BPGP: Stila CC Correcting Cream


Stila CC Color Correcting Cream ($44)

I peeled back the aluminum safety seal and squeezed the tube.  The creamy substance that emerged was not the skin-tinted foundation that I was expecting.  Instead, it was a sallow green liquid that reminded me of floor cleanser.  What the hell?!?  Did I buy the wrong product?

With great trepidation, I applied the greenish substance to my skin only to discover that it turned brown on contact.  The more I blended, the closer to my skin tone the cream became.  What will they think of next?

Last week, I bought a tube of Stila Color Correcting CC Cream in the hopes that it would do a better job of evening out my acne-prone skin than my current Clinique BB Cream.  I was intrigued by its chameleon act that allows the green liquid to perfectly match your skin color with a few swipes of a sponge.  But while I really wanted to like this product, it just doesn’t meet my needs.

The Good.  Stila bills this product as a “skincare-meets-cosmetics hybrid,” and it certainly is that.  My skin felt well-hydrated the entire time I was wearing the product even after 12+ hours.  Also, when I removed the makeup, my skin looked fresh and bright, instead of tired and sallow.  Clearly, it’s not your average foundation.

Another thing that I liked about the product is how flawlessly it matched my skin tone.  If I hadn’t applied it, I wouldn’t have known that I was wearing makeup at all (more on that later).  It also has a very light feel that lasts all-day, good for ladies who hate the feel of full face makeup.

The Bad.  The formula is supposed to give you “buildable” matte coverage, but I’m calling shenanigans.  It didn’t matter how much I applied, the product was powerless to conceal even a small blemish.  It did well on the hyper-pigmented spots from last month’s breakout, but did nothing about freshly erupted ones.

Also, when I applied more than two coats of CC cream to my face, I didn’t look matte, I looked like I’d been attacked by the Vogue Photoshop editor and not in a good way.  A light application looked natural and bright, more than that looked like stage makeup.

The Verdict.  There is plenty to like about this product.  It evens out skin tone for a light, even finish.  It feels great on the skin and moisturizes beautifully.  And if you have a tough-to-match skin tone, it may be the camouflage-like color that you’re looking for.

However, if you have acne or serious redness, you are just out of luck.  I don’t want to wear any more concealer than I have to, and with the Stila product, I was applying double my usual amount.

That being said, if you have reasonably good skin, this would be a great summer foundation.  It feels great on and provides light coverage that allows your brightened, more even skin to shine through.

Looking for a CC cream in a drugstore price point?  Almay Smart Shade CC Cream ($11) would probably be the most comparable product.



  1. Melanie says:

    I recently bought this after getting a sample of it with a Sephora order. I normally use the Supergoop CC cream which I love love love but I have very dry skin and the Supergoop just wasn’t hydrating enough this winter (you know, the winter that will never go away). This Stila product solved that problem though. I don’t know how they bill this as “matte” because it is anything but that for me. I agree that it is light coverage–I actually mix in a drop of a regular Laura Mercier foundation to get a bit more coverage without sacrificing hydration. I really like this product and will definitely re-purchase, but I think they’re marketing it all wrong.

    March 25, 2014/Reply
  2. Sarah says:

    The IT Cosmetics CC cream is next on my list in the search for a holy grail of CC creams. I’ve heard so much about it and it’s all been really great!

    March 25, 2014/Reply
  3. Steph says:

    Sorry it wasn’t what you needed, but thanks for the tip!! I’ve been using Supergoop this winter and love it, but don’t think it’s right for summer, however this CC cream might be just perfect for my skin this summer (if it ever comes!)

    March 25, 2014/Reply
  4. rar says:

    Agree on all of the “bads” for this: on me, this was not matte, not build-able and did not provide very good coverage. However, prior to the CC cream, I recently tried the Stila BB cream as my first ever foundation/tinted moisturizer and I have had awesome luck with that product.

    March 25, 2014/Reply
  5. Jordan says:

    Belle – thank you for your review, but for those of us still battling redness needing a perfect skin match with hydrating properties AND coverage, please complete it. It sounds like Almay is the cheaper Stila equivalent.

    What product should one use if one:
    1) Has redness
    2) Needs coverage
    3) Has dryness
    4) Only wants to put on one product?


    March 26, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Jordan, I don’t know. I don’t really struggle with overall redness (besides acne) or dryness. But maybe another commenter will.

      March 26, 2014/Reply
  6. SNP says:

    Try the Smashbox BB Cream! It’s amazing! I’ve used it for over a year and it has worked well with both dry and oily skin seasons for me. It leaves the most dewy, glowy, non-oily finish and it definitely has the buildable coverage. I paired it with concealer for work and going out and used only a thin layer for errands or post-gym activities and it felt good on my skin either way. I’d be interested if it works for you as well as it has for me.

    March 26, 2014/Reply
  7. Jane says:

    I’ve tried a bunch of bb creams, but I think the best is one of the originals –dr. Jart’s. It’s thicker than most of the others, and just seems to do a better job of making the skin look smooth.

    March 27, 2014/Reply
  8. Para says:

    Try NARS tinted moisturizer. I tried about 20 BBs and just love this one

    March 29, 2014/Reply
  9. Tanya N says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with this review. I received a sample with a Sephora purchase and tossed it into my gym makeup bag, and it feels nice, moisturizes well, goes on smoothly and matches my skin color well BUT the coverage is light even with a second coat and didn’t cover my 3-weeks-old now smooth but hyperpigmented old blemishes at all.

    April 2, 2014/Reply