Pros: Light and blendable texture, even and natural finish, some SPF, great for casual daily use
Cons: Minimal coverage for major flaws, too watery for some, minimal oil control, packaging
After previously trying Missha's Perfect Cover, I can now say that this Signature is an upgraded version of it. Overall, think of it as Perfect Cover's lighter sister! This has all of the benefits of the Perfect Cover, but with a far more fluid and light texture that is a pleasure to apply.
Just by way of background for those of you who don't know, a BB cream (a "blemish balm" or a "beauty balm") is a skincare product that was originated by German dermatologists, to help patients recovering from surgery. Asian countries (especially Korea) ran with this idea and popularized it, after many Korean actresses began using it. BB creams are a big trend now, after Western countries have also jumped on this bandwagon.
While a BB cream is still a makeup product, it is also intended to be an extension of skincare. That is, it is supposed to be relatively less damaging for skin than foundation because of its skincare benefits. It is supposed to be a primer, moisturizer, foundation, concealer and sunscreen all in one.
Signature's primer function
It is important, though, to separate the hype from reality. I think any consumer will be happy with this product if she goes in with realistic expectations. It has many excellent qualities, but will also not be a one stop shop for all skin care needs that will let you chuck all other products out the window. With respect to it being like a primer, I actually don't see this benefit. I still find that I often have to use primer to produce a smooth canvas, and conceal some of my pores.
Signature's moisturizing function
I also find that it is not particularly moisturizing either. It doesn't necessarily dry out my skin, per se, but I don't find it really hydrates it either. I should say, though, that I have oily combination skin, so take that with a grain of salt if you have a different skin type. I have heard people with normal to dry skin types complain that it picks up dry patches if you don't moisturize in advance. Therefore, keep this in mind that you can't really chuck your moisturizer out with this product.
Signature's foundation and concealing functions
This product does have some foundation and concealer functions, in evening out the skin tone and covering up some minor blemishes. However, I would not necessarily say that you can throw out your foundation and concealer either. This won't necessarily cover up, for instance, major acne, and some of my pores still show through after using this. This is fine for every day, casual use. However, for occasions where you want to glam it up or look flawless, I would still keep my foundation handy!
Signature's sun protection
It does also have some sunscreen benefits, in providing a SPF 25. However, it is a bit of a drawback considering that Perfect Cover (and other BB creams on the market) offer higher SPF than that.
Signature's 23 color
Another possible drawback is that it can be a bit tricky to find a color match, given the limited shades available. This 23, like its equivalent in Perfect Cover, has a slightly yellowish undertone (while the 21 has a pinkish one). It initially goes on greyish, but then oxidizes to eventually match the skin tone.
This is fine for women like me, with relatively lighter skin (about NC 20-25 in MAC). Anyone with olive or darker complexions, though, may find this color too "ashy" for their taste. In my estimate, the darkest anyone can likely be, and still be able to pull off this color, is probably NC 30 at the most. I wish that they would offer more colors but, unfortunately, that is just how Korean BB creams are often made, since they were produced with just Asian consumers in mind. I wish that wasn't so but, that is a reality that consumers have to keep in mind and deal with.
Signature's similarities to Perfect Cover
With all that being said, this BB cream also has excellent qualities that lead me to recommend it. I am guessing that many people who would read this review might have already tried Missha's Perfect Cover, and wonder what the difference is with that product. Missha's Perfect Cover came out first. Missha then developed this newer Signature line, intending for it to be a "new and improved" version of Perfect Cover.
Truth be told, with respect to the color and the coverage, I actually did not see any real difference after trying them both on my face. The 23 color here, to me, looked like the 23 color in the Perfect Cover.
I have also read some reviews elsewhere that this Signature supposedly offers less coverage than the Perfect Cover. However, I personally did not see any real difference in this regard. Both of them offer far less coverage than an actual foundation. However, they both even out the skin while offering a nice, dewy look that appears natural. The main benefit to wearing these is to even out skin, while looking less mask-like than foundation.
Both this and the Perfect Cover also share the same flaw in only being so-so in terms of oil control. I still find that I have to blot or powder towards the end of the day. These products are probably best suited to women with normal to dry skin.
Signature's differences from Perfect Cover
The main differences, in my experience, relate to the feel, texture, ingredients list, packaging, SPF and price. With respect to the texture, this Signature is relatively more watery and fluid, while the Perfect Cover is slightly thicker and more creamy. As a result, the Signature feels relatively lighter on the skin than the Perfect Cover. Furthermore, I found that the Signature was slightly easier to apply and blend into my skin because of its texture. Since it is fluid, it melted into my skin more easily and seamlessly. It took me a bit more work to blend in Perfect Cover.
The Signature is also supposed to be more hypoallergenic than the Perfect Cover, in being free of chemicals and parabens. However, the Signature has a far more extensive list of ingredients than Perfect Cover, so anyone who is really concerned about this should really peruse it to make sure that it suits their skin sensitivities. One potential concern is how Signature contains dimethicone, which some may be allergic to. I also found that the Signature, for whatever reason, had a relatively more faint scent than Perfect Cover. It still has that baby powder scent that Perfect Cover had, but to a lesser degree.
The packaging is also very different, in a way that is not readily apparent until you actually get the product. I'm not sure if it's obvious from looking at the photo, but this one is a hard case, rather than a soft tube that you can squeeze. This has the advantage of looking nice and retaining the shape more easily. However, anyone who really likes to squeeze out every last drop may prefer the Perfect Cover, which has a softer tube that allows you to do this.
The Perfect Cover is also slightly better with respect to price, since it is a bit cheaper than Signature (when I checked on Amazon, Perfect Cover typically can go for less than $20 through discounts and sales, while Signature will be more like the low $20 range). Signature also offers less of a SPF at just 25, while Perfect Cover's is 42.
So in short, the Signature and Perfect Cover in Missha's BB cream line are very similar products overall. I believe that anyone who liked Perfect Cover may also like this Signature, and vice versa. Which one is "better" truly comes down to personal preference for either a cream (like Perfect Cover) or a watery base (like Signature). For anyone who is already using and liking Perfect Cover, I'm not sure this is an absolute "must have" unless, like me, they really prefer a lighter texture.
For all these reasons, this Missha Signature Real Complete BB cream is worth a look for Missha fans out there.