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I'm always on the lookout for foundations and BB creams with a good level of sun protection. I wear dedicated sunscreen under my makeup, but being pale and prone to sunburns makes you welcome any extra coverage you can get. Today I'll reviewing a CC cream that boasts excellent sun protection and nearly BB-like coverage: The ATRUE Real Black Tea True Active CC Cushion (SPF50+/PA+++).
"This CC Cushion utilizes a formula that benefits from a foundation which holds multiple functions that help rejuvenate and illuminate the skin tone. Such features help maintain the skin's overall brightness and transparency. This revolutionary formula benefits from a foundation which holds six multi-functions that help revitalize and illuminate the skin tone maintaining overall skin brightness and transparency. Micro particles of mineral powder completely fill the uneven skin tone. Its color controlling effects help find the individual natural beauty to show a clear and gorgeous look. A·TRUE tries to minimize harsh chemical ingredients. Formulated without Paraben, Ethanol, Phenoxyethanol, Benzophenone, Triethanolamine, Talc, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum and SLS."
The Real Black Tea CC Cushion is available in two shades: No. 1 Light Beige and No. 2 True Beige. I tested the cushion in No. 1/Light Beige.
*Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment(3,840mg), Cyclopentasiloxane, Titanium Dioxide, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Octocrylene, Zinc Oxide, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Butylene Glycol, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Stearic Acid,1,2-Hexanediol,Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Chlorphenesin, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Iron Oxides (CI 77499),Saccharide Isomerate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Adenosine, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract, Maltodextrin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Panthenol, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (* Compagnie Coloniale Black Tea Fermentation)
This cushion contains both physical and chemical sunscreens. It also contains niacinamide pretty high up in the ingredients list, so the brightening claims seem somewhat plausible. CosDNA flags Zinc Oxide, Butylene Glycol, and Stearic Acid as possible minor acne triggers, but overall the ingredients list looks pretty good.
According to a rather lengthy blurb in the product listing, ATRUE only selects high quality tea for their ingredients: "By selecting the finest tea leaves only, F.T.G.F.O.P (Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe) is harvested within Castleton Tea Garden, placed in Darjeeling, India, at altitudes of 1,500m. This unique environment is home to the F.T.G.F.O.P variety of teas. Such rare selections were once so valued they would be compared to gold. Today, they are harvested for the enjoyment of our customers. We present the precious value of the top grade black tea which holds the first golden buds of spring."
Thanks to ATRUE, I now know what FTGFOP is. Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe. Say that three times fast.
The ATRUE Real Black Tea True Active CC Cushion SPF50+ PA+++ is regularly priced at US $38.00 for 12g of product in a cushion compact, however at the time of publishing this post, ibuybeauti has it on 1+1 special (buy the 12g cushion, get a 12g refill free).
The cushion case is well-constructed. It's not the most heavy or substantial one I've tried (that award still goes to Laneige), but it closes securely and has an adequately-sized mirror.
One unique thing about the case: The inner plastic "shelf" that the applicator sponge closes very, very tightly. I view this as a positive attribute as it keeps the cushion from drying out, but be prepared to exert a little more energy than usual to get it open.
Speaking of the applicator sponge, it's soft and nice. I think it might be a little bit softer and more absorbent than the blue sponges you sometimes see in BB cushions, but it still works well to pat on product and blend for a natural finish.
The CC cream is pretty light (maybe about N15?) and has a slight peachy undertone. I honestly think it's pretty close to neutral though. Hand swatch:
The formula of this CC cream is thicker and has a higher level of coverage than most of the CC creams I've tried. I'd still describe it as a light coverage product, but it does well to balance out redness, cover minor blemishes, and at least sort of neutralize my horrible dark circles. Here's what it looks like on a face:
Heyyy I look tired! Funny how that works first thing in the morning. Anyway, I like the color-correcting and light coverage this cushion gives. I would describe the finish as semi-matte. It is ever-so-slightly dewy, but not full-on shiny like a lot of CC creams. The texture is a bit on the drier side and therefore probably best suited to oily or combo/oily skin... maybe with a dusting of setting powder if you're very oily. It looked really natural on my nose, but accentuated a couple of little dry patches I have on my forehead. If you have drier skin and really want to try this cushion, I recommend making sure your face is extremely well exfoliated and moisturized first.
One of the other things that I really like about this CC formula is that it lasts. A lot of tinted moisturizers and CC creams seem to disappear from my face after just a few hours, but this one was still going strong after a whole day of wear. The pictures above were taken at about 10 AM—here's a photo taken at about 7 PM the same day:
Crappy indoor lighting, but you can still see that my skin has consistent tone and the same semi-matte finish. I didn't touch up at all during the day. Madness!
Other considerations... this product is fragranced. It smells kind of like generic floral-y sunscreen to me, but I didn't find the odor overwhelming or offensive.
I was pleasantly surprised by the ATRUE Real Black Tea True Active CC Cushion. It's not like I expected it to be bad or anything, but I was truly impressed with the above-average level of coverage it provided and how well it lasted throughout the day. I haven't been using it long to observe any long-term skin benefits, but haven't experienced any breakouts or irritation from wearing it for lengthy periods of time. I do think the formula is a bit dry for my skin type (which is normal to dry overall except for a couple oily spots in the T-zone), but if you have oilier skin than I do, I'd say it's well worth checking out.
The only negative aspect I can think of is the limited range of shades. I don't have No. 2/True Beige, but from the stock photos it doesn't look like it's a whole lot darker than No. 1/Light Beige, so it's really only suited to the paler folk out there. If you're looking for alternatives, I recommend looking at the comments on ibuybeauti's ATrue Real Black Tea CC Cushion product page—they've answered quite a few questions from customers looking for shade recommendations.
If you want more information or to purchase the cushion for yourself, you can find it here:
What do you think of the ATRUE Real Black Tea CC Cushion? Do you prefer your CC and BB creams to be more matte or more dewy?
Disclosure: The product featured in this post was provided to me for review purposes, however any opinions expressed above are honest and my own. I did not receive any other form of compensation. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.