What's The Difference Between BB Creams, CC Creams And Tinted Moisturisers?

Whether it’s because we’re running late, hungover or just feeling lazy, we all have those days where we CBF doing ‘the works’ with our makeup. So, we put on a bit of concealer, swipe on a coat of mascara and more often that not, swap our usual foundation out for a tinted moisturiser, BB cream or CC cream. It’s not hard to see why we favour these face products on those ‘can’t be bothered’ occasions — they’re so quick and easy to swipe on with your fingers and unlike foundation, are practically impossible to stuff up.
But have you ever wondered what exactly the difference between tinted moisturisers, BB creams and CC creams (as well as the next-gen DD and EE creams) is? Us too, which is why we decided to ask a professional makeup artist, Samantha Coles, to set the record straight.

As it turns out, they each do very different things — so keep reading to find out which option is best for you.

Tinted moisturisers

Tinted moisturisers provide a sheer colour boost while moisturising your skin. Before CC and BB became big on the market, they were the ‘go-to’ for those that didn’t want to wear foundation but wanted to put a little something on before leaving the house.
-Samantha Coles

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser


Shop the Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser


Shop the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser.

Bareminerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream


Shop the Bareminerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream.

BB Creams

BB stands for ‘blemish balm’ or ‘beauty balm’. These creams are designed to brighten and hydrate the skin. They are often lighter than normal foundation and slightly heavier than a tinted moisturiser. They tend to have added skin care benefits like sunscreen and antioxidants but the formula varies depending on the brand you choose.
-Samantha Coles

Stila Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Illuminating Beauty Balm


Shop the Stila Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Illuminating Beauty Balm.

Bobbi Brown BB Cream


Shop the Bobbi Brown BB Cream.

Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm


Shop the Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm.

CC Creams

CC cream stands for ‘colour correcting’. The formulas and light reflecting particles are designed to reduce redness and uneven tones. They hit the market big a few years ago.
-Samantha Coles

Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream


Shop the Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream.

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream


Shop the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream.

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream


Shop the Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream.

Beyond the CC

It would appear that beauty brands are working their way through the alphabet, because DD creams and EE creams are now a thing, too! DD cream stands for daily defence and are basically tinted moisturisers that also have in-built protection from UV rays and free radicals. Meanwhile, Estee Lauder’s Enlighten Even Effect is the first EE cream we’ve seen so far and is designed to correct the skin tone while treating pigmentation. So, what’s next — will FF and GG creams soon hit the mainstream? Only time will tell!

Nuxe Creme Prodiguese DD Creme


Shop the Nuxe Creme Prodiguese DD Creme.

Estee Lauden Enlighten EE Cream


Shop the Estee Lauden Enlighten EE Cream.

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