Product Review: COVER FX Skinprep FX Nourishing Foundation Primer & Anti-Aging Serum and Cream Foundation SPF 30

One of the newest cosmetic brands  on the market is the Canadian brand COVER FX.

The brand launched in the UK, exclusively in Harvey Nichols and is now also available at House of Fraser.  A friend of mine had a consultation at the Harvey Nick’s counter in London and was VERY impressed with the end result, so I was keen to try out items from the range for myself.

Founded in 2000 by Lee Graff, a Corrective Makeup Specialist with over 25 years of industry expertise.  Lee began the development of COVER FX together with Chemical engineer Jenny Frankel and leading dermatologist Dr. Neil Shear.

COVER FX Skin Care Inc. develops skin care powders and creams for men and women . It provides water-based foundations, mineral powders, bronzers, and lip protection products, as well as application tools for dark under-eye circles, blemishes, and redness.   If you are in need of extra coverage to conceal a skin condition or scars from previous skin traumas, this is a brand that could meet your needs.  It will even cover tattoos!

Lee states on the company website:

“As a camouflage specialist for over 25 years, I’ve taught patients to use makeup to effectively cover rosacea, acne, scars, and many other imperfections. I encourage you to take control of your appearance to enhance your self esteem and confidence to face the world. My dream was to help men & women with skin conditions face the world with confidence by offering them makeup products with therapeutic benefits that would perfectly match their skin tone, be affordable, well tolerated by even the most sensitive skins and achieve a perfectly natural, flawless effect.”

I was sent a selection of products from the lovely people at COVER FX UK – so I will split this review into two, I will be reviewing two of the items in this post: the Skinprep FX Nourishing Foundation Primer & Anti-Aging Serum and the Total Coverage Cream Foundation, SPF 30.

I will then review the remaining products and the marketing support in a post next week!

Something for you to look forward too!

Skinprep FX Nourishing Foundation Primer & Anti-Aging Serum

Primers are an essential part of my daily make up routine.  I find that it really does make a difference to the longevity of my makeup.  I currently use Avon’s Magix Face Perfector, which is brilliant.

The Skinprep FX primer (£22) claims to:

  • Hydrate and smooth the skin to blur the appearance of fine lines and pores, facilitating the  blending and extending the  wear of foundation
  • Be suitable for all skin types, especially Normal to Dry
  • Be suitable for sensitive skins and paraben free, oil free and fragrance free

Avon Magix Skin Perfector (left) vs. Skinprep FX (right)

It is a clear gel formulation, which is very different to the primers that I am used to using, which are a silicone based, creamy texture, however I found that upon application the Skinprep primer dried quickly and did produce a smooth, velvety base upon which my foundation could be applied.   The gel formulation would really work well with all skin tones, as I know that some people can find that the white, silicone based formulations of typical primers can leave a residue on the skin.  I felt that the primer performed well when used in conjunction with the Cover FX Cream foundation, but to be able to give a more objective review I will wear it with my usual foundation and report on the performance in my next post!

Cover FX Creme Foundation

The Cover FX range has an extensive selection of shades for all skin tones which is coded by a letter to denote the tone and a number to denote the shade (a small number of the available shades are shown below).

There is also a handy shade selector online that suggests the right colour based on MAC and Dermablend shades.

Colour Match

I am shade B35.  The creme foundation  comes in a handy compact, not dissimilar to the MAC Studio Fix compact, however for the £37 that the product costs I think the quality of the packaging lacks a premium look and feel.

It is not a compact that I would flaunt at all!

The creme is thick, but  not  at all heavy and it blended well.  I do not suffer from any serious skin concerns, but I do have a few pigmentation marks that I like to cover.

I initially used the sponge that comes with the compact to apply the foundation but the product was too dense for the sponge and it dragged my skin, so I decided to use my fingers instead.  This enabled me to blend the product and to build it up where need, but due the consistency of the product it took quite a long time – so this would not be a product to use when you are in rush!!  Once it was blended in, I was happy with the colour match.  The finish was a tad on the shiny side, but I took the shine down with a touch of powder.

Colour Match: 8/10

Coverage and Wear

The foundation is for a full coverage, but it is light and did not look mask like at all…however, the foundation did transfer when touched thus touch ups were required.  I was impressed with the fact that shine was kept at bay –  and I love that fact that the SPF is so high!  Many women of colour fail to take adequate defense against the sun and harmful rays and this is an easy way to make sure you are fully protected.

Coverage and Wear: 7/10

Marketing

I will be covering this in a future blog post so watch this space!!

Have you tried this brand… do let me know what you think!

*pr samples


Guest Post! Where the Beautiful Black Women of Paris Shop!

Hi all!

Here is my 3rd guest post of the week!

 I love the virtual world of social media, the fact that it knows no boundaries and that you can make connections with like-minded people in the far-flung nations of the earth!  Well, you will not be travelling to far today…just to gay Paris!

The fabulous Miss B Beautiful (whom I connected with via Twitter…really, if you are not on Twitter, you are missing a trick!!!), is a Parisian Black woman with a passion for hair and beauty and is the author of the blog  blackandbeautiful.fr  (which she writes in 3 languages!!! Very clever!).

I  asked Miss BB (as she is affectionately known), for the lowdown on where the chic Black woman of Paris shop for their hair and beauty items.   All I can say is that her shopping escapades made me want to book a Eurostar ticket straight away!!

Here is her account:

Hello Black and Beautiful Ladies,

There are many places in Paris to buy beauty products for black women.

Thanks to my blog I have had the opportunity to discover and explore the best of these.

And here they are:

PLACES TO BUY MAKE UP

Make UP For Ever Boutique

Make Up For Ever is a French professional make-up brand that has a range of make up for all skin tones.

I love their eye shadows, which are very iridescent.  They also have a waterproof liquid liner called Aqua Liner, which comes in an array of rainbow colours.

Their cream eye shadows are also among my favourites.  Their boutique in Le Marais is really nice.  If you go there on a Saturday, you can meet a make-up artist that will give you all the advice that you need!

Boutique MAKE UP FOR EVER

5 rue de la Boétie

75008 Paris

MAC Boutique

MAC is my one of my favourite make up brands. I love everything they do!

They have a stunning boutique in Le Marais. Their make up artists are the best!

 

Boutique M.A.C

13 rue des Francs Bourgeois
75004 Paris

PLACES TO BUY HAIR PRODUCTS

 Univers Phyto

Univers Phyto is a hair institute where you can receive intensive hair treatments, and superior styling and they also have a sophisticated machine that analyses your hair, prior to the treatment.

You can also buy all the product from the brands Phytospecific and Phyto.

Phytospecific? C'est magnifique!


Univers Phyto

109, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré

75008 Paris


Nayenka

Nayenka is a boutique that specialises in Black beauty. They opened one year ago.

They have the best haircare products such as Miss Jessies and Kera Care and some good french brands such as TRUE COLORS Paris, a cosmetics  brand for women of colour.

French brand TRUE COLORS Paris

 

Boutique Nayenka

9 rue du Turbigo

75001 Paris

Merci Beaucoup Miss BB!

Follow Miss BB on Twitter

Like Miss BB’s Facebook Page

Follow Miss BB’s Blog


New Pin Board! Black Beauty and Style in the mainstream UK Media

Another day, another idea for a Pinterest board!

As an increasing number of black models are being used for the beauty and fashion features in the mainstream British glossy magazines, I have decided to capture these images over the remainder of the year.  Follow this board here!

As well as featuring vetran supermodels such as Naomi Campbell  and newer faces such as Leomie Anderson, I will also pin the press features that depict a positive representation of the modern Black British woman – women like myself, who are educated, professional and wish to make a valuable contribution to the British society – as unfortunatly such coverage is still few and far between.

I have added this pin to my  board which was featured  recently in InStyle magazine’s SS12 Get Smart Workwear Special supplement.  ‘How real women Get Smart’ was the title of the feature and it showcased 4 professional women and their working wardrobes.  It was great to see Paulette Stephens, an interior design consultant, included in the group.  I am looking forward to showcasing more women such as this!

Is there anyone missing?   Do let me know!


The Brit Pack – my Favourite Black British Beauty and Fashion Bloggers!

Which Black British beauty and fashion bloggers are on my hot list?

I took inspiration from my recent post that showcased the leading Black beauty bloggers from the US and thought that I would start a Pinterest board to collate my fav Black British bloggers – we to are doing some fabulous things right here in the UK!

I have really gotten into Pinterest – it is such an easy way to document your thoughts, ideas and aspirations to create a visual feast that is a reflection of the very essence of who you are!  What fun it will be to look back at your boards in 1, 5 or 10 years time!  It will be a montage of your evolution as a person and a snapshot of the history of your presence here on this earth!  If you are not on  Pinterest request an invite!  If you are on Pinterest follow me!

So which bloggers am I loving right now??  Check out my board to find out!

Who should join the list? Do let me know who your favorite Black British beauty and fashion bloggers are too!

If you are on Pinterest, happy pinning! Leave your Pinterest address in the comment box below and I will be sure to follow!


Product Review: Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer

I am just LOVING this weather!  Spring has certainly sprung and as the temperature soars one often considers adapting their make-up routine.  Wearing a full face of foundation can become uncomfortable and you may want to opt for a lighter option such as a tinted moisturiser.

I tested the cult tinted moisteriser by Laura Merceir last week.

Laura Mercier - the creator of the 'flawless face'

The Laura Mercier brand has garnered a loyal and fervent following.  Mercier is a leading makeup artist and is famous for creating the ‘flawless’ face and counts Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker and Julia Roberts as faithful clients.  She created the brand in 1996 and the Tinted Moisturizer  (n.b. I will only spell moisturizer with a ‘z; when referring specifically to the product – sorry – being pedantic!!) soon became one of the best sellers and has won a plethora of industry awards.

To be honest, I have never worn a tinted moisturisers, as I crave coverage and believed that tinted moisturisers would not provide the level of coverage I desired, however there are those days when I do not want to or need to wear a full coverage foundation, thus I thought it was about time I gave one a try! A quality tinted moistiriser would be a great alternative.

I  have tried other products from the Laura Mercier range and I really rate the quality so, what did I think of the Tinted Moisturizer?

Colour Match

There are 4 shades in the range that would be suitable for darker skin tones; Caramel, Tan, Walnut and Mocha.  Walnut and Mocha are the latest shades to join the range.

The formulation has a yellow undertone – and not the usual oragny undertone that darker liquid foundations tend to have and as a result it was a PERFECT match for me!!

🙂

It blended in well and literally dissaperared into my skin.  As I have mentioned in my previous product review posts, I usually wear MAC’s Studio Fix compact in NW45, so if this is your shade, you should find that Mocha will work for you.

Now you see it...

...now you don't!

Colour Match :10/10

Coverage and Wear

The product is available in two versions, the original and an oil-free version – which is what I opted for and which comes in the brown tube (featured above).  As I reserched more about this product I came to understand that the formulation is buildable and could provide additional coverage, should that be the finish that you desired.  Though I was some what  skeptical of this claim,  I was blown away with the performance of this product!  It is quite thick in texture- which was unexpected – but this means that a little goes a long, long way – which is good news – because at £33, it is not the cheapest of  bases on the market, but I am sure that the 40 ml tube would last for AGES!!

I applied the moisturiser with my fingers and was able to build up the coverage as needed, without it looking cakey or uneven.  The coverage was excellent – akin to that of a foundation…it really would be a credible option for the summer months as it is lightweight and felt undetectable.

The moisturiser dries to give a dewy finish, so I did feel the need to dab on a little sheer powder, but once set, it did not budge!  The quality of this product is beyond marvelous and with a SPF of 20 it really is the all-in one, convenient product for a speedy, yet flawless finish!

Coverage and Wear: 9/10

Marketing Support

The campaign for the new darker shades that were to added to the Laura Mercier range actually caught my attention last year and I featured the ad in my blog post ‘Model Behaviour‘.  I love the strapline; ‘flawless has many faces’.

Niche brands such as Laura Mercier tend not to spend lavishly on advertising, but I have seen the ad in a recent issue of Marie Claire magazine.  There is a limited amount of visibility in store and online, but I feel the brand is still very much a beauty aficionado’s secret!

I hope that this post will encourage more women, especially women of colour, to try this brilliant brand!

Marketing 8/10

Where can you buy this wonderful product?

Space NK

John Lewis

House of Fraser


Top Black Beauty Bloggers courtesy of Coco & Creme

I came accross this fabulous post a few days ago, posted by Coco & Creme, a sister blog to the leading US online magazine for the ‘young, contemporary’ women of colour,  Clutch, and I thought I would share it!

Image

Featuring the heavyweight black female bloggers from accross the pond such as Afrobella, Curly Nikki and Scandalous Beauty – follow all of these ladies for the latest news and views on the best hair and beauty buys for the woman of colour.

It is always great to discover what is happening in the States, and I am becoming increasingly  impressed with the quality of the digital content that these entrepreneurial, innovative and enterprising women are creating – such powerful brands and successful businesses!!  Black women in the States have really utilised the web and social media to carve out incredible niches – allowing their voices and opinions to be heard…and shared!

They are a true inspiration and I hope that I will see many more Black British women take to the web and create an identity for themsleves and the women they represent.


It’s Me! Black beauty & hair magazine’s Blogger of the Month!

The latest issue of the UK’s ‘best selling Black magazine’ , Black beauty & hair, hit the shelves today…..

….. and yours truly is the blogger of the month!

How cool is that??!!

🙂

Thanks to all of my followers, both of my blog and on Twitter!  I love writing my blog and I love interacting with you all!

Do grab a copy of the magazine and let me know what you think….

…and if you are thinking of starting a blog, but are stuck as how to begin, my advice to you  is to JUST DO IT (you know – like  the Nike ads)!

You do have something to say, a unique point of view,  a valued opinion – so share it with the world!


Boutique Chic

I love the beauty halls in the major London department stores such as Selfridges, John Lewis Oxford Street, Liberty and Harvey Nicks…the convenience of  being able to purchase all of my favourite brands all under one roof is a boon and the in store theatre, promotions, window displays and the opportunity to discover new, exclusive brands all add to the joy of beauty shopping….

I'm a beauty shopper, looking for some peace...GET ME OUT OF HERE!!

…sometimes, however it is nice to leave the hustle and bustle behind and visit the stand alone boutique of individual brands.

That is exactly what I did over the last weekend – and how lovely it was indeed.

I visited:

Diptyque –  Brook Street, W1

Miller Harris – Bruton Street W1

Although department stores are convenient, they can often feel impersonal, but this was not the case at all with the stores that I visited – I was not just another faceless customer, the staff went above and beyond to make me feel welcomed and valued.  Also, I very much prefer niche fragrances that are unusual and eclectic, so thought it would be a nice change to  take the time to rediscover the beautiful stores that house these creations.

Diptyque

I was actually on my way to Space NK on Brook Street, when I happened upon the Diptyque store.  I had had no idea that this store was located here (which is very unusual for me!!), and was shocked to learn that it had been open for 3 years!  The store is quaint and petite, but is perfectly formed.  I adore the Diptyque range!

Diptyque, Brook Street

The candles are divine and extremely long lasting (my favorite scent is Tubéreuse) and the although the cult fragrance that has amassed a dedicated following  is the fig based Philosykos,  I prefer the  fruity scent of Oyedo.

Sweet and sensual...just like me 😉 !!

The Diptyque consultant was extremely knowledgeable and took her time to introduce us to the latest fragrance, Eau Rose (£60.00) and also demonstrated how could be combined with Philosykos to create a whole new fragrance….which I actually found to be quite appealing .  This was a surprise – as not only am I not Philosylos’  biggest fan, neither do I take to well to rose scented fragrances!  So it goes to show that the staff can play a critical role in assisting you to discover a new experience that you  might have otherwise discounted.

At no time,  did she try to ‘sell’ me any thing (unlike many department store ‘spritzers’ ), but was happy to answer all of my my questions and allow me to peruse the beautiful surroundings at my leisure…pure heaven! I left with a cute sample of the fragrance Do Son, which contains – you guessed it – tuberose! The other ingredients of berries and flowers create a concoction that is sweet, but not saccharine and is perfect for every day wear.

Miller Harris

Ever since I was given a bottle of L’air De Rien over 5 years ago, I have been besotted with the fragrance and the brand behind its creation. I will have to do a separate post on this fragrance because it is SO gorgeous…

The brand’s creator and the nose behind the fragrant offering is Lyn Harris.

Lyn Harris has been working in the fragrance industry for more than twenty years and founded Miller Harris in 2000. She spent five years training in France at one of the highly prestigious schools of the perfume elite in Paris and then Robertet in Grasse.

Lyn in her fragrance laboratory (looks like fun)!

The Mayfair flagship store offers a peaceful retreat from the bustle of Bond street with a Fragrant Tea Room at the rear of the store.   I arrived at the store at about 6.15pm…not realising that the store closed at 6pm!  The door was locked but the lights were still on.

Miller Harris - Bruton Street

As I was peering through the window a member of staff appeared and came to the door.  I expected her to say we are closed and advise me of the opening times for future visits….but no, she opened the door and invited me in!  ‘You have made your way here to see us’ she said and welcomed me as if it was 12 o’clock midday!

NOW THAT IS WHAT I CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!

We chatted about the fragrances and candles and as you can see I didn’t leave empty handed!

It was just so refreshing to receive genuine customer focused  service – to see someone go above and beyond the what was reasonable to expect.

In the word’s of the Mastercard adverts – this is priceless.


Rock of Ages

I was flicking through the latest issue of Grazia magazine yesterday and was thrilled to see that yet again Grazia has used a beautiful black model for the main beauty feature!

Image: Grazia - March 2012

The feature is not colour specific, but focuses on the latest hi-tech, anti-aging products that are on the market – the no-surgery approach to holding back the years.

Image: Grazia - March 2012

I had to smile to myself though, because the choice of model and the content of the feature was somewhat ironic ….has the beauty team at Grazia not heard that ‘Black Don’t Crack’ ???

This widely used term refers to the fact that black skin tends to age very well and the ‘signs of aging’ that the beauty (and cosmetic surgery) industry target with a plethora of products, devices and procedures – crows feet, fine lines and wrinkles, dark under-eye circles and puffiness, loss of elasticity – are not a major concern for the average woman of colour.

I am sure that you have all heard about, commented on and have formulated an opinion regarding  the recent survey of 1,936 American adults conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation that found that while black women are heavier than their white counterparts, they have higher self-esteem and a better body image.  I believe that this higher self-esteem can be also be partly attributed to the fact that the majority of black women do not abhor the aging process.

Now don’t get me wrong, aging is very much a reality for black women and eventually all of the ‘signs’ I mentioned above will begin to surface – however, in my experience, the onset of these changes in the beautiful, strong black women that have been a part of my life were never viewed in a negative light – in fact they was celebrated!

The leading ladies below typify the adage, ‘Black Don’t Crack’ , they are the essence of fabulosity!

Stacey Dash, 46 (45 in this image!)

Denise Lewis MBE, 39

Oprah Winfrey, 58

Iman,56

Diana Ross, 67

Now you may be thinking that if you were a celebrity -with stylists, facialists and personal trainers at your disposal, you would look fabulous too, right??

Well all I can say is that for me, the most stunning, resplendent black women that I was surrounded by as I grew up, were those with whom I attended church.

I grew in the Pentecostal church, and it was here in particular that I saw Black women of all ages – young women who were just blossoming and the matriarchs who had held the fort for decades – dressed to the nines and looking spectacular week after week after week.

An essential item of attire that conferred a regal finish was the indispensible church hat.

Oh happy day!

When these women were dressed in their matching hat, suit, bag and shoes –   you saw a confident, beautiful, representation of the black woman, one who celebrated her external appearance as she tended to her internal, spiritual being.

These women are our mothers and grandmothers, our aunts, our sisters and our friends.  As a young girl, and now as a young women,  women such as these continue to inspire me.

In 2009, just after the historical election of Barack Obama as the President of the United States of America, Essence magazine ran this cover of First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother Marian Robinson.

I still have a copy of the magazine on my coffee table, it is such a beautiful depiction of black womanhood and I love it so much!  Mrs Robinson was 72 at the time that this image was taken… she looks amazing!

Age ain’t nothing but a number – embrace your outer beauty – which can only be a reflection of your inner confidence and the love that you have for yourself.


Afro’s & headline fashion shows AW12

Afro’s & headline fashion shows AW12.

 

A great follow up to my post Afro-tising! If you are not following Afroblush, you should be!

 

Enjoy!