Product Test Drive: Garnier BB Cream vs. Garnier BB Cream For Combo/Oily Skin

The most popular search on my blog is for BB Creams. I love these for those days when you want a lighter coverage that's easy to apply. I keep one in my Beauty To-Go Box. I think I've reviewed almost all of the drugstore versions--you can check out my BB Cream reviews here--and while these aren't Asian BB Creams, I'm a fan of them regardless. My personal drugstore favorite is the Garnier BB Cream, which is so nice for dry skin, but leaves you super shiny if you have oily skin. Luckily, Garnier now also has a formula just for combination/oily skin. After a year of using the original, and a few months of using the combo/oily, I'm reviewing them both today. Enjoy!

Garnier BB Cream--original formula
  • SPF 15
  • 2.5 oz
  • 3 shades: fair, light/medium, medium/deep
  • best for dry skin
  • flip top cap
  • thick formula
  • +- $12
Garnier BB Cream--combo/oily skin
  • SPF 20
  • 2.0 oz
  • 3 shades: light/medium, medium/deep, deep
  • best for oily/combo skin
  • screw top cap
  • runny formula
  • +- $12 (I used a coupon for a few dollars off)
Swatches of Oily/Combo formula in Med/Deep and Light/Med
I'm currently mixing them both, since I'm in between shades.

These are the same shades, but different formulas.
The original formula is very thick.
The c/o formula is runny and a slight bit darker.

Here they are rubbed in a little on my arm. 
Obviously this is not blended in, as
I just wanted to show the differences.

On your left, I have the original light/med on my face. It is slightly dewier.
On your right, I have the light/med combo/oily on my face. It has less coverage, 
allowing my freckles to peep through.
Neither formula matches my skin perfectly at the moment, 
but I wanted to show the same shade.
This photo has not been altered in any way, and used natural lighting.

  • I liked them both. I've repurchased the original a couple of times, and would repurchase the c/o formula. Both are easy to apply.
  • The original formula is much thicker, and I felt it gave a bit more coverage, and left a glow to my skin. While I like the moisture it provides, sometimes it can be a little too much in summer months, so I can use powder, but using the c/o (combination.oily) formula would solve that.
  • The c/o formula is very thin and runny, but gave a light-slightly medium coverage, and only slightly less coverage than the orig. formula. I didn't find it drying, which makes it perfect for dry skin, too.
  • This is the thinnest BB Cream I've ever tried, and I would liken it to Maybelline's Dream Fresh BB Cream. Oily skin will like this. It is not a mattifying or drying product, and nicely sinks a little into skin. I would suggest buying this if you are in the market for a new bb cream to try.
  • I do not like the cap on this product--it cannot be stored with the cap on the bottom, because it leaks out once opened. Such a mess! I prefer the flip-top cap instead.
  • C/O has more SPF, but is half an ounce less, and costs the same. It used to be a dollar more, so I'm glad to see the price come down.
  • C/O can be used as a makeup base if you have dry skin.
  • I experienced no breakouts from either.

If you're a BB Cream fan, let me know your faves!

Questions? Comments? Let me know, below!


  1. so informative! I usually like 'runnier' on these ones - I need to give these a try. I'm desperately in need of new face makeup.

  2. I love BB Creams. I have oily skin. I'm currently using Two Faced tinted beauty balm, my skin is happy with it. I'll give this new formula a try.

  3. I found the c/o formula is much more matte and fuller coverage, actually. I actually have dry skin on my face but I have issues with rosacea and other blemishes on my cheeks...while I like the dewy finish on the regular formula, it doesn't last that long on me! By the end of the work day it's as if I haven't put on anything at all. The c/o formula however, stays much better and gives me better coverage for my problem spots. However, if I don't want as much of a matte finish I do go over it with the normal formula (I bought the c/o one by mistake).

  4. Excellent review Elle! The only thing holding me back are the shades. Not sure if they would match my skin tone :S

  5. I'm a foundation devotee, and usually move to tinted moisturiser during very hot summers - but with all of the talk about BB Creams lately, I think I may have try one of them this summer instead. Thanks for this review; both of the BB Creams you featured look great on you!

  6. I've been seeing the commercials for these and wondering how they were - good to know that you liked them both ;)

  7. I use the original formula and had no idea one for oily skin existed. I actually mix the original with a matte perfector from Avon called Magix. It takes some of the shine away.


  8. your reviews are always so thorough! that's one of the things I love about your blog! I've been wanting to try a BB cream for a while now but haven't gotten around to it. I don't wear a ton of makeup (in fact, right now, I only have on a correcting powder and bronzer - no foundation or anything), so I'm afraid I wouldn't wear it much if I bought it. That's why reviews are so helpful! :)
    - Heather

  9. I tried the original and had a HORRIBLE breakout. Liked the coverage but I can't have volcanoes on my skin. Glad it work ok for you :)

  10. Judging from the pic, both look great, but I do like a heavier coverage so I'd probably stick to the original formula which I love:)

  11. I'm a huge fan of Garnier's BB Cream - I didn't know they made a version for oily skin. My skin definitely tends to be on the oilier side so I feel like I should check this out!

    Courtney ~ http://sartorialsidelines.com

  12. Great reviews Elle, i been intrigue by this product and thank you for the reviews and may have to try this for a cheaper alternative to Clinique.


  13. I actually had a chance to try out the original Garnier BB cream this weekend- my mom had some on on her makeup counter, and I went, "Ooh, I want to try this!" Liked it, but a little too thick for me. I definitely need to try out the oily/combo version, as I tend to get a little shiny in the t-zone after a while.

    Great review, Elle!


  14. I just got the regular one! It is nice to know there is a formula for combination skin though I think I'd prefer the coverage of the regular formula!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  15. Great review. Haven't tried this one but I have used the one from Stee Lauder and it's also really good!

  16. Thanks for this love! I've been thinking about picking the c/o one, but I'm trying to use up my maybelline and a few cc samples first.

  17. Great review. My favorite BB Cream is the tarte one.

  18. hmmm. maybe i should try this. my skin is kind of oily, so i have to be careful. makeup in the sweaty hot summer months is so tricky. i love coverage and looking fresh and dewy (ok, gag at that description, but you know what i mean), but i don't like to look like i have on a thick, sweaty mask of makeup. lol. so sometimes lighter coverage is nice.

  19. Great review! I still have yet to try one of these.

  20. Great review! I've only tried the original, but I've been curious about the new version.

  21. Thanks for the great review! I'm currently using Maybelline, but maybe I'll pick up some Garnier if I see it.

    I always seem to be between shades, too. Right now I have three different colors of foundation on my dresser!

  22. It's odd that they made the original one with more coverage when those with oily skin breakout and are more likely to need more coverage. I tried the original BB cream before the combo/oily version came out. I hated it. It is so orange on my very white skin, seeing your swatches I don't think the other will work for me either. Oh well, I'm still in love with my Skin79 :)

  23. This is interesting, you would think a thicker formula would provide more protection against oiliness. Great review, xoxo.

  24. I have just recently started using it and so far I love it. I have had a few breakouts, but generally do when I first start anything new on my face. I barely use any extra foundation with it and for those of you with several different shades of foundation, mix them. As the summer/winters end, I never buy more. I always mix my colors to get me through to the end of whatever season I am in. Thanks for your input on the product!!


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