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Cover my rosy patches. Brush out my eyebrows. Swipe on mascara and maybe some tinted lip balm. That’s more or less my lazy solution to virtual meeting makeup during quarantine. Unless it’s the weekend and I’m playing around with a new look for fun, I don’t spend more than five minutes at a time on makeup these days. My colleagues have all seen me without makeup plenty of times, and I don’t see many other people face-to-face while social distancing anyway.
But some days I just want to look (and feel) a little more awake — and that’s why I rely heavily on a color-correcting cream that’s easy to apply and looks seamless no matter how much effort I put in. It was already one of the most-used products in my kit, but Cle Cosmetics’s CCC Cream has now become one of the only products I reach for when doing everyday makeup looks.
This is one of those seemingly magical color-changing base products that comes out of its tube white and “adjusts” to the wearer’s skin tone. According to cosmetic chemists, color-changing makeup like this sadly doesn’t actually shift to match specific skin tones — it’s just the work of tiny, encapsulated pigments that burst and spread across the skin as the product is blended, creating the illusion of customization. But despite the fact that its color-adjusting claims are more of a marketing gimmick than anything, there are plenty of other reasons I use it so frequently.
This lightweight cream basically takes all the plumping, hydrating, and brightening qualities of a multi-step K-beauty skin-care routine and puts them all into one makeup product for a glowing finish that looks and feels like bare skin. Coconut oil, niacinamide, and blueberry-derived vitamin C are just a few key players in CCC Cream’s ingredient lineup.
It’s also chock-full of hyaluronic acid, a skin-plumping powerhouse. “Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that occurs naturally in the skin, [and] it helps to bind water to collagen, trapping it in the skin, so that skin can appear plumper, dewier, and more hydrated,” says California-based dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse.
Thanks to those ingredients, the cream melts into my skin just like a moisturizer, and I can rub it in with my fingers as if it were one. In fact, it works way better when I don’t even bother to pick up my brushes and instead slather it on directly with my hands (that I wash frequently, mind you).