Peruse the makeup aisle of Sephora, Ulta or your local drugstore, and the number of skin coverage options is bound to overwhelm you, especially if you’ve yet to narrow down your choices. Not only are there innumerable shades to choose from, there’s also the challenge of deciding what type of coverage suits your skin or lifestyle best. And, no, we’re not just talking about powder versus liquid.
There’s your more traditional foundation, tinted moisturizer for sheer coverage, a slightly heavier BB cream and even DD cream, a newer form of coverage that somehow “does it all.” Given all of these variations, we hardly batted an eyelash at CC cream. Short for “color-correcting cream,” its main purpose is to target discoloration and uneven skin tone, in addition to priming and moisturizing. For some, that may sound like a miracle product, but as someone who has tested a ridiculous amount of foundations and learned how to use them for the sheerest to the heaviest coverage, I never saw the need for one.
That is, until a coworker and I discovered one that finally allowed us to get rid of the extras, such as setting spray and primer, all while delivering that dewy (not sweaty) glow in the dead heat of summer. Plus, given the fact that this brand gives back, adding it into my daily rotation was a no-brainer (no #sponcon).
The Name: Thrive Causemetics Buildable Blur CC Cream. No, we didn’t spell cosmetics wrong. The brand name is inspired by its backstory. Karissa Bodnar, makeup artist and product developer, was inspired to start Thrive after losing a friend to cancer. Beyond creating all of the products locally in Los Angeles and leaving out the nasties (parabens, sulfates, animal testing), for every purchase made, one is donated to an organization that helps women dealing with illness, homelessness, domestic violence and more. Glowy skin backed by a cause? Count us in.
“Since I started Thrive Causemetics, I’ve always wanted to create an inclusive CC cream, and it’s taken us three years to create something that all skin tones and types can enjoy,” says Bodnar. “We are so grateful to the team of dermatologists and ophthalmologists, as well as the thousands of women who helped create our shade range.”
The Price: $38. No, it’s not necessarily drugstore price, but given the fact that this is a start-up brand and the shade range isn’t terrible (18 shades with an undertone guide and shade matcher), we think it’s more than reasonable. Here’s what one editor with fair skin and one with brown skin thought after test-driving it.
The Perks for Brown Skin:
Let me start off by saying that this definitely qualifies as sweatpants makeup, a.k.a. the stuff you keep wearing simply because you know it’ll always work. My reasons for wanting to try CC cream stem from the fact that I’ve been surviving a NYC summer without an air-conditioned apartment. Although I love my go-to foundation, it’s simply too heavy for this time of year and melts off my face, even with the help of a primer underneath and setting spray on top. This one’s been sitting near my desk for quite some time and after seeing that there were some brown shades mixed in, I figured, why not?
Initially, I didn’t have high hopes because it did take some time for me to find a shade that works for me (Golden Tan). But that’s where my complaints end. Whether I mix it with my facial oil or simply wear alone, this makes my face one shade of brown, without looking too cakey. I also love that a little goes a long way and that it has built-in sun protection. –Nikki Brown, Beauty Editor
The Perks for Fair Skin:
Before using the CC cream, my daily coverage was basically just spot coverage with concealer—under-eye circles, blemishes and redness. What convinced me to give this a try is the pretty packaging, plus the fact that it includes SPF and promises a high-quality, thoughtfully formulated product was intriguing. It also promised a subtle, seamless-coverage effect, which was definitely what I wanted if I was going to swap my spot concealer for a full-coverage cream. It’s silky, has SPF, and a subtle coverage effect rather than a cakey one.
I typically dab on some cream with fingers, blend with a brush, and sometimes use a sponge to absorb any extra product. I always find that for my skin tone, one challenge is finding the correct color because my pale skin changes pretty significantly when exposed to sun. But that’s something I struggle with with all products, not just this one! –Hannah Hickok, Deputy Editor
For best results, we recommend snagging this CC cream with the sponge, along with some of our other faves, like the Brilliant Eye Brightener. If we had to pick a brand that actually embodies “effortless beauty,” this one would definitely be in our top five.