If you regularly browse the cosmetic counters of your favourite department store, you must by now have come across a bewildering array of alphabet formations. There are beauty balms (BB), daily defence (DD), and extra exfoliating (EE), but the best for skin-perfecting of is colour correcting (CC).
Having landed in the UK back in 2013, the popularity of CC creams has seen a brood of new launches from pretty much every beauty brand, so what’s the fuss all about?
Boasting all the same crucial properties as a BB cream – moisture, primer, serum and sunscreen – CC creams have the added property of targeting discolouration and treating uneven skin tones. While the formulas vary from product-to-product, they’re generally used to reduce problems like age spots, wrinkles, redness and sallowness.
Worn alone, these creams will leave you with sheer, skin-perfecting coverage but they can also be layered underneath your usual foundation for a more full-coverage look.
Fancy make-up but with all the benefits of skincare? Then read on to find one that fits your needs with our favourite picks.
1. L’Oreal Paris Nude Magique CC Cream Anti-Redness: £6.65, Feel Unique
If patchy red skin is getting you down, look no further than this anti-redness CC cream from L’Oreal. With a soft, blendable texture, it’s easy to apply and managed to smooth skin just like a primer while boasting all the benefits of a light-medium foundation. Don’t be put off by the green colour: this is what helps to neutralise red tones in a complexion. The brand also offers anti-fatigue and anti-dullness formulas in apricot and lilac.
2. By Terry Cellularose Moisturising CC Cream: £58 for 40g, Cult Beauty
Designed using four colour-adaptive shades, By Terry’s CC cream not only blurs imperfections but neutralises redness and disguises dark spots, too. The resulting make-up is fresh, glowy and seriously longlasting. It’s also one of the most hydrating options we tried, so it’s great for anyone whose skin is in need of some moisture. Available in four shades, we also love that it includes vitamin E, which helps to protect your skin from ageing environmental factors. It’s on the expensive side, but we think it’s worth it.
3. Chanel CC Cream: £46 for 30ml, John Lewis
Great for all skin tones, but especially good for those with drier skin, Chanel’s option includes hyaluronic acid, which is proven to fight fine lines and provide hydration. The non-oily cream indulges your complexion just like a skincare product but also manages to give natural-looking coverage. Available in five shades, this product left skin feeling fresh and luminous. It’s pretty pricey but if it’s within your budget, you won’t regret the splurge. We also love the fact that it has a super-high SPF 50 rating.
4. Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream: £9.99, Feel Unique
High-street hero Bourjois offers up one of the most affordable CC creams on the market – but it’s also one of the most effective. The product combines three colour pigments in one formula, including apricot for tiredness, green for redness and white for concealing dark spots. Upon application, be careful of its runny texture and smooth over the skin for a lightweight, dewy finish. We found it to be super-hydrating and left the reviewers’ complexion looking more radiant. It’s available in five shades and has an SPF 15 rating.
5. Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream: £29 for 30ml, Boots
A brand renowned for its skin-perfecting primers, we had high hopes for this CC cream and luckily, we weren’t disappointed. With a silky, lightweight formula, the product glides onto the skin with a barely-there feeling. With slightly higher coverage than others, if you suffer from blemishes but don’t want to be caked in foundation, this could be a great alternative. It left our reviewer’s complexion looking more even and perfectly blurred any imperfections. Available in eight shades and has an SPF 30 rating.
6. Stila Cosmetics One Step Correct: £24 for 30ml, Beauty Bay
Somewhat resembling a DNA helix, this fuss-free cream boasts three colour-correcting formulas. There’s green to neutralise redness and blemishes; lavender to counteract sallow undertones and peach to brighten and illuminate. The cocktail of swirling hues come together in one pump and left skin looking naturally flawless and glowy. It’s also formulated with an anti-ageing skincare serum – known as a “Youth Revival Bio-Available Mineral Complex” – which is made up of 15 minerals suspended in spring water. That being said, we think this one works best when paired with a lightweight foundation for a little extra coverage.
7. Omorovicza Complexion Corrector: £85 for 30ml, Net-a-Porter
You’re going to need to be a serious beauty buff to want to invest in this one, considering its hefty price tag, but it lives up to the billing. Not only does Omorovicza’s CC cream brighten your complexion, even skin tone and reduce the appearance of blemishes, it also boasts some longer-term anti-ageing benefits. Designed with so-called Hydro Mineral Transference, which claims to deliver minerals deep into the skin, this product left our reviewer’s complexion looking much smoother and plumper. It also contains vitamin C, which helps to boost the production of collagen and zinc to sooth aggravated areas. One for the long-haul, this will improve your skin both instantly and after time. It also has an SPF 20 rating.
8. Diorskin Airflash CC Primer: £30 for 70ml, Boots
This option from Dior works like no other: it’s the first light-boosting CC cream/primer that comes in a spray. It’s easy and quick to apply – simply hold the bottle 20cm from the face, close your eyes and press the nozzle. Alternatively, you can spray it onto your hand and apply it to your face with your fingers. The formula left skin feeling refreshed and radiant while the addition of hyaluronic acid means it offers long-term plumping too. We think this one’s best applied under a light foundation for a natural, glowy look.
9. Olay Regenerist CC Cream in Lightest Skin: £24.99 for 50ml, Look Fantastic
The expertise of a longstanding brand like Olay is clear to see with this CC cream. Designed with a three-in-one swirl system, it blends serum, an SPF 15 moisturiser and a sheer foundation. Lightweight and hydrating, it blurs imperfections and leaves your skin feeling luminous, protected and smooth. It’s also a great anti-ageing formula, containing Olay’s Essential Glucosamine Complex, which is proven to visibly reduce dark spots and the appearance of lines and wrinkles after prolonged use.
10. The Body Shop Instaglow CC Cream: £15 for 30ml, The Body Shop
If it’s a fresh, dewy look you’re after then this could be the one for you. The formula smoothens your complexion while simultaneously brightening and colour-correcting any dullness. Available in three shades, those with fair skin will prefer Bright Glow as it offers up a blend of white and purple pearls to illuminate. Peachy Glow is better suited to medium skin tones for a natural-looking radiance while Warm Glow is ideal for dark complexions, using golden elements to unify the skin. The make-up result minimises the appearance of pores, reduces shine and injects the skin with a light dose of moisture.
The Verdict: CC creams
Budget permitting, we think By Terry’s colour-adaptive cream does the best job at boosting your skin’s radiance, blurring imperfections and creating a long-lasting, natural-looking glow. Alternatively, for a CC cream that promises to even your skin tone without breaking the bank we suggest L’Oreal Paris’ Nude Magique range. It’s very hydrating and offers enough coverage to be worn in the place of a sheer foundation.
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