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Whether you’re new to the world of makeup and all its offerings, or a beauty aficionado who stays on the hottest and latest trends, you’ve likely heard of BB cream and CC cream. You might have even considered testing the waters with one or both. But do you know the difference between those two products? While both creams are awesome picks for days you want to wear minimal makeup—they’re not quite the same. Why does that matter, though? Well, by understanding the difference between a BB cream and a CC cream, you’ll be able to pick the right one for your skin care concerns. Below, you’ll learn how the two products differ and how to use them, so you can determine which is best to add to your skin care routine.
Often short for “beauty balm” or “blemish balm,” BB cream became popular in Korea before gaining buzz across the globe. Essentially, BB cream is a skin-first product, meaning it’s meant to hydrate, illuminate, protect, or mattify the skin. It offers sheerer coverage than foundation, which is great for everyday use or for anyone who embraces skinimalism or loves that skin first makeup look. There are BB creams out there for all different skin types. We love the L’Oréal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream, formulated with antioxidant vitamin E to smooth the skin’s texture, correct uneven complexion, hydrate for long-lasting moisture, and perfects by hiding blemishes.
To get the best results when using a BB cream, you must use the right applicator tool, like a makeup blending sponge. We’re fans of the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender, as this will provide a more natural, seamless finish, allowing your skin to look like skin. Dot a generous amount of BB cream onto your face and then bounce and blend the product into your face. Be sure to carry your BB cream down to your neck and on the ears to avoid any harsh lines.
Editor’s note: Always dampen your makeup blender with water before using it. This will allow less product to be soaked up into the sponge and allow for easier blending.
BB creams are super versatile and can be especially useful on days you don’t want a ton of coverage. Thanks to its multi-benefits, you can skip primer and moisturizer and just apply one product. If your complexion looks tired, try the L’Oréal Paris Magic BB Anti-Fatigue (For All Skin Types). This BB cream is formulated with color-transforming pigments infused in an ultra-light lotion to help revive the appearance of tired skin. It does four actions in one cream: it refreshes the look of tired skin, corrects the look of skin for an even-looking complexion, hydrates for all-day moisture, and improves the look of your complexion. If your complexion looks red from sun damage or acne, try the L’Oréal Paris Magic BB Anti-Redness (For All Skin Types). This BB cream has a green tint that transforms into a universal shade to help reduce the look of redness.
Editors Tip: If your BB cream isn’t formulated with broad-spectrum sunscreen, layer sunscreen or a moisturizer with SPF underneath it.
Generally, CC cream stands for color correcting cream or complexion corrector cream. It neutralizes the appearance of imperfections by utilizing colors opposite each other on the color wheel (i.e. green cancels out red). Instead of using a different color correcting concealer and foundation, you can take care of all your color-correcting, and coverage needs with one product. Offering more coverage than BB creams, CC creams also serve multiple purposes—including disguising imperfections such as dark spots or redness—and they tend to have thicker, heavier formulas.
Complete your normal skin care routine, cleansing, and moisturizing first. Then, apply your CC cream. Just like BB cream, CC cream is a liquid product, so you can also use a makeup blender to apply it. Blending is a crucial step to achieving a seamless finish, so whether you decide to apply CC cream with your fingers or a makeup blender, smooth it onto your face in circular motions and build coverage as needed.
On days you don’t want to wear a ton of makeup or are pressed for time CC cream comes in handy. It does offer more coverage than BB cream, so if you do have any imperfections you’re looking to keep undercover, then a CC cream might be the better option for you. Look for a CC cream that’s also formulated with broad-spectrum sunscreen so that you can cut out another step in your daily skin care routine.
Editors Tip: Use CC cream on days you’d normally wear foundation and reap the added skin care benefits that it will provide.
Based on your preference and specific skin needs, you’ll be able to choose the cream that’s right for you. You can also switch back and forth between both BB and CC creams as your day-by-day needs change. If you’re looking for a little more glam don’t forget to top off your cream with other makeup products, including cream blush and some mascara for an effortless and quick beauty look.
Next: Tinted Moisturizer vs. BB Cream vs. Foundation: What's the Difference?
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