Alphabet Soup: BB and CC Creams

Posted March 23, 2013 by Katherine Toll in Building Your Brand

Almost two years ago, BB Creams made their debut in the U. S. and quickly created a new morning ‘must-have’ category. BB stands for ‘Beauty Balm’ or  ‘Blemish Balm.’ They arrived via the Asian market and appeared as the solution to streamlining your morning skincare.

Promising everything and more, BB Creams strove to prime, correct, protect, hydrate and tint our facial skin. Sephora kicked-off the trend by offering two brands, Dr. Jart and Boscia. Now, you can’t turn the page of a fashion magazine without the newest, brightest, slickest, not-to-be-topped, BB Cream shoved in your face.

I (like any good beauty junkie) jumped on the BB trend like a Kardashian jumps on a good scandal, however I was quickly disappointed when the products failed to live up to their heavy-hitter treatment claims. In use, most behaved like tinted moisturizers—they served a purpose IF you already possessed lovely skin that required little to no repair. (For a full run-down of  BB Creams, check out this Allure article.)

The rest of us ‘mere mortals’ who struggle with oiliness, dryness, blotchiness, redness, or other skincare concerns soon discovered the BB Cream bandwagon wasn’t delivering us to the promised land. I tried a few (okay – eight, maybe, nine) and then determined no cream is an island, so I dragged my other products out and resumed by multi-step morning regimen.

Interestingly, last fall I started to see a new iteration of BB Creams, logically (or, conveniently) dubbed CC Creams. Ostensibly, CC stands for ‘color correction.’ The first version I experienced arrived in my monthly Birchbox delivery – Wei to Go Ideal Skin Perfect Finish. I tried it and fell in love! It behaved like grown-up version of a BB Cream offering more corrective treatment benefits and better coverage. Since then I tested other CC Creams and here is my verdict:

  •  Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Color Corrector Broad Spectrum SPF30love, Love, LOVE this product!! It’s color correcting abilities are superb without looking (or feeling) like camouflage on the skin. It hydrates, calms, and infuses your skin with a plethora of moisturizers and anti-oxidants. This product acts as my moisturizer, treatment, SPF and foundation, which completely streamlined my morning routine.


  • Juice Beauty Stem Cell Repair CC Cream – This product markets itself as the holy grail of skincare products – it dubs itself as a 12 in 1 multi-purpose skincare product, however I found it lacking in a few ways. First, its ‘color correcting’ benefits aren’t all that – if anything it appears sheerer than a BB Cream. Secondly, I found its treatment claims a bit overstated – the product bills itself as,

 The Next Generation of BB Cream: The Ultimate Color Correcting CC Cream, 12-in-1 Multitasker.

Really? Come on – that feels like Juice Beauty exaggerated a wee-bit, especially when some of benefits (evens skin tone & texture, and creates a radiant, glowing complexion) appear redundant. Enough said – purchase at your own risk.



  • Wei to Go Ideal Skin Perfect Finish – As mentioned, I fell in love with the product because it offered a lovely finish to my skin and kept it well hydrated, even after an airplane ride, or two. The one and only drawback? Wei neglected to add a sunscreen to this product, which seems to defeat the purpose of a multi-task day product, so it fell out of my number one slot.

Now, there are some CC Creams I still need to test – Chanel, Smashbox, and Peter Thomas Roth recently launched their renditions of CC Creams, so stay tuned for more updates from the CC playground. In the meantime, if you make the leap, go with the Clinique CC Cream – stellar product!

About the Author

Katherine Toll

Katherine (Kathi) Toll possesses more than 20 years of management and consulting experience within the retail and beauty industry. Her industry experience combined with her special brand of irreverence fuels her mission to find the ‘must-have’ beauty products for Career Girls of all ages. She aspires to remind women the airbrushed perfection of the beauty industry must be tempered with a healthy dose of humor. Kathi holds a general management certification from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, along with an undergraduate degree from Northwestern’s School of Communications.