Cheap Thrills: Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream

My experience with BB/CC/DD creams is hit-and-miss: I always get excited about some new product, buy it, get disappointed, and get excited when a newer, more promising product arrives on the horizon. Lather, rinse, repeat.

No more of that, though: I think I’ve found a CC cream that will stay with me forever, in the form of the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream. 

bourjouis 123 2

You know that part in Star Wars (SPOILER ALERT) when Han Solo abandons the group to fight the Empire without him? And then they get in trouble and reckon the entire fight is just about over and their struggle has been for nothing, but then Han comes back with the Millennium Falcon, all canons firing, just in time to save the day?

Well, the 123 Perfect CC Cream is my Han Solo. I was about to give up on BB/CC/DD creams and return to my beloved Benefit Hello Flawless foundation, until this product showed up at the last minute on a white horse with both guns blazing to the rescue, ready to defend the good name of CC creams (it really wasn’t that dramatic. I just bought it on a whim, following my success with Bourjois’ Rouge Edition Velvet).

The 123 Perfect CC Cream is actually available in four shades, but apparently the Bourjois counters at department stores and drugstores in South Jakarta only carry one shade, the Light Beige. I think four shades is already limiting to begin with, and then to salt the wound by only carrying one of those four shades? Not cool. I think my skin could afford to go with a shade that’s one step darker, but thankfully the Light Beige could easily be worked in with a little bit of blending.

bourjouis 123 3The “123” part of the name comes from the three color pigments that address specific discolorations: there are apricot pigments to hide signs of fatigue, green pigments to neutralize redness, and white pigments to conceal dark spots. Now let’s break down the reasons why the word “perfect” is part of this product’s name:

Coverage and staying power. Surprisingly good! Despite being a very runny solution, the product is quite richly pigmented and stays on through most of the workday. It also builds up nicely, so you can start off with a layer as sheer as you want, and continue piling it on for extra coverage without all the extra “weight.” I have inexplicably ruddy cheeks, and this CC cream does a dreamy job of covering up the redness without compromising luminosity.

Hydration and SPF. The product already comes with SPF 15 and “24 hour hydration,” but I will be the first person to tell anyone that relying on a CC cream for hydration and sun protection is far from sufficient. I strongly advise you wear this on top of your regular moisturizer and broad spectrum SPF if you plan on being out and about — but if you’re going to spend your day in a dimly-lit room during a thunderstorm, then by all means slap this on, pop a horror movie in the DVD player, and veg out on the couch with some popcorn.

It's not acne, just a whole lot of redness: spot the half of my face where I didn't apply the CC cream.

It’s not acne, just a whole lot of redness: spot the half of my face where I didn’t apply the CC cream.

And here are a couple of things about this product that I’m not too crazy for:

Packaging. I think this product should be dispensed out of a pump instead of a tube, because it’s extremely runny. The first time I opened the cap, the product came gurgling out of the nozzle with no pressure applied to the body, and I was left with lots of product that I ended up not using.

Oil control. Or lack of oil control, rather.  I have oily skin to begin with and had to dab at my face with blotting paper or a pressed powder after just a few hours of wear. But there are worse things in life than keeping your face in check, and this is a shortcoming I’m willing to live with. While I can imagine this product coming off as “dewy” on people with dry skin, it’s better to have some blotting papers within arm’s reach if your skin leans toward combination or oily.

So there you have it. The product sounds quite perfect, just like it says on the packaging…but you know what? This will never be a perfect world as long as I’m not an aerospace engineer in a committed long-term relationship with Idris Elba, and this product is not perfect either — but it’s a pretty dang good start.