Winners of the BB & CC Creams War

Cosmetics, Skin Care


All products except Olay Fresh Effects purchased by me. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links.

Happy Friday! After two months of meticulous testing, I’ve got the winners of my BB & CC Creams War for you! It wasn’t easy to narrow down the winners, though it was certainly easy to choose the losers! And yes, I’ve even chosen an overall winner.

As a reminder, BB creams should:

  • act as a moisturizer
  • have high SPF
  • work as foundation
  • work as concealer
  • have anti-aging properties
  • brightening properties
  • nourishing properties
  • some claim to also prime the skin.

In other words, BB Creams are supposed to be full coverage products.

CC Creams should:

  • have high SPF
  • act as a moisturizer
  • have anti-aging properties
  • have brightening properties
  • have nourishing properties
  • better coverage than a BB Cream
  • alleviate uneven skintones
  • have a lighter and better texture so your real skin shines through.

CC Creams are supposed to be the super-charged version of BB Creams.

Tinted moisturizers should:

  • have SPF
  • a tint to even out your skintone
  • moisturize the skin
  • some have anti-aging benefits.

Tinted moisturizers are the classic that have been around the longest amount of time.

First, let’s start with the losers. The two products that performed the worst on me were Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream Skin Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 15 and the Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream (no SPF).

Worst Products - Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream and Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB CreamL to R: Pacifica, Olay

In both of these photos, the products are on the left half of the face picture, and the right half of the face picture is naked skin. I think my naked skin looks better than the product for both of these. They were disappointing for so many reasons, but the biggest reason is how awful my skin looks when I’m wearing them. Additionally, the Olay only has SPF 15 and the Pacifica has no SPF! Total fail!

I could  not recommend either of these products to anyone based on how they worked (or didn’t work) for me. These two products are the perfect example of what are not really BB Creams to me. They are riding on the BB Cream name, without actually being BB Creams. They’re more like tinted moisturizers, except they fail at that, too.

Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream (no SPF) – $16.00 for 1 fl. oz.
Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream! Skin Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 15 – $14.99 for 2.5 fl. oz. (not cruelty-free)

I do have some other recommendations for you, too, that came out of all of this testing.

My thoughts on the Best for Dry Skin
Josie Maran Argan Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30
TONYMOLY Luminous Pure Aura CC Cream SPF 30
Too Faced Air-Buffed BB Crème Complete Coverage Makeup SPF 20

My thoughts on the Best for Oily Skin
Paula’s Choice Barely There Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30
Ren Satin Perfection BB Cream SPF 15 (this is silicone free)
tarte BB Cream Primer SPF 30

Good for All Skin Types
Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer SPF 20
Supergoop CC Cream SPF 35
Pur Minerals CC Cream SPF 40
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Best for Those Who want Sheer Coverage
Sonia Kashuk® Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15
Prestige Flawless & Ready BB Cream SPF 15
e.l.f. Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20

Ok, so on to the top 6 winners!

Winners of the BB & CC Creams WarL to R 1: It Cosmetics, TONYMOLY, NARS
L to R 2: Ole Henriksen, Paula’s Choice, Sarah McNamara

Here are the 6 Winners
Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face SPF20 won Round 1. $48 for 1.7 fl. oz
Paula’s Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint SPF 30 won Round 2. $14.95 for 1 oz
TONYMOLY Luminous Pure Aura CC Cream (SPF30/PA++) won Round 3. $12.85 for 1.75 fl. oz.
Ole Henriksen Perfect Truth CC Crème SPF 30 won Round 4. $36 for 1 fl. oz.
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 won Round 5. $42 for 1.9 oz
It Cosmetics Anti-Aging Full Coverage Physical CC Cream SPF 5o won Round 6. $34.68 for 1.08 fl. oz.

BB & CC Creams War Face ShotsL to R 1: It Cosmetics, NARS, Paula’s Choice
Lt R 2: TONYMOLY, Ole Henriksen, Sarah McNamara

Now with the 6 winners, here’s how they rank for me.


War of the bb cc creams winning line upSarah McNamara came in 6th because it has the lowest SPF and while it’s a nice product I don’t like that it has oxybenzone and it’s on the low side for SPF since it’s only at SPF 20.

TONYMOLY I like but because of the unclear animal testing policy it’s not a product I’d purchase again even though I do think it performs well.

I love the Ole Henriksen ingredients and how it smells citrusy. I wish it was a tiny bit lighter, but overall it’s really nice and feels great on the skin.

The Paula’s Choice is a steal. It consistently performs well. It keeps my sensitive combo skin looking nice and not greasy.

The NARS is one of my long time favorites. I always reach for it when I want to look polished but not made up. It’s perfect for travel.

The It Cosmetics CC Cream, despite having a VERY long ingredients list, is my favorite. It’s SPF 50, blowing everything else out of the water. It’s a fantastic match for my skintone. It’s full coverage, but it doesn’t feel heavy or cakey. I love that it has both Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide as physical sunblocks. It also has a citrusy scent that fades quickly. Overall the quality of this product (and all of the It Cosmetics products that I’ve tried) have really blown me out of the water. If there’s a shade match for you, I think you’ll love this one.

Wow, this was a long series! What were your favorites? Which products were the winners to you?



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