Foundation Review: Effaclar BB Blur

la roche-posay bb blur makeup

I think you’ll agree that the below “before and after” photographs are pretty epic: no light or computer trickery has been used. (I don’t ever retouch my images, by the way – or Facetune or whatever people use to whiten their teeth and get rid of wrinkles and spots!) What you see is what you get. La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar BB Blur most definitely works some kind of optical illusion magic!

I mentioned the BB Blur last month after quite a few people had commented on how good my skin looked in one of my vlogs. All I had on was a quick layer of the new “BB Blur Instant Oil-Absorbing Coverage Cream Mousse” (to trot out the full title) so I was pretty surprised that anyone had noticed. And I have to say that it was touch and go whether I’d even try the product in the first place, because my skin has been so dry and an oil-absorbing product was the last thing I needed. But try it I did, because I’m highly adventurous like that, and was very pleasantly surprised at how light and non-cakey this BB felt. I had expected some sort of powdery disaster but the mousse texture was so beautiful to apply – rather like working with a deconstructed makeup marshmallow – that it became an instant favourite.

Easy to blend (though don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the light texture, you do need to blend!) and weightless on the skin, it seems to be able to blur out even quite noticeable imperfections without looking or feeling heavy. It has the effect of a medium coverage foundation,but the “blurring” does most of the work, not the pigment. Behold the before picture:

ruth crilly a model recommends

Noticeable blemishes on the forehead and a couple on the cheeks, though they’re not true spots, more ones that are brewing under the surface (oh hi Mint-Choc Magnums wreaking havoc with my face!); some redness around the nose and on the chin; some darkness beneath the eyes…

ruth crilly a model recommends

I kid you not when I say that this is truly one of the best after photos I’ve ever had. I actually had to knock back the brightness slightly on my face because I thought that people wouldn’t believe me. (If you doubt the like-for-likeness of the photos then just compare the white of the woodwork behind my head or the patch of greenish light reflected in the glass of the fireplace.) My skin is brighter, the dark circles are pretty comprehensively hidden, the redness eradicated. If you look closely you can still see the blemishes, so that kind of illustrates what I mean about the coverage; it has the overall effect of a good coverage foundation but there’s no real opacity to the finish. A lot of the work is done by the blurring effect.


What do you think? My only gripe is that it only comes in two shades – both of which just about suit me, so you can see how narrow the range is. I’m wearing the fairer of the two here, “Fair Light”; the “Light Medium” is just a tad too warm for me. I really hope that they decide to expand the shade range. Apart from the cosmetic appeal of the BB Blur, it’s absolutely brilliant for people with oily or combination skin who want a base that will give them a non-cakey velvet finish. You absolutely do not need to powder over this BB (in fact powder can look a little odd) so it’s the perfect maintenance-free face base.

The key ingredient here (I’ve never heard of this before) is Aircilium, which can absorb up to three times its own weight in oil. It forms a supple, breathable film over the skin that leaves a really smooth surface and helps to keep the skin shine-free throughout the day. This makes the BB Blur a great one for oily teen skin (far better than plastering on a heavy base) or anyone who wants a rather radiant, matte/velvet-finish that won’t need powdering throughout the day.

La Roche-Posay’s BB Blur is exclusive to at the moment, it’s £16.50 here.

*Update: a guide to the shades, by popular request. From left to right, below, we have Chanel’s Perfection Lumiere Velvet in shade 20 (my most-used base), then the Effaclar BB in Fair/Light and finally in Light/Medium. You can tell that the Effaclar shades are very close, though the light/medium is much warmer in tone than the (slightly pinkish) fair/light. Obviously they sheer out a million times more than this, I’ve just swiped it on in a thick layer so that you can see it. If I blended it out, both would be virtually undetectable so the whole exercise would be pointless! Hope this helps somewhat…

effaclar bb blur swatches

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. January 18, 2016 / 10:37 pm

    Never got the whole BB hype, but this sounds like it is worth a try!

    Parie x

  2. January 18, 2016 / 10:53 pm

    Wow! I’m super impressed! That’s probably the best transformation ever.


  3. Rebecca W
    January 18, 2016 / 10:54 pm

    I find it dificult with the beauty bloggers that I follow to really pay attention to their skin care favourites as most have dry skin. Thank you for reviewing something for oily skin (I’m 37, surely I’ll go dry one day?). I’ve just discovered l’oreal infallible matte, and I’m pleasantly surprised by that also. Again wish the shade range was better. Might have to purchase this next!

  4. Manar Elkhazindar
    January 18, 2016 / 11:00 pm

    It”s £11 today. Thanks for the tip. It’s in the bag!

  5. Cy
    January 19, 2016 / 12:35 am

    But… it’s pretty much just silicone… :/
    Ok for sometimes, but I wouldn’t wear it everyday.

    • March 6, 2016 / 8:57 am

      Ive been looking into products a lot recently and From what I hear more & more people are looking for safe products to put on their bodies. I’ve been introduced to and discovered these products are botanical based and remove all the nasty stuff that sits on your skin.

  6. Jenna
    January 19, 2016 / 1:23 am

    Looks gorgeous! Adding it to my shopping list

  7. Katia
    January 19, 2016 / 1:30 am

    I HAD to buy it after reading your rave review! For anyone interested, if you click on the Escentual link the BB cream is currently down to 11 pounds…

  8. Bexx
    January 19, 2016 / 1:35 am

    Actually just bought this straight after reading! I said wow out loud at the after pic! Was in offer at £11 on escentual! xo.

  9. January 19, 2016 / 4:01 am

    It is also available at Target in the U.S. Yay!

  10. anusha
    January 19, 2016 / 6:23 am

    Wowza! Excellent bb cream but sadly no shades for me..

  11. Kimberly
    January 19, 2016 / 8:16 am

    It’s actually £11 at the moment with reallt cheap delivery, just purchased and can’t wait to try! X

  12. January 19, 2016 / 8:22 am

    Egads! It’s on sale for 11 quid! *rushes to try it before it sells out*

    I’ve been hunting anything that works, and in the last 2 weeks I’ve spent way too much on Chanel and Estee Lauder foundations only to be very very disappointed. So 11 quid is definitely worth a try!

  13. Anne McCleary
    January 19, 2016 / 8:34 am

    Estee lauder cc is also worth a go!!

  14. Sophie
    January 19, 2016 / 8:39 am

    Very informative blog! Love it!

  15. January 19, 2016 / 9:03 am

    This sounds as though it would be perfect for teenagers, coverage without being thick or noticeable, perfect for school! I’ll be ordering one for my daughter.

  16. Michelle
    January 19, 2016 / 10:01 am

    Wow! What an incredible effect! I’d be very interested to know how this made your dry skin feel Ruth. Did it absorb oil & make your skin feel even drier? I have the same skin-type as you x

  17. Aoife
    January 19, 2016 / 10:04 am

    It’s £11 right now with £2 postage! Rushed through checkout but there’s over 400 left so get shopping folks! Great bargain! Can’t wait to try this out, I’ve been wanting something like this for ages.

  18. Bex
    January 19, 2016 / 10:13 am

    Sounds like a great product. Ruth, or anyone else who has tried it, do you think it would work in a thin layer as a kind of primer underneath foundation to produce a flawless face?

  19. January 19, 2016 / 10:14 am

    This looks very much aimed at me. I sometimes hate how I feel I *have* to apply foundation/a full face of make up daily as I’ve got oily, hormonal, acne prone skin. There are times though when my skin is pretty clear and I don’t want to wear tonnes of make up so this looks ideal. Most BB Creams I’ve tried are either far too orange (even in the lightest shades), make me look horrendously oily or do absolutely nothing. I’ll take a proper look the next time I’m in Boots…
    She’s So Lucy

    • January 19, 2016 / 8:25 pm

      Yep, could be a good one to test x

  20. January 19, 2016 / 10:15 am

    This sounds brilliant! I’m trying Perricone MD’s no foundation foundation at the mo which I’m loving but this looks like it’d be perfect for the lighter days.

    Really love how you show us the makeup on your actual face instead of just swatches. It makes such a difference when making a purchasing decision. So thank-you!

    • January 19, 2016 / 8:24 pm

      Thanks Alice – you’re welcome! : )

    • January 19, 2016 / 8:25 pm

      Yes, could be handy. Make sure you moisturise well beforehand! : )

  21. Karen
    January 19, 2016 / 10:52 am

    That’s a great result! It’s very natural. Too bad the color range leaves out most women.

  22. January 19, 2016 / 10:57 am

    I will definitely be giving this product a whirl – as a very oily skinned girl I hate the feeling of matte foundations, which are often very powdery and drying so this sounds perfect. Thanks Ruth!x

  23. Caroline
    January 19, 2016 / 11:19 am

    Just ordered mine, thank you for this Ruth-a very honest review as always, great photos. Only £11 too, can’t beat that :)

    • January 19, 2016 / 8:23 pm

      Thanks Caroline – to be honest I was amazed at the difference when I was looking at them on the screen! : )

  24. January 19, 2016 / 11:24 am

    This does look bloody incredible on your skin! It’s only a matter of time before I order this I think :)

    Jess xo

  25. Kate L
    January 19, 2016 / 1:10 pm

    Wow that it some before and after! I literally just made an escentual order and was tempted by this, but put off by the ‘blur’ as these kind of products tend to make me break out (like benefit’s pore minimiser). I think it’s the silicone. It’s a shame because they have a great effect on the appearance of the skin – but for me this is quickly followed by spots. Boo!

    • Kate L
      January 19, 2016 / 1:17 pm

      I just had a second look at the ingredients list. “Aircilium”, whatever it is, is not in the list – but it is in the blurb. But there is a lot of silicone in there. Best avoided for me I think.

  26. Ivi
    January 19, 2016 / 1:16 pm

    Dear Ruth, a totally unglamourous recommendation for you – try using one of Baby’s cotton gauze diapers (nappies?) for “catching” runny noses. So soft and won’t leave your nose red and sore. My baby is now 33 but we all have an oft-washed diaper that we pull out when a cold takes hold. Especially kind to wee baby nose!

  27. Pip
    January 19, 2016 / 1:27 pm

    This stuff really is magical, isn’t it! I bought it a week ago and I love it, it’s perfect on my skin that is still suffering the after effects of an 18 month long bout of adult acne.

    It’s great on my pink-toned skin too. I can’t stop raving about it.

  28. Corinne
    January 19, 2016 / 2:17 pm

    Just bought this. I’m always looking for something to control my oily skin

  29. January 19, 2016 / 3:06 pm

    20% off at Escentual at the moment until midnight. Buy, buy, buy! Can’t wait to try.

  30. Roberta
    January 19, 2016 / 3:43 pm

    Thanks, Ruth. Would you recommend it for older skin type (over 40 yo) as well?

    • January 19, 2016 / 3:56 pm

      I’m hesitant. Only because I don’t know generally what your worries are – that it would be too dry, or sit in fine lines/pores? I don’t find either of those an issue but if I was any dryer then no, it wouldn’t be suitable! x

      • Nina
        July 11, 2016 / 2:57 pm

        I’ve been using this – I’m nearer to 50 with combination/oily skin (and some pesky lines of course). It doesn’t settle into my lines or pores – but I find that I have to do a ‘one time only’ application (with no moisturiser before). If I try to build coverage it tends to move and go patchy on my skin.
        It’s a great product though – I really like it!

  31. Roberta
    January 19, 2016 / 3:57 pm

    Thanks!! what about for older skins (over 40’s)?

    • January 19, 2016 / 4:34 pm

      See answer to another comment! : )

  32. Roberta
    January 19, 2016 / 3:58 pm

    Thanks, Ruth!! My skin just has no glow in the morning. This is basically my issue :o((

    • January 19, 2016 / 8:16 pm

      Then this could be well worth a try. x

  33. Ruth Redman
    January 19, 2016 / 4:11 pm

    I have been using this for a fortnight – after seeing it on your blog – and it is the best product I have ever used. It saves so much time! I’m very fair and I was a bit apprehensive with the colour at first but the results were remarkable. You have to see it to believe it. I recommended to a friend and she is loving it too.

  34. January 19, 2016 / 4:17 pm

    Wow this looks amazing, I have to try this out!

  35. Maria Paola
    January 19, 2016 / 4:36 pm

    Hi Ruth! I was wondering if you could possibly post a side by side comparison/swatches of the two shades? I’ve got strong olive undertones and normally find it quite difficult to find anything of this price range that doesn’t look completely off on me (thanks for nothing, Maltese genes).

  36. Alex
    January 19, 2016 / 4:49 pm

    I have dry-combo skin (18 so slightly oily on the cheeks at the end of the day – but dry everywhere else) , would this be TOO drying for me?

    • January 19, 2016 / 8:15 pm

      My skin has been pretty dry and I haven’t found it drying at all in those places, but I have been prepping my skin well with oils/moisturisers recently! x

      • Rachel
        January 22, 2016 / 1:11 pm

        I am exactly the same! I worry about mattifying products as I can be so dry and dehydrated sometimes but I bought it and have just tried it today and it really is Matt, but it really isn’t drying! It’s worth a try. It’s a strange texture because it feels dry when you apply it, but it has a fantastic finish!

  37. Cherry
    January 19, 2016 / 5:36 pm

    It’s awful. You look really powdered.

  38. Ilse
    January 19, 2016 / 6:43 pm

    Woah. Can’t wait to try this

  39. Ashley
    January 19, 2016 / 7:55 pm

    What do you prefer, this or the bareminerals complexion rescue?

    • January 19, 2016 / 8:15 pm

      V different; this gives a matte finish and has lots of “coverage”, the Bare Minerals is barely there and…juicy. Hard to pick – I would do BM for an “at home” day probably…

      • Ashley
        January 20, 2016 / 3:10 pm

        Haha, well now I think I need both. Thank you and cheers!

  40. January 19, 2016 / 8:05 pm

    Yikes, they need to expand the color range! I hope it comes to the USA!

    • Molly
      January 20, 2016 / 8:55 pm

      Target sells it :)

  41. Gemma
    January 19, 2016 / 8:26 pm

    33% of Escentual at the moment on French pharmacy brands

  42. January 19, 2016 / 8:27 pm

    £11 on until end of today! I have bought in fair – you look fabulous Ruth!

  43. Gemma
    January 19, 2016 / 8:27 pm

    Would you say the fair/light shade is yellow based or pink? It’s difficult to tell online as both shades look quite pinky…
    Btw it’s now only £11 on Escentual! Many thanks

    • January 19, 2016 / 8:50 pm

      I’m going to try and do some swatches in the morning! I can’t decide whether pink or yellow, but I have artificial lights on so it’s hard to tell! I’m going cross-eyed trying to decide! : )

  44. shelley Jessup
    January 19, 2016 / 9:09 pm

    Love this added to payday must buy list! Thanks Ruth x

  45. Julia
    January 19, 2016 / 9:17 pm

    I’ve looked at the ingredients and it has aluminum… I am not a beauty expert- do all mattifing foundations have alluminium (it would totally make sense of course)?
    I am still gonna try it – ppl are going crazy about this BB on

  46. January 19, 2016 / 9:44 pm


  47. Madeline S
    January 19, 2016 / 10:36 pm

    Just ordered this based on your recommendation! I was just on the lookout for a good BB cream, something to just throw on while I take my girl to school in the morning. Also, I’m pregnant and due on the 4th of Feb… My skin’s been so good during pregnancy, no spots, no oiliness, I hope it stays this way although I doubt it! So this BB cream is just what I’m looking for. I used the Maybelline BB cream before and I really liked that one too :)

  48. January 20, 2016 / 7:28 am

    Cherry should have gone to specksavers I think. Lovely finish, can’t believe the price either, fabulous!! Off to get some now

  49. January 20, 2016 / 11:18 am

    Wow, I do not generally go in for mousse like textures but I am sold! Amazing results, and pretty bargainous too! :-)

  50. January 20, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    I am so confused – have this in my basket at the moment as want a light foundation as skin is really bad with acne right now. But not sure about the silicone.

    I know it won’t cover fully and that’s OK but just don’t want to make skin worse. Any ideas for alternatives? Or just give this a go?


  51. Madalyn
    January 20, 2016 / 4:13 pm

    Gotta try this one and it’s on special offer at the moment at £11, thanks!

  52. Rebecca
    January 20, 2016 / 8:11 pm

    Does anyone know if i can use a concealer for blemishes with this? Or would it look weird as the texture will be different?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Rachel
      January 22, 2016 / 1:17 pm

      Hi! I have a few spots and acne scars etc and I haven’t felt the need for a concealer! It’s got amazing coverage, I have just layered more of the BB cream on the areas that need it. I suppose you might be right that using a concealer might be a texture clash as I don’t know of any concealers that would be this matt! Maybe one of those concealers in a stick rather than a liquid would work if you needed a concealer? Hope this helps. X

      • Rebecca
        January 29, 2016 / 8:47 am

        Thanks Rachel! I bought it so will do some experimenting. First impressions are it will be ok without but I really like the finish so it would be great if I can just perfect it, might try a tiny bit of concealer first x

  53. katie
    January 21, 2016 / 8:52 am

    They look really dark….not on your skin Ruth but on your arm…I’d be scared to go that Brown…hopefully they do expand their shade range because it look magical !

  54. Farzana Mannan
    January 21, 2016 / 1:27 pm

    The before and after pictures are pretty amazing. Love to try this for everyday use.

  55. severine
    January 25, 2016 / 5:40 pm

    It looks like the smooth clay foundation from tarte. Do you think that it is similar? If yes I will try then because I love the Tarte one but it is expensive and very hard to get in Europe. Thanks!

  56. Jenna marie
    January 25, 2016 / 8:48 pm

    Does anyone know when it’ll be coming out to Boots?

  57. Emilie
    January 26, 2016 / 9:23 pm

    On which vlog are you wearing it? Thanks Ruth ;)

  58. Julia
    January 27, 2016 / 9:32 pm

    Just tried it out today.
    It sounded like a perfect thing for me. I don’t have a problem skin (no blemishes). My skin is combination. And what I like in foundations/ bb creams etc is for them to perfect the tone and possibly keep the shine at bay.
    I’ve ordered it in the light color. The color is too dark. But what’s worse – the texture exaggerated every dry patch, every line. The bb sits on the skin like a mask…
    I was shocked! Not at all what I was expecting :-(
    Had to wash it off right away- I couldn’t go out like that…
    What a waste of money…

    • Maggie
      January 28, 2016 / 10:53 am

      I couldn’t agree more, this is such an underwhelming product by RP. The Light/Fair colour is very dark on the fingertips but blends to a most unflatteringly FLAT pale colour. The effect is mask-like, and it highlights every teeny tiny bit of dry skin (look at your fingers after you apply and you will see the effect). Yes it blurs very well (probably due to the heavy dose of pore clogging Dimiticone) in the formula, but that’s at the expense of the dried up flat pale mask look. I so wanted to love this but if you have mature skin on the dry side, try the much more expensive but much better By Terry CC cream or similar instead. Looks lovely on Ruth but definitely overhyped.

  59. Nina
    February 2, 2016 / 1:50 pm

    I’ve just ordered this and it’s been reduced to £14!
    Thanks Ruth :-)

  60. Xena
    February 7, 2016 / 5:48 pm

    I bought this based on your recommendation and love it. It’s still a touch too dark/warm. Agree that they need to expand their range. I’m going to try their Rosaliac next. It looks a little pinker and a little lighter.

  61. Elaine
    March 4, 2016 / 12:34 pm

    Looked for it at £11 but best price was £14

  62. Caroline
    March 29, 2016 / 10:42 pm

    Do you use need to apply moisturiser before using this? I bought this product but I’m not sure how to use it!

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:50 pm

      Yes, I would. Then wait for a few minutes and apply sparingly at first, as you would a foundation. But experiment and see what works best for you – it might be that you only need a serum below it, or it works for you on top of cleansed skin. xx

  63. K.B
    April 11, 2016 / 10:59 pm

    This looks so good but its so frustrating it only comes in two shades! I’m of mixed heritage -black afro/caribbean/white european and have a tanned complexion, slightly yellow undertoned, so doubt the darker shade will suit me! Having come back from a bit of concealer shopping/searching today-unsuccessfully it has frustrated me no end as to the minimal selection of shades across the brands for non-white skin colours. Anyway, dont know why I’m telling you this! Love your blog though and the pic is fab! Thanks for the reviews!

  64. MP
    April 15, 2016 / 3:17 pm

    Lovely finish to the skin! You look radiant. I plan on trying, but am still iffy on which color. I am Mac nc20/25–and leaning towards the light/medium shade bb, but in pics I’ve seen it looks a bit orangey on the face. Do you notice any oxidation when worn?

  65. Sue East
    May 21, 2016 / 8:29 am

    I can absolutely confirm that this BB Cream is wonderful, even on older skins and I’m 59. I’d picked it up in Boots on a whim (always like to try new products I see from France) a few weeks ago in Fair/Light to take on holiday with me to Spain. Great coverage but still feels light on the skin and stays put even on hot days! I’ve now bought my second tube hoping for some sunny English summer days to come! If you favour the French ‘no make-up’ make-up look, this is perfect. I just dust a little translucent powder over the top, a brush of blush and some eye-popping mascara and I’m ready to go with a slick of lipstick. It makes you look fresh-faced and ready for the day, even when you’re not!

  66. Eleni
    June 9, 2016 / 4:18 pm

    I want so much to try this product, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have arrived in Greece. How does it compare to La Roche-Posay Anthelios Unifiant blur spf50 in shade rose?

  67. April 3, 2017 / 11:57 am

    I have got a tester of this, but it seems to go really oily and patchy on me after an hour or so. Thinking possibly I am applying it incorrectly or maybe I am using too much?
    Do you use brushes to apply or just your fingers?

  68. Anouk
    February 26, 2018 / 9:18 pm

    No matter HOW I apply this, it just sits on my nose pores. They’re not even that bad, but this makes them look 100x worse (because of course the color doesn’t match perfectly). I mean, I’ve tried over light moisturizer, heavy moisturizer, Tony Moly Egg Primer, a million other primers, squalane, and by blending with a sponge, using a stippling brush… if anyone has any pointers on how to make it work, please advise.


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