The ABCs of beauty: BB creams, CC creams, and beyond

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The ABCs of beauty: BB creams, CC creams, and beyond

BB Cream

The BB cream craze first caught on in East Asia, where they're referred to as blemish balms, blemish bases, or beauty balms. Here in the United States, we call them beauty balms too. We're a little surprised this muti-tasking, all-in-one wonder product only recently became hot on the U.S. market, but now that it is, we're major fans. Where else can you find a moisturizer, primer, sunscreen, and foundation all in one handy tube? Different BB creams hawk varying benefits, but we've tested quite a few. Click through to see our favorites. 

BB Cream

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

This crazy-affordable formula comes in a range of tones, from light to deep, and, most importantly, packs some serious bang for your buck. This 8-in-1 wonder BB promises to blur imperfections, even skin tone, smooth, hydrate, and provide SPF - all without oils or heavy ingredients. Now that's quite the drugstore find!

BB Cream

Estee Lauder DayWear Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Cream

It's no wonder this classic brand rolled out an equally classic BB cream. This formula contains special anti-oxidant protection, and a super-hydrating complex that controls and diminishes oil. Two shades cover a wide variety of skin tones, so this is a good purchase if you're shopping online. 

BB Cream

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream

This product gets an A+ in our books for blend-ability - coverage is sheer and the formula sinks right into skin. No one could tell we were wearing makeup!

BB Cream

Lumene Vitamin C+ Illuminating Anti-Age BB Cream

This hydrating and brightening formula is a great all-around cream. Use alone or under foundation to cover imperfections and even out skin tone. You can't go wrong with this BB cream - it feels great, smells yummy, and the price point can't be beat. 

CC Cream

We like to think of the CC cream as an advanced, refined version of the BB cream. It's not necessarily better than the beloved BB cream, but whether you choose a CC or a BB depends on your personal skincare needs. The "CC" stands for color control - CC creams are a perfect choice for evening out skin tone and diminishing redness. They're also known for being ultra-blendable. Click through for our StyleList tested CC cream picks. 

CC Cream

Peter Thomas Roth CC Cream

An anti-aging treatment, sunscreen, complexion corrector, and tinted moisturizer all in one, this formula contains 30 times the amount of Vitamin C than an orange. Speaking of oranges, we love that this do-it-all cream smells faintly of the fruit without being overpowering. This is the perfect CC to invest in if you're looking to keep skin super-bright (Vitamin C is a huge proponent in skin brightening) and fight signs of aging. 

CC Cream

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream

We usually love Clinique's sensitive skin-friendly products, and this ultra-hydrating, yet lightweight formula proves no different. This cream goes on silky smooth, and lasts several hours without fading, all while leaving your complexion more even-toned. One StyleList staffer with chronic redness was especially pleased with this product, which also combats sallow and ashy skin. 

CC Cream

Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream 

We would use this lightweight cream as more of a tinted primer. Formulated especially for dark spots, what this product has going for it is a fabulous texture.. Skin was left smoother to the touch, and we were also quite pleased with its staying power. 

CC Cream

AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact

Though it's the most pricy option of the bunch, this standout CC cream is certainly worth a splurge. The silky liquid coverage turns into a refined emulsion when packed inside its' little silver compact - meaning the formula is part liquid, part powder, and possibly part magic. Apply as little or as much as you want with the accompanying makeup sponge, and skin will be hydrated and more even-toned. We also can't help but be impressed by AmorePacific's mix of botanical ingredients, which help to soothe skin and inhibit bacteria growth. 

DD Cream

Julep DD Creme

We've covered BB creams and CC creams, but DD creams were brand new territory for us. This "dynamic do-all" formula promises to go above and beyond BB and CC creams to moisturize, prime, perfect, and protect skin. Although this brand-new breakthrough in skincare came out last summer, we've tested it out and can't wait for it to actually hit stores. DD cream offers a more buildable coverage, perfect for those with blemishes or imperfections they'd rather leave hidden. We were also impressed with the radiant sheen the formula left behind. 


Is it just us, or does it seem like suddenly drugstore beauty aisles and department store cosmetics counters have been littered with the letters of the alphabet? We're pretty sure we're not the only ones to have taken notice of all the new BB and CC cream products being marketed as of late. If you're unsure about the hype and don't know whether to take the plunge on another new product, we've got you covered. Click through the gallery to see our breakdown of BB versus CC versus DD (yes, it exists!) creams. Plus, we've tested some of the best drugstore and high-end products, so you won't have any qualms over which formula is right for you. We have the best picks for you right here.

Don't forget to check back for the next installment of "The ABC's of Beauty", where we break down the benefits of Vitamin E.
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