I don’t ordinarily begin my articles by quoting Joni Mitchell song lyrics (or any song lyrics for that matter—I’m acutely aware this isn’t MySpace), but nothing can summarise the story I’m about to tell quite like this: “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone." Ain’t that the truth.
During lockdown I’ve let my beauty routine slide somewhat. I slowly began forgoing my signature smokey eyeshadow, then my penchant for bronzer-mapping got the boot. Ultimately, there was only one product left standing—my It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+. Yes, it might be a bit of a mouthful to say but the lengthy title belies the simplicity of this fuss-free base product. As the name suggests, the aim of this foundation alternative is to make it look like you're not wearing anything at all. Think of it as your skin but better. Indeed, this is no ordinary CC cream. Boasting full-coverage, a slew of skincare super ingredients, and a physical sunscreen of SPF 50, it’s a game-changer.
Formulated with the help of plastic surgeons, it's no surprise that the It Cosmetics CC Cream has attracted legions of fans dealing with skin concerns like acne and rosacea. Rose Gallagher, UK and Ireland brand ambassador for It Cosmetics, previously revealed that this CC cream tops the list of products that she swears by for her rosacea.
"I love that it gives a full coverage finish but looks and feels like hardly anything on the skin," Gallagher explains. "It’s rare to find something that covers any high colour in the skin (for me, that's flushing and redness) and yet has a dewy, fresh finish. The texture is light, which means that it feels comfortable on the skin, and the formula is infused with skincare so it remains fresh and luminous through the day as opposed to drying out. Then of course there’s the multi-tasking element: foundation, concealer, colour corrector, primer, serum, day cream and SPF."
Like Rosie, my It Cosmetics CC cream proved to be my beauty salvation—even without its usual makeup accompaniments, my friends would still comment on my glowy, flawless-looking complexion during our weekly video calls, and I never felt self-conscious stepping out with unshaped brows or naked lashes. It was liberating. But then, at the end of April, my tube ran out.
Being housebound had its perks, though. It finally forced me to go through all the boxes I’d long-been neglecting since my house move last year, during which I uncovered the foundation I used to wear on the daily. Applying it to the back of my hand, the texture was smoother than I remembered it. On my face, it glided on like silk. Perhaps I’d been hooked on It Cosmetics’ CC cream for too long? Had I simply become comfortable with the familiarity of it and, in turn, had been overlooking a superior base product? Considering I’d just run out of the CC cream, now was the perfect time to put that theory to the test. So, how did I get on without it?
After eight weeks, my skin was noticeably dull and lacklustre. Breakouts, the likes of which I hadn’t experienced in years, began to flare up around my chin, on my cheekbones, and on my forehead. My fine lines appeared, um, less fine, and my skin tone looked blotchy. While we all know that ageing can have affect your complexion in a multitude of ways, I simply thought I wasn’t there yet—that my youthful visage was a stroke of luck. But perhaps my It Cosmetics CC+ Cream had been secretly working its magic to afford me the lovely skin I’d become accustomed to. I had underestimated it, and I wasn’t going to make that mistake again.
I ordered myself a new tube and, after using it for the last four weeks, I’ve seen a marked improvement in my skin once more. It’s looks glowier, more even, my breakouts are under control, and my fine lines seem to have retreated back. Lesson learned. The only negative thing I have to say about this product is its small shade range. Yes, the formula is designed to blend and work with the natural colour of your skin but still, I, and every beauty editor I know, would love to see a more expansive, diverse shade line-up than the 12 that are currently available.
Indeed, there are a few things I’ve learned about my beauty routine during lockdown. Contouring is not for me, I don’t like the look of highlighter down the bridge of my nose, that my 15-year-old self was right, and that liquid eyeliner is overrated, and that I’ll never, ever be without my It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ again. This full-coverage cream is very much worth the hype—and I'm not the only one who thinks so.
"The innovative product made waves stateside when it launched, going on to become the #1 best-selling CC cream in America," explains Mica Ricketts, Who What Wear’s deputy editor (beauty). "Trust me—I love foundation, but this product could persuade me to ditch it altogether. While there are now two further formulations to choose from – Illumination and Oil-Free – I’ll never be without the original. So much so, I ensured I had a travel-sized version in my maternity bag when I made my way to the hospital."
"It Cosmetics CC+ is my go-to foundation since I started using it a couple of years ago," explains beauty and wellness editor Amy Lawrenson. "The original imparts a gorgeous glow to the skin, evening out skin tone but never making my complexion appear cakey or made up. The Illumination version is a saviour for dull skin days (read: hungover) and has so many people asking me whether I've had a facial when I wear it. In fact, CC+ has gained such a stellar reputation because it makes everyone who wears it look like they have great skin—not just great makeup."
It isn't just beauty editors who have fallen for the charms of the It Cosmetics CC Cream either, makeup artists swear by it too. Monika Blunder, the lady behind the faces of celebrities like Gemma Chan and Jessica Alba swears by it too.
"I use It Cosmetics CC cream in Medium most days because it's super easy to apply, gives me great coverage, and it has an SPF of 50," Blunder has previously revealed.
Convinced? You should be.
Shop the Best-Selling CC Cream I Use Instead of Foundation
The original cult formula that contains brightening colour correcting pigments to minimise the appearance of pores, evens skin tone and diminishes dark spots alongside skin-nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and collagen to firm and hydrate your complexion.
The beauty insider pick of choice, this illuminating version of the CC cream offers up extra radiance if you like your foundations to have more of a dewy finish.
Of all the It Cosmetics CC formulations, this oil-free version is my favourite. Great for oily combination complexions, it's described as matte, but I'd say it has more of a natural, satin finish. It contains oil-absorbing charcoal, tea tree and clay to soak up unwanted shine throughout the day. My skin always looks so healthy when I wear it.
If, like my colleague Mica, you can't bear to be parted from the original CC Cream once you've tried it, then good news, because it comes in a handy travel-sized tube, too.
For the month of August, QVC will be stocking a supersize tube of It Cosmetics CC Cream. At 75ml, it's more than double the price, for a more £11 more. Please excuse me while I buy in bulk.
There's not much that could make me sway from Zoeva brushes, but this dual-end It Cosmetics brush is downright amazing. Of course, it's been developed to work with the CC Cream, but it has the power to smooth any formula (even heavier foundations). It comes as no surprise to me that it's a staple in many makeup artists' kits.