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Months ago, I got a sample in my Birchbox that I thought had changed my life.

A big claim for makeup, yes, but you have to understand the struggles I’ve had with my skin through the years. I’ve had acne since elementary school and gone through nearly every prescription possible, from the ones that made my skin uber sensitive to sun to the ones that required storage in the refrigerator (I can’t tell you how frickin’ cold that was each night when Mom had to spread it on my back) to the ones that dye every fabric it comes in contact with, so my pillow cases, pajama tops and bathroom towels looked bleached.

As an adult — and only relatively recently — I’ve found a regiment that works for me. My skin is, dare I say it, pretty clear. Oh sure, I get the occasional blemish, but I know how to treat it, and they’re pretty few and far between. That’s not to say my skin is perfect — decades of acne will leave some scars, and the zits that come along leave a dark spot on the skin that lasts two to three times longer than the ones did when I was younger. Heck, I don’t even remember there being a dark spot on the skin after a pimple went away when I was younger.

This is all to say, my face makeup is very important to me. When my skin looks blemish-free and not so oily it takes three to four of those face blotting sheets to make it normal, I feel a sense of relieved happiness.

A few months ago, Birchbox sent me a sample of something called Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm. I had never heard of a BB cream before then, but it touted all kinds of benefits — a lightweight formula that acted as a moisturizer and evened out skin tone. That sounded perfect!

I used the crap out of that sample and thought it was brilliant. I happily forked over the cash for a full-sized bottle.

Now, when I use Birchbox samples, I don’t use them consistently. I work it into my normal makeup routine, so I may have used the sample two or three times a week, and barely on back-to-back days. When I received the full-size product, it became my go-to foundation. I still needed some spot cover up for the days with the angry blemishes, but it worked beautifully as foundation. It lasted all day, I wasn’t oily by 5 p.m. and it covered. Brilliant.

Eventually, I noticed a problem. I was getting more and more of those underground pimples, the ones you can’t really see but that hurt like a sunofabitch. And they were all on my cheeks, which is the primary place I put my foundation.

Could it be that this beautiful BB cream was breaking me out? I stopped using it and, immediately, the pimples went away.

Well I’ll be damned!

Not wanting the (not inexpensive) wonderful product to go to waste, I gave it to a friend who likes fancy pants makeup and proceeded with my regular routine.

Then about two or three weeks ago, I saw a product called Dream Fresh BB by Maybelline. I love Maybelline products. Their foundations have never steered me wrong, and I love their pressed powder. I figured I’d give it a try.

Lo and behold, it was just as wonderful as the (much pricier) Dr. Jart! Hurray!

Except … dammit, it broke me out after a few uses, too.

Which means I have found this wonderful makeup — BB cream– that works beautifully but, for some reason, is rejected by my skin.