BB (Blemish or Beauty Balm) cream’s rise to the pinnacle of must-have multitasking cosmetics has been well documented. First propagated by Korean celebrities, this middle ground between tinted moisturizer and foundation became a highly buzzed-about beauty product in Asia, before moving into the Western world.
As with BB creams, Asia is leading the world in CC (Color or Complexion Correction or Control) cream technology, with companies such as Rachel K, iFiona, Missha and Tiannuo bringing the first editions of the product to market.
According to Rachel Kum, founder of the Hong Kong and Singapore-based Rachel K, which released its mineral CC cream in 2011, these formulations aim to bridge the gap between cosmetics and skin care even more effectively than their predecessors.
“It’s like a better version of a BB cream in terms of what it gives in result, functions and the benefits, so you have a lot of better active ingredients than the BB cream,” she said.
But BB cream also has its fair share of detractors, with common complaints including unsuitability for a wide range of skin tones and an often oily finish.
CC cream is formulated to avoid both of these BB pitfalls, with a lighter, almost mousse-like texture made for better blending and a matte finish.
“The major difference is actually the different results, so CC cream makes your skin look more radiant and blends in very naturally and gives a nice, radiant finish. It doesn’t look ghostly white,” Kum told WWD.
Another major difference between BB and CC creams is the addition of more effective skin-care ingredients, including epidermal growth factor, or EDF, which promotes collagen growth.
“Whatever BB cream is giving you right now, the CC cream will give you 30 percent better skin-care benefits because the ingredients used are better,” Kum said. “I wouldn’t recommend people sleep wearing the BB cream, but I can assure my customers that it’s actually safe to sleep wearing the CC cream.”
Consumers in China have embraced the CC cream trend with particular enthusiasm. Hangzhou-based cosmetics company iFiona found fame in the Mainland China market for its BB creams. This year, iFiona, which sells primarily online, has released four CC creams, the most popular of which has already sold 1.3 million units.
“In China, actually it’s not like Japan or Korea, they care more about skin care than makeup,” iFiona founder Betty Lin told WWD. “In China, a lot of people are using CC cream, because it’s much more like using a skin-care cream, it’s not so thick, not so heavy. It’s the best response we’ve ever had to a product.”
One way to measure a product’s success in China is to note the number of counterfeit versions available at the country’s numerous “fake” or “copy” markets. Recent months have seen a proliferation of iFiona’s distinctive logo (which features a cat) popping up on CC creams all over the place.
It’s not without a touch of pride that Lin recounts her experience of seeing fake versions of iFiona’s CC creams on her travels around the country.
“Our CC creams have many copies and I don’t know how much they sell, but once I went to Guangzhou and one of the sellers of the fakes said to me, ‘You must make a lot of money from these products because they sell very well for us!’”
One international company that recognized this thirst for CC cream in Mainland China early on was Chanel, with the quintessentially luxe French brand releasing its CC cream exclusively in China (though it is expected to become available in other markets in the future).
Procter & Gamble’s Olay brand has beat Chanel to the punch Stateside with its CC cream, which was launched in the American market earlier this month.
“Olay discovered that while women in the U.S. love BB Creams for their ability to provide a quick, flawless finish, many women, especially as they become more skin-care involved in their late 20s, 30s and beyond, are seeking skin-care solutions that provide an instant coverage fix as well as longer-term benefits over time,” said Lela Coffey, marketing director for North America at Olay.
One option available for U.S. consumers is Wei East Cosmetics’ Wei to Go First Impressions Kit, with Ideal Skin — Perfect Finish cream (featuring CC cream formulation), which is already for sale through online retailers beauty.com and birchbox.com.
Wei Brian is the founder of Wei East cosmetics. After two years in development and a launch at New York Fashion Week, she’s confident that her CC cream isn’t in danger of being overtaken by DD creams, or any other alphabetical iteration, in the near future.
“I really think the customers will be getting what they want from this product, so it won’t be quickly replaced. BB cream was quickly replaced by CC cream because the customers were not so happy with it.”
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye