CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35
1.35 fl. oz. for $44
Category:Makeup > Tinted Moisturizers/BB Creams > CC Cream
Last Updated:12.23.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Unlike most CC creams we've reviewed (which are essentially just liquid foundations that may or may not provide added benefits like sun protection), Bobbi Brown took the "CC" to mean "color correction." The result is this lotion-textured color-correcting product with broad-spectrum sun protection. Sadly, results are mixed—largely because all three shades are strange hues to wear alone or prior to foundation and none of them work much better than simply applying a neutral-tone foundation (which Brown's line offers plenty of).

There are three shades, one light pink with a lavender cast, one decidedly yellow, and the other strongly copper. Each has what the company refers to as "light diffusers," but that's just the mineral pigment mica providing shine, which is nice, but nothing special. This CC cream does not leave a shiny finish on the skin; rather, it's more of a soft matte (in feel) with a hint of radiance (in appearance).

Pairing any of these shades with a foundation results in a new color (for example, the lavender shade will mix with the flesh-tone shade of your foundation, resulting in what could be an odd shade) that may or may not enhance your skin tone. We suspect that most will find this extra step isn't helpful; in fact, it's easily replaced with a brightening skin treatment to improve uneven skin tone, followed by a neutral-tone foundation with sunscreen.

As with most of Brown's complexion products, her fragrance-free CC Cream is easy to apply and its lightweight texture layers well with other products. The formula also contains an impressive mix of beneficial skin-repairing and antioxidant ingredients, though we suspect most of them aren't present in meaningful amounts.

If the colors were better, this would be worth a look. As is, it's overpriced for a product whose color correction tends to bring attention to your skin for all the wrong reasons. Think comments like: "Are you feeling OK?" or "Did you go overboard with the bronzing gel?" rather than: "Your skin looks amazing! What's your secret?"

  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Lightweight yet creamy texture is easy to blend.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • None of the shades are suitable for use on their own because they do not resemble real skin color.
  • Doesn't help to correct skin-color abnormalities.
  • Expensive for a product whose benefits are easily replaced by a brightening treatment (which can double as a primer) and/or a good, neutral-tone foundation.

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5%, Oxybenzone 2.5%, Titanium Dioxide 1.10%, Zinc Oxide 3.30%; Inactive Ingredients: Water, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Trioctyldecyl Citrate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, PEG-40 Stearate, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Acetyl Hexapeptid-8, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barely) Extract, Polyquaternium-51, Oryzanol, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Trehalose, Propylene Glycol Laurate, Sucrose, Glycerin, Cholesterol, Caffeine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Linoleic Acid, Lecithin, Squalane, Propylene Glycol Stearate, Urea, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate /VP Copolymer, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Polysorbate 20, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Stearic Acid, Sorbitan Laurate, Xanthan, Gum, Alumina, Sodium PCA, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Disodium EDTA, Silica, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol.

May Contain: Mica, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide, Chromium Hydroxide Green, Chromium Oxide Greens, Carmine, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 1 Lake.

Brand Overview

Bobbi Brown At-A-Glance

Strengths: A good cleanser and eye makeup removers; some impressive foundations, with options for all skin types and preferences; very good blushes and eyeshadows (powder and cream); several top-notch mascaras; the Gel Eyeliner and Shimmer Brick are impressive; mostly excellent brushes..

Weaknesses: As with most Lauder-owned companies, the well-formulated moisturizers are hindered by jar packaging, which compromises the effectiveness of light- and air-sensitive ingredients; several otherwise effective products marred by irritating fragrant oils or fragrance components; concealers and lip glosses are unimpressive; CC cream leaves skin looking worse, not better.

It all began with lipsticks. In 1991, New York based makeup artist Bobbi Brown debuted a collection of ten lipsticks at Bergdorf Goodman, expecting to sell about one hundred units in a month. She sold more than that the first day. From there, it's been mostly success after success, as Brown launched her classic foundation stick, wrote her first book, Bobbi Brown Beauty The Ultimate Beauty Resource, and enjoyed continued attention as an in-demand makeup artist and beauty educator.

The popularity of the line, particularly the makeup, did not go unnoticed by Estee Lauder, who acquired Bobbi Brown Cosmetics in 1995. Since Lauder has been at the helm the line has expanded well beyond what Brown likely envisioned back in the early 1990s, and it now includes fragrance and body-care products, among others. Yet it is Brown's makeup that continues to excel with superior foundations (though the ones without sufficient UVA protection disappoint), true matte blushes and eyeshadows, and with all of the other basics that are essential to a woman's classic makeup wardrobe. It isn't the least bit surprising that this makeup collection continues to do so well, because for many women, it's one-stop shopping that combines classic makeup application techniques with enough fun-yet-functional products to keep customer's interest piqued season to season.

Turning to the skin-care collection, there isn't a great deal to say or extol. The prices are rather steep, especially when you consider how many well-intentioned products use jar packaging, and fragrant irritants are a common thread, including in most of the sunscreens, which is a shame. Color is Bobbi Brown's strong point, but you will find a few sleeper hits among the selection of mostly inadequate or problematic skin-care products.

For more information about Bobbi Brown, owned by Estee Lauder, call (877) 310-9222 or visit www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com.

Bobbi Brown Makeup

We admire Brown's latest philosophy on beauty. She says, "The secret to beauty is simple—be who you are." No arguments here! However, it's clear from promotional materials for this line that Brown believes being who you are should involve some amount of makeup, a concept many women may disagree with. Still, there's no question that the right makeup, applied and blended correctly, can make a world of positive difference to a woman, and in this regard Brown's counter staff is well-prepared. It was nice to overhear the makeup artists explaining step-by-step application tips to customers, rather than just pushing products. With just a few exceptions, this is a makeup collection its namesake creator should be proud of—not only for the products, but also for the level of service and education provided.

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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Most irritating product I have ever used.

I don't know if I got a "bad" one, but this product is increadibly irritating. In fact, it's the most irritating product I've ever come across. It makes my skin feel like the first time I tried AHA + differin gel together, which is honestly not what I'm looking for from makeup. My skin does look and feel nicer after using it, but it leaves a burning sensation that is especially noticeable after taking the product off.

Reviewed by
Helena, A.
Medium Coverage

I received a sample of the middle shade (Warm Nude). It looks dark in the packet, but when I applied it, the color blended in with my light/medium skin beautifully. It has more coverage than the Revlon BB cream I've been using, but not so much coverage that it looks heavy. I applied the CC cream over my dry skin moisturizer. My skin looks natural with just the right amount of coverage. I plan to purchase.

Reviewed by
Surprisingly in love with this!

I bought this before Paula's review came out (risky, I know), and just hoped for the best. Happily, though, this has actually turned out to be a great choice for me! My skin is very fair, on the pinker end of the spectrum, so the pale lavender-pink cast is very pretty, providing a lovely, subtle glow. Once I've applied foundation (in "porcelain") over it, the resulting finished look is dimensional, natural, and healthy--far better, in my eyes, than how I look wearing foundation alone. Love it!

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