Here’s a question people have been asking me just about daily since the introduction of the now-famous “alphabet” creams (as in, BBs, CCs, and even DDs): How are they different from tinted moisturizer? If you polled a dozen different beauty editors, you’d get a dozen different answers. In my opinion, the answer is (and it’s one that I’ve heard echoed by people at the companies who sell them): Not much.
So, clever marketing or must-have? Well now, that’s a bit more complicated. I’d say a bit of both. You see, I think there are your foundation types, and your non-foundation types. For the latter group, tinted moisturizers are a great option, offering some form of complexion correction, but a much lighter feel. The alphabet creams provide the same—but with some nice anti-aging benefits, perhaps a bit of extra hydration, and often tint as well as luminizing particles (ingredients that boost radiance). So, basically, they’ve just expanded the range of viable options for non-foundation wearers.
My favorite happens to be Olay Total Effects Tone Correcting CC Cream ($20 at walmart.com), seen here. It has N-acetyl glucosamine and niacinamide to address brown spots and unevenness in tone—but mostly I love it because it is a killer tinted moisturizer.