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This Holy Grail CC Cream Is Worth Every Damn Penny

The search for the perfect foundation ends here: With SPF 50 and flawless redness and blemish coverage, this hydrating CC cream just might become your new go-to.

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Like plenty of other makeup-obsessed humans, I live for product reviews, limited-edition launches, celebrity makeup collaborations — the whole shebang.

That said, over the years I’ve cycled through dozens of different foundations, both of the drugstore and high-end variety, and stuck with a few tried-and-true foundation staples — like L'Oréal True Match and M.A.C Studio Face and Body. But I was always on the hunt for that holy grail, life-changing, perfect foundation.
Anna McCarter / BuzzFeed

That said, over the years I’ve cycled through dozens of different foundations, both of the drugstore and high-end variety, and stuck with a few tried-and-true foundation staples — like L'Oréal True Match and M.A.C Studio Face and Body. But I was always on the hunt for that holy grail, life-changing, perfect foundation.

Then, about three years ago, while perusing makeup aisles on my lunch break, I decided to pick up It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream.

I had recently started using Retin-A, a skincare product that my dermatologist had prescribed. Because Retin-A causes rapid cell turnover, it’s extra important to wear a high SPF every day — and the It Cosmetics CC cream caught my eye because of its whopping SPF 50. The $38 price point did make me hesitate...but I thought I’d give it a try and return it if it turned out to be a dud. Three years and many, many tubes of the stuff later, I can say that this product (available in seven shades, from Fair to Deep) is everything I need in a foundation and more. I can wear it with a full face of makeup or put on a light layer with nothing else while I'm running errands on the weekend. And as a bonus, I don’t have to worry about applying sunscreen underneath it, since the product's SPF 50 has got me covered. Yes, the name is kind of gimmicky and it’s not the cheapest foundation, but IMHO this makeup is unlike any other product on the market I've ever used, and worth every. damn. penny. (Plus it's cruelty-free and free of parabens.)
Anna McCarter / BuzzFeed

I had recently started using Retin-A, a skincare product that my dermatologist had prescribed. Because Retin-A causes rapid cell turnover, it’s extra important to wear a high SPF every day — and the It Cosmetics CC cream caught my eye because of its whopping SPF 50. The $38 price point did make me hesitate...but I thought I’d give it a try and return it if it turned out to be a dud.

Three years and many, many tubes of the stuff later, I can say that this product (available in seven shades, from Fair to Deep) is everything I need in a foundation and more. I can wear it with a full face of makeup or put on a light layer with nothing else while I'm running errands on the weekend. And as a bonus, I don’t have to worry about applying sunscreen underneath it, since the product's SPF 50 has got me covered. Yes, the name is kind of gimmicky and it’s not the cheapest foundation, but IMHO this makeup is unlike any other product on the market I've ever used, and worth every. damn. penny. (Plus it's cruelty-free and free of parabens.)

It's also available in an "Illumination" version, which gives you a more glowy look. I keep both versions on hand and sometimes mix them. For reference, the photos of me that follow (from the top) are with no makeup, wearing the original version in shade Medium, and wearing the Illumination version in shade Medium:

Anna McCarter / BuzzFeed
Anna McCarter / BuzzFeed
This foundation is AMAZING at covering redness. (The founder and CEO of It Cosmetics, Jamie Kern Lima, actually has rosacea and created the line to combat redness and discoloration. Cool fact: She's the first female CEO of any L’Oréal-owned brand in the company’s 108-year history!) In the past I had never been a fan of CC creams, but this is nothing like the weird, inconsistent ones I’d used before. It can be applied with a Beautyblender, a foundation brush, or even your own hands — which is what I do most mornings when I’m in a rush. I’d consider it a medium-coverage foundation, but it could certainly be built up if you’re seeking a full-coverage look. I tend to get hormonal breakouts around my chin, and this stuff covers any blemish flawlessly.
Anna McCarter / BuzFeed

This foundation is AMAZING at covering redness. (The founder and CEO of It Cosmetics, Jamie Kern Lima, actually has rosacea and created the line to combat redness and discoloration. Cool fact: She's the first female CEO of any L’Oréal-owned brand in the company’s 108-year history!) In the past I had never been a fan of CC creams, but this is nothing like the weird, inconsistent ones I’d used before. It can be applied with a Beautyblender, a foundation brush, or even your own hands — which is what I do most mornings when I’m in a rush.

I’d consider it a medium-coverage foundation, but it could certainly be built up if you’re seeking a full-coverage look. I tend to get hormonal breakouts around my chin, and this stuff covers any blemish flawlessly.

With nearly 900 five-star reviews, it seems like this product has been a game-changer for plenty of others as well:

"This is my first review on Sephora after years of shopping here, so you know I must love this product! I'm not a foundation user; it's too much for me. Tinted moisturizer isn't enough. This stuff is smack dab in the middle and absolutely perfect! I love that it replaces everything I would need to apply to my face before the makeup process even begins. I love that it gives me all the coverage I need without being too much. I don't feel overdone and it looks great in the day as well as at night. This is a must-have in my opinion!" —Alexstarr1 "Hydrates my skin and feels so much better than a foundation. I don't have to worry about breaking out or clogged pores. It gives a natural, healthy look." —Bear96"This stuff is liquid gold! Best foundation I've ever used. I've been using it now for over a year. A little goes a long way. I only need one pump to cover my face, the coverage is medium-full, and it soaks into the skin so nicely. I have oily, acne-prone skin and this stuff doesn't make me break out. I also love that it as SPF in it. I get so many compliments on how natural I always look. Thank you, IT Cosmetics!! Everyone needs this in their arsenal." —Marisa3839"I can't say enough about this. I have really dry, super-fair skin, so I was skeptical at first. But this is so hydrating and a great color match, plus it gives you an amazing glow! It's great for everyday wear, and lasts for hours if I use setting spray." —saybix
sephora.com

"This is my first review on Sephora after years of shopping here, so you know I must love this product! I'm not a foundation user; it's too much for me. Tinted moisturizer isn't enough. This stuff is smack dab in the middle and absolutely perfect! I love that it replaces everything I would need to apply to my face before the makeup process even begins. I love that it gives me all the coverage I need without being too much. I don't feel overdone and it looks great in the day as well as at night. This is a must-have in my opinion!" —Alexstarr1

"Hydrates my skin and feels so much better than a foundation. I don't have to worry about breaking out or clogged pores. It gives a natural, healthy look." —Bear96

"This stuff is liquid gold! Best foundation I've ever used. I've been using it now for over a year. A little goes a long way. I only need one pump to cover my face, the coverage is medium-full, and it soaks into the skin so nicely. I have oily, acne-prone skin and this stuff doesn't make me break out. I also love that it as SPF in it. I get so many compliments on how natural I always look. Thank you, IT Cosmetics!! Everyone needs this in their arsenal." —Marisa3839

"I can't say enough about this. I have really dry, super-fair skin, so I was skeptical at first. But this is so hydrating and a great color match, plus it gives you an amazing glow! It's great for everyday wear, and lasts for hours if I use setting spray." —saybix

So far, I have gotten FIVE of my friends on board with this CC cream. We all have fairly different skin undertones, textures, and ~problem areas~, and it legit looks fantastic on everyone.

Final review: If my house were on fire, I’d grab my dog and this CC cream.
Anna McCarter / BuzzFeed

Final review: If my house were on fire, I’d grab my dog and this CC cream.

Get it from Sephora for $38 (available in seven shades).

Some reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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