CC creams have joined BB creams on New Zealand shelves as the next generation version of the multi-tasking skincare phenomenon. CC stands for colour correcting, complexion correction or complete correction and adds a new dimension to the beauty benefit or blemish balms which have won fans worldwide.
The first CCs to arrive here are from Clinique and Max Factor, but more are on the way. As with BBs, their usefulness depends on the degree of moisturising, priming, sun protection and coverage capability they offer. The focus with CCs, which originated in Korea, is on providing fuller coverage for a more evenly balanced skin tone. BBs sold in Western markets are often sheerer tints, although some favour the thicker, mattifying Asian style.
"CC creams are mega news for 2013," says Max Factor's global creative design director and renowned makeup artist, Pat McGrath. "Women always long for fresh and flawless, glowing skin and that's what CC creams effectively deliver.
But I find that many CC creams compromise on coverage." Get it right and it's into her backstage beauty bag.
BBs and CCs vary widely in both performance and primary purpose, but are also at times interchangeable, making choosing one confusing. By the time DDs arrive - yes, they're in the pipeline - we'll be asking for "daily defence" from this onslaught of initials. That said, the all-in-one idea has wide appeal, shown by sales, including Garnier's BB cream topping the local list for supermarket moisturisers. There's also hardly a leading beauty brand without a BB, with the latest creamy contender coming from Elizabeth Arden.
Chanel jumped straight to a CC, but thus far does not sell it here.
As of this month, there's even a homegrown BB, new from Canterbury-based natural skincare company Oasis Beauty, which specialises in sensitive skins. Founder Stephanie Evans knows of just a couple of other natural BBs worldwide and says some that claim to be natural, in fact, contain silicone - a common smoothing ingredient.
Research by Oasis shows New Zealand women spend on average under 10 minutes on their skincare in the morning, which, says Evans, explains why all-in-one options appeal. "Our customers are in the prime of their lives, but time-poor . . . instead of having to use a moisturiser and then a foundation and then think about a sunblock, we've been able to have everything covered in one product."
For women not big on using products, these creams are an economical all-rounder. Just be careful to seek out a neutral shade or the right tint. Some of the lightest creams are aimed at women trying to achieve a radiant porcelain look and most brands' idea of dark would stretch only to a tanned or olive complexion, although Bobbi Brown recently expanded its shade selection, the widest available here.
Take a look at Viva's CC cream picks:
1. Clinique Moisture Surge CC Hydrating Colour Corrector - $50
Essentially a skin primer with good hydrating and redness disguising properties, I've been wearing this under foundation. Offers SPF30 and a real radiance boost thanks to in-built colour correcting optics that scatter light multi-dimensionally. This cream has a thick texture, but it is easy to avoid build-up around the nose creases by spreading it out with a brush from the centre of the face (as you would a foundation). Add extra coverage only where it is most needed. (Selected department stores and pharmacies.)
2. Max Factor CC Colour Correcting Cream - $29.99
The fluid feel means I rate this akin to a good tinted moisturiser, of which there are precious few that provide this degree of natural-looking coverage. Shame about the disappointingly low SPF10. (Farmers, Kmart and selected pharmacies.)
3. Napoleon Perdis BBB Cream - $63
Trust Napoleon to go OTT with an extra B in his Beauty Boosting Balm, which he used with gay abandon backstage at Australian Fashion Week to give the "glowy" complexion designers wanted as a prelude to its retail release. "That expensive-looking luxe skin is very much sought after by women everywhere and is absolutely flattering," he says. With SPF30, this covers the BB bases.
4. Oasis Beauty BB Cream - $49.99
Described as a daily moisturiser, mineral foundation, anti-ageing treatment and SPF25 sunscreen, this really is an impressive all-rounder. There are two formulas: one offers a dewy finish, the other a fuller powder-finish coverage that will sit well on oilier or combination skins. Recommended. (Stockists and online at oasisbeauty.co.nz)
5. L'Oreal Paris Nude Magique BB Powder - $29.99
The superfine powder, subtitled a velvet skin beautifier, is a nice finishing touch, but it's stretching a point claiming it as a BB. Nude Magique already has a cream and maybe L'Oreal is just ticking things BB over until it launches a trio of CCs under the same franchise in a couple of months. Those sound worth checking out, coming not in the normal flesh tones, but in green, apricot and mauve colour correcting shades. Remember green veil anyone? (Department and variety stores and selected pharmacies.)