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 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? :P
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 :) 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.
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 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.
(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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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 :D
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)