Jun 092013

Chanel CC Cream first look11a

I’ve been using Chanel CC Cream ($55) for the past several days since posting my original “first look” here. As promised, here are a few of my thoughts.  Along with these, here are more comparison swatches of the Chanel CC Cream in 20 Beige with Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in Beige 20, Guerlain BB Beauty Booster in Light, and Shiseido Urban Environment Tinted UV Protector in Medium:

Chanel CC Cream 2nd1


As you can see, Chanel CC Cream is quite light in tone. Vitalumiere Aqua is deeper, Guerlain’s BB Beauty Booster is pinker and slightly deeper.  Shiseido’s Tinted UV Protector in #2 is the deepest of all.

Chanel CC Cream first look10

This has a light perfume scent which fades quickly upon application.

Here are a few of my thoughts on using Chanel’s CC Cream:

Application tips:  The texture of this CC Cream is thick. As the ingredient list suggested, this formula silicon-like ingredients that are unusual. On one hand, the product glides on, but on the other hand it feels a bit thick. It’s a little tricky to apply if you are used to applying liquid foundations.

I was expecting this to be sheer, so my first effort was using a lot all at once. Big mistake! You do not need much to get some good layer of pigment down. The key is building up very, very light layers to get the coverage that you want.  Start with the tiniest amount, and work up from there. I used my fingers, which warms the product nicely. It goes quickly, and once you get the hang of it, the process is actually pretty pleasant because it gives you so much control.

I had the best results by taking a very small amount–less than the head of a pin amount–and spreading it out over a fairly large area. Work it into the skin with your fingers. Then add light layers and work in some more, as many as you wish in the areas where you’d like more coverage. Imagine adding little light overlapping feathers, just adding more where needed. It’s certainly buildable to 4-5 layers, probably more.  I never reached the point of this caking up, at any point. I’ve never seen anything layer this well (except Burberry and Armani’s foundations come quite close).

This silicon-like feel made it quite different from the light, whip-cream feel of Omovoricza’s BB Complexion Perfector. This is a purely subjective opinion, but after using both products, Omovorica’s had a more noticeable skin-care beneficial effect on my skin at the end of the day.  Don’t get me wrong, the Chanel was nice–the hydration was good, and it was nice to have a solid SPF rating. But if you are looking for an all-day spa effect, Omovoricza seems to give my skin the  extra boost once the product is removed for the evening.

Chanel CC Cream first look14

Longevity and feel:  Chanel is very long-wearing, even in 100+ degree heat. It just did not move at all.  Together with the SPF rating, this makes Chanel a good choice for summer (with an appropriate SPF sunscreen beneath, of course). Wearing Chanel’s CC Cream, I got the tiniest bit of glow toward the end of the day.  Overall, I’d give this an A+ rating for stability.  However, this does feel a bit heavier on my face that other foundations and BB creams that I’ve used.  Some will find this heavier feeling a little out of step with some of the modern, lightweight foundations (including those in Chanel’s own line).

Color match:  Chanel’s CC Cream is light and warm. It’s on the fair side for me, but it’s certainly in my comfort range.  I’m a bit confused about its availability in one shade. I know that Chanel has lovely control over it’s aesthetics, development, and high quality control. Companies that include Clinique, Smashbox, and others have released their CC creams in as many as five shades. To me, it makes no marketing sense to limit sales to one audience. At the same time, it also sends an odd message to women and men who are not this specific skin tone. To me, this is the largest downside of this release.  Dear Chanel, if you are reading you fabulous darling, increase your shade range.

Chanel CC Cream first look19

Bottom line:  Here’s the thing. There’s a lot not to like about Chanel CC Cream. The single shade, the heavy feeling. On the other hand, after the first five minutes it made my skin glow with beautiful health beyond that which I actually possess. It melded to my skin and perfected it. In other words, the skin on my face looked wonderful. The coverage was completely controllable–in an off-the-charts sort of way.  So once I had a porcelain canvas, the silicon-derivative components gave my skin this even texture with a slight, skin-like sheen.  To make sure I wasn’t looking at this through Chanel-colored glasses, I asked a few people who confirmed my skin looked especially nice.  See, that’s the thing about Chanel.  They seem to get that, at the end of the day, it’s about the person looking like the best possible version of themselves.

…and at that particular task, Chanel hit it out of the park.

Chanel CC Cream first look09a

Available at Nordstrom.com (with free ship and returns) and at other Chanel sources.

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  24 Responses to “My Thoughts: Chanel CC Cream Review”

  1. That’s the interesting thing about Chanel – they make lovely products, but especially where concealer and foundation are involved, the shade range is strikingly lacking (in my opinion). I have never been able to find a match in any of the Chanel base products – no concealer or foundation has ever been light enough for me. This happens surprisingly frequently, but I guess I just presumed that a brand with all the power of Chanel would make slightly wider shade ranges.

    That said, perhaps this is light enough for me (NARS Gobi is my foundation shade match…any thoughts from you about this being a similar color?)

    Thanks for the thoughtful review, as always.

    • Hello Tess,
      I also have a good match with NARS Gobi. I have yellow undertone but it is more of a cool-yellow if that makes sense (lemon yellow as opposed to golden yellow). I found that Chanel foundations/concealer has either pink undertone (labeled Beige Rose), or neutral leaning slightly pink (at least on my skin, labeled Beige). The best “match” for Chanel foundation for me is Vitalumiere Aqua in B20 and I use this during the summer when I have a bit of a warm tan (I hardly tan at all, but inevitably, the sun gets me). I’m hoping that this CC cream will suit my lemon-yellow complexion better, just judging from the swatches that Amy has here.

  2. Thank you very much for your detailed review. I just got Dior BB creme and I am not that convinced about the results, I also started having some break out so probably I should start searching for a new creme for this summer. How would you compare Dior BB creme to Chanel CC creme? Does Chanel’s absorbed by the skin more? I have the feeling that Dior BB sits on my skin, doesn’t melt in. (I am Chanel B20, so lucky me for the shade availability).

    • If you work the Chanel into your skin (i.e., careful blending w/fingers), and give it about 5 minutes, it looks natural and part of the skin. I’ve found this to be an important step with Guerlain’s as well (brush, sponge, fingers)–something about the texture of these BB/CC creams seems to require it. Enjoy! 🙂

  3. I wonder if one ends up using so little how much sun protection it really provides?

    • Regardless, I add subscreen under any foundation. The assumptions built into the SPF rating system don’t translate to typucal uses, as you suggest.

    • Hi Gail,

      When an SPF rating is assigned to a product, 1/4 teaspoon of product is used for the face alone. If you aren’t using that much product, you’re not getting the stated SPF level. Amy is 100% right in using a dedicated sunscreen under the product. Just consider the SPF in foundations and BB/CC creams as a bonus. I’ve been on a real tear about this lately, but it’s the season where we are outdoors more often and for longer periods of time. I hate the thought of women thinking they are getting adequate protection becaus they apply about 1/16 teaspoon of SPF foundation on their face. It just isn’t so 🙁

  4. Thanks so much for this more in-depth review of Chanel’s CC cream. It’s so helpful–especially to someone, like me, who lives far from any makeup counters and so buys many things (sight-unseen) online. That said, I have a feeling this CC cream will end up in my possession before long… Thanks again!

  5. Hmmm…This seems like a great product to try out. I am fond of BB creams or CC creams. I just got one from Garnier and I love it. I think I wanna try this one out too. This will be in my next purchase list.

  6. Thanks for the honest review. I might try this product out in the coming weeks as I’m looking for a switch. Hoping that I can find a shade for myself. And it’s a shame that there isn’t much SPF protection with the small amounts that are typically applied.. Especially since sun is one of the most damaging factors when it comes to aging skin! 🙁

  7. The heavy texture could be due to dimethicones and copolymer structure which are heavier than cyclomethicones another group of silicones. In this canse I wonder if it would be suitable for oily complexions. What do you think? I might bite the bullet and try this one anyways. Thanks so much for the lovely and detailed review. Great job as always 😉

    • Can you get a sample? I noticed this at some counters now… I think it’s rather durable, so it will last on oily skin. It would be nice to try it out first though of course.

  8. Thank you for the in-depth review of this CC Cream! So, just to clarify, when I go to Nordstrom’s website, they don’t even list any shades of the CC cream. I assume the single shade that it comes is the 20 Beige? Many thanks.

    • Yes, this is released in only one color–20 Beige. There is no other color.

      • Hi Amy, just an update. I was able to try the CC cream at my local Chanel counter, I love it! It matches my fair skin tone, it has a little bit of yellow tone in it, and like you said, a little goes a long way. The finish is luminous (not sure if this is due to the hot weather or just because the CC cream itself) and I really love the overall look, much more so than Vitalumiere Aqua.
        I wouldn’t depend on it as a sole SPF protection but combined with SPF primer, this could be a winning combo for fair-skinned lady. I hope this will help someone out there decides whether this CC cream is good for them.

  9. Curious about the color. I’m pretty fair and have pink in my skin. Does this chanel beige have pink in it? If so, it won’t work. I use their porcelain foundation and it works.

  10. I just bought the cc cream and am going to return it. The lady at the counter told me that it is one shade because when heated, it will blend into your skin color. This did not happen for me. I have an olive complexion and when I applied it, I looked sickly. Not the look I was going for!

    • No, Lisa, this product does not color correct to different skin tones. It’s on the light side for me (NC15/20) You do need to return it. Gosh, what was she thinking??

  11. I finally found this at my local Nordstrom, tried it there and got a take-home (put in a jar – not pre-packaged) sample. It was not thick in the least! It has a lovely, light ( kind of sheer) easily blendable texture and seemed to get a bit less yellow as I rubbed it into my skin. It had a beautiful finish that looked like it would work for a variety of skin types, although not a variety of skin colors. One could easily apply enough to get a very high SPF protection without looking overly made-up. Amy, do you think something might be amiss with your tube?

    • I purchased mine at the SF Chanel Boutique, so I’d be hard pressed to find a more careful source. I agree, the finish on the skin is nice. But the silicon texture is, to me, quite different from the many liquid foundations that I’ve tried. I’m glad you are enjoying yours Nina! 🙂


    • Yes, the CC cream is not as pink as Rose Beige. I haven’t played with mixing the CC Cream with anything. I think your best bet is to email Chanel.com to seek out their advice. The formula of the CC cream is a bit different from their standard foundations, so that would be the best place to check. The other places that I’ve had good luck are the makeup counters at Chanel boutiques–sometimes I’ll call the geniuses at the Bellagio Las Vegas or Bergdorf’s Chanel counter. Very knowledgeable people there.

  13. Thank you for this review as I’m trying to move away from Asian (korean & japanese) BB cream as they are just too hard to order online. But I want to note something that if you guys are familiar with original BB cream functionality, from Korea, only suppose to come in 1 shade because it suppose to blend and match your skintone. It doesn’t work like liquid foundation which match come out of the tube. So I hope Chanel was trying to keep the authenticity & have to 1 size fit all tube? I do notice that after 15 min or so on, it does darken and match my skin. I have tried pretty much all BB and CC cream from Asia and so far, texture and color of Chanel CC come as close as it can be from those originals. I hope this helps.

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