Let’s be real: There’s no point of doing a full face right now.
Whether you’re going to the pool or beach, those layers are just going to wash away. If you’re not water-bound, the summer heat and sweat alone will have your makeup melting. Even celebrities are opting for lightweight coverage instead of foundation these season. However, if the differences between tinted moisturizers, BB, CC and DD creams may seem confusing, you’re not alone.
The alphabet craze originated in Korea. Now the beauty buzzwords have inundated Western markets, leaving many of us feeling flustered. Hey, there’s even EE (extra exfoliation) cream, a product first introduced by Estee Lauder that didn’t quite find its legs, so we’ll just omit that one.
Truth is: One lightweight coverage does not fit all—each letter pairing is specifically designed for your skin issues and desires.
Here’s what you need to know.
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What exactly does BB cream stand for? The cosmetics trend that hails from Korea stands for beauty balm. Stars, like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, can’t get enough of the stuff, which is lighter-to-medium weight than your typical foundation and great for summer sweating. A great BB cream differs from tinted moisturizer, which is typically more hydrating and offers sheer coverage, in that it should include antioxidants, blurring powers and SPF. If you already have nice skin and want a natural-looking finish, this is for you.
“This gives [a] baby skin effect,” Rosie Huntington-Whiteley told Vogue, explaining why she loves it. Even this supermodel has a 5-minute face.
SHOP: ERBORIAN BB Crème au Ginseng, $39
OK, this stuff is going to cost you a pretty penny, but for a smooth formula that doesn’t cake, lasts all day long and is surprisingly hydrating, it’s worth it.
SHOP: Dior Hydra Life BB Creme, $60
If it’s good enough for Khloe Kardashian to recommend on her app, it’s worth a try, especially at such an affordable price point. “[It] even[s] out your complexion but won’t feel heavy or melt into creases,” she wrote. The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star is also a fan of the super-matte finish. Other BB creams can leave a more dewy effect, so it depends on what you want!
SHOP: Rimmel BB Cream Matte, $6.49
If you’re a fan off CC creams, like Nina Dobrev, you may have an issue with uneven skin tone, redness or even acne scars. CC, or color-correcting, creams blur your complexion with ingredients aimed to help with discoloration.
“With the warmer weather in L.A., I’ve completely switched to tinted moisturizers with SPF. I have this AmorePacific Cushion Compact and it’s incredible. I’ve also been wearing It Cosmetics CC Cream with SPF 50. I’m obsessed with it because it has a dewy finish,” Nina told Teen Vogue. Tons of social influences, including The Bachelor‘s Lauren Bushnell, is also a fan.
SHOP: It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+, $38
Like other cushion products, it gives you just enough product without wasting formula, which gives you a very natural finish while blurring any obvious pores.
SHOP: AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, $60
Listen: If you’re looking for something that’s lightweight, blends easily and color corrects, look no further. It may not have the bells and whistles found in other CC creams, but it does a no-fuss job.
SHOP: Physicians Formuala Super CC Correct + Conceal + Cover Cream SPF 30, $13.99
Yes, there is such a thing called DD, or double-duty or dynamic-do-it-all, cream. Possibly another marketing ploy in the alphabet beauty craze, DD cream supposedly, well, does it all, plus targets anti-aging issues. Not only should it supposedly cover your fine lines and wrinkles, but it could possibly treat it, too. There are not many notable DD creams on the market, which may be a tell-tale of this trend’s efficacy. Hey, you never know when this baby could catch on!
SHOP: DD Cream Dermatologically Defining BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $38
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