Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Color Corrector Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Clinique's fragrance-free CC Cream reminds us of their BB cream in that both were made to capitalize on a popular trend in cosmetics, but neither product improves on what's already available. If you're loyal to Clinique, you may want to keep reading; otherwise, there's really nothing to be too excited about here.
If you're wondering what the difference is between CC creams and BB creams, here's the answer: It's all about marketing language, nothing more. Generally, a BB cream from a U.S. brand is akin to a tinted moisturizer, while a CC cream tends to be more like a liquid foundation. In reality, there is no rhyme or reason behind the product names when companies launch their versions of these products—they can be completely different from what you expect.
BB and CC creams typically provide sun protection and may or may not include beneficial ingredients such as antioxidants or skin-lightening agents (but the best ones do). Neither BB nor CC creams are as revolutionary as they're made out to be—it's just a new twist on tinted moisturizers and foundations.
Clinique's entry provides broad-spectrum sun protection from a mix of mineral and synthetic actives. The synthetic actives make this product potentially iffy to use right up to the eye, as you normally would a complexion-enhancing product like this, because synthetic sunscreen ingredients can be irritating if applied in the eye area.
This does contain a smattering of beneficial ingredients, but nothing that cannot be found in lots of other products, and it contains nothing that's all that corrective.
Clinique claims this product "creates a natural glow in seconds," and that's due to the satin-like finish it leaves once blended. The texture is creamy and notably thick, which isn't the best for a smooth application, but it's workable with just a bit of effort. Still, this doesn't feel as good as lots of foundations or even as good as some competing CC and BB creams, so our overall thinking is "Why bother?"
Still curious? This provides light to medium coverage, just like lots of liquid foundations, and is best for normal to dry skin not prone to breakouts.
As for the shades: They're quite good, and include options for fair to dark (but not very dark) skin tones. The Medium shade is a bit iffy because it tends to go on slightly peach, and then look more peachy as the day goes on. The darkest shade, Deep, isn't as dark as the name suggests, but it's a good color, as are Very Light, Light, and Light-Medium.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Good shade range.
- Goes on and feels somewhat thick, rather than smooth and lightweight.
- Considering the hype, the formula doesn't have as many beneficial ingredients as it could.
- Doesn't distinguish itself as a must-have product; lots of liquid foundations are easier to blend and look better on skin.
Strengths: A few excellent moisturizers and serums; excellent sunscreens; very good cleansers and eye makeup removers; unique mattifying products; impressive selection of foundations, good concealers; some remarkable mascaras; much-improved eyeshadows, lip colors and blush formulas.
Weaknesses: Bar soaps (which can clog pores and dull skin); alcohol-based toners; unfortunate choice of jar packaging for antioxidant-loaded moisturizers.
Estee Lauder-owned Clinique launched the concept of cosmetics being "allergy-tested," "hypoallergenic," "100% fragrance-free," and "dermatologist tested." Of those marketing claims, the only one with significance is "100% fragrance-free," which, for the most part, Clinique maintains (although it does add some fragrant extracts to a few products). Unfortunately, terms like hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested aren't regulated by the FDA and can mean anything, thus, you still need to rely on the ingredient list to tell you whether their product contains any ingredients with the potential to irritate skin.
That inconvenient fact aside, Clinique is leading the way with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums, plus some formidable makeup and more than a few excellent sunscreens. While Clinique has some products that we see as missteps for reasons discussed in their reviews, more than ever, what they offer is quite good (just have realistic expectations, as some of their claims go beyond what their products are capable of).
Turning to makeup, Clinique continues to offer a vast palette of colors and textures, especially with their enormous selection of foundations, many of which feature effective sunscreens. Without a doubt, the numerous formulas offer something for every skin type and almost every skin color, though the blushes, eye makeup and lip colors are frequently not pigmented enough for deeper skin tones.
The bottom line is that, despite a few shortcomings, Clinique is one of the most comprehensive (and comparably affordable) department-store makeup lines, and it is completely understandable why they enjoy such broad appeal.
Note: Clinique is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Clinique does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they dont test on animals unless required by law. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Team.
For more information about Clinique, call (800) 419-4041 or visit www.clinique.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.