Erborian BB Crème Au Ginseng

As far as no-nonsense bases go the Erborian BB Crème au Ginseng, £36, has a lot going for it. Although if texture and feel are your thing then you may not be so enamoured. There's a 5-in-1 formula, which means -- it mattifies, reduces the appearance of blemishes, refines skin texture, moisturises and plumps, and has a velvety non-oily finish. Don't forget a Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen. 

On the plus side, you can blend this in using your fingertips and get a very decent coverage and no patchiness. There is a slight dry-down that you don't feel when you're wearing it, but you notice to the touch. I suspect this would make it a brilliant base for oilier or combination complexions where shine is an issue or where more fluid formulas slip off halfway through the day. 

The crème promises a 'baby skin' effect and I'd say that a refined, even finish is definitely a fair way to describe the finish  - whether that looks like baby skin is open for debate.

The tube is a generous 45ml and in my road-testing has been really easy to wear. I've worn it to exercise in when I looked rough and I've used it as a simple base when I wore a red lip and spidery lashes. The benefit with the latter was that while it covered what I didn't want to the world to see, it let my skin's natural health come through. 

If you like a bit of 'slip' or a smooth feel to your base then this might not be for you. Definitely swatch it on the back of your hand and feel the way it dries-down. It doesn't budge though and unlike other BBs that imply a slightly less intense coverage, this definitely delivers on the pigment front. The price-tag is because of the energising ingredients that have been thrown into the mix, so if you know your skin gets tired - read: looks dull, lacklustre easily - then a base that contains the kind of ingredients packed into this tube might be a good call.