I Get Asked What the ‘Secret’ to My Effortlessly Glowing Skin Is All the Time—It’s This Under-the-Radar Color-Matching Foundation

Photo: Author
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Have you ever tried a beauty product so spectacular that you can’t possibly wrap your head around why it doesn’t have more 5-star reviews or a larger web presence? For me, it’s the CLE Cosmetics CCC Cream ($38). While it touts just 127 reviews on the brand’s website (and 176 5-star reviews on Amazon), this color-changing, complexion-matching formula has been my number-one full-face product since I discovered it shortly after its launch in 2018. (And, as a beauty writer who receives samples of nearly every new face launch to hit the market, that’s saying something.) Intrigued? Keep reading to learn why I’m so head over heels for this creamy K-beauty formula—and why it’s my number-one, most-recommended product to all my friends and family, and now you, too.

Before diving into what makes the CLE Cosmetics CCC Cream so divine, allow me to tell you a bit about my skin. I have a fair complexion with freckles and rosacea but other than that, my skin is pretty smooth and clear, thanks to good genes and an even better skin-care routine. Because of this—and because I like for my freckles to still peek through a tad—I prefer sheer-to-medium coverage full-face products that even out my skin tone and impart a radiant, natural-looking glow without making my skin look cakey or greasy.

While I’ve tried many, many, many CC creams, tinted moisturizers, and foundations (in liquid, cream, and powder form), the CLE Cosmetics CCC Cream is the only one that never, ever sinks into my pores and always makes my skin look like my own, but better. In short: It’s a godsend.

before after ccc cream
Photo: Author

So, what makes the CLE Cosmetics CCC Cream so special, you might ask?

For starters, it’s formulated with plumping and hydrating hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, elasticity-boosting niacinamide and bamboo extract, antioxidant-rich nattō gum, dark spot- and fine line-fighting blueberry extract, and redness-reducing snow lotus flower extract. What sets it apart the most, though, is its one-of-a-kind microcapsule technology that hides teeny beads of color within the SPF 50-infused essence. Because of this—despite being sold in 10 colors—the CCC Cream comes out of the tube white, and only changes color to match your skin once rubbed in. Like I said, it’s incredible—and that’s before even telling you how easy it is to apply.

cle ccc cream
Photo: Author

I don’t wear makeup every day, but when I do, you can bet that the CLE Cosmetics CCC Cream is on my face. After applying my beloved Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream (and letting it dry down), I apply a dab of the CCC Cream on my forehead, chin, and each of my cheeks, and rub it in with my fingers (which I find works better than using a brush with this formula). From that step alone, my skin looks notably dewier and more even.

ccc cream
Photo: Author

To complete my face makeup, I lightly swipe concealer under the inner and outer corners of my eyes, between my brows (where I tend to experience a bit more redness), down the bridge of my nose, around my nostril creases, beneath the outer corners of my bottom lip, and in the center of my chin. After blending it in with a Beautyblender, I dab on a bright blush (I’m currently loving the Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in the shade Lucky, Nudestix Nudies Matte Cream Blush in the shade Picante, and Danessa Myricks Beauty Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder Flushed Matte Color for Cheeks & Lips in the shade Primadonna), which I blend in with my fingers.

I follow up with a light 3-shaped contour using the Jones Roads Bronzer in the shade Dusty Rose and finish with a light dusting of the Charlotte Tilbury Refillable Airbrush Flawless Finish Brightening Powder under my eyes and along my T-zone, et voila!

full face ccc cream
Photo: Author

While I use a handful of products to complete my final look, without the CLE Cosmetics CCC Cream, it just doesn’t look right. On the occasions when I’ve tried to apply trendy formulas or much-anticipated new foundations, I always find that I prefer CLE. In addition to it just plain looking fabulous and being easier than anything to apply, I’ve never had an adverse reaction (i.e. breakout or rosacea flare) to this formula, which makes it even more notable in my book.

But hey: CLE doesn’t only work for 20- and 30-somethings. I had my mom and aunt try the product, and they’ve been swearing by it (and recommending it to their friends) for the past year. Suffice to say, if you’re tired of finicky, full-coverage foundation and endless caking and creasing no matter how hard you try to apply it—and if you’re looking for something that will make you fall back in love with your makeup routine and your skin—there is no product I recommend more highly than the CLE Cosmetics CCC Cream.

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