12.02.2014
25
1172
Smart Shade CC Cream Complexion Corrector SPF 35 Broad Spectrum
Rating
1 fl. oz. for $9.99
Category:Makeup > Tinted Moisturizers/BB Creams
Last Updated:12.02.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Almay has been stepping up their makeup game with some noteworthy additions, and we're happy to report their CC cream is no exception! Before we get down to business, if you're wondering what the difference is between CC creams and BB creams, here's the answer: It's all about marketing language, nothing more. Generally, a BB cream from U.S. cosmetics brands is similar to a tinted moisturizer, while a CC cream is more like a liquid foundation, but not always. BB and CC creams typically provide sun protection and may or may not include beneficial ingredients like antioxidants or skin-lightening agents. Neither BB nor CC creams are as revolutionary as they are made out to be, and there is certainly no consistency among products from different brands.

Almay's CC cream is a worthwhile option if you're looking for a lightweight foundation for normal to dry skin. It provides great broad-spectrum sun protection with both synthetic and mineral active ingredients. It also contains an impressive array of skin-beneficial ingredients.

The liquid formula applies easily and sets quickly, providing medium coverage for redness and other imperfections. The result is a natural finish that doesn't look "made up" at all, although it is a bit dewy, and so is not recommended for people with oily skin or with combination skin that tends to be more oily.

This CC Cream wears well most of the day, with some fading after about seven hours of wear. It comes in only three shades, but all three are natural looking for their intended skin tones.

Overall, if you're looking for a lightweight foundation that has some sun-protection benefits, this CC Cream is worth a look the next time you're at the drugstore!

Pros:
  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection as advertised.
  • Has a natural, dewy finish that wears well for several hours.
  • Provides effective lightweight coverage for redness and other imperfections.
  • Shades are well-suited for their intended skin tones.
  • Fragrance-free.
Cons:
  • Finish is too dewy for oily skin or for combination skin that's more oily.
Claims
Ingredients

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5.0%, Titanium Dioxide 5.1%. Inactive Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Dimethicone, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Isotridecyl Isononanoate, Isostearic Acid, Boron Nitride, Alumina, Niacinamide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Lecithin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizrate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Saxifraga Sarmentosa (Strawberry Saxifrage) Extract, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Scutellaria Baicalensis (Baikal Skullcap) Root Extract, Morus Bombycis (Chinese Mulberry) Root Extract, Stearic Acid, Steareth-2, Tromethamine, Polyacrylamide, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Steareth-21, Methucone, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Xanthan Gum, Simethicone, Laureth-7, Sorbitan Laurate, Polysorbate 20, Propylene Glycol Laurate, Propylene Glycol Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparben, Ethylparaben. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.

Brand Overview

Almay At-A-Glance

Strengths: An excellent assortment of mascaras; several exceptional foundation options to choose from; a phenomenal liquid eyeliner; a selection of good makeup removers.

Weaknesses: Some of the Intense i-color products do the exact opposite of enhancing eye color; mediocre blushes; “Smart Shade” products don’t automatically adapt to skin’s color as claimed.

Long a standby for those with sensitive skin seeking hypoallergenic products (though that term is unregulated and can be applied to any product, regardless of ingredients), Almay continues to refine its comprehensive makeup line. In early 2006 the company repackaged its old favorites, and also relaunched several new makeup items. Everything now has a sleek new look and color-coded packaging. We admit, the makeover is effective, not just product-wise but visually too.

Shopping this drugstore line is now much easier because of the clearly defined product and color family groupings. Lamentably, testers and trial sizes of the makeup are still scarce regardless of where you shop. Almay has always been a reliable line for foundations, powder, and mascara. Within its current lineup you'll find that remains true. Their foundations are better than ever, and still offer full, broad-spectrum sun protection and a mostly neutral palette. We also found their concealers and mascaras have improved, as have the pencil options. When it comes to shopping for makeup staples with state-of-the-art formulas, Almay has many winners, and some innovative surprises that its competitors would be wise to learn from.

For more information about Almay, owned by Revlon, call (800) 992-5629 or visit www.almay.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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06.07.2015
"Pasty"

My uncle asked if I felt alright - that my skin looked "pasty". True that, I just hoped no one would notice. The cream seems heavier than I would like, but it does give adequate coverage and makes evening out skin tone so much more convenient now. Just wish there were one or two more color options, preferably one with a golden tone.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
05.11.2015
Not for oily skin

I bought a pack w/ 2 tubes for the price of 1 so it was a good value, I wouldn't pay full price though. It does separate quickly but shaking before use easily solves that. My skin used to be super greasy before I started using PC skin care and I could not use this cream, looked & felt disgustingly greasy, but I pulled it out again to try since my skin got a bit dry from retinal & all my foundations are highlighting dry patches, and set with powder this actually works really well for me now.

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Reviewed by
Nik S
05.09.2015
Great to bad

At first I really liked it. It provided a good amount of coverage while not looking heavy on my skin. However, after a few weeks of using it, it became a oily mess coming out of the tube. For me, it doesn't matter how long I shake, it's still an oily mess with almost a curdled consistency. When it became an oily mess, I also started to break out. Sad part is, it was the right texture, coverage and color for me. Easy to apply and worked through the day. Too bad the shelf life ruins it.

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Reviewed by
Leigh B
04.27.2015
love it

Ive loved this cream since I statred useing it a few months ago, but now as the weather warms up I feel it is not drying there for wearing off quicker. But still a great pruduct.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
04.26.2015
Weird

I had been using a combination foundation/powder that I decided was emphasizing my crows feet, so I decided to try a CC cream. This was the first time I used any type of liquid foundation in years (I am 63). I found this product unappealing. As another reviewer mentioned, it often comes out separated into an oily greyish substance plus pigment. It appears quite oily on my skin and I never wore it without also applying powder. Very little coverage. Shiny. Not good.

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Reviewed by
EvelynU
04.22.2015
...hate to offer dissenting opinion but...

have to disagree w/the expert on this one; as previous poster noted separation was an issue (thin gray liquid & clumps of pigment), and vigorous shaking was required prior to each application. Additionally, it has an unpleasant odor...color is good but overall not worth repeat use.

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Reviewed by
J.L.
04.05.2015
Always seperates

It separated after a week. Will not repurchase.

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Reviewed by
Wendelah
02.25.2015
Great product

Not greasy, doesn't make my shiny t-zone greasier, it helped tone down the redness and left me with natural looking, healthy skin. I have sometimes used this under my foundation and like how it makes my skin look so good. Love it!

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Reviewed by
Jenn
02.07.2015
Almay 5 Stars

This is the best foundation product I have ever purchased. Having wasted much money over the years, the under $10 price makes it sweeter. Pros-easy to application, medium coverage- evens out skin tone and redness, provides a glow for the 50+ crowd, SPF 35!! Not for those with oily skin.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
02.01.2015
Buy again?

When I bought it I really liked it. Nice texture for my skin which is on drier side. As time went by, no matter how much I shake the tube, the cream separates which first appears as oil then grayish color and then finally the original color comes out. Overtime, it has made it difficult to use and it is way too oily. Did I get a bad tube?...

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
01.01.2015
Like it better now!

I'm at the point where I don't like to wear regular foundation anymore. My skin is that dry I prefer more of a tinted moisturizer/ bb/ cc cream product. I like to look dewy not dry and cakey. I just wish these came with a bigger size. But, the packaging is smart. I don't have to protect from light and air.

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Reviewed by
Annette D.
12.07.2014
Light Coverage

I bought this highly rated makeup because Paula said it provided medium coverage. In my experience, the coverage is light to very light. Other than that, it's moisturizing enough for my dry skinand and doesn't irritate.

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Reviewed by
georgia
09.02.2014
Love turned sour

This started out great, especially in drier weather, as it has a more oily consistency than other BB and CC creams I've tried. Halfway through the bottle, it separated. It would appear on my hand as a lavender swirl. Despite many attempts to shake it back to life, it continued to be a purple mess. Going back to the Physicians' Formula creams, which are thicker but have never separated on me.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
07.10.2014
BEST !!

I love the sheerness of the product and that it's so lightweight. But mostly, I LOVE how it evens out my skin tone, and has even helped my "age" and sun damaged skin spots, FADE !! Great value....!! I was given a sample of a similar product at Macy's......the cost was 7 times what the Almay product was, and it was WAY to heavy and thick. I just pray you keep making this!!!

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Reviewed by
Kim H
05.24.2014
Not for the truly fair-skinned

My skin is very light but not truly fair like Nicole Kidman's. This Almay product in the lightest shade is still too dark for me. I have mature/normal to slightly dry skin & this product gives me a shiny finish which I have to powder over. For me, the Cover Girl CGSmoothers BB cream SPR 21 Tinted Moisturizer in the #805 Fair to Light shade is a dream come true. The tint is light enough & the finish gives me a dewy glow that is a plus in itself. No powder needed or wanted.

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Reviewed by
KJRGFND
05.06.2014
Light, natural coverage

I love that this has SPF 35. It provides light, natural coverage. The finish is dewy and makes my skin glow. I have to top this off with my Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Airbrushing Pressed Powder SPF 30 to set this CC cream and add a little extra SPF protection. My skin is normal to combo. This product is like a tinted moisturizer, so the coverage is light. If you need full coverage foundation, this is not be the product for you.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
03.08.2014
too shiny

I have fair skin and finding a match can be challenging, but this CC cream was pretty good in that department. But when the description is "dewy", take it seriously. The shiny finish highlights any imperfection in your skin's texture. You have to use considerable powder to combat this, and then end up looking cake and fake, not what you are looking for in a CC cream.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
03.07.2014
Raging Fire

I purchased this product today because of the great review here. I already love the Smart Shade Anti Aging Makeup and now expected even greater things out of the CC cream. Unfortunately, it did not work out. I have mature, sensitive dehydrated skin with a lot of redness. Shortly after I applied the product it started burning like fire. My eyes were watering like crazy. Just came back from CVS returning it. I blame the chemical sunscreens. Definately not for sensitive skin.

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Anonymous
01.10.2014
Comparable to amazing foundation by too faced

It was an ok foundation. I feel like it wouldn't last as long as as a foundation packaged in a bottle. I'm sure the SPF will cause me to break out if used regularly. I've had better foundations. I do like it when they contain peptides.

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Reviewed by
Annette D.
01.09.2014
Love it!

Just bought this yesterday. I wanted a lightweight foundation for everyday, thought I would give this a try based on Paula's recommendation and so far I love it. Feel is silky smooth, covers great, I bought medium and it is a very good match for my skin. Highly recommend!

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Reviewed by
Jill H.
11.28.2013
Good product

Nice finish. Medium/light coverage; I have to use concealer and finishing powder to hide redness. I really enjoy wearing this to work as it looks natural but helps even out my skin. My skin is sensitive, and I haven't had any issues with this product. The price is excellent and I will repurchase.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
11.25.2013
Unfortunate

The lightest option color available was a good match for my winter time skin. The thin consistency easily spread to a light - medium coverage that was ever so slightly blowy finish. Quite nice and I was pleased with the results. For about a week. Then the scent changed to something quite foul. This was a very similar to my experience to the revlon color stay BB cream. Now I wonder if it is an ingredient within the product?

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Reviewed by
Jennifer K.
10.30.2013
Allergic.

Overall i felt the product was great, i read the review on beautypedia and figured i had to try it. I have dry, sensitive, acne prone skin (horrible combination). Well i finally learned and now i do patch testing with all the products i put on my skin. I put this on the back of my wrist and a little on my under chin and almost in no time i began to feel it sting and burn kind of like the maybelline bb cream i decided to try a couple years back and it made my whole face red, stingy and itchy.Sad.

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Reviewed by
Sandra P.
08.08.2013
My new favorite foundation!

I have dry skin with rosacea and it is hard to find a foundation that meets my needs. After checking Paula's reviews I thought I'd try Almay's Smart Shade CC Cream. I am so pleased with it! It is my new favorite foundation! I got the light/medium shade and it is a perfect match. :)

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Reviewed by
Sally L.
07.28.2013
Great Product!

I picked up Almay's new SmartShade CC Cream because I wanted a product with sun protection that also provided some redness coverage. I was skeptical about the SmartShade technology because I have very fair skin and some makeup lines do not carry shades that are light enough for my skin tone. I bought the lightest shade and it matched perfectly! I'm very satisfied with the coverage that it provides and it has even helped with my dry patches. I would give it five stars if I could!

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Reviewed by
Jessie R.
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