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BB cream

Blemish free: Clinique’s new BB cream. Photograph: Richard Pierce for the Observer

Not like BB King, or a BB gun. And not like BB as in “babes”, or Big Brother, or the boys’ brigade. BB stands for “blemish balm”. It’s new and it’s nice. It gained popularity in Korea, where BB creams account for 13% of make-up sales, then came over here last summer, when all the beauty brands quickly began to conjure up their own versions. Basically it’s a tinted moisturiser that is meant to improve skin quality, and it also doubles up as a make-up primer. They vary in their coverage, sun protection and the promises they make, but the thing they have in common is that they’re lovely on the skin. Whether they actually do any healing is debatable, but they feel so comfortable they’re worth a go. MAC’s BB cream (21, seems to last longer than most, has a thumping 35SPF and the coverage of a light foundation. If you want to give BB a go but not commit wallet-wise, try Garnier’s (8.49, which fades over a day, but provides a lovely gentle base.

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Beauty spot: BBs, or blemish balms