tea, Natural Cover, and Sun BB creams were around 16000-21000 won. In hindsight, it wasn’t necessary to be so frugal. All the other creams were newer, while Trouble Care was older, meaning that the others probably had a better formula with more SPF.
In Asia, “trouble” refers to problematic skin that is oily or acne-prone. I didn’t notice my skin get better, but I did like how Innisfree is a brand that strongly emphasizes preservative-free products. That’s a big plus, however, there is one big problem – the color. The cream is made for people with pale, porcelain skin. People would comment on how light I became, since the difference between my neck/body was drastic. It looked natural, it didn’t look like caked on makeup, but I didn’t appreciate the loss of warmth from my skin.
Kiss Me’s Heroine Make bb essence in cream, found at any Don Quixote in Tokyo, was probably around 1000-1300 yen. It’s packaged in a squeeze tube. This cream was a relief to use after Innisfree because the color shade was warmer. It was still a little light on me at first, and it only came in one shade, but the color usually adjusted to my skin tone and it was a much closer match than Innisfree’s ashy grey undertones.
This cream provided good coverage and has good SPF. However, there were two major concerns. First, quite often when I wore Kiss Me BB Cream, I noticed that my pores became particularly enlarged and clogged. While I can’t read Japanese ingredient lists, I suspect Kiss Me uses an excess of comedogenic chemicals. Second, Kiss Me is not as matte as other bb creams. It would require a finishing powder to reduce shine. Furthermore, in regards to the texture of the cream, it did not blend as easily or smoothly as other creams have, though it did blend better than MoistLabo.
Results: The two creams do well representing the general traits of their respective country’s cosmetic industry. Korean brands have more of a focus on a “natural” image, yet confine their consumers to only one strict conception of beauty. On the other hand, Japanese brands have less of a concern about natural products, but present a big advantage by often providing at least two different skin tone shades of their bb creams.
If Innisfree Trouble BB had more skin color shades available, it’d be perfect. But it doesn’t, and it isn’t (unless you are extremely fair). I would not buy either of these again, but they work decently as temporary makeup or if you aren’t affected by the traits that personally bother me.