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


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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  • 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!

    • Soon, hopefully! They've opened up their online shop to both Canada & the US, so it bodes well ;)

  • 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.

    • Thanks, Christa! Glad to hear you're loving the Marcelle BB, too – but I have to agree with you; the only thing that could make it better (aside from making it totally scent & 'cone free :p) would be adding more shades ; )

  • 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 :)
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    • I think you probably will – give 'em a try & report back, you hear? ;)

  • The Garnier BB Cream really provides minimal coverage! You have such nice skin that doesn't need much help though.
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  • 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

    • LOL! Oh, Larie. Of course it does! I mean, it's a skin enhancer, after all, right? Skin. :P

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

    • You're welcome, Jenny! Hope you found the post helpful :)

      & thank you!

  • 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.

    • Glad to see we're on the same page, Liz! Though I'm surprised that you're a medium/dark – I only swatched it briefly in-store, but based on your concealer stash, I had thought you'd be a light/medium. Have you jawline-tested them? *curious*

  • dani@callitbeauty

    Awesome comparison, Rae!

    Your skintone is amazingly even! Gimme some of your magic! *grabby hands*
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    • Thanks, lovely ;o)

      And oh my lord, so is yours!! :D *happy post-video bliss*

  • 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!
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    • So it seems! I've read a number of Garnier BB reviews for the Asian version, and it sounds so much better – it's too bad that they felt the need to come up with a new product entirely for the Western markets :(

  • bloominbeauty

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

  • 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

    • Ha! I know what you mean – takes some getting used to, right? :P

  • look gorgeous without anything on. I prefer the Marcelle on you myself but you hardly need anything at all!
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    • Aww, thank you *blushes* I prefer the Marcelle one, too (in case that wasn't already glaringly obvious), though it was fun to play with a darker skintone for a bit!

  • 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

    • Lol!! Thank you so much, hon – you have no idea how much that means to me. I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed the post, even though it wasn't *really* relevant to your life!

      And thanks for the skin compliments, too :) Getting enough sleep & going 'cone free made a huge difference for my skin, and (at least for me), it's really been worth the hassle.

  • 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

  • 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

    • I had fun with them! :P Felt like the post had enough text in it already, y'know? Sometimes it's just easier to do things as scribbly bullet points, LOL.

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  • 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

    • Thanks, Angela! :) Calling the Garnier BB "beachy" describes it perfectly, if you ask me – but, then, I was never one for the beach :P

      Hope you like the Marcelle! It's a great product : )

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  • 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!

  • zeeet

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

    • A skintype-appropriate product shouldn't be "harming" the skin, zeeet! And (as I mentioned a few times in my reviews), I don't typically wear foundation/BB cream/etc — I just test them out as needed for theNotice :)

  • Lea

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

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

  • I love how thorough this review is–the photos are really helpful!
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