Product Review: Kanebo Freshel Moist Lift BB Cream (SPF23, PA++)

Kanebo Freshel Moist Lift BB Cream in Natural Beige, 50g, US$15.00
Kanebo Freshel Moist Lift BB Cream in Natural Beige, 50g, US$15.00

I got this BB cream from, which arrived within the same week I placed the order (which is why I love shopping from them!).  I had high hopes for this one, since #1 it is from Kanebo, one of my favorite makeup brands, and #2 Japanese makeup usually doesn’t oxidize and their shades are more suitable for me than the pinkish ones from the Korean brands.

Turns out the fast shipping was the only good thing about this BB cream and it has nothing to do with the product! This 5-in-1 product is supposed to be a stand alone product after toner so you can skip your essence, emulsion, cream, sunblock and makeup base. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it is.

The texture: it's very runny. Even a little bit takes a long time to blend evenly.
The texture: it's very runny. Even a little bit takes a long time to blend evenly.

First of all, the texture is much more runny than the Korean BB creams. This shouldn’t even be called a BB cream by the way, fluid would have been more accurate. I was under the impression that it was sheer, which it was, but somehow, the thin texture and the tint just don’t blend very well on my skin. You definitely need a foundation brush to blend out the streaks. Surprisingly it offers almost no coverage at all, and not that that sheer either (sheer as in Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer). It took me more than 10 minutes to blend it evenly on my skin, the same 10 minutes I was trying to save by using this one product. The product packaging claims this is a product that gets you out the door looking made up in ‘seconds’, but it certainly took more more than seconds for me!

The finish is dewy but the texture is so thin, if you reapply or layer up, there is slight flaking. For a product made for women in their 30s and 40s, this is far from hydrating enough. I have dehydrated dry skin and this went on very thin and definitely not moisturizing enough as a stand alone product.

Freshel Moist Lift BB Cream in Natural Beige on my skin, plus a thin layer of translucent (no color) loose powder and light bronzer (Too Faced Snow Bunny)
Freshel Moist Lift BB Cream in Natural Beige on my skin, plus a thin layer of translucent (no color) loose powder and light bronzer (Too Faced Snow Bunny). My freckles are still visible.Â

I have tried this with and without a layer of translucent loose powder. It did not oxidize either way – which is a good thing. But with or without the powder, there is smearing about midday and I don’t have oily skin. So you definitely need to set it with powder, even though with powder, the smearing is still visible under the powder. Which defeats the purpose of this supposedly being the 5-in-1, one tube and out the door after cleansing kind of convenience.

The shade, in Natural Beige (a darker shade, Medium Beige, is also available) is a perfect match for my skin, which is the only thing I like about this product. This NB shade is suitable for OC10 to OC20 skin tone (in M.A.C. foundation, it’s equivalent to NC15 -20).

By now, I am completely disillusioned about BB creams. They are really just tinted moisturizers. As far as moisturizers go, this one doesn’t do a good job for its targeted age group. The Korean BB creams I had tried were much more moisturizing and easier to blend than this one, although this one is the right shade for me. Anyway, this will be my last attempt to try out any ‘BB creams’. I will just stick to Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer(SPF20) which is truly a one step product without pretending to be anything miraculous!

**News: January 7, 2011

I revisited this BB cream again this morning, this time, I used it over my regular skincare. To make this spread well, I had to use very little of the product, and it was just like a liquid foundation. It blends in better than if I used it on its own. However, within just 2 hours, smearing occurred, and my concerns remained the same – using so little of the BB cream without another sunscreen underneath is not enough protection, and that if I were to use my regular skincare underneath, it defeats the purpose of this 5-in-1 tube. At the end, this is not hydrating enough on its own and it smears, you are better off using a real foundation with an SPF with a longer wear!


13 comments on Product Review: Kanebo Freshel Moist Lift BB Cream (SPF23, PA++)

  1. Julia
    December 8, 2010 at 3:46 pm (6 years ago)

    Wow, you are really pretty!
    Too bad the BB cream sucks, though. 🙁

  2. Sakura
    December 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm (6 years ago)

    BB Cream rage has reached Japan quite some time now. When I visited Japan this summer, I saw some “BB Cream” produced by Japanese companies at drugstore. I did not try this BB cream; sorry it did not work out for you. I got a care package from a friend in Japan with sample of Freshel Moist skin care products…I like it very much!

    I have not used skin care products sold in Japanese drugstore for a long time. So, it was a delightful surprised that the quality of the product was pretty good as you mentioned in your blog in the past. I am thinking about getting the actual size products when I visit Japan next.

    By the way, you are so pretty! I cannot find any wrinkle or age spot at all. I know you use variety of products…but is there anything else you do to keep your skin so beautiful? I would be happy if you could share your secrets!

    • Joseibi
      December 10, 2010 at 12:04 pm (6 years ago)

      You are so kind, Sakura, thanks! 🙂

      I like Freshel White C too, I used it in the past and had results comparable to some higher end products. For some reason, it made my skin look better than using Shiseido White Lucent and the Freshel White C line was just a fraction of the price! a lot of their drug-store brands are actually pretty good, compared to western drug store brands. I find the J-brand’s drug store equivalents better than some mid range western brands here. Especially their cleansing products!

      On my first day in Tokyo, I spent over 4 hours in one of the multi-storey drug stores. My husband had to wait for me at a pachinko/arcade to pass the time! LOL And then when we discovered all the department stores, I was in heaven. That and the best sushi in the world. I would love to go back someday with my daughter but I am afraid to take her on a long plane ride when she can’t even sit still for dinner! 😛

      I actually have dehydration lines on my forehead (the photo didn’t show! LOL), as well as freckles on my ‘apple zone’. I layer on creams at night very thick just to keep the hydration since I have dry and dehydrated skin. For whitening The History of Whoo is doing wonders for me, lately I don’t have time to do masks so I use sleeping packs. I always think keeping good hydration is half the battle won! I still haven’t achieved the optimum hydration balance yet (still got those dehydration lines) but I am hoping to buy SKII’s Facial Treatment Essence and mask when I go to Florida next week. Of everything I have used, SKII’s FTE and mask really plump up the lines, keep my skin moisturized and even brighten my skin tone! 🙂

  3. Joseibi
    December 9, 2010 at 5:15 pm (6 years ago)

    Awww Julia you are so kind! thanks! 🙂

  4. Tuyet
    December 10, 2010 at 4:41 am (6 years ago)

    wow, you are so pretty Joseibi, I have never tried BB cream before, was tempting to try it, but now that I read your review I can save my money

    • Joseibi
      December 10, 2010 at 12:18 pm (6 years ago)

      So kind you are, Tuyet!!! 🙂 Thanks girls, you made me feel good!!!

      BB creams are very cleverly marketed tinted moisturizers…My opinion is that as makeup, they may not have enough coverage or staying power, and as moisturizers, not enough hydration to be a stand alone product. You are better off with a foundation if you need powder to set a BB cream because essentially it’s just a light coverage foundation…

    December 11, 2010 at 9:43 am (6 years ago)

    wow Josiebi i was right! you are so pretty! 😉

    • Joseibi
      December 13, 2010 at 1:11 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you Madiha, you are so nice!!! 🙂

  6. Elly
    January 3, 2011 at 8:15 pm (6 years ago)

    I love Freshel White C products, I was using the night cream and cleanser until I finished those and I agree, it’s a very good value-for-money range! Shame the BB creams aren’t as good !

    i’ve found that the more I use BB creams, my pores keep clogging! It’s so cost-efficient for me though as I don’t go through even a bottle of foundation a year and BB creams you dont need much of to cover anyway. I’ll continue to use up my BB cream but I will probably switch back to ordinary sheer-medium foundations sooner or later!

    Thanks for your review of the Japanese BB creams Joseibi and you should definitely show your face in more photos – you’re beautiful!

    • Joseibi
      January 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm (6 years ago)

      Dear Elly,

      You are so kind! 🙂 Thank you!!!

      I love the Freshel White C Night Essence Wrap – it’s like a sleeping pack and it moisturizes well too. I like it even more than Laneige’s Water Sleeping Pack!!! It’s such a good line for very little money, if not for dramatic whitening results – just the moisturizing and overall as a skincare line.

      BB cream…I am not surprised. It is just a tinted moisturizer…for me, with my dry and dehydrated skin, I ended up layering lotions under it so it kinds of defeats the purpose anyway. I am not too fond of multi-tasking skincare products – I generally find them not good at any one particular thing when they try to do too much. But, that’s just me! I am sure some people swear by them. 🙂

  7. hopeinablog
    August 20, 2011 at 9:08 pm (6 years ago)

    Hey Beauties,

    Kanebo will be upgrading the entire line together with addition of new products, so if you’re planning of purchasing the BB Cream or Gel, wait for the new one :

  8. Anonymous
    August 25, 2011 at 2:18 am (6 years ago)

    Wow thx for the review. I have been attacked by the BB Cream revolution for a while now and almost fell for it. I was on the verge of purchasing The History of Whoo’s BB Cream when I decided to use up my current foundation first. Now that I think about it, if it was really that amazing, all cosmetics companies wouldn’t be able to sell their toner, moisturizer, sunscreen and all that sorts. I heard BB stands for “blemish balm” so do you think it’s more of a safe foundation for acne/blemish prone and sensitive skin?

    Btw you dont have to be modest about your skin, I wudn’t have noticed your freckles at all if you hadn’t told us.

    • Joseibi
      August 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm (6 years ago)

      @Anonymous – you are very kind! 🙂 I do have freckles, which my 3 year old daughter points out to me (yes, kids are brutal!) all the time. 😛 But you are so kind to say that! 🙂

      Yes, BB stands for blemish balm, just about every Korean brand has a few BB creams and the trend extends to japanese and even western brands nowadays too. Personally I don’t really use them, but I have tried them (out of curiosity) – I liked the consistency of Dr. Jart’s because it is thicker and more hydrating, though it didn’t suit my skin tone and left an ashy pink cast on my face. Some of the BB creams are better for acne prone skin (specifically created for acne prone skin even) with a sunscreen built in, so it is convenient if you use foundation regularly. I don’t know which one works best for your skin though, mine is dry and dehydrated so I tend to go for a thicker texture, but if you have acne prone skin, you may want a lighter texture. I think Dr. Jart has a water-based version but I am not sure how well it works. My advice is, if you have access to Sephora store, buy or test out the Dr. Jart Water Fuse BB Cream, since Sephora has a great return/exchange policy (you can return it used if you don’t like it for whatever reason), you have that peace of mind and not having to waste money on something you don’t like. 🙂


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