The 411 on the BB's and the CC's

In the experience of Jamie de Guzman

The natural look has been trending for quite some time now and thankfully probably won't fade away anytime soon. And let's be honest, the over-the-top, MAC girl look only is desirable for nights out with your girlfriends, but no one should ever pack on all that make up during the day, especially in the blistering heat. Foundation + sweat does not a clear complexion make.

But we all know the truth that the natural look isn't exactly "natural" unless you're blessed with super perfect skin!  So unless you've maintained your pore-less newborn skin, this summer's natural look often requires the help of a good BB and/or CC Cream. Yet, how do you know which one is the best choice?  There are a ton of variations of these creams out there from drugstore brands to prestige cosmetics, each with their own agenda.   Fortunately, I've already done the leg work for you, and here's my feedback on a few that I have personally tried.

Urban Decay's Naked Beauty Balm ($34)

Rating: Proceed with Caution

This particular BB cream is one I've had to experiment with several times before I loved it, so proceed with caution. Prior, I had sampled several other less-expensive BB creams and noticed this one is different in its consistency. Unlike others, it is very light weight and almost looks like a liquid foundation but goes on smoothly with a translucent, demi-matte finish. I had some problems in the beginning with it because if I applied moisturizer before this, the product would just clump up around my face.   I'm not sure if it was my particular moisturizer (Boscia) that did not mix well with it, or if that's just what happens with any moisturizer, so do what it advises and "leave your moisturizer behind". Here are the benefits:

Hydrates instantly and improves hydration over time - True

Primes so makeup goes on beautifully and stays put - True

Protects with SPF 20 and contains an ingredient that helps inhibit DNA damage - Unsure

Perfects to instantly even out skin tone and minimize pores, lines, wrinkles, and redness - True

Treats to firm skin, improve elasticity, and provide measurable anti-aging benefits - We shall see

For me, the downside to this product is that it comes in one "universal" color, which I don't believe is true. I have an olive skin tone, and I personally can't wear this alone. But with a little under eye concealer and light powder, it looks great. This product doesn't provide heavy coverage, but does well in evening out your skin tone. It also works wonders as primer under your foundation and blends really well for a more finished look. And for the right skin tone, this is an ultimate steal! For $34, you can get a tinted moisturizer, primer, and anti-aging cream all in one! At least, that's the way I see it. The less products you have to buy and refill, the better! Visit your local Ulta Beauty Supply, Sephora, Etc. to see if this is right for you. The great thing about these stores is that if it doesn't work out for you, you can always return it no questions asked.

Smashbox CC Cream ($42)

Rating: Trust it!

I was at my local Ulta Beauty Supply store debating between this one and Juice Beauty's 12 in 1 CC cream. I originally came in for Juice Beauty's CC Cream because it is cheaper than the Smashbox CC cream, it's 100% organic, and you get more product for what you pay for. However, the sales associate raved about this new Smashbox CC Cream and told me to try it. So I tried both on my face and compared. I instantly knew I had to go with Smashbox once I took a look in the mirror. If redness and dark spots are a problem for you, this works wonders in covering it up without using a heavy foundation. Everything I did not find with Urban Decay's BB Cream I found in this CC Cream. 

Here are the product details:

Primes, perfects, protects (SPF 30), moisturizes, and controls oil - True

Visibly fades dark spots, sun spots, and post-acne marks - True

Immediately evens skin with a tinted formula and prevents discoloration in the future - True

Variety - Available in 5 shades

Regular powder does not last when you're playing with kids all day. I also have acne prone skin in the summer, so a liquid foundation is not a great idea either. But I have finally found something that is lightweight, gives a good amount of coverage, and literally cut my morning routine down to 5 minutes! And I still get compliments about looking so put together. What more can you ask for?

The Take-Away:

The main difference between BB Creams and CC Creams are that CC Creams have more benefits and are better able to color-correct. So depending on the state and needs of your skin, you may not even need a CC Cream. My advice, do your research, read the benefits, and ask a beauty consultant to help you find the right product for you.  Everyone is different.

But here's the bottom line: Save those glossy looks and dark smokey eyes for special occasions to make them all the more special. Embrace your natural beauty, and let the best beauty shine through - the beauty that lies within you