All present and Correct at Claridge’s

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How well do you know your alphabet? In beauty terms, it’s time to brush up on your ABCs, as a new skin care trend gets ready to make its presence felt. BB products (the initials most commonly denote Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm) have dominated the shelves over the past couple of years. Brace yourself now for Clinique’s CC Cream. 2013, it seems, will be all about Correction (yet another Fifty Shades of Grey effect?).

Clinique’s new CC Cream, available from April

Clinique unveiled its latest complexion perfector, Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF30 Hydrating Colour Corrector, at Claridge’s in London last week. As its name suggests, CC Cream is a colour correcting treatment product that enhances the skin’s natural radiance. It is also said to hydrate, protect and perfect.

According to Clinique, the product visibly corrects a range of concerns (dullness, sallow skin, blotchiness etc) thanks to dual-layered colour correcting optics that scatter light multi-dimensionally to neutralise the skin’s complexion for an instantly brighter, natural glow. CC Cream is available in six shades, and can be worn alone, or layered under foundation and/or powder.

Correcting products are by no means new, but they are usually offered in scary-looking shades such as green, orange, yellow, purple and pale pink. Each shade targets a different problem (for example, green counters redness). Understandably, many consumers are put off by such hues, or unsure of how to proceed if they have more than one concern. Clinique’s new CC Cream aims to simplify the correction process, with a ‘one size fits all’ formulation.

Clinique’s Ida Wong demonstrates the latest launch

“The colour correcting technology in this product works on all skin tones,” underlined Clinique Executive Director Global Product Development Ida Wong, at the launch event. “And thanks to the way we have developed the formula, each shade really bridges a wide range of skin tones, making selection very simple.”

So what’s the key difference between BB and CC? Both are multi-taskers that offer subtle colour perfecting, UV protection and hydration. The answer, maintains Wong, is texture. “Our BB Cream offers a semi-matte/matte finish, and the coverage is much fuller,” she explains. “The new CC Cream has a much more lightweight texture, which melts into skin, giving moderate coverage and a very natural finish…it is sheer but transformative.”

If consumers understand, and buy into, that distinction. Clinique could well have another big hit on its hands. BB Creams, first championed by Asian consumers, have been phenomenally successful almost everywhere, but their popularity does seem to have peaked. Only time will tell whether CC Creams can replicate their success, but expect to see more of them very soon. Towards the top end of the market, Chanel has already unveiled a CC Cream, albeit in Asian doors only; L’Oréal Paris is set to enter the CC fray in March/April.

Looking further ahead, what next for the alphabet skin care trend? Will BB and CC be followed by DD? Keep an eye on the bust-firming category, just in case.

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