For a glow, but nothing more | Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream review, swatches, comparisons

The product: Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream SPF 15 in Medium/Dark

The look: Garnier’s BB Cream is more sheer than I had expected, and more dewy. You know how I mentioned that the Marcelle BB Cream is really… I don’t know; BB-Cream-ish? I feel like Garnier’s isn’t – I can’t tell how it differentiates from a basic tinted moisturizer, in coverage or in finish.

If you have quite good skin to begin with that just needs a small “pick me up,” this may be an option – but don’t expect it to give your skin any more than a bit of a boost. I think I would have been a lot happier with this if it had been marketed as a sheer, luminizing base rather than a BB Cream or “Miracle Skin Perfector,” because it’s just that: it imparts a warm, dewy finish, but with very little coverage.

Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream in Medium/Dark on NW15ish skin

The shade: I was sent Medium/Dark, which is a massive error in logic that I’m not even going to begin to approach. I had a bit of fun with it, though – sometimes it’s nice to fake out a different skintone for a little while, and it blended in really well, probably because it’s so sheer. I’m fairly certain that Garnier’s Medium/Dark is darker than Marcelle’s Medium to Dark, so if you’re still searching for a drugstore BB cream but you’re on the darker end of the spectrum, this might be a shade option you’ll want to check out.

While I can’t speak for the lighter shade, I found the undertones of this one to run a bit pink – not so much that Asian skintones will find it completely unwearable but enough that it’s noticeable; it adds a bit of warmth by way of red undertones, rather than orange ones.

The ingredients:

Active: Octinoxate 4% | Other: Water, Isononyl Isononanoate, Isoxadecane, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat, Peg-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate , Cetyl Palmitate, Nylon-12, Cyclohexasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Stearyl Alcohol, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Caprylyl Glycol, Lithium Magnesium Sodium Silicate, Disodium EDTA, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Caffeine, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Benzyl Alcohol, Geraniol, Cellulose Acetate Butyrate, Polyphosphorylcholine Glycol Acrylate, Citral, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Sodium Chloride, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate. ± Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

Try it if

  • You have normal to slightly dry skin that’s just looking a bit lackluster,
  • You want a sheer base product to give a bit of a warm glow,
  • You’re looking for a drugstore BB cream with a bit (but not a lot) of SPF, or
  • You want to “fake out” a slightly darker skintone for an editorial look, rather than out & about in public.

Skip it if

  • You’re looking for something that will disguise large pores, uneven colouring (eg. redness, blotchiness, or sun spots), or blemishes.
  • You can’t stand scented products – I think this scent is brilliant, to be honest, but much too strong in execution.
  • Heavy products drive you crazy (I can feel this when I’m wearing it, even after I give it plenty of time to sink in.)
  • You have dry patches, oily patches, or dehydrated patches – I’d say this is best suited to people who are fairly content with their skin to begin with.

Swatched L-R: MAC NW25, Garnier Med/Dark B.B. Cream, MAC NW30, MAC NC30, Garnier B.B., MAC NC35.

All MAC shades are Studio Finish SPF 15 concealers.

The verdict?

Garnier describes their BB Cream as an “all-in-one every day moisturizer [… a] light, velvety-smooth lotion.” And, honestly, I’m going to have to say that it’s none of the above. It always irks me when a product isn’t bad, but doesn’t do as it should – because as a blogger, what am I supposed to rate it by, then?

If you’re looking for a B.B. Cream that will provide a sheer, dewy, luminizing base, then I would say this is worth checking out. However, if you’re on the market for more coverage, something scent- or silicone-free, or that truly “flawless” finish, this isn’t the product for you.

Garnier’s Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream (quite the name!) retails at a SRP of $19.99 CAD, though you can get a $3 off coupon at their site, here. Full-face comparison photos later this week, if I can find time ;)

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  • dani@callitbeauty

    I find it *hilarious* that you were sent medium/dark!

    I am far too amused by that ingredient dropdown thingy. I may or may not have clicked on it a few times…
    My recent post Get My Nails Did…

    • I KNOW, RIGHT?? I must have spent a good five minutes playing with that dropdown when I first installed it >.<

  • Jenny

    I own the lighter one which has slightly yellow undertones and doesn't run that red. But apart from this it's the same: really low coverage, dewy finish and doesn't feel and transfer as a true BB Cream.

    When it's cold outside I still like it as a tinted moisturizer: on it's own when my skin is quite good or as a base for mineral foundation when I need a little bit of coverage.

    Good review, thanks for that!

    My recent post NOTD China Glaze – Starboard

    • Thanks for adding your thoughts on the light/medium shade, Jenny! :)

      I'll have to try it as a mineral foundation base – I feel like the "dewiness" would sort of act as a primer for the minerals, yeah? *scribbles it onto to-do list*

  • Yeah, I tried this when I was in London. It didn't do much, but like Jenny said it makes a good base for mineral foundation. but that's about it. I have dry skin and it worked well with it. If you have oily skin then this will not stay on at all.
    I want to see a tanned up Rae! Probably wouldn't even recognize you lol!
    That drop down menu thingy is kind of awesome btw. :)
    My recent post Barry M Dazzle Dust #51-The Perfect Taupe For This Taupeaholic

    • I look like a Normal Human Being, for once! It's pretty crazy :P

      I love, love, LOVE that dropdown menu. Isn't it great? /quietly geeks out

  • Vonnie

    I have the lighter one and I wasn't one hundred percent pleased with it. I agree with how heavy it is – even after giving it proper time to set in, I could still feel it. It almost felt like wearing some sort of mask that was irritating. My skin is fairly decent to start with, so I didn't have any issues with it leaving anything uncovered, and the scent is heavenly, I just don't like how heavy it feels. It was even worse after trying a setting powder.

    It is a nice try, but if Garnier is really going to try to make a dent in the market, they are going to have to step up their game. I went in with high expectations, only to be let down.
    My recent post Wet Seal Really Isn't What It Used To Be

    • I was pretty disappointed in this, too :( They really talked it up, and I was expecting it to be fabulous – unfortunately, that's really not quite how it played out in real life. /sigh

      Here's to hoping they reformulate & relaunch – it would be great to see this with a little more coverage, a little less heaviness, & quite a bit less fragrance!

  • toyarosie

    I swiped this on my hand a couple weeks ago, and 1) it was too light for my (why oh why do they make shades for only half the population!?) and 2) the scent – I really shy away from scented products, and for my skin this would have caused an issue. Though it wasn't a problem anyway since the shade didn't work :P In any case, this is useful info!!
    My recent post Review: Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush in #12 First Kiss

    • Sorry to hear this was too light for you, hon! With the product's sheerness, I do actually think Garnier managed to cover most of the market with two shades – but I suppose that could really be looked at as a good thing or a bad thing, couldn't it?

      Just for interest's sake: I have pretty sensitive skin, too, but the fragrance in this didn't bother my skin at all. (My nose, yes, eventually – but not my skin! :P)

  • Thanks for the review! I was really curious about this product, but now I see it definitely isn't what I was looking for! Too bad, but I know people I can recommend it to. :)
    My recent post Weekend Haul

    • No problem, Jess! Hope the people you recommend it to like it :)

  • rasilla

    I played around with it at walmart, and the smell really put me off. It felt like a perfume body lotion more than a facial product to me. I also didn't like that it settled into the lines of my hand…it was just weird >_<
    regarding the sheerness of the product, I'm glad you clarified that for me. When I was swatching, I was convinced I had just rub too much, in an effort to blend into my skin, cause I couldn't see it after a bit…
    It makes much more sense now :P

    • Hmmm. I wonder how it would be as a body tint? (I bet it would make a great stand-in for something like Prtty Peaushun!)

      & nope, you're not just crazy :P It's just a very sheer product, unfortunately!

  • Jamilla

    I use the Light Garnier BB Cream – I can't believe they sent YOU the dark one!! I love the Garnier BB Cream – I wear it on long haul flights because it's so moisturizing. But you're right – skip it if you need a lot of coverage.

    • >.< I get dark shades all the time. I just don't understand; all you'd need to do is spend ten seconds on theNotice (or on @theNotice, through Twitter) to figure out that I'd be the lightest shade – or lighter!

      Is this the same Garnier BB that you get in your neck of the woods, Jamilla?

  • I looked at this product at the drugstore the other day wondering if I should get it. Thanks for answering that for me!

    • Np! It might work if you're looking for something super-sheer, but for most of us expecting more coverage out of our BB creams, I think it's a pass.

  • I wish I'd read your review before I bought this. I was so excited to try this but now its sitting in my drawer cos I can't use it- not with the overpowering scent, the way it sits on the skin yet doesn't give any coverage. It's an all around useless product. I tried to foist it on my sister cos she has perfect looking but dehydrated, skin and she disliked it too. Not to mention I have the shade light and its much too dark, with horrible orange undertones. Boots have recently released a number of bb creams here in the UK but I'm very reluctant to try them after using this :/
    My recent post The One With the Failed Diet

    • Aww, sorry to hear that, Catherine :( If it's any help, I don't think most BB creams are this sheer – Beauty Geeks did a great breakdown of the recent Canadian BB launches (here – I'm not sure which ones are the same in the UK and in Canada, though!), and Garnier's was listed as being quite sheer & tinted moisturizer-y.

      I think has a number of UK BB cream reviews, which might be helpful for you! Give 'em a gander ;)

  • Medium/Dark? Really? Pff. You're right – BB creams aren't supposed to be a sheer as this. I'd rate this poorly. Broken promises break hearts

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  • I have the light/medium shade and I use NC20 in mac foundations. If I use enough, the pinky tone does come up enough to make me look darker. Think this would work better in summer when I'm actually darker, but I love the dewyness. If they had this in a more yellow tone it would be perfect!