Rachel K CC Cream in Original and Neutral: Pioneering and leading the Wild West of CC Creams

by Paris B on · 33 comments

in CC Cream,Cheap and Good?,Foundation,Makeup,Primer,Product Reviews

Reviewed by:
On August 14, 2013
Last modified:August 13, 2013


A couple of years back, I picked up rumblings of a CC Cream. This was way before the Chanel and Clinique CC Creams came into existence. I remember laughing about it. CC Creams! Haah! Well, CC Creams are now the new normal.

But the pioneer in the CC Cream department is the Rachel K CC Cream. I remember, because I laughed about them which was a little unfortunate because it is quite a good product, all said and done.

rachel k cc cream Rachel K CC Cream in Original and Neutral: Pioneering and leading the Wild West of CC Creams

Rachel K is Rachel Kum, a former Miss Singapore Universe beauty queen, who went and created the next generation Blemish Balm or BB Cream, calling it the CC Cream. Little did she guess I suppose, that so many brands would follow suit over the years. I received these some time last year. I couldn’t quite get my head around them which explains why you’re only hearing about them now from me. I’ve finally “got it” as it were. Slow learner eh? icon razz Rachel K CC Cream in Original and Neutral: Pioneering and leading the Wild West of CC Creams

The Rachel K CC Cream comes in 2 formulas – Original in a black tube which is tinted pink and suited to people with pink skintones and Neutral in the pink tube suited to people with a neutral to yellow base. I can wear both, which might surprise you since I’m always banging on about using a pink toned base, but I use them for different purposes.

What Rachel K says her CC Cream is, is a more refined and improved version of a BB Cream. Her CC Cream has 10 in 1 benefits claiming both cosmetic and skincare benefits while controlling oil and protecting skin with SPF35 PA++ The Original version has a pink tint while the Neutral version is more tinted to look more like a light foundation.

These have been available in Singapore and Malaysia for a while and now also, worldwide so I’m very sure many of you would have tried it, and I’m curious to know how you liked it or if you did icon smile Rachel K CC Cream in Original and Neutral: Pioneering and leading the Wild West of CC Creams There is one niggling fly in the ointment for me, which I’ll tell you about below.

So, what is this, really? Like BB Creams, this is makeup. Many people have said that they have derived skincare benefits from using this regularly, but I can’t vouch for it. You see, I can’t use it daily as I know many can, because I find the texture a little heavy. Odd I know, considering I sometimes wear full coverage foundation, but the difference is, that texture doesn’t feel heavy on my skin while this one does.

rachel k cc cream3 Rachel K CC Cream in Original and Neutral: Pioneering and leading the Wild West of CC Creams

Packaging wise, the product comes in a very handy squeeze tube that allows you full control to squeeze out just how much you need, which isn’t very much. You see, the coverage is quite high and a little goes a long way.

Here are the swatches so you know what I mean.

rachel k cc cream swatch Rachel K CC Cream in Original and Neutral: Pioneering and leading the Wild West of CC Creams

Rachel K CC Cream Swatches Left: Original (black tube) Right: Neutral (not Natural, in the pink tube)

This was spread out from one little dot squeezed out of the tube and you may notice just how opaque and pink the Original version is. I find this helpful for 2 things. If you use a very thin layer, the pink tint can brighten sallow skin and make your skin look brighter. However, you can’t use this if you are any shade deeper than mine because it would look far too odd. You will then notice that your face is a totally different shade from your neck!

I use this as I will a skin brightening primer. A thin layer to brighten the skintone and then powder foundation or another foundation on top. It acts as a very good base, although I find oil control quite debatable.

As for the Neutral shade on the right, the shade is noticeably more tinted with a yellow base. This then would be the one used as a foundation and you may notice just how opaque the texture is. While the Neutral version is more suited for most people, I don’t know if it will suit anyone with a very deep skintone or with a noticeable yellow or golden tone. This is because I find the shade very “neutral”. There is a good balance of pink and yellow in there. So, shade wise, I don’t think this one will turn out ashy on anyone due to its neutral tone, but the light shade means it isn’t suitable for anyone with a skintone that is very deep. The pink tones in there is what helps give your skin a brighter appearance.

I compared this CC Cream to the Clinique CC Cream because that’s the only CC Cream I own, just to pit like against like.

rachel k cc cream swatch21 Rachel K CC Cream in Original and Neutral: Pioneering and leading the Wild West of CC Creams

(1) Clinique CC Cream Fresh Pink (2) Clinique CC Cream Fresh Peach (3) Rachel K CC Cream Original (4) Rachel K CC Cream Neutral (5) Clinique CC Cream Natural Fair

You may notice that texture wise, the Rachel K CC Cream trumps the Clinique one in terms of opacity. The texture is noticeably thicker although spreadable, and the Clinique ones are much thinner. In terms of shade, the Clinique CC Cream in Natural Fair which I picked up recently has more yellow tones than the Rachel K CC Cream in Neutral. The Clinique texture is also lighter and so is the coverage.

I found that applying the Rachel K CC Cream requires a certain technique. Using a brush doesn’t cut it. Using fingers to spread it about can lead to uneven application. So, the best way to apply this is as demonstrated by Rachel Kum herself – patting it into your skin.

See, this is why it took me so long to get it. I was trying to use this as I would any other liquid foundation and found it streaky. When I finally employed the patting method, I found myself quite impressed. The coverage is light-medium and buildable. It looks very natural on my skin, it doesn’t feel heavy or oily (initially) and dries down to a powdery finish. If I want a little more coverage, patting on some powder foundation helps set it better and ups the coverage. Here’s what you can expect.

rachel k cc cream 2 Rachel K CC Cream in Original and Neutral: Pioneering and leading the Wild West of CC Creams

Unretouched photos do show quite an impressive result. Apologies that it looks bright and all, but lighting that day was a little bright. What should be noted would be that redness around the nose and darkness under the eyes are reduced, and pigmentation on the cheeks is lightly covered. Yes, the skintone is also a little brighter but I do need a concealer if I want a more flawless finish. For something more full coverage where I don’t even need a concealer, I use the Laura Mercier Silk Creme foundation.

I was using the Neutral version (Pink tube) and I think this shade can be used by anyone from fair to medium skintone. For anyone approaching a darker skintone, be sure not to use too much or the shade can look a bit masky. The good thing is, there is no oxidisation and it doesn’t feel uncomfortable on at all.

However, I found that over the day, it does slip off. I do notice some shine around the nose area and I see my blemishes coming through more. That said, we are talking about the 5 hour mark here so it is still pretty impressive by all counts.

rachel k cc cream2 Rachel K CC Cream in Original and Neutral: Pioneering and leading the Wild West of CC Creams

I can’t say I’m crazy about this, but I have found myself reaching for it on weekends if I want a light cover-up. I prefer using a proper foundation on a workday because I can’t risk looking sloppy by the end of the day sometimes, but on a weekend, this gives me a natural enough visage that I can get away with just this, penciled in brows, some blush and a light lipstick or gloss. Looks polished yet not overdone. Just how we want to look on a weekend icon smile Rachel K CC Cream in Original and Neutral: Pioneering and leading the Wild West of CC Creams

In a nutshell

The Rachel K CC Cream is the first product to be called a CC Cream and was launched regionally a few years ago and is available internationally from the official website. There are 2 shades available now – Original in the black tube and Neutral in the pink tube. Most people would go for the one in the pink tube, unless you are very fair with noticeably pink undertones, then the black tube might serve you better. The Original version does make a nice brightening primer if you use a very thin layer, but I do think it won’t suit many of us here in Asia. Get the one in the pink tube and you get something more approximating a tinted base with pretty high coverage. I also learned that it is best applied as prescribed i.e. by using a dabbing/patting motion on your skin. It helps it adhere and blend better with your skin and leaves it looking quite flawless. I do find it slipping off after the 5 hour mark, so I’d use this as a weekend base. The only quibble I have is with the price. Affordable, but yet not quite.

Pros: Affordable, Good coverage, Not sticky or greasy or thick, Not drying, Easy to apply, Natural finish on skin, Brightens skin and does a good job at concealing light marks and light blemishes

Cons: Oils up after the 5 hour mark, Sharp metallic smell, Price went up too quickly in too short a time

Who will like this: Anyone who wants a light base with good coverage and a non-oily finish, Anyone who already uses BB Creams or CC Creams

Here is the ingredient list for both the Original and Neutral version.

rachel k cc cream ingredients Rachel K CC Cream in Original and Neutral: Pioneering and leading the Wild West of CC Creams

I do find that there is a sharp metallic smell that I associate with sunscreens. It isn’t unpleasant, but it is there and doesn’t really go away. Not too noticeable after a while, but it’s there.

Now for the fly in the ointment. When the Rachel K CC Cream was first available here in Malaysia, it came in at a very affordable RM45.90 for a 40ml tube as you see in these pictures. In recent times, I’ve learned that the price is now RM68.90/30ml which is a significant price hike! I will still consider it an affordably priced product, but I guess I’m just not happy that the prices changed so much within so short a time. I get it is very popular and I can understand why. It is a very good product. I just wish they’d not priced it so low to start, so the price hike would have been less significant.

Have you used the Rachel K CC Cream and are you a fan?

I do like this and as I’ve said, I mostly use it on the weekend. I’ve read of people who have said their acne scars lightened or their skin looked better after using this instead of other makeup, so perhaps the skincare elements do work. I just don’t use this enough to notice. It is also easy to confuse which to buy, because the pink tinted one is very confusingly not packaged in the pink tube! So, if you are in doubt, just remember this. You will be more likely to notice a hot pink tube in your stash than a black tube, so pick up the pink tube for the neutral/beige tinted CC Cream and you won’t go wrong icon biggrin Rachel K CC Cream in Original and Neutral: Pioneering and leading the Wild West of CC Creams

Paris B

Rachel K CC Cream comes in 2 shades – Original (black tube for fair skins with pink tones) and Neutral (pink tube for most skintones) Price: RM68.90/30g / US$39/40g  Availability: Guardian pharmacies in Malaysia and online (international)

Disclosure: Featured product was provided by PR for consideration. For posting guidelines please read my disclaimer.

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[ 33 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Fiona August 14, 2013 at 8:54 am

What?! Price increased to RM68.90? Previously I find it quite good for a drugstore brand and decently priced. Now it’s too high :(
Like you, I didn’t derive any of the skincare benefits from it. Nope. Acne scars still there.


Paris B August 14, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Yes unfortunately, the price did go up. And quite shockingly too! I got the price off their Facebook page. I remember a reader telling me once it was RM70 which surprised me but evidently it is close! It’s ok, but not so wonderful I’d pass up a good foundation :D


Lily August 14, 2013 at 9:29 am

Whoa, I didn’t realise the price went up so high. I was sent both of these and I can wear both :-) I think it’s a great product, but it doesn’t control oil well on me. However, setting it with a powder foundation helps it stay a little longer. I still use it every now and then, but like you, not enough to see any skincare benefits.


Paris B August 14, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Yup, close to double in price for lesser quantity. Pity huh? I suppose the oil control seems to work on me since I do have drier skin but still, few foundations have oiled up on me in recent times, so I was quite surprised to look in the mirror and see that I had hardly anything on left.


Tine August 14, 2013 at 10:06 am

I don’t have the one in black, just the pink. I don’t see any, err, CC-ness in it and to me, it’s just another BB cream. It’s not a bad one but I just don’t think it lives up to the hype, like the Chanel CC cream. Still, I haven’t used this in a while so your post just reminded me to take it out and use it again :P


Paris B August 14, 2013 at 5:53 pm

I still don’t think anything lives up to the hype LOL! It does feel like a typical Asian BB Cream – thick and if not careful, pasty – but I’m not sure about all the rest of the claims. I saw some videos and read some reviews where people were raving about how their acne scars were lighter after just a few days and it just sounded a little too incredulous to me. Still, maybe we’re just sceptical and all you know… ;)


Angel August 14, 2013 at 10:32 am

Previously, I bought the pink tube when I went to Singapore at SGD$29.90 since it was not available locally. So, after conversion and everything, it was around RM75. When the CC cream became available in Malaysia at introductory price of RM49.90, I almost banged my head against the wall because I paid additional RM25 just 3 months earlier for a CC cream that I do not really like or reach for.

1. It doesn’t live up to the hypes.
2. It doesn’t really control oil on my combination skin.
3. It slides off around 3 to 4 hours even after I apply setting powder.
4. It is quite expensive.

For the price, you can add on a little bit and you can actually get other better CC creams out there.


Paris B August 14, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Sorry to hear this didn’t work for you Angel. In a way, it didn’t live up to the hype for me either if I look at what people are saying about it being better for their skin etc etc. It’s makeup at the end of the day, not skincare. The oil control isn’t great – Diorsnow BB and Guerlain BB don’t get oily on me, this does so this isn’t better than a BB in that regard. But for an Asian BB, I like the pinker and yellow tints. It is more flattering than grey (bleh! I don’t understand how BB cream is GREY!) and it does feel quite nice for the first few hours I have it on so it’s great for the weekend, but never on a work day :D As for the price, I think it’s ok mostly because I don’t believe in BB/CC creams. Which other ones have you used that you find better? It’ll be interesting to know because I’m not too familiar with the CC Cream scene yet. I still prefer using a good foundation (which can be quite costly anyway) or one of my favourite BBs


Angel August 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm

I couldn’t agree more.

So far, I have only tried 2 CC creams and I don’t think I would be falling in love with any – yet.

Yes, I prefer to use foundation and so far, my skin has take liking on MAC Studio Fix Fluid. It blends beautifully and stays put at least while I am still at work. I am not a MAC fan but I guess I do like that foundation.

As far as BB creams go, the only BB cream that I would use is Giverny Real Skinny BB Cream. It is not as popular as other BB creams but I do love the coverage of it as it really does covers my imperfections. I think one of the selling point that made me purchased it was because it is waterproof. I travel a lot and during these times, I would be under the sun, so even if I sweat, the BB cream stays! If you’re interested, you can visit The Sops Seoul at Publika.


Paris B August 15, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Good to know you found a foundation that works for you :) I haven’t tried any from MAC yet. Can never get colour matched properly because every one tells me I’m NC30 even though I’m clearly not. I’ve given up LOL! That’s an interesting BB Cream but I’m a little wary about Korean BBs. Is it grey as well? I have a horrible time getting a colour match with Korean BBs and the heavy oily texture doesn’t endear them to me. But you’ve given me a reason to pop into Sops. I always see the store when I’m in Publika but never stepped in LOL!


Angel August 16, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Yes, do visit them – I believe they do have few interesting products!

I was being matched with NC30 too but the shade it a little orangey so, my only way out is to mix with a foundation of lighter shade.

Oh, yeah, the BB cream is not grey – if my eyes don’t play trick, it’s actually neutral or lemming towards yellow undertones. It’s meant for those with dry skin but even for people like me who have combination skin, I don’t find any problem with using it. I guess skincare does differ from one person to another.

Hope you’ll try out and give us your two-cent :)


Parita August 14, 2013 at 11:03 am

I like the neutral one but still its a bit light for my complexion..might give it a try when next time I am in KL


Paris B August 14, 2013 at 6:01 pm

It’s supposed to adjust a little and I saw some videos where deeper skintones used the Neutral as a brightening base and then applied foundation on top. I have to admit it looked good on them!


Honey August 14, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Whoa! The price increased?! I bought the pink tube for about RM38 earlier this year. It’s ok, I guess. Not impressive enough for me to keep using it on a daily basis. I still prefer foundation. I’ll pull it out to try again this week end, maybe as a base with powder foundation and see how it goes.


Paris B August 14, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Yup! Latest prices. Almost double and less product. Did not sit well with me :P As you said, it’s an ok product. It isn’t life changing and I’ll never replace a foundation with this, but it’s handy :)


shannen August 14, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I have not tried the sample sachet I got mailed.. let me dig it out and try. I think it’s pink :)


Paris B August 14, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Ooh go try it! Would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this :)


Iris August 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Omg I bought it at less than RM40 last year!! Anyway it is a great product and I used it almost everyday. I’m on my 3rd tube of the pink tube now. My face does get a bit shiny after few hours but I think this is still the best CC cream so far in such pricing. Chanel one is good too but too pricey.


Paris B August 14, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Sigh… yeah it was just about RM45 a few months ago, and less when on sale. It’s good to know you like it and that it works for you :) 3rd tube is quite a testament! I didn’t think much of the Chanel one and the Clinique one is far too sheer to be really of any use, so of the 3 I’ve tried, this would be the better one :)


Jennifer August 14, 2013 at 8:36 pm

The neutral one looks good on you! The price hike is a little startling though. Maybe it is the alphabet jump lol. I am using Hada Labo Air BB cream now. Quite good and looks lovely.


Paris B August 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Good choice with the Hada Labo Air BB! I like that one. Not too high coverage but it’s ok :D


Jyoan August 14, 2013 at 10:42 pm

I was very skeptical when it first came out too, not just because it is the first CC cream, but also because she is Singaporean. LOL, I know. I should be proud that she is a Singaporean. But I guess, I am just not used to having a brand come out of Singapore.

But I bought because the ingredients are so good! I saw Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, and I was sold. I always feel that products that put lots of good stuff at the top, are sincere and genuine about wanting others to have good skin, and not just out to earn money.

So I have a tube. I think it’s the black one. But I still have not opened it.


Paris B August 15, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Haha yep, you should indeed be proud that she’s come up with such a cult product :D I think it’s getting a lot of love from overseas and many people have reported good results. I guess I just don’t use it enough :P


Tracy@Beauty Reflections August 15, 2013 at 12:56 am

I’ve been curious about this one, but the powdery finish is something I don’t think my skin would like. It does look really great on you though!


Paris B August 15, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Thanks Tracy and it’s not bad really. Powdery finish goes away after a bit when it starts to oil up LOL!


Dee August 15, 2013 at 3:35 am

I wanted to jump straight on the Rachel K bandwagon when it was first launched, however I first got some samples to try. (Thank God!) Was not a fan of it as i found that its texture was too thick and the colour was too light for my skin tone. Thus, a pass for me. :P


Paris B August 15, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Yep, the texture is indeed thick, so very little is needed, just like the Asian style BB Creams :) Good to know there’s money saved there, Dee! :)


Romana August 18, 2013 at 11:52 pm

I been using the one in Neutral for the past 5 months and I love it.
On lazy days, all I need is this CC cream and a bit of Les Beiges and I’m good to go.
I bought a tube a few months ago at RM39 when it was on sale at Guardian and am shocked at the price increase.
The only other CC cream I tried is the one from the Body Shop, which is good enough for me but I can’t stand the scent.


Paris B August 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I think the one in Neutral is best for everyone to be honest. At RM40 I think it excellent in its category and I’m prepared to overlook its faults. At a price closer to RM70 I start nitpicking :P


Val September 17, 2013 at 11:48 am

Hi, could anyone tell me other places that sell this cc cream, as i went the One -U guardian and it is not sold in guardian. Thanks


Paris B September 17, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Afraid it’s only sold in Guardian that I know of. Perhaps you could ask them on their facebook page?


Hui March 25, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Great review! I’m contemplating if to get the black or the pink tube, but I’m pretty fair, and am currently using Revlon’s Photoready BB cream in Pale. What do you reckon? :)


Paris B March 26, 2014 at 10:58 am

I use Pale too and it’s the Pink for me as I’ve indicated.


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