Review: Shills Luminous City Block SPF43/PA+++ | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

06 November, 2013

Review: Shills Luminous City Block SPF43/PA+++

Bought It

Put your hand up if you like BB cream! Now put your other hand up if you're entertained by confusing packaging! Now wave your hands in the air and scream if you'd like to read a review of something that fits into both of those categories!

Shills Luminous City Block may appeal to fans of light coverage BB creams and/or tinted moisturizers... assuming you're not stupid like me and know what you're actually buying.

Shills Luminous City Block SPF43/PA+++

I bought this a couple of months ago from thinking it was simply a suncream, but it's actually more like a tinted moisturizer. Which wouldn't be a bad thing if it weren't so terribly wrong for my skin tone. At first I wasn't going to review Shills City Block because I goofed and it isn't really what I intended to buy, but lately I've had a bunch of search hits from people looking for reviews on this, so I thought I'd at least share some basic info about the product.

For those of you wondering about Shills, it's a Taiwanese brand. I don't know too much about them, but they've piqued my interest for a while because some of their products seem like dupes for popular Western products. Case in point:

Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector
Shills Luminous City Block SPF43/PA+++ Sun Proof Milk Frost
Shills Luminous City Block

Notice any similarities? I haven't tried Clinique's City Block so I can't compare, but it seems like Shills was at least "influenced" by Clinique's concept. Oh, and in case you're wondering why the box says "Luminous City Block" but the tube says "Sun-Proof Milk Frost" - I HAVE NO IDEA. It also says "Sun Block" on the tube but "BB Cream" on the box. Yet it does say that it's "Sun-Proof Milk Frost/Sun Block" in tiny letters on the pink part of the box so I guess I'm concluding that they are the same thing. You can't blame me for being confused about what this item is for, right?

Anyway, here's the product info from

Shills Luminous City Block is a sun block make-up base that regulates dull, pale and fatigue skin tone, and enhances translucency. The SPF43/PA+++ product effectively protects against UV rays and environmental pollution.

How to use it
Apply a thin even coat before make-up.

That makes it sound like an SPF primer, right? I'm not crazy. Well, maybe I'm a little crazy. Here are the ingredients for those of you who like to know about that sort of stuff:

The list pictured above matches what's listed on the tube. But there is also a second ingredients list on the box that doesn't match this or what's on the tube. Yes, really. Here ya go:

I have no fucking clue. Sorry, guys. I found the product on the Shills website here, and it does list the product as "City Block". I'd think this tube was a fake, except I bought it from Sasa (which is reputable) and the product does have the authenticity sticker on it. So maybe a recent rebranding, perhaps? If anyone can clarify this matter please let us know in the comments!

Anyway, I used this on my face despite the confusion (GASP) and didn't experience any adverse effects, so let's get on with the review. The packaging isn't anything fancy, just a squeezy toothpaste-type tube with a screw-on cap:

The cream itself has a nice texture - it's thick enough to not be runny, and moist without feeling too heavy or greasy. I wasn't expecting this cream to have much of a tint, but boy was I wrong:

It's not blended in all the way, but you can already tell that this is wrong for my skin tone. I wouldn't say this is especially similar to most Asian BB creams in terms of coverage - it's really more like a lighter tinted moisturizer. I tested this while I was having a bit of an acne breakout on my chin and here are the results:

L: No makeup - R: With Shills City Block/Milk Frost

Not too bad, actually. And my face didn't even fall off. You can put your hands down now, by the way.

Overall impressions: I don't really know how to draw conclusions on this product, because I'm still not 100% certain that I got what I bought. But if we're considering it as an unscented, non-greasy, tinted moisturizer with SPF it certainly seems OK for the price. I will not be repurchasing this simply because it's a bad match for my skintone, but if you have yellower undertones then Shills Luminous City Block/Milk Frost may work for you. The packaging is nothing special, but for base makeup in the sub-$10 price range my packaging expectations aren't sky-high so it's OK.

Where to buy: I got mine from If you know of any other sources or have further info on this product do let us know!

Have you ever tried anything by Shills? What are your favorite BB creams and tinted moisturizers?


  1. Thanks for the review - I have the Clinique's City Block, this looks like a dupe :) xx

    1. Is Clinique's version a similar color? I've been curious about it but I don't need any more makeup that doesn't match my skin tone! :P

  2. This makes me laugh. Especially how the ingredients don't match. And hoooray for bb creams that don't match the skin. I myself have quite the collection. :)

    1. Haha, glad it was good for something! I continue to be baffled by the double ingredients list. I sort of want somebody to come up with a rational explanation for it in the comments, but on the other hand the mystery amuses me...

  3. What a funny product considering the packaging, the description and the list of ingredients :D And it looks really similar to clinique product design. :D

  4. Haha, I love trying to figure out products like that. I have a Shills primer somewhere, but it gives my face a peculiar burning sensation... :P

    1. Um... you probably shouldn't use it then, haha! I also have a Shills moisturizer that I've been meaning to review and it's totally fine. Nothing spectacular, but no face burning sensations whatsoever.