This week we continue our exploration to the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream. If you are interested in our in-depth ingredients list analysis of this product, do head on to Part 1 here. In this blog post, the practical aspects of the product will be analysed. Namely the ease of application, coverage, shade range/compatibility, comfort, finish and longevity. We will also talk about how essential this product is to a consumer who is trying to be minimal and effective with the types of product she/he owns.
Ease of application
The product is packaged in a tube and has a pump that is similar to that which is seen on glass bottle foundation bottle. It is a pretty handy design, as you get the ease of the pump whilst having the lightness and durability of a tube packaging. I used a dense kabuki-like brush to apply the product on my face. I am adversed to using my hands thus I pump the product on the brush and stipple it (dot it) on various parts of my face to distribute it before using a circular motion to blend everything in. Basically this method allows me to complete the base makeup in 30 seconds. The product also works well just rubbed in with your hands for the true minimalists. However, I would advise a similar dotting method to distribute the product before using swiping motions with your fingers to blend the product in.
As the product does contain a physical sunscreen and has a combination of moisturising agents (refer to part 1), it does perform like a tinted moisturiser. Thus, I was able to get away with applying this product on a bare face without much problem as compared to other foundations which would require a moisturiser underneath or would result in dry patches and cakey looking skin. It is a product that is multi-function and a time saver.
I would like to refer back to the claims of the product as basis for our next discussion:
“Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream + Anti-Aging Hydrating Serum + SPF 50+ UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum Physical Sunscreen”
This CC cream claims to be a full coverage cream. However, I find that in my application, I would only classify it as a medium coverage product.
The above is the original state of my face. I do not have big issues but like most people I have minor texture, some enlarged pores, some pigmentation, visible boken capillaries on the cheeks, dark eye circles and some redness on the sides of the nose. I had also gotten tan due to some film jobs that required me to work under the sun.
This set of photos above shows the coverage that can be achieved with one thin coat of the product, using only a small pump of it. This product does not really alter the texture of your skin, but it was able to cover up some pores to give it a slightly more refined look. The pigmentation on my face (eg moles) was still visible but seemed to be lightened, covered slightly by the lighter pigments in the product. The effect is more significant on the broken capillaries on my cheeks, which has become not very noticeable, as well as the sides of my nose, where the redness has been remediated. There was also an effect on my under eye circles where the product has lightened them quite significantly.
However, the above, though significant, was hardly what could be classified as what is expected out of a full coverage claim. The description fits that of a medium coverage product to a larger extent, although a lightening effect seemed to be visible, as the face looks somewhat brighter. However, due to my tan which altered my original skin colour, the CC cream was of a lighter colour and I am unable to ascertain if there is a true brightening effect as opposed to just having the wrong colour. The product does remove discolouration on the face and result in a more united skin tone which could contribute to the illusion of brightened face.
This set of photo is of the final result, after I applied an additional small pump of the product, especially to the cheeks and under eye areas. (I had also done my eyebrows here but it does not affect the effects of the CC cream.) The result is pretty significant. The broken capillaries on the cheeks have disappeared, the under eye area has been further brightened and the redness around the nose is also gone. The moles could not be completely covered but they have been significantly lightened.
Overall, I find that this product definitely provides medium coverage and is buildable to a fuller coverage. Thus I do not find its claim of being a straight up “full coverage cream” to be true.
The above side by side comparison shows the extent of coverage of the product. However, what I picked up on more by comparing these photos was a true blurring effect and some kind of reflective element of the product. It is unclear if this is due to an in-built pigment that reflected light or a side effect of the minerals from the physical sunscreen, but personally I find it to be a rather skin-like and radiant look.
The resultant finish is a skin-like, natural finish that has slight reflective properties on its own. A matte finish, however, can be achieved through application of setting powder.
In terms of colour correction, to be totally honest, I think that claiming that a foundation product is “colour correcting” is erroneous (wrong) in the first place.
Allow me to explain in reference to the above colour wheel. It is a generic, simplified colour wheel that I had downloaded off the internet. The basic idea of colour correction is that a colour on the wheel can be negated when the complementary colour (the colour that is opposite to the initial colour on the colour wheel) is applied. I.e., for my dark circles that has a blue tint, I can apply some orange to remove the blue tint from my face. Similarly, somebody who has reddish skin can negate that by applying some green.
However, have you noticed the loophole (or rather, condition) in/to this technique? Yes, it is a COLOUR SPECIFIC technique. In other words, each colour can only be negated by another specific complementary colour and it will not be effective once the colours are mixed. I.e., if I want to reduce redness and dark circles by mixing green pigments and orange pigments in a product, it would result in just a brownish pigment (original yellow pigments cannot be created through mixing) which neither cancels out red nor blue.
Thus, no, there are no colour correcting properties in this product, or any foundation product to be completely honest. How then, do some Korean CC creams seem to brighten your skin? (or make it really ashy-looking) Basically they are targeted for pan asian skin tones which have a yellow undertone and purple pigments are mixed in to reduce the “yellow-ness” of such skin tones. This is why some people who have cooler or reddish skin tones find their face looking ashy when they apply such cc creams. Ironically, it is somehow fortunate that the IT Cosmetics CC cream does not seem to have this function.
Shade Range/ Compatibility
That said, I did find that this product either resulted in a slight white cast (perhaps from the physical sunscreen) on my face, as you might notice in the photograph above if you compare the skin colour on my neck with slightly ashy colour on my face. It is very slight and not very noticeable to the casual passerby but it is there.
I used the shade “medium” and there are only 7 shades available on the IT Cosmetics website. However, locally in Singapore, the sole distributor of IT Cosmetics here, Sephora, only offer 3 shades. Light, Medium and Tan. There are no shades made for specific undertones and a significant lack of tan to dark shades for consumers here (which is really ironic as there is a huge population of Malays, Indians or general South East Asians who have tan to dark skintones, also due to tanning in the hot tropical sun). The lack of in-between shades also contributed to my inabillity to find a shade that completely matches my skin tone, thus having to put up with a slightly ashy-looking result.
I found that this product sat very comfortably on my skin. As aforementioned, its texture is like that of a tinted moisturiser, thus there was no tightness or dryness that I felt. It was also not too thick as the cream spreads out rather thinly when blended into the skin. However, for users with combination or oily skin, I would advise allowing some time for the product to set after application before applying setting powder as it seems to let the product “dry” and result in a less shiny finish as well as prevent it from grabbing too much powder.
There is little claim from the company on the longevity of this product. Despite that, I found that the product was able to wear well throughout a normal work day.
This set of photos above shows the remaining look at the end of 8 hours of wear in a regular office (mainly in air-conditioned room with some walking in regular tropical heat) working day. The coverage did not seem to falter although the finish looks more shiny due to sebum produced throughout the day. I have combination skin but did not use powder to set the product. I did blot once but there was not a lot of oil absorbed.
Thus, my thoughts are that this product does have a decent staying power and does not induce the secretion of excessive sebum, probably due to its high content of various moisturisers that is tied together with a silicon base. The moisturisers prevent the skin from secreting more sebum while the silicon base probably is able to withstand some oil.
So, is this essential?
In my short experience of working with makeup, I find that bases are especially essential in creating a clean canvas on the face. Through uniting a person’s facial skin tone, the effect it has on raising their facial aesthetics is rather significant. That, paired with the multifunction features of this product puts it in the essential range. Not only does this product function well in its own realm, it also allows the consumer to reduce the need for other products such as a day moisturiser and sunscreen.
The ingredients used in this product also passes the test for majority of the population, aside from people with sensitivity towards Vitamin A, which can prove to be a potent irritant for certain groups of people.
The real downfall occurs when it comes to shade range and shade selection. If a shade is unable to match the user to large extent, the product’s value will be lost, as a mismatched face and neck does not serve well to improve the beauty of the user.
In conclusion, the IT Cosmetics CC Cream is a solid foundation type product that is potentially essential in your makeup kit, that is, if you can find a shade that matches you.
Want more? Read up on my analysis of the IT Cosmetics CC Cream ingredients list in Part 1.