Of course I wasn't planning on buying a new foundation, but Lisa Eldridge's terrible influence and Priceline's 40% off sale proved to be a persuasive combination. Along with the good reputation Bourjois enjoys when it comes to their base products, I figured $15 wasn't too steep a price to pay to hopefully be blown away. As usual, the hardest part was selecting the right shade. Annoyingly, there wasn't a tester for 32 Light Beige, so I settled for 33 Rose Beige after trying some on and not noticing any major issues.
Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream SPF 15 has a lightweight texture and is decently hydrating, though I'm not sure about the "24 hour hydration" claims. It reminds me of a slightly more fluid, sheerer version of Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, but instead of the juicy apricot smell, the fragrance is cloying and powdery. It also isn't anywhere near as glowy, with more of a subdued, skin-like finish. I definitely feel it's less coverage than Healthy Mix Serum, though around the same wear time. With its sheerer coverage, runnier consistency, and thin, long nozzle, I also find it reminiscent of Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector (Combination to Oily Skin). The Bourjois is easier to work into the skin than the Garnier, but it's not as dewy and illuminating.
Rose Beige is far from the perfect colour match for me which is a major downside. It's darker and more pinkish tan than my skin tone, which leans more yellow/beige. At the same time, I doubt the shade lighter would have matched me exactly either. This seems to be a recurrent issue I have with Bourjois foundations, since I also fall in between 52 Vanille and 53 Beige clair in Healthy Mix Serum. It's unfortunate that Bourjois can't be more subtle with their shade gradations, but I suppose the lack of variety and colour specificity is to be expected of more affordable brands. If I sheer it out, it's not so much an issue, but it's obvious when I focus on the difference between my face and noticeably paler, yellower neck.
Despite being touted as "anti-fatigue", "anti-redness" and "anti-dark spots" (with counteracting apricot, green and white pigments respectively), I didn't notice any colour correcting properties. For me, the coverage simply isn't there for it to camouflage any redness. I could still see all my patches of irritation and blemishes after applying one layer. As far as being brightening, both Healthy Mix Serum and the Garnier BB Cream give far more luminosity to the complexion. This CC Cream isn't exactly matte, but it's not distinctly radiance-boosting either.
On top of all that, my main issue is that it doesn't seem to set very well, especially when paired with a thicker moisturiser like my Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream. It's almost still wet after it's applied and I need to powder all over to mattify my skin. Even then, an hour later if I press a tissue over my face to minimise unwanted transfer and blot away any shine, a significant amount of foundation comes off on it — much more than what I'd consider normal. It's almost like the foundation hasn't absorbed or worked into the skin properly and is primarily just sitting on the surface, easily rubbed off.
For now, I'm still using it daily as it's a solid pick for an easygoing daytime base that looks quite natural, but it's certainly no love affair. It's probably most suited to those with already good skin slightly on the drier side. Otherwise, pass on this if you're looking for more coverage, a more budge-proof, transfer-resistant formulation and a glowy finish.