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What’s the Real Difference Between Tinted Moisturizer, Foundation, BB Cream and CC Cream?

Is it just me, or has shopping for liquid makeup these days become overwhelming?

If you’re trying to even out skin tone, cover blemishes, or find a good item for maturing skin, there’s a product that can do that job.

But how do you possibly know which one is right for you?

foundation2

There are so many types and the selection is ever-growing.

It’s enough to make you throw your hands up in surrender and retreat to your fortress of Netflix and comfy pants where nobody judges your skin coverage skills.

If you’ve ever wondered what kind of liquid makeup you should be using and what they all do, I’m here for you, ladies.

Whether you’re a beginner to the makeup game and want to know the difference between all these products, or you’ve heard mention of the alphabet soup that is BB, CC (and yes even DD) creams and don’t quite know what they all have to offer, I’m gonna break it down.

Today, I’m excited to decode the makeup aisle mystery and uncover some of the features of each of these similar (but oh so different) makeup formulas.

Let’s get to it!

Throwing Shade

First things first, let’s talk about how to find the right shade of makeup for your skintone.

color match

That means 85% are picking the wrong shade!

At some point in our lives, we’ve probably all used the wrong color makeup only to find out later how weird it looked (you should see my ghosty-faced sophomore Winter Formal Dance photo), so it’s imperative that we get this right.

Consider your skin type – Choose a makeup that is best suited to your skincare concerns. If you have oily skin, go for an oil free makeup to reduce shine. Dry? Look for a hydrating formula or a tinted moisturizer. If you have sensitive skin, consider using a mineral-based makeup which typically includes less irritants. Remember, healthy skin is makeup’s best canvas!

Choose for your undertone – You’re not only choosing a makeup shade based on the lightness/darkness of your skin, you also want to base your choice on the undertones of your skin (cool, neutral and warm). A handy way to determine this is to look at the veins at the inside of your wrist. If they look blue or purple, your undertone is cool; if they’re green or olive colored, you’re warm; and if they’re a mix of both, you’re a neutral undertone.

140404_foundation-skintonesTest on your jawline – Test three shades that look closest to your skin color along your jawline and choose the one that disappears into skin. Overhead lighting in the makeup aisle can be harsh so, if possible, try to stand near a window or get as close to natural light as possible.

protipDifferent Types of Liquid Makeup

Alright, now that we know how to find the right shade of makeup, let’s find out what type of makeup is best for you!

Whether you’re looking for light or heavy coverage, sun protection or anti-aging benefits, there’s one out there for you.

Let’s take a look at what each of these products has to offer!

foundation

Tinted Sunscreen

Tinted sunscreens are an excellent way to get smooth coverage with effective sun protection at the same time.

This is the perfect combo for everyday wear since they offer lighter coverage while still nicely evening out skin tone.

This is a great option if you’re not used to wearing makeup or don’t like the feel of heavier foundation.

Plus, it cuts down time in your get-ready routine since it’s basically liquid makeup and moisturizer and in one!

As a busy working mom, I love my tinted sunscreen.

It’s super convenient, but still effectively hydrates and gives me light coverage to even out my skin.

And, it’s nice knowing that my sun protection is taken care of!

Remember, if you’re going to be in direct sunlight for a while, reapply SPF every two hours or more if you’re swimming or sweating!

Use When:

  • You want light coverage or a natural look
  • You’re not used to wearing heavier makeup
  • You want easy, everyday lightweight coverage, hydration and SPF protection all in one

Pro Application Tip: After you’ve moisturized your face, apply tinted sunscreen as you would your regular moisturizer. Starting in the center of your face, apply a dime-sized amount with your fingers and blend out and up until your face is evenly covered and sunscreen absorbs into skin. You’re good to go!

 

Foundation

If you’re looking for coverage, foundation is the name of the game.

It has a higher pigment concentration and thicker consistency than other liquid makeups, so it covers a multitude of blemishes including acne, scars, hyper-pigmentation and age spots while giving you a smooth, flawless finish.

Foundations also usually come in a broader range of shades, so if you have trouble matching your skin tone, you might have better luck in the foundation spectrum.

If you have oily skin, an oil-free formula or matte foundation will give you a long-lasting, mattifying look that will keep the mid-day shine at bay.

Pro Tip: If you like your foundation, but find it’s too heavy to wear for everyday, mix a couple drops with your moisturizer for lighter coverage. You can also mattify it a bit (thus, taking away the heavy feel) but sweeping a light layer of setting powder over top!

Use When:

  • Coverage is your top priority
  • You need a wider shade range

Pro Application Tip: A clean and moisturized face is the perfect canvas for foundation, and don’t forget your daily SPF! Wait five minutes for skin to absorb moisture and sun protection before you apply your makeup. As an option, you can start with a primer to minimize pores and give your skin a smoother surface. Next, apply your foundation with a foundation brush starting in the center of your face and blending out and down. Continue blending with a damp blending sponge, using a rolling motion to press into skin for a flawless finish!  

 

Concealer

While we’re talking coverage, I have to mention concealer, the hardest working makeup in the coverup business.

Most of us are probably familiar with classic concealer, a thicker cream or liquid used to camouflage flaws, blemishes and undereye circles.

But, I’m super excited to share a couple concealer tips that you may not know!

Not Just Nude

Concealer isn’t just for hiding a zit, it’s also used for color correction!

Have you ever seen a green or yellow concealer and wondered what it does?

It works as a complementary color (colors that are opposite on the color wheel and neutralize each other when mixed) to counter different tones in your skin like redness or eye circles, and evens things out so you can post up flawless.

To find out which areas of your face could benefit from color correction, check out your face in natural light.

Then, refer to the handy color chart below.

colorchart

To apply: Dot a small amount of concealer onto face after you’ve applied any foundation or liquid makeup. Blend using a clean fingertip, pat lightly to blend into skin. You can also use a concealer brush for beautiful, even results!

Get in the Triangle

When you’re covering up those telltale undereye circles, don’t just sweep concealer under your eyes and call it a day.

There’s a better way!

triangle

For an application that will bring instant illumination to eyes, apply concealer in an upside down triangle shape starting under your eyes and extending to a point toward your cheekbone, and blend up and out.

This will give your eyes lift and light rather than just covering those snooze button circles.

BB Cream

BB, or “beauty balm”, creams were born in Germany when they were formulated by dermatologist for patients recovering from facial procedures to offer coverage and promote healing.

They found popularity in Asia before hitting the U.S. marketplace in 2011.

BB cream sales neared $9 million in their first year in U.S. department stores.

They’ve maintained popularity with their reputation of being a one-stop-shop miracle formula.

While they offer light to medium coverage (lighter than foundation but thicker than tinted moisturizer), they also boast a bevy of other benefits:

Primer

Anti-aging ingredients to improve skin’s elasticity

Antioxidants to fight and protect against free radical damage

Illuminator

Moisturizer

Sun protection

BB creams are basically makeup with some added skincare factors thrown in.

Some target more specific concerns than others, so look for one that will address your skincare priorities.

The only downside? There’s not a very wide range of shades or colors, so you’re kind of limited.

However, because they offer lighter coverage, you may not need an exact match.

Use When:

  • You want light to medium coverage
  • You want a natural look, don’t like the feel of heavy makeup
  • You need a light tint with anti-aging benefits
  • You have acne-prone skin (look for an oil-free BB cream)
  • You have dry skin, want a makeup that offers hydration

CC Cream

The main goal of these “color correcting” or “complexion correcting” creams is to even out skin tone targeting blotchiness, redness, sallow or dull complexions and hyper-pigmentation, melasma, age spots and scarring.

CC creams use light-diffusing particles to neutralize and even out color and skin tone.  

Many also include anti-aging ingredients to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and SPF sun protection.

The consistency of CC creams tends to be lighter, like a whipped airy texture, and they offer lighter and more luminous coverage than a BB cream.

These are going to give you a more natural glow with mid to light coverage while evening your skin tone and blurring imperfections.

If you’re looking for a little more coverage, CC creams make a great color correcting primer when used under foundation.

Because they’re lighter, CC creams are also a great option if you have oily skin since they won’t appear as cakey.

Use When:

  • Your main priority is evening your skin tone
  • You want light coverage while still blurring imperfections
  • You want a natural look with anti-aging benefits
  • You have oily skin
  • You don’t like the feel of heavy makeup

 

Are there really even DD creams?

Yes, the beauty balm alphabet knows no bounds.

A DD cream stands for either “Daily Defense,” “Double-Duty,” or “Dynamic Do-All” depending on who you ask.

It’s still relatively new to the makeup family, so nobody has really nailed it down quite yet.

What we do know is that it supposedly combines the benefits of its BB and CC cream predecessors while offering more sun protection, anti-aging boosters and preventing moisture loss, making them ideal for users with mature skin.

Stay tuned to see if these DD creams grow in popularity.

There’s even rumor of an EE cream….

Here are some of my liquid makeup picks!

My Top Tinted SPF

dermaquest

This Dermaquest SheerZinc SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen provides protection against UVA and UVB rays using the power of Zinc Oxide. Since it’s a physical sunscreen (which I always love!) rather than a chemical one, it’s less irritating to skin. It absorbs smoothly into skin without leaving any residue, plus it’s tinted so it gives you light coverage and evens out skin tone. It’s the perfect combo for everyday wear!

My Favorite Foundation

YBfoundation

YoungBlood Liquid Mineral Foundation is a silky, lightweight formula that not only gives you flawless coverage, it actually helps your skin too! Deep sea properties soothe redness and reduce irritation, while vitamins and minerals offer nourishing hydration. This illuminating foundation leaves your skin healthy and glowing.

My Concealer Choices

dermconceal

Why just conceal a pimple when you could treat it at the same time? Dermalogica Concealing Spot Treatment is lightly tinted to cover up blemishes, but it also contains ingredients to neutralize acne-causing bacteria, control oil and balance skin. Gentle enough for even sensitive skin, it fights breakouts and conceals while it heals!

camokit

This Glo Minerals Corrective Camouflage Kit allows you to do some easy color correction and neutralize imperfections such as redness, dark circles, hyper-pigmentation, blemishes and more! Even out skin tone and restore balance with this handy little palette!

My Top BB Cream Picks

collin

GM Collin Mineral BB Cream offers so many benefits. Its works as both a primer and a foundation to even skin tone and give it a natural glow. The hydrating formula also provides SPF 25 broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, so it makes a great addition to your morning routine!

100pure

100% Pure BB Cream moisturizes skin while offering SPF 15 protection. It’s also free of harsh chemicals making it great for all skin types. Though the formula is gentle on skin, the lightweight coverage is so effective, you won’t even need concealer. Talk about a time saver!

My Favorite CC Creams

osmosis

This Osmosis CC Cream really does it all. It not only offers lightweight coverage, it transforms skin by minimizing dark spots and fighting fine lines and wrinkles. This nourishing cream also firms and hydrates skin. And, it comes in four flattering shades, so you can find your match.

labella

La Bella Donna CC Cream brightens skin with medium to light coverage while balancing skin by hydrating and controlling oil and shine. It combats signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, by encouraging collagen production. And minimizes the appearance of pores so you’re left looking fresh and flawless.

Final Thoughts

I’m glad I got to share the ultimate liquid makeup guide with you today, and I hope you can find one that best suits you! Let’s review what we’ve learned.

I’d also like to note that while a lot of these products boast an all-in-one miracle formula, they’re certainly no replacement for a good skincare routine.

Make sure you’re still giving your skin the proper hydration it requires.

And, definitely practice good sun protection by wearing your daily SPF!

What’s your go-to type of liquid makeup? Are you a heavy or light coverage type of gal? Let us know in the comments section!

 

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