First off, if you're wondering how CC creams are different from BB creams, here's the scoop: It's all about marketing language, nothing more. Generally, a BB cream from U.S. cosmetics brands is basically a tinted moisturizer, while a CC cream is more like a liquid foundation, but not always (in this case it's a creamy compact). They typically provide sun protection and may or may not include beneficial ingredients like antioxidants or skin-lightening agents. Neither BB nor CC creams are as revolutionary as they are made out to be, and there is little consistency among BB and CC's from different brands.
So how does this CC cream perform? To start, the name is a little misleading. The creamy texture blends on evenly enough, but sets to a powder-like finish that feels more matte than hydrating (you won't be getting a "surge" of moisture). Although this marketed to dry skin types it's best for normal to slightly dry or slightly oily (read: combination) skin.
In terms of beneficial ingredients, the fragrance-free formula has some antioxidants and skin- repairing ingredients. Not an abundant amount, but every little bit helps. The best thing this will do for your skin is provide broad spectrum sun protection. As for "colour correcting" properties, it provides medium coverage to and hide imperfections.
The shade range is hit or miss; each of the shades with "Light" as part of their name have pink or peach undertones that are less than flattering, but the other shades are fine and cater all the way to deep skin tones.
All in all, this isn't a bad CC cream, but not an amazing one either. See our Best CC Creams list for superior options.
Active: Octinoxate (5.5%), Titanium Dioxide (4.7%). Other: Isotridecyl Isononanoate, Dimethicone, Squalane, Dextrin Palmitate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Talc, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Alumina, Glycerin, Salicylic Acid, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Tocopherol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Nylon-12, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Stearic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Silica, Magnesium Myristate, Tin Oxide, Dehydroacetic Acid. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Iron Oxides.
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 brand’s state that they don’t 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.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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