April 13, 2013

Annabelle CC Colour Control Instant Perfecting Base and Pressed Powder

If you thought BB creams were a craze, just wait for the storm of CC creams to flood the market. Promising to deliver all the skincare benefits in a lighter finish formula, plus colour correcting properties, they're set to become the summer's biggest thing.

I admit to being late to the BB party, but most of the ones I have sampled have ranged from good to absolutely terrific, so I was very eager to try the next step forward in the skincare/makeup hybrid evolution. Luckily, I was offered a chance to test the CC Colour Control Instant Perfecting Base from Annabelle Cosmetics - a drugstore option for those looking to dip their toes into a new product type, without sacrificing their wallets for the privilege of being an early adopter.

Annabelle CC Colour Control Instant Perfecting Base CC Cream

I have to say I was fairly confused by the product at first. With the words "colour correcting" in the name, I assumed a CC cream would actually have more coverage than a BB might offer. Since the North American versions of BB creams tend to have coverage equivalent to a tinted moisturizer, I assumed a CC cream would be akin to a medium level foundation, if not more. Sort of a concealer, in a featherweight formula. After consulting with my contact at Annabelle, and reading up online, I realized I was expecting the wrong thing - the purpose of a CC cream is not to offer coverage, per se, but to correct the overall tone and texture of the skin. The effect is meant to be both immediate and long-term with consistent use. The Annabelle CC Base in particular is meant to neutralize redness and the look of a dull and uneven complexion, reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines, and act as a primer for makeup.

My experience is that it does most of this very well. I do have a significant amount of redness in my cheeks, and I felt like this did not mute that colour as much as I would prefer, at least not in comparison to the Marcelle BB cream that I reviewed previously. For me personally, I need more coverage than the neutralizing effect offers. That said, there was an overall diffusing effect that smoothed and brightened my complexion, and visibly improved the tone of the skin. I think if you have significant discolouration you will probably need to reach for some kind of concealing product as well, but this does create the look of more even skin. And while it has a slight tint, there is no perceptible pigment left on the skin, which means that it is truly universal. I found it helpful to think of the difference between staining a fence and painting it. One changes the overall tone and texture while allowing the natural grain and base shade to show through, while the other covers the latter to a significant degree.

Below is a swatch of the Base unblended, and then blended into the skin.

Annabelle CC Colour Control Instant Perfecting Base CC Cream

It has a very lightweight texture that disappears into the skin - there's no heavy, overly slick or faux-powdery silicone feel, just silky-smooth skin. My pores and fine lines were indeed blurred, and overt shine was taken down a notch without creating an overly matte finish. I do recommend making sure skin is exfoliated, because dry, flaky patches will get picked up. This was lovely primer under makeup, keeping my foundation from seeping into my pores as the day passed. I also liked that it didn't interfere with the satin finish I prefer for my foundation.

What I did find odd is that there is no sunscreen. Something claiming to correct skin colour falls a little short for me if it doesn't address the primary cause of unevenness in skin texture and tone.

I also had the chance to test the matching CC Colour Control Pressed Powder, which carries similar claims for neutralizing redness and dull skin, while caring for skin with antioxidants and vitamin E. The coverage is light and the finish is demi-matte - it takes down shine, but allows the skin to retain some natural luminosity. I believe the white strip actually has a very faint sheen that helps to maintain some of that glow. The powder itself is smooth and finely milled, and blends well into the skin. It can be worn by itself for some shine-control and light blurring, over the Base for a finished look with natural coverage, or to set your regular foundation without having an over-powdered look.

Annabelle CC Colour Control Pressed Powder

 Below is a swatch of the base colour and the white stripe, and then the two blended together.

Annabelle CC Colour Control  Pressed Powder

Availability: At most drugstores, including Pharmaprix/SDM and Jean Coutu. Prices vary, about 15-18$.

Pros: Base has a lightweight texture, diffusing effect on skin texture and tone,  and is a nice primer, particularly for preventing seeping into pores. Overall, this works more like a primer-with-benefits than anything else. Powder has a fine texture and a finish that controls shine and looks natural.

Cons: Some confusion over what the "colour correcting" function is - if you are expecting significant reduction in skin discolouration or redness, this will not match up to your needs. Dry patches need to be prepped or they will be emphasized. Lack of sunscreen in both products.

(The items were sent to me by the brand to consider for review. This post is not sponsored or compensated.)


  1. Great review, Maggie. I've been curious about the CCs despite all intention to ignore BBs/CCs/DDs/ZZs. I might try the liquid as primer some time.

    1. I've been sort of slow to board this new-fangled alphabet train, mostly because I think it's unclear what these new creams are really supposed to do. And based on the variety of different offerings out there, it seems like the brands themselves are very loosely interpreting the concepts as well. I think this is one makes for a very nice primer, with more skin-diffusing properties than the average primer, but...is that enough to make a CC cream stand out as a product category? I just don't know. I'd like to try more though, because one thing I like about a lot of the BBs and this CC is the incredibly light-weight textures. That feels like a real leap forward.

  2. I'm starting to feel like if I ever get on the BB/CC/etc train, that I will be using them as primers and not as foundations/TM's, like I think we've been somewhat led to believe. I have been trying a sample of Tarte's new BB and it goes on like a primer (texture-wise) with very little coverage. I happen to prefer it actually because I don't really want/need a lot of coverage, so it suits my purposes fine. This CC sounds similar. I guess my point is that if I'm using one and am hoping for big changes I'll just layer on a foundation. Not a fan of a second step and they way they're being marketed, but at least we know now!

    1. Ya, it seems like the NA versions of BBs either fall into the TM category, with a slightly more matte finish (like the Bobbi Brown and Smashbox, from what I've swatched) or Primers With Benefits. I feel like CCs are going to go even more the way of PWP.

      Er. Too many acronyms, dammit.


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