Read Stila's description of its CC Color Correcting Cream and you might think you've stumbled onto a science fiction novel! With terms like "Micro-Encapsulated Pigments," "Photonic Crystal Technology," and "Chroma-Luminescent Technology," you'd think this is a product that's going to change the way makeup works and earn its rightful place when we colonize Mars! This isn't a revolutionary product, but it is a great CC cream for people curious about checking out the latest beauty craze!
Before we get down to specifics about this CC cream, we need to explain the differences between CC creams and BB creams: It's marketing, nothing more. Generally, BB creams from U.S. cosmetics brands are similar to tinted moisturizers, whereas BB creams from Asia are generally thicker and have a high SPF rating. CC creams are more like liquid foundations, but not always. BB and CC creams 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're made out to be, and there's certainly no consistency among products from different brands. We know, we know … it's completely confusing, but there you have it.
Stila's CC Cream feels and looks very much like a lightweight tinted moisturizer. Perhaps the most interesting thing is that out of the tube, this CC cream is a pale greenish gray color (the green cast is supposed to help reduce facial redness). Thankfully, this color adjusts to a flesh-toned hue once you've blended it in. There are seven shades for light to medium skin tones, and they are all surprisingly natural-looking.
CC Color Correcting Cream blends quickly and easily, almost melting into the skin for sheer to medium coverage of redness and minor skin imperfections. It feels moisturizing and leaves a soft, slightly dewy finish that almost makes it look like you're wearing nothing at all—the result is just a more even skin tone. This CC Cream also doesn't emphasize lines, wrinkles, or pores, and it wears well throughout the day.
We're pleased to report that this CC cream provides true broad-spectrum sun protection, and because it is so sheer, you can apply it liberally enough to get the full benefit of that sun protection, without getting too much color.
Note: This product contains alcohol (listed as ethanol), but it's unclear how much is included (it doesn't have an alcohol scent, and there isn't that cooling sensation on the skin that indicates the presence of a high amount of alcohol) because the inactive ingredients are listed in alphabetical order rather than in descending order of content. This is permissible in this case because the product is regulated as an over-the-counter drug in the United States. However, we have more respect for companies that choose instead to list their non-active sunscreen ingredients in descending order of concentration, so you know more about what you are putting on your face, just like with any other moisturizer or foundation. It is because of this uncertainty that this product did not earn our "BEST" rating.
Makeup artist Jeanine Lobell has been at the helm of Stila since its inception in 1994, and her creations have an impressive history of blending innovation with eye-catching, fun packaging. Of course, this innovation is not without its price, and you will find some rather ordinary products where the packaging or dispensing method is the only thing that's exciting. Where Lobell struck gold is with her superlative collection of foundations. We’ve examined hundreds of makeup lines for this and previous editions of this book, and Stila has had and continues to maintain one of the best collections of truly neutral foundation colors. For anyone confused about what we mean by "neutral tones," you need look no further, though we are pleased that more mainstream lines (including L'Oreal, Revlon, Clinique, and even Cover Girl) are now creating wonderfully neutral foundation colors. Stila's foundations aren't inexpensive, but it's critical to get a foundation that's right for you, and that may mean splurging. Other stellar categories include concealers, blush, eyeshadows, brushes, and much better mascaras than in years past.
Once an independent brand with a first-to-market approach to clever cardboard packaging that was sleek, urban, and utilitarian at the same time, Stila's presence and product lineup and distribution expanded (with mostly favorable results) when it was acquired by Estee Lauder in 1999. It was a bit perplexing when Lauder announced in late 2005 that it would sell Stila to "optimize our portfolio of brands" and put more attention (read: financial resources) into their M.A.C. and Bobbi Brown brands (Source: The Rose Sheet, April 17, 2006, page 4). Ironically, of those three brands, Stila has the most compelling collection of products. M.A.C. and Bobbi Brown are no slouches, but Stila always had a slight edge, at least in the complexion-enhancing categories.
An affiliate of Sun Capital Partners (naming itself Stila Corporation) bought the brand from Lauder in spring 2006 and has been at the helm since. Lauder's no longer owning Stila led to the brand's hasty exit from department stores, a move that left many shoppers wondering what the heck happened (and, at least in the stores we visited, the sales associates were vague about the line's future). Luckily, Stila still has a home in Sephora stores worldwide, and is randomly distributed in select department stores. That's great news, because there is much to love about this line, and the most recent crop of products proves that Stila has every intention of remaining a competitive player in the compelling game that is the cosmetics industry.
For more information about Stila, visit www.stilacosmetics.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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