If you’ve walked through a Sephora recently, you’ve probably noticed a bright yellow tub with a white lid labeled Bum Bum Cream, made by Brazilian beauty brand Sol de Janeiro. But did you actually stop to smell it? Or test it on your skin? If not, do yourself a favor and turn back around. Not only does it have 90,000 likes on Sephora.com, but most of its reviews are five stars and the word “obsessed” is used A LOT—I’d describe my own sentiments that way as well.
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So what makes it different than other body creams? When I picture Brazilian women, the likes of Gisele, Adriana Lima and other gorgeous supermodels come to mind. They exude that effortless beauty and sexiness that many women long for, and Sol de Janeiro’s mission is to capture that. “Brazilian women love feeling beautiful and feminine, and they LOVE their beauty rituals—they worship the body,” says Camila Pierotti, the brand’s cofounder and Brazilian beauty ambassador. “Because Brazil has a hot climate year-round, the body is always exposed. They take pride in always smelling delicious (they even have a word for it: cheirosa), keeping their skin hydrated, feeling soft and smooth, and keeping their feet and hands touchable. It’s a nationwide obsession! Brazilians know how to play up their best assets and do everything possible to care for them in the best possible way.”
Heela Yang, cofounder and CEO of Sol de Janeiro, explains that the inspiration behind Bum Bum Cream, the brand’s hero product, was the body part Brazilians are most preoccupied with: the bum. “There’s even a Miss BumBum contest in Brazil,” says Yang. However, the cream isn’t just reserved for your booty. It’s chock-full of guarana, a Brazilian berry loaded with caffeine that delivers a firming effect to the skin, as well as cupuacu butter, acai oil and coconut oil for a silky-smooth feel without any greasiness. Use it on your arms, legs, stomach, and anywhere in between.
Another bonus: There’s a touch of mica in the cream that lends a little shimmer to wherever you apply it for an instant glow. “When light hits the skin, the mica accentuates the body’s natural curves and muscle tone, giving you a touch-me-now look,” Yang says.
To make the formula smell just as good as it makes skin feel, Yang, Pierotti and their partner, Marc Capra, knew the fragrance needed to be delicious and irresistible, but unlike any other scent on the market. After months of trial and error, they landed on the perfect blend of pistachio and salted caramel, which they call “Cheirosa ’62.”
“Our scent is so easy to fall in love with and our customers are always telling us they get so many compliments when they wear it,” says Yang. “Many people compare it to a decadent dessert; others say it triggers memories of their favorite beach vacation. It’s addiction at first whiff. My favorite compliment is to hear that our customers’ partners can’t keep their hands off them. We hear tons of these stories!”
One thing you may not know about this cult-favorite cream ($45), however, is how you pronounce it. “Bum Bum is pronounced boom-boom,” says Yang. But regardless of how you say it, you can’t go wrong with this smells-so-good-you-can’t-resist-it cream that gives you that Brazilian something we all want.