At this point,
CC creams are about as identifiable and commonly used as tinted moisturizers. The alliterative term is short for color-correcting cream and, until pretty recently, the image you conjured up when you thought of them was most likely a nude product (similar to the color of your skin tone) with some SPF mixed in. But recently, brands have been putting a new spin on the trend and coming out with Easter-egg hued iterations.
How do these brightly shaded, somewhat intimidating versions work, exactly?
Dell Ashley, the director of makeup artistry at Yves Saint Laurent, says the general rule is: The purple and blue shades are used to conceal yellow or sallow areas of the skin, green tones help to neutralize redness, and apricot or red hues work wonders in helping to conceal dark circles.
One word of advice Ashley has for those looking to get involved: Don't go too crazy. "I think that the correcting phenomenon is great, but just remember not to overdo it," he advises. "This technique is used to neutralize the skin and should be undetectable when you are finished."
Hung Vanngo emphasizes this point, adding that you still want the skin to look natural. "I find when you use too much, the skin doesn't look real anymore... I use a little where I need it, then I use a light foundation and concealer on top — it does the job without going hardcore on the face," he says. "You don't need to use a bunch of different colors; it looks scary in real life. We want people to look somewhat real, without masking the face."
Now that you have the basics down, click through to check out some exciting formulas. Pencils, chubby sticks, liquid drops; the options are endless — and super-vibrant.
This featherlight CC powder combines red, purple, green, and blue shades for a uniform, airbrushed effect. Or, shake out your shade of choice to address specific problem areas.
Givenchy Prisme Libre Chinese New Year Edition, $54, available at Sephora.
Pick and choose your cream corrector from Make Up For Ever's palette. As with most cream products, you can build coverage as you go.
Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette Color Correct & Concealer, $40, available at Sephora.
These portable, clickable sticks allow you to conceal on the go.
Cover FX Correct Click, $18, available at Sephora.
The top portion of this Stila palette includes cream options, while the lower half contains finishing powders. One thing definitely worth noting: The cream section comes with a tidy plastic cover, so you don't ever have to worry about powder residue ending up where it shouldn't. #Firstworldbeautyproblems, we know.
Stila Correct & Perfect All-In-One Color Correcting Palette, $45, available at Sephora.
The cushion compact just got a colorful update with these new primers from Lancôme. Swipe or tap on for airy, highly pigmented perfection.
Lancôme Miracle CC Cushion Color Correcting Primer, $39.50, available at Sephora.
These lightweight CC fluids from Urban Decay are meant to feel like an extension of your skin — hence the name. They're creamy, easy to blend, and the doe-foot applicator makes them a cinch to swipe on.
Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid, $28, available at Sephora.
Coverage and color options for days. And, the palette comes in two variations — one for fairer and another for darker skin tones.
Sephora Collection Sephora + Pantone Universe Correct + Conceal Palette, $49, available at Sephora.
The rounded pencil point on Smashbox's new evening sticks makes for precise application. You can apply them either wet or dry, depending on your coverage needs.
Smashbox Color Correcting Stick, $23, available at Sephora.
This limited-edition powder palette from YSL is almost too pretty to use. Almost. You can blend the shades to blur imperfections all over, or use them separately to target specific areas.
Yves Saint Laurent Palette Collector Face, $48, available at Lord & Taylor.
Contour, correct, and perfect your face with a simple swipe of these new shades from Tarte.
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Wipeout Color-Correcting Palette, $45, available at Sephora.
These mini Beautyblenders are meant to be used with a corresponding CC shade. Pink with pink, green with green...you get it. And they come shrunken down, so you can zero in on smaller, more hard-to-reach areas, like around the nose, under the eyes, and more.
Beautyblender micro.mini correct.four, $30, available at Sephora.
YSL came out with a bright rendition of the cult-favorite
Touche Éclat earlier this year, and the beauty world hasn't been able to shut up about it since — us included. These neutralizers come in the same light, liquid formula as their famous counterpart. As for which skin tones the pens work best for, Ashley says: "The apricot works best for deep skin tones, the violet works best for fair skin tones, [and] the green is very versatile and can work for anyone." Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Neutralizers, $38 each, available at Sephora.
What appears to be a very chic stick of cotton candy is actually Marc Jacobs' swirled version of a color-corrector. The formula in the pink-and-lilac tube seen here helps brighten dullness, and it also comes in citron-and-lime to combat redness and peach-and-caramel to even out hyperpigmentation.
You can swipe on the futuristic, balmy formula as you please; just be careful not to mistake it for your deodorant in the wee morning hours. Because we can totally see that happening. Marc Jacobs Beauty Cover(t) Stick Color Corrector, $42, available in March at Marc Jacobs Beauty.
These new chubby pencils from drugstore brand Essence are a quick, easy, and compact way to hide your so-called flaws. Since they clock in at less than $4, you can kiss redness, dark circles, and more buh-bye with a still-full wallet.
Essence Cosmetics Say No To, $2.99, available at Target.
You can either use Algenist's color-correcting drops by their lonesome or add them into your makeup or skin-care go-tos.
Algenist Reveal Color Correcting Drops, $38, available at QVC.
Deepica Mutyala popularized the whole " using red lipstick to conceal your undereye circles" phenomenon, and Becca's new brightly colored correctors is an indirect play off the concept that will help you fix dark bags and beyond. . And don't let the bold shades scare you off, as Refinery29's director of product marketing Benish Shah, who tested the product for a story, explains: It provides more of a sheer coverage than one that'll make you go, Holy whoa, what did I just put on my face and how do I get it off? — allowing you to build up the color as much as you like. Becca Backlight Targeted Colour Correctors, $34, available at Sephora.
The applicator on Sephora's lightweight gel-serum CC cream allows you to easily pinpoint exactly what needs coverage. Trouble areas around your nose and mouth? No problem. Chin blemishes making you self-conscious? Just dip, dot, and blend.
Sephora Collection Bright Future Color Correctors, $18, available at Sephora.
As far as formulas go, Vanngo is a huge fan of liquid color-correctors, like Nyx's new products. They're light and still leave room for a bit of imperfection, which, he says, is important.
"I think if you put too much [heavy] color-corrector on, and then foundation, and then highlighter, and then concealer, etc., the skin becomes so heavy and cakey," he says. "Something liquid-y has the ability to even the skin out without it looking too heavy." Nyx Color Correcting Liquid Primer, $14, available at Ulta Beauty.
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