It seems you can't open a magazine or turn on the television without seeing an advertisement for a BB cream. And just as we were all finally figuring out why women were clamoring to buy these "blemish balm" or "beauty balm" products, there's already a new cream in town.
Move over BB. Here comes CC.
It could be the hottest makeup trend of the year. And if BB promised to be everything -- primer, tinted moisturizer, SPF -- then CC promises to be all that and a bag of chips.
Take the description of CC cream on the Smashbox website: "If you need some help with discolorations, CC's for you. It primes, protects (with SPF 30!), moisturizes and controls oil -- plus it neutralizes and brightens skin for a more even complexion. It's also proven to fade dark spots, sun spots and post-acne marks instantly and over time."
And while it seems every company has a BB cream on the market, CC is a bit more elusive. Juice Beauty, an organic skin care company, said it was the first U.S. company to get a CC cream on the shelves. Peter Thomas Roth makes one. Among major brands, Smashbox has one, as does Olay. Clinique just launched one.
"BB Cream is a trend from last year that we see continuing to be strong this year," said Birchbox co-founder Katia Beauchamp, "while CC Cream is a newer trend that is up-and-coming and likely to be the stronger focal point of this year."
Prices range from $25 to $45. Juice Beauty's Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream -- $39 -- is sold at 540 Ulta stores nationwide and has been "flying off the shelves. It had to be replenished faster than any of the other creams," said Juice Beauty founding partner Karen Behnke.
So what's the difference between BB and CC?
In general, BB creams tend to be more preventative, said Alexis Wolfer, editor of TheBeautyBean.com, and CC creams more corrective. So while a BB cream will likely have anti-aging elements and treat breakouts, a CC cream will focus on existing issues. She added that CC creams tend to be lighter than BB creams, which might make them a good choice for warmer weather, even for BB cream loyalists.
"CC creams and BB creams are two different products that meet different consumer needs," said Mary Johnson, Olay principal scientist. "BB creams are for a younger consumer who is not looking for color correction and is satisfied with the instant sheer coverage and SPF benefits delivered."
But Wolfer said BB and CC are more alike than they are different.
"There's room for both in a woman's makeup bag," she said. "CC creams are like a movie sequel. They're the next iteration of BB. But if you're happy with your BB cream, there's no reason to switch."
Beauty editors used to recommend an arsenal of products to achieve what BB and CC creams claim to do it one step.
"First, we would say to wash, then add serum, then antioxidants, then hydrate, then lotion, then SPF and then, on top of all that, foundation," Wolfer said. "With these products, it's wash, apply and you're good to go."
All-in-oneness, a huge part of the appeal of BB creams and now carried over to CC, translates to cost savings, assuming the purchaser is happy with the product.
So what's next? The DD cream? Look to Asia to find out. The alphabet-naming trend of products may be indicative of a larger beauty trend.
"Asia has become the trend setter for beauty as opposed to Europe," said Behnke.