"Bigger than BB" Big Easy Multi-Balancing Complexion Perfector with SPF 35 ($38)

Rating:  Trust It!

It is rare that I write a product review this early on in the testing process, especially one this positive, and on a cosmetic product no less!  As much as I would love to be, I'm no make-up junkie.  So believe me when I tell you, this one has truly earned its endorsement.

But let me begin by saying that I have a love-hate relationship with SPF facial moisturizers and face creams in general.  Yet it is a necessity in my life.   A facial care routine with an SPF lotion is a must for any woman looking to protect her skin from sun damage (and therefore premature wrinkling).  However despite all of my best efforts to find the perfect one, they always make my skin more oily.  Part of the "blessing" if you will of having olive-toned skin that hardly ever burns is that it comes with its fair share of excess facial oil.  So suffice to say, finding a balance between protecting my skin and keeping it looking its best has been a hard one to master, and it constantly changes as my life evolves and the weather changes.  Which is why my make-up routine consists of the lightest SPF face lotion I can find, topped with Bare Escentuals matte powder foundation and LORAC's TANtilizer Bronzer.  Powder, powder, and more powder (oh yeah and tons of those oil blotting sheets) has been my weapon of choice to try to keep it under control.

That is, until I found the Big Easy.  I received a sample of this cream with a purchase from Ulta, which was convenient as they were out of my usual tinted moisturizer.  Happy to have something to hold me over, I applied it for the first time that afternoon after washing my face.  When I began to rub it into my skin, I noticed that it went on thicker than most lotions, even most foundations, and that a little did not go a long way.  My first reaction was not a good one, thinking "Oh boy here we go, another expensive make-up gimmick that says one thing but does another."  Not one to give up, I kept spreading it over my skin and to my wonder and amazement, I watched the cream transform itself into a light powdery texture.  I was even more impressed that, when I went to apply my usual top coating of matte powder foundation, I found that I didn't need to apply any more make up with the Big Easy's smooth finish.  Elatedly surprised, I applied my bronzer and (weeheew!) I was done.

"So this is cool," I then thought to myself, "but let's see how it holds up to real life."  Over the next few days I kept on applying the Big Easy.  And the natural, matte finish it had in the morning kept on lasting throughout the day, not a bit of shininess in sight.  Yet the ultimate test would be if it could hold up to an evening of cooking and entertaining, which in the past always turned my skin into a massive grease-fest.  Sure enough, it passed with flying colors, keeping my skin smooth and oil-free.  I can't wait to trek it back over to Ulta, purchase the full size and make it a part of my regular skin routine.

Now, let's see what it has to say about a South Carolina summer...

... as reviewed by Katherine Hanson.