Almay Smart Shade CC Cream Review & Swatches

Almay Smart Shade CC Cream

I think part of the irony of Almay Smart Shade CC Cream is the fact that the Almay Smart Shade Foundation is more of a CC Cream than this is.

At the moment CC Creams are pretty popular in Korea and we’re seeing some of that in the Western market. Most of these CC Creams in Asia are white, self adjusting formulas with lightweight textures. Remind you of anything? Almay’s Smart Shade Foundation is actually white and self adjusting….

I find it funny that their CC Cream actually doesn’t go the self adjusting root. It’s unusual that their original, old formulated foundation is more a CC Cream than a new product they just launched.


If anything at all Almay Smart Shade CC Cream is most comparable to Revlon’s Photoready BB Cream. This is available in three shades with an SPF 35.

They had a Light, Light Medium, and Medium shade selection and I thought I had picked up the Light Medium but actually it was the Medium shade I ended up getting. Needless to say it was a little too dark for my skin and had a dark beige undertone. The thing I didn’t love about it was it oxidized almost as soon as I started blending it out which resulted in an orange-y undertone on my skin. EEP not good.

It’s a lighter creamier texture but not as creamy as a Korean BB Cream and as I said most comparable to the Revlon BB Cream. It’s quite hydrating and applies easily giving skin a touch of a moisturizing finish with a cool, smooth dry down. It doesn’t cling or accentuate drier areas on my face and has a soft, smooth finish that’s very flattering. Coverage is very minimal so it will even out skin tone and subdue minor redness but won’t conceal major problems like darkness, blemishes, etc….I wouldn’t say it really offers any correcting benefits especially if you’re relying on it for subduing redness on your cheeks or face.

Almay CC Cream Swatches

Almay Smart Shade CC Cream Swatches

Wear time is iffy…as I mentioned it oxidizes almost as soon as you apply it and it wears away within an hour on my skin. It doesn’t really brighten or ease my dullness plus the fact that it goes orange on initial application makes my dullness even more visible.

Overall, it’s a basic lightweight tinted moisturizer product of sorts that perfects skin but offers little coverage and correcting benefits. If you tried Revlon Photoready BB Cream and you liked it, chances are you’ll enjoy Almay Smart Shade CC Cream. If you disliked Revlon’s version, well, chances are you won’t find much to love here.

Personally, I didn’t really love it. The texture is nice enough but the formula didn’t do anything incredible for my skin.

It’s available now at drugstores.

You don’t really need it unless you’re currently looking for lighter coverage for Summer plus in this fact there are range of other far nicer CC Creams to try out!

Almay Smart Shade CC Cream 5

Almay Smart Shade CC Cream 9


This product was purchased
by the Muse for review purposes.
Read my full disclosure statement here.

  • 5/7/13 13:33 Megan:

    I was thisclose to buying this yesterday at CVS, then I thought better of it. So glad I trusted my instincts! I seriously wish companies would just make BB and CC creams the same way Asian companies do. It would save me so much on shipping since I have to resort to buying BB creams from China!


  • 5/7/13 14:33 Heather N King:

    Great review, Muse! I haven’t seen this in my area yet and was dying to know more about it. Thanks!


    • 5/7/13 14:38 the Muse:

      my pleasure :) glad it helped!


  • 5/7/13 19:21 Jane:

    Which do you prefer, Revlon’s BB cream or this one?


  • 5/7/13 22:09 Andrea:

    I find all of Almay’s foundation type products oxidize quickly on me.


  • 5/7/13 22:41 Marie:

    Hi, just to start I love your blog! I visit it every day. This review however needs a little bit of fixing. This CC cream IS shade adjusting it just doesn’t come out white. This is noted by the Smart Shade name and the package design with the white and tan drops mixing. I think this could be the reason for the ‘oxidization’ effect that happens instantly when you rub it in. I used to use the Almay smart shade foundation which came in 3 shades like this CC cream. I discontinued using it for a couple reasons but one being this orange-y effect when rubbed in.


    • 5/8/13 9:45 the Muse:

      hi marie thanks so much so glad you enjoy Musings. EEP that would mean it thinks my skin tone is orange haha!


  • 5/8/13 7:22 Heather:

    Sounds horrible. Oxidation, low coverage.


  • 5/8/13 7:40 Evangeline:

    Boo! Another Asian wannabe western product!


  • 7/9/13 0:36 Dee:

    I actually really like this product!! I do use a little bit AND i mean LITTLE bit of tarte foundation! It stays put for about 5 hours in high humid air n hot sun! Feels very light and blends well. Covers nice but depending on severity of skin may need little concealer which to me is no big deal, due to some what having dark circles under my eyes! Set it with a powder an its gorgeous!! Theres a lot of ways to make this work and ive used it alone too :)


  • 10/17/13 14:53 Jena:

    Uhhh I happen to LOVE this stuff! It feels smooth but light and lasts a long time on me (I use a primer and finishing spray). I would definitely recommend it. I use the light/medium shade and I have olive skin. It matches my skin perfectly.


  • 7/3/14 15:17 Lannie:

    thanks for the review! i just tried this and agree that it’s a bit too peachy in undertone but also had way too much of a shiny finish!


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