The top BB and CC creams to use when you don't feel like a full face of makeup
No makeup makeup? We got you
By Carli Alman
Beauty Crew Editor / April 29 2019
Not all days call for a full face of makeup. Sometimes we want just a hint of coverage, a luminous glow, and some added skin care benefits. And that's where skin-perfecting BB creams and CC creams come in. Not quite as sheer as tinted moisturisers, and not as full coverage as foundations, the skin care-meets-makeup hybrids are the perfect options for minimalists, low-key days or weekends, or even those hot summer days that call for not much makeup at all. But what's the difference between the two? Well, technically BB stands for beauty balm (though it may also be referred to as a blemish balm), and it's basically an all-in-one product that combines skin care benefits (usually including sun protection) with a bit of coverage. A CC cream stands for colour correcting, so it offers a bit more coverage than a BB cream to even out skin tone.
Within each category there are hundreds of different options to suit every skin type and concern, so it can be confusing to pick one that'll work for you. But don't worry, we've done the hard work and found the best BB creams and CC creams, as rated by Beauty Crew members, as well as some of Australia's best-sellers and cult favourites. If you're looking for a new addition to your beauty kit, this list is an excellent start.
IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50+
If there's one CC cream that's earned itself cult status, it's this one right here - Sephora can barely keep it stocked! It has nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and offers anti-ageing benefits, along with broad-spectrum protection and a high-coverage finish. It's a great one for dry skin and oily skin alike, but if you are worried about looking too dewy, you can look into the oil-free version.
The review: “It's like you get all the benefits of a full face of foundation without the heaviness, and it takes only a few minutes to apply. It feels magnificent on your skin. There is no caking, or build-up in fine lines. It's like having a veil of perfection and protection over your skin. This will be a must-have in my beauty bag from now on.” - Tara, Beauty Crew member.
Estée Lauder Double Wear All Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup SPF 30
Estée Lauder's original Double Wear Foundation is iconic and has received rave reviews for its long-wear and the flawless coverage it offers, and this BB cream does its predecessor proud by offering light coverage, SPF and glow in one. We also love that it has vitamin C to help up your skin brightness, and vitamin E to ensure hydration all day long.
The review: "At the end of the day my look was still fresh and the vibrant glow remained without any oily zones to worry about. The product was easily removed with my usual double cleanse routine. I love that this product contains vitamins E and C to help care for my skin, so while I know my skin is looking great it is also being looked after. If you are looking for a product that will really enhance your look, then this product is very much worth the splurge." - Anna M, Beauty Crew member.
Dr. Jart+ Black Label Nourishing Beauty Balm SPF 30
Despite only offering one shade, this universal tint gives great everyday coverage, a flawless finish, comfortable hydration, and can even help soothe and calm both sensitive and blemish-prone skin types.
The review: "It took me so long to actually crack into this product, and I am so glad I finally did! The tint is perfect for my skin, leaves me looking one nice shade, not too matte or dewy, and I love the fact that it has an SPF of 30! Truly one of my holy grail products." - Saoirse, Sephora.com.au reviewer
Garnier Skin Naturals BB Cream Sensitive
Finding products that work with sensitive skin can be tricky, but thankfully Garnier seems to have done well with this variant of its original BB Cream. While it ticks all the same boxes as the OG (lightweight coverage, evens out skin tone, and hydrates and protects skin), it also contains allantoin to soothe skin, and uncoated mineral pigments to help reduce the appearance of redness.
The review: “The light coverage hides most of the imperfections on my face; combined with my concealer, I really like the result. It is easy to blend and the light shade matches my skin quite well. I really like that it has SPF and is hydrating. Products that do multiple things for such a low price is a big tick for me. I have already bought a second tube.” - Olivia, Beauty Crew member.
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF
This multipurpose product hydrates, evens out skin tone, and controls shine all throughout the day - and while still leaving skin looking fresh and natural.
The review: "It gives this airbrushed finish which makes my pores and wrinkles disappear. Several people have told me my skin looks great and it's just from this. It doesn't get oily or go weird during the day." - MRSS84, Mecca.com.au reviewer
Rimmel London BB Cream Matte
While some like a dewy glowy finish, others (especially those with oily skin) might prefer more of a matte finish, and that's where this budget-friendly BB cream comes in. With a whopping nine benefits in one little tube (including SPF 15 protection), it's the shine control people will love most - and don't worry, it's non-comedogenic, so it won't clog pores.
The review: “In no way is this product drying on my skin, but my T-zone does stay oil-free whilst I am wearing this BB cream. It stays in place all day and doesn't smudge, crease or 'cake' in areas of the face like I have found with other BB creams I have tried. It is especially lightweight and breathable, and when wearing this product it feels as though you are wearing nothing.” – Georgia, Beauty Crew member.
Nude by Nature Sheer Glow BB Cream
Besides the fact that this ticks all those BB boxes, we love that this winner is from an Australian brand, features natural ingredients, and is cruelty-free. Oh, and did we mention you can pick it up at your local Priceline? It's not heavy on the SPF, so we recommend wearing sun protection underneath.
The review: “The BB cream gives a luminous, yet natural-looking glow to your complexion and helps to diffuse the appearance of uneven skin tone. What this BB cream does best is enhance what you already have, so if you are experiencing a good skin week like me, this cream sure helps to celebrate that!” - Sinead, Beauty Crew member.
Madara Organic Skincare Anti-Pollution City CC Cream SPF15
Looking for an organic option? This European CC is certified natural and organic with ECOCERT and features skin-loving ingredients like oak bark, grapeseed and green tea extracts, as well as hyaluronic acid and sea buckthorn to keep skin hydrated, healthy and protected from the environment, all while making it look fresh, even and bright.
The review: "What a game-changer. Smells divine, goes on a dream, just enough coverage to hide redness, doesn't clog pores or the fine lines on my face. Colour match was spot on, stayed in place all day." - Raina, NourishedLife.com.au reviewer
Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream Foundation
This skin perfector features three different colour correcting pigments to help even out redness and dark spots, and brighten your skin tone in one application.
The review: "The light-to-medium coverage is perfect for achieving a natural-looking, radiant complexion. It evens out my skin tone without looking cakey nor is it too sheer. The formula is lightweight and a bit runny, and applies smoothly and evenly with no patchiness." - Beea, Beauty Crew member.
Maybelline New York Dream Pure BB Cream
Finding beauty products when you have oily or acneic skin can be hard - you might want to cover your trouble areas, but don't want to make the issue worse. Well, this everyday BB cream can help offer some coverage, while salicylic acid in the formula can help treat problem skin. Plus, oily skin types will love the non-greasy feel.
The review: “I am so impressed with the results of this cream. The coverage is just enough, giving a natural look all over my neck and face. My skin feels soft and hydrated. Sometimes when I use new products, I breakout with a few pimples, this did not happen with this product: instant thumbs up from me!” – Rachel, Beauty Crew member.
Prefer a tinted moisturiser during summer? Here are 6 of our favourite tinted moisturisers.
Do you have a go-to BB or CC Cream? Please share with us in the comments section below.
Main image credit: @annaheinrich1
Carli was BEAUTYcrew’s Editor from launch in 2016 until May 2020. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.