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The BB Breakdown | Marcelle vs. Garnier BB Cream Comparison (photos, swatches)

At long last – I’ve finally gotten my act together! As promised, here are full-face swatches (honestly, though, what are those called?! I hardly think they can be referred to as “swatches” at this point) of Marcelle and Garnier’s BB creams.

So, without further adieu…

Bare, freshly-cleansed skin!

Marcelle BB Cream Beauty Balm in Light to Medium

For my skintone, Marcelle’s Light to Medium was a good match – darker than I am, but not by too much. I really liked the neutral tone of the product, which did a great job of cancelling out both redness and sallowness, resulting in an overall illusion of evenness and “perfect skin.” (The satin finish is great, too, which also adds to the illusion.)

I was particularly impressed with the way it tackled my undereye circles and the redness I have in my eye area – I probably wouldn’t leave the house without concealer, just on principle, but I’d feel comfortable having forgotten to conceal if I was wearing this.

Wearing Marcelle’s BB Cream (both images)

Left: bare skin / Right: wearing Marcelle’s BB Cream

The weird little box in the left corner is a colour sampling of my skintone – the left side being bare, and the right, with BB cream. For consistency, I grabbed the colours from the same spot on my cheek in both photos. (Freckle-mapping for the win!)

As you can tell from the colour swatches, Marcelle’s BB adds depth of tone to my skin, and has a clever mix of yellow/greyish pigments to neutralize redness.

Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector in Medium/Dark

I was less impressed with Garnier’s product, but I wanted to share photos for a very specific reason – I think it would be great as a Prtty Peaushun-like product (but, y’know, for your face.) As mentioned in the review, I was sent Medium/Dark, which really isn’t a match for me. However, it turned out to be great for faking a darker skintone, with results that are still very “real skin.”

As a BB cream in and of itself, though, I was less impressed – I found it left me overly dewy, a bit sticky, and while it did a good job of adding warmth, it failed to counteract redness.

Wearing Garnier’s BB Cream

Left: bare skin / Right: wearing Garnier’s BB Cream

A breakdown

With scribbles! :D

P.S.

To ensure that these products were given a fair trial, I took photos of myself bare-faced (freshly cleansed!) as well as with each BB cream on, gave my skin twenty minutes between application and photo-taking (just in case of redness from surface abrasion when applying the product, or removing the previous one), and used the same lighting & camera settings for the full photo set.

(And hey! My face, minus all the post production!) :s

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50 Comments

  • Reply mostlysunnybunny

    You have ridiculously good skin, Rae! The difference is minimal, but after going back and forth I can see how Marcelle wins this one! When is this great company going to cater to us poor international people? lol
    My recent post FOTD: Happy Valentine’s Day!

    February 16, 2012 at 7:56 AM
  • Reply Perilously Pale

    What a fabulously thorough review and comparison! Thank you. This will help so many people. I too loved how the neutral tone of Marcelle's BB Cream did such a good job of evening my skin tone. It is quite a bit too dark for me but somehow still managed to work. Making my skin look much better while still blending in invisibly enough to not announce the fact that the shade was too dark. I'm very happy with it. If it came in a Fair shade I would be ecstatic.

    February 16, 2012 at 8:34 AM
  • Reply eight

    I'm so glad I got the Marcelle BB cream from their facebook promotion. I haven't really tested it yet, but it looks sooo good. I have a sample of the Garnier bb cream coming too, but I expect to like Marcelle's better :)
    My recent post Brazen Cosmetics: V-Day Pout Prep Review

    February 16, 2012 at 9:22 AM
  • Reply Rolala

    The Garnier BB Cream really provides minimal coverage! You have such nice skin that doesn't need much help though.
    My recent post Style Crush : Olivia Palermo & A Giveway

    February 16, 2012 at 10:27 AM
  • Reply Larie

    Rats. I want this Marcelle BB cream badly. Does this count as "skincare," you think? :P

    Your face is also quite fabulous. Without stuff on it, even. Oh, Rae.
    My recent post The Thursday Post

    February 16, 2012 at 11:04 AM
  • Reply Jenny

    Thank you so much for the great comparisons!! P.S your skin is amazinggg
    My recent post HAUL: Benefit, Smashbox, NARS, etc.

    February 16, 2012 at 11:25 AM
  • Reply Liz

    Haha! Love the breakdown and the scribbles at the end. This is what I thought of both too (from swatching at the stores) and I'm glad you proved it conclusively. I'd get the Marcelle in medium/dark if I ever finish up the foundations in my stash.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:22 PM
  • Reply dani@callitbeauty

    Awesome comparison, Rae!

    Your skintone is amazingly even! Gimme some of your magic! *grabby hands*
    My recent post Get My Nails Did…

    February 16, 2012 at 1:31 PM
  • Reply Paris B

    Wow! Ok you got me wanting that Marcelle BB Cream (and I don't even like BB creams!) That said, the version of the Garnier BB Cream we get is my weekend going out staple. Its very sheer but it does a fair job and for some reason, seems to perform much better than the versions I'm seeing the Western countries get!
    My recent post Maybe She’s Born With Those Lashes… Maybe its Maybelline The Falsies Mascara

    February 16, 2012 at 6:36 PM
  • Reply bloominbeauty

    Excellent comparison Rae! And your bare skin is like WHOA in the beautiful-gorgeous department dear! ;)

    February 16, 2012 at 8:29 PM
  • Reply Aimey

    Wow Garnier has BB cream now? The fact that Garnier has products outside of the hair shelf is still so odd to me haha

    February 17, 2012 at 1:33 AM
  • Reply Eden-Avalon

    So..you look gorgeous without anything on. I prefer the Marcelle on you myself but you hardly need anything at all!
    My recent post Milani Baked Blush Haul – Review and Swatches

    February 17, 2012 at 3:20 PM
  • Reply toyarosie

    This is a terrific review Rae – even though I can't wear either of these products because they don't have shades dark enough for me, I read through the whole thing LOL! It was interesting to see the breakdown and all the work you put into this post. You can clearly see Marcelle is the winner – it really does do a great job of concealing your (very faint) dark circles and just giving you a great, fresh looking canvas. Though I must say, that your skin with nothing on it is pretty amazing in itself! Good job on the skincare routine ;P
    My recent post Vegan Polish by Soulstice Spa: Milan

    February 17, 2012 at 4:05 PM
  • Reply Maggie

    This is an incredibly excellent review. I love the before/after comparison pictures! Your skin is beautiful to begin with, but I love how the Marcelle cream just gives it an almost soft-focus effect. Not something for someone who needs heavier coverage, but for someone with your lovely skin, it seems perfect!
    My recent post Le Métier de Beauté Kaleidoscope – Silk Road

    February 17, 2012 at 5:01 PM
  • Reply Makeup Morsels

    You're skin is glowy and smooth even without the BB cream! It does make your face look like it's bathed in ultra-flattering light though. And thanks for taking all those pictures! Really makes the difference stand out :)

    Also, I like the little swirly scribbles in the corners of the last two pictures.
    My recent post Caron Muguet du Bonheur Review

    February 17, 2012 at 9:37 PM
  • Reply English Link Love: 10 ссылок недели | Beauty Insider

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    February 19, 2012 at 7:08 AM
  • Reply Angela

    A great review and comparison–I was definitely wondering about the Garnier BB since I haven't read too much about it yet. I did hear it is good as a beachy BB (which explains your comments about the darker tone and dewiness). I really need to pick up the Marcelle BB cream ASAP.
    My recent post for audrey + gold crackle

    February 19, 2012 at 3:21 PM
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    February 25, 2012 at 1:13 PM
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  • Reply scarlettbuzz

    This is an incredibly excellent review. I love the before/after comparison pictures! Your skin is beautiful to begin with, but I love how the Marcelle cream just gives it an almost soft-focus effect. Not something for someone who needs heavier coverage, but for someone with your lovely skin, it seems perfect!

    September 1, 2012 at 10:32 PM
  • Reply zeeet

    gah! if my skin was as good as yours i wouldn't be harming it by putting any products on it.

    September 9, 2012 at 9:50 PM
  • Reply Lea

    Hi! Have you tried the Quo bb cream? If not can you do a review? :)

    November 27, 2013 at 4:17 PM
  • Reply Rae // theNotice

    I haven't and don't plan to, sorry!

    November 27, 2013 at 5:06 PM
  • Reply Penny

    I love how thorough this review is–the photos are really helpful!
    xxPenny
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    August 28, 2015 at 7:11 PM
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