Being relatively new to makeup and skincare means I generally gravitate toward the easiest and most basic elements – and what’s more basic than foundation? Instead of eyeshadow or lipstick, the product I’m usually investing my time energy in finding is a good first layer for my skin. Dealing with the primary issues of sun damage, forehead worry lines and dark circles means I’m most often looking for something that can even out my skin with minimal coverage, and a pretty active lifestyle means I want something lightweight — a full beat and thick foundation has never fit into my daily rituals. Not yet, at least.
In the past I’ve used BB creams or CC creams to help provide evenness, I liked the silly initials in the name, and the Blemish Balm and Color Correct aspect of these kinds of products worked well without the overt thickness of traditional powder or liquid foundation. Then, I found out about how important primer is. Then, I found out about how important sunscreen is. Suddenly, I needed three creams just to get a base before putting on any other makeup, and the lazy girl in me found it easier to just skip wearing makeup all together. Who cares if I was just going to yoga anyway?
Playing off the initials-based naming systems of BB and CC creams, CLE’s CCC Cream ($31) combines primer, color correction, and sunscreen into one single step that makes using it and wearing it manageable no matter what. Especially for someone who is both as lazy and constantly busy as I am. In CLE’s iteration, the Cs stand for Color Control & Change Cream. Now that I found it, instead of bringing three tubes along with me when showering elsewhere or primping between night and day, the single product helps absorb grease and give a hint of foundation that makes me feel put together.
One of the most fun aspects of using this cream is that it comes out white, and only when you begin to rub it in does the color begin to come through. This is attributed to something called Micro Capsule Technology, and brings me back to the idea that CLE founder and owner Lauren Jin works to provide products that actually push the bounds of technology and usefulness for how women live now. Just like the combination of Western and Eastern ideals that sets their Vitamin C Elixir apart, this cream focuses on important skincare aspects like sunscreen while providing a variety of shades that will match any skin tone across the spectrum, and includes light scents of Bergamot, Orange, and Ylang Ylang essential oils to balance out the smell.
The price point for an ounce tube of the CCC cream is right around $30, a very affordable baseline considering it’s made independently by a woman-owned company with all cruelty-free and vegan ingredients. Because of the microcapsules gradually releasing their color, blending the cream by using your fingers more will make it darker where you’ve touched more, giving the ability to easily create layers. I use about a pea sized amount when initially layering it on, but will occasionally apply another layer after that for more coverage. Using that much product every day, the tubes generally last me 2-3 months.
The capsules seem to give the cream a freshness, too, because every time I get a new bit of product to use it feels fresh and is releasing color and scent right in that moment. Sometimes the foundations or BB creams I’ve used in the past would dry out or feel old by a couple months in, but I’ve never had that problem with this product. It’s perfect to bring along to the beach to make sure my face doesn’t get sunburnt, or wear alone on the days I don’t want to wear a lot of other makeup but don’t want to feel totally exposed. Also, I’ve never had a foundation make me look so dewy while still cutting through the grease.
This is the kind of product where once I found it, I’ll probably use it every day from now on. It’s discreet, travel friendly, and comes in a package that’s sleek enough to fit in my purse without looking like makeup. Since I’m sometimes out and about for hours at a time during the day, and then well into the night for concerts, it’s nice to have the longevity of a product like this, in addition to the portability of bringing it along with me anywhere. Check out your shade match here, there’s seriously a selection for everyone, another element of inclusivity that makes CLE a company I’m always thrilled to be supporting.