If BBs and CCs are the foundation-meets-moisturizer-meets-SPF lovechild of the cosmetics and skin-care world, then their latest incarnation — freed from the tube and housed in mirrored, snap-lock compacts — is the result of that lovechild growing up, getting a job, and joining the over-scheduled masses. The draw? No more sticky fingers, for one thing.
Among these travel-friendly picks are cushion compacts (yet another crush-worthy Korean export), which wield a BB- or CC-cream-saturated sponge that releases very controlled quantities. When you apply them with the included puffs (smartly housed in separate inner compartments, so they don't contaminate or dry out the product sealed below), the results are more luminous than cakey. “BBs from cushion compacts are easy to control and tend to go on sheer, so you don’t need to be worried about applying too much product,” says Sonia Kashuk, makeup artist and founder of Sonia Kashuk Beauty.
With the demand for alphabet creams stronger than ever — according to market research group Mintel, last year, 50% more BB creams launched in the American market than during the year before — we took a look at the latest of these face-savers.