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.
- 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.
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.