Clinique's fragrance-free CC Cream reminds us of their BB cream in that both were made to capitalize on a popular trend in cosmetics, but neither product improves on what's already available. If you're loyal to Clinique, you may want to keep reading; otherwise, there's really nothing to be too excited about here.
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 a U.S. brand is akin to a tinted moisturizer, while a CC cream tends to be more like a liquid foundation. In reality, there is no rhyme or reason behind the product names when companies launch their versions of these products—they can be completely different from what you expect.
BB and CC creams typically provide sun protection and may or may not include beneficial ingredients such as antioxidants or skin-lightening agents (but the best ones do). Neither BB nor CC creams are as revolutionary as they're made out to be—it's just a new twist on tinted moisturizers and foundations.
Clinique's entry provides broad-spectrum sun protection from a mix of mineral and synthetic actives. The synthetic actives make this product potentially iffy to use right up to the eye, as you normally would a complexion-enhancing product like this, because synthetic sunscreen ingredients can be irritating if applied in the eye area.
This does contain a smattering of beneficial ingredients, but nothing that cannot be found in lots of other products, and it contains nothing that's all that corrective.
Clinique claims this product "creates a natural glow in seconds," and that's due to the satin-like finish it leaves once blended. The texture is creamy and notably thick, which isn't the best for a smooth application, but it's workable with just a bit of effort. Still, this doesn't feel as good as lots of foundations or even as good as some competing CC and BB creams, so our overall thinking is "Why bother?"
Still curious? This provides light to medium coverage, just like lots of liquid foundations, and is best for normal to dry skin not prone to breakouts.
As for the shades: They're quite good, and include options for fair to dark (but not very dark) skin tones. The Medium shade is a bit iffy because it tends to go on slightly peach, and then look more peachy as the day goes on. The darkest shade, Deep, isn't as dark as the name suggests, but it's a good color, as are Very Light, Light, and Light-Medium.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Good shade range.
- Goes on and feels somewhat thick, rather than smooth and lightweight.
- Considering the hype, the formula doesn't have as many beneficial ingredients as it could.
- Doesn't distinguish itself as a must-have product; lots of liquid foundations are easier to blend and look better on skin.