Alphabet Soup: How To Figure Out Which Tinted Face Cream Is Right For You

BB, CC, DD, what? In the last few years, makeup products have started to sound more like the alphabet and less like, well, descriptions of what they are. Unless you're a makeup-obsessed product junkie, it can be totally overwhelming to sift through the alliteration archives when all you really want is to know is if that tube of tinted cream will help you hide that honking zit on your chin.
From BB to flash balm, we went ahead and broke the foundation-alternative options down for you. Trust us when we say that there's at least one that's perfect for you. It's simply a matter of knowing what they stand for and what it all actually means. Once you get the hang of it, it really is as simple as the ABCs — we promise.
Advertisement
1 of 6
Tinted Moisturizer
Before there was BB, there was tinted moisturizer. This classic combination of moisturizer, foundation, and SPF is a makeup bag staple for women looking to simplify their routines. Tinted moisturizer tends to give a lighter coverage, so they are great for those days when you just want to do some minor evening out, not heavy-duty covering.

Josie Maran Argan Tinted Moisturizer, $38, available at Sephora.
2 of 6
BB Cream
The pioneer of the beauty alphabet, beauty balm creams are the original do-it-all skin care miracle workers. The BB cream is a five-in-one product — it's your moisturizer, primer, foundation, SPF, and treatment. BB creams give light, sheer, natural-looking coverage — slightly more than a tinted moisturizer would.

Dior Diorskin Nude BB Creme, $44, available at Nordstrom.
3 of 6
CC Cream
Like the BB before it, the CC cream is also a moisturizer, primer, foundation, SPF, and skin care treatment. CC, however, provides more coverage than BB, and has color-correcting properties (hence, CC), making it ideal for those with a bit more to cover: acne scars, redness, or hyperpigmentation.

Wei Chinese Licorice Anti-Aging Color Correction CC Cream, $45, available at Wei.
4 of 6
DD Cream
This "dynamic do-all" product takes the claims of the BBs and the CCs and pushes them one step further: It includes everything the aforementioned products do, and is also said to improve your skin over time with anti-aging ingredients.

Julep DD Crème, $36, available at Julep .
5 of 6
Flash Balm
It may not be tinted like its balmy brethren, but this skin care wonder is the ultimate skin pepper-upper. It instantly eliminates signs of fatigue by moisturizing and tightening, and can be used as a mask or as a makeup primer. Because it lacks color, it won't cover any unevenness, but it plumps the skin and helps diffuse the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, $45, available at Clarins.
6 of 6
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page!
Advertisement