Yep, 2019 has officially been the year that foundation made a comeback. With more new launches landing on my desk than I can possibly try (although I certainly gave it a good go here) it's fairly obvious that tinted moisturisers and lighter skin tints are moving aside to make room for the return of more classic foundation formulations in our makeup bags.
But there's one foundation alternative that's standing strong in my stash—a seriously cult product that made waves in America when it launched back in 2013 and immediately captured the hearts of British beauty editors when it arrived in the UK a couple of years ago. Trust me—I love foundation, but this product could persuade me to ditch it altogether.
The product in question? It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ (£31). 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.
It Cosmetics co-founder Jamie Kern Lima told Refinery29 that "no one had launched a CC Cream" when the brand brought it to the market in 2013. "We wanted to create something that was one step. It started out as a moisturiser, and we did a lot of clinical studies on the skincare ingredients. We infused full-coverage into it and physical sunscreen of SPF 50. I've had a lot of customers tell me this was life-changing for them, and it's because we really took the time to make it perfect."
The innovative product made waves stateside when it launched, going on to become the #1 best-selling CC cream in America and its popularity resulting in two further formulations: Illumination and Oil-Free. So, you can imagine the buzz when it landed in the UK in 2017. Luckily, I can confirm that this full-coverage cream is very much worth the hype—and I'm not the only one who thinks so.
"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.
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 creams 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."
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 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. I'll be packing this in my maternity bag next month for some much-needed post-baby glow.