BB vs. CC Cream vs. Tinted Moisturizer: THE HOT SCOOP

Anyone else wondering what the heck the difference is between a BB cream and a CC cream and a Tinted Moisturizer?

I have tried to read the differences that each cream is supposed to have.  To be honest, it always feels like a lot of words.  15-benefits-in-1!  Boosts skin glow!  Protects against environmental damage!

AGH.  The madness.  So.  Many.  Buzz.  Words.

So I just wanted to do a comparison as I’ve noticed, on my own skin.



A tinted moisturizer is just like what it sounds like.  A moisturizer with a hint of color.  Hydrates skin, some provide SPF.  Gives your skin a glow, evens skin tone.

BB cream stands for “Blemish Balm” and also hydrates with a tint of color.  BB creams also have optical diffusers, which is basically a real life filter for your skin.  They blur imperfections such as acne and redness (don’t ask me how) and give your skin a youthful glow, with shimmer.  They have more skin care ingredients than a basic moisturizer, so overtime they help improve the look of your skin.  Most also have SPF.

CC Cream stands for “Color Correction.”  They hydrate and also blur imperfections.  CC creams have all the same benefits as a BB cream, but the biggest difference is the color correction.  CC creams have more pigment.  I would say they are the perfect in between of a tinted moisturizer and a foundation.  The coverage is slightly more sheer than a foundation and (for me) doesn’t last as long as a long-wearing foundation.  But they are a softer, more glowing look than a foundation, with skin care benefits.  They are better for skin with fine lines and wrinkles.


I like a good ‘ol tinted moisturizer every once in a awhile.  Gives your skin color a more even appearance and is easy breezy.  I gave my mom a tinted moisturizer by Boots no7 this year.  She is a gorgeous wash-and-go, no fuss lady with amazing skin.  She puts on her tinted moisturizer and it evens out redness and light sun spots and she is good to go.  Because the coverage is really natural, she doesn’t have to wear any other makeup.  What a babe.  Easy, breezy gorgeous!

I use BB cream under my foundation.  I use it as I would a primer.  It gives me the full coverage I want, when paired with a foundation, without the look of two layers of foundation.  Full post on this technique HERE.

On days when I want to go a bit lighter with my makeup, but still have even looking skin, I use my CC cream.  Great for days when I am just running around and want a little skin coverage and SPF.  It’s especially great if you’ve had a late night and need to brighten up your skin.  I always use CC cream instead of foundation when I wake up wishing I had gotten five more hours of sleep.

My favorites in each category are:

Tinted Moisturizer:

Boots no7, at Target & Ulta, $18.99 for 1.69oz.

Laura Mercier Oil Free (has more pigment than the regular version), $43 for 1.7oz.

BB Cream:

Garnier Oil-Free version, $12.99 for 2 oz.

CC Cream:

It Cosmetics with SPF 50, $38 for 1.08 oz.

And here is a side by side comparison.  Sorry the lighting is a bit different between the two, but I think it’s still a good example of the difference in coverage.

Garnier BB cream on the left, It Cosmetics CC cream on the right.

Garnier BB cream on the left, It Cosmetics CC cream on the right.

I hope this was helpful, please feel free to ask any questions below!  “Like” Girl Get Glamorous on Facebook and you’ll never miss a post.

Go Get Glam!


  • Shawn
    April 11, 2014

    Do you have a recommendation for a cheaper CC?

      April 11, 2014

      So far, It Cosmetics is my favorite CC cream, but it is pricey. I like the Physician’s Formula Organic Wear CC cream. It doesn’t have as much pigment, but is pretty good stuff! It costs about $15, but you can always find drugstore sales. I think I got mine during a 40% off sale at CVS. I hope this helps!

      • Shawn
        April 30, 2014

        Yes, thank you! #tenyearslater

          May 5, 2014

          Haha! Better late than never 🙂

  • Elisa Tess
    June 4, 2014

    If I am trying to go for a make-up free look, do you think BB or CC does a better job? I still would prefer to have the blurring effects and the sun protection. It sounds like a tinted moisturizer wont. work for this.

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