Product Review: COVER FX Skinprep FX Nourishing Foundation Primer & Anti-Aging Serum and Cream Foundation SPF 30Posted: April 9, 2012
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
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.
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
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!
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
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!
13 rue des Francs Bourgeois
PLACES TO BUY HAIR PRODUCTS
109, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
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.
9 rue du Turbigo
Merci Beaucoup Miss BB!
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.
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?
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.
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
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!
Where can you buy this wonderful product?
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!
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.
In its 125th anniversary year Avon announced the launch of the new Ideal Flawless foundation range last November, whilst simultaneously announcing that Alesha Dixon would be the brand’s Beauty and Empowerment Ambassador.
According to Avon, Ideal Flawless boasts “an exclusive patent-pending formula, with skin matching pigments – that lets the light pass through” , thus trumping normal foundations in producing “an invisible veil of coverage to enhance and not hide the skin”.
The foundation comes in 16 shades and Avon has produced samples of all of the shades, which are what I tested and which are available from your local Avon Representative.
I have to admit that from the colour swatches that I saw in print prior to trying the range, I was convinced that there would not be a shade suitable for me…
….so how did I fare?
(Just a reminder that I am reviewing the product based on the following criteria: Colour Match, Coverage and Wear and Marketing Support).
Despite being 125 years old, Avon has adapted with the times and is very much a 21st century business, with a massive social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Yet the Avon brochure is still very much central to the direct sellers’ business model and it was in one of the brochure that I first saw the colour swatches of the two darkest shades; Sable and Earth and came to the conclusion that there was not a shade suitable for my skin tone as they both looked rather light…..
….well how wrong I was! Earth has a very orange undertone and upon application it seemed that it was the wrong shade because of this tonality, but as it dried, the foundation oxidised and became quite dark – in fact too dark for my skin tone.
I am assuming that this was due to the colour matching technology. I was not impressed by this dramatic alteration, I would have expected the adaption to have been far more subtle, given the boast of the advanced formulation. As a result, Earth is woefully misrepresented in the brochure and thus it really is essential to try a sample prior to purchasing.
Sable has a more yellow undertone, far too yellow for me upon the initial application. Once again the product ‘adapted’ as it dried and the colour contrast was minimised, but still it was by no means perfect….
…and perfection ladies is really what we need to strive for. Watch this video created by a US Avon Representative.
Personally, I think that the foundation used on the black model is not a good match – the contrast between her face and her neck and chest is far too evident. The foundation is too dark. This is just one of the challenges we face as dark skinned women when selecting a shade of foundation. The colour of your foundation needs to match your neck and chest area as well as blend into the skin of your face.
Colour Match: 5.5/10
Coverage and Wear
I did wear both of the foundations to test the coverage and wearability (I stayed in all day mind you!). I found that the coverage was light to medium, and did not sufficiently conceal my darker blemishes…although to be fair to Avon, the amount of product that you get in the samples is only enough to just about cover the face once…I am sure that if I were to have more product and was able to apply a second coat I may have achieved better results….but I could only work with what I had!
The foundation did blend well, but I found that as it dried it felt tight on my skin, not as malleable and flexible as I would have expected.. The finish was matte and it did stay but the tight sensation remained throughout the day.
I was quite disappointed with the performance of the product on the whole – the oxidisation and the overly dry finish reminded me of the foundations of the early 90s, before much of the technologies and scientific breakthroughs we are accustomed to today had been discovered and incorporated into the latest range of foundations on the market. Avon is one of the the largest cosmetic company in the world and spends millions of dollars on R&D, yet this product for me just felt a bit…well…old school.
Coverage and Wear: 4/10
Avon can redeem itself with the marketing support that accompanied the launch of Ideal Flawless...to an extent….
As fore mentioned, central to the high profile campaign is the Avon brochure.
Avon launched the product with additional supporting material such as Facebook and Twitter campaigns, YouTube videos and press ads – something which I haven’t seen Avon invest in for some time.
I wanted to love this campaign…I really did…but I have to admit that it just seemed a little ‘light’…if you get what I mean….
I think that it would have been wonderful to have seen an Asian and dark skinned black model accompany Alesha, to truly demonstrate the breadth of the colour range to the end consumer.
Ah well…never mind!
Marketing Support: 6/10
So for me Avon’s Ideal Flawless is, unfortunately, a no – but if you have tried it do let me know what you think!
The leading Jamaican newspaper, the Jamaica Gleaner (of which I have fond memories, my mum used to order her copy from the local newsagents every week… back in the day!) announced earlier this week that four of the island’s most well-known women have been selected to be L’Oréal ambassadors in Jamaica.
The four women include:
Former beauty queens Joan McDonald and Sara Lawrence.
Joan McDonald is widely known as the first Miss Jamaica World, having won the inaugural beauty pageant in 1978. She represented Jamaica at the Miss World contest in the United Kingdom.
She has also served her country as a cultural ambassador in Europe and in the United States of America.
McDonald has distinguished herself in public service by working with many community groups and non-governmental organisations. She has been a branch director at the Jamaica Red Cross and was a director and public-relations officer of the Lay Magistrates Association of Jamaica and a trained facilitator for Restorative and Community Justice Practices. She is still deeply involved in the beauty pageant that launched her career and has been a grooming consultant for Miss Jamaica World Pageants and Miss Festival Queen competition.
Sara Lawrence was the representative for Jamaica in the Miss World 2006 beauty
pageant. In March 2007, she relinquished the Miss Jamaica World title upon announcing her pregnancy, becoming the first winner in the Jamaican contest’s 23-year-history to do so. (Source: Wikipeadia)
Lawrence was born in Kingston, she went on to graduate from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she majored in biology with an emphasis on pre-medicine.
After winning the Jamaican title in August 2006, Lawrence placed in the first six at the Miss World competition held in Warsaw, Poland, where she was also named Miss World Caribbean.
Upon relinquishing her crown in March 2007, Lawrence said in a statement that she had “taken a deeply personal decision to face up to my responsibilities as one who expects to become a mother later this year. I believe with all that is within me that it is my moral obligation to do what I believe to be ethically correct and follow what I believe in my heart to be right.”
Lawrence, however, received overwhelming support from the Jamaican public for her decision to have her baby. She received the backing of the Miss World Organisation and was allowed to retain both her crowns for the full duration of the reign. I am pleased that she is to be one of the faces of the new campaign…beauty isn’t perfect, we all have had challenges that we have had to overcome in life and we all deserve a second chance from time to time!
The other two women are economic consultant Paulette Mitchell and student Kacis Fennell. I couldn’t find out much information about these two women – but I am sure we will get to know them better as the campaigns unfold.
The announcement was made at a glittering event called ‘L’Oréal Live: Bringing Beauty to Life’ and was hosted by the Pioneer Manufacturing Distribution Company Limited (PMD) – the local distributor of both the L’Oréal and Garnier brand of products . (Source: The Jamaica Gleaner).
In presenting the concept behind the L’Oréal Ambassadors programme in Jamaica, director of PMD, Winston Barrett, said “PMD was seeking to emulate one of the most innovative programmes adopted by the international beauty-care manufacturer. The Jamaican L’Oréal ambassadors will be the faces of the brands both locally and in the rest of the Caribbean”. This marketing strategy, often dubbed ‘Glocalisation’ is a key tenant of the make up giant’s plans for future growth.
Glocalisation serves as a means of combining the idea of globalisation with that of local considerations. In a recent interview with Beauty Inc (part of wwd.com), the CEO of L’Oréal, Jean-Paul Agon, stated that this “new concept” essentially moves “beyond globalisation” and forms an essential part of the firm’s efforts to add 1bn people to its customer base.
“In order to conquer and loyalise these consumers around the world, the idea is to build from the brands that we have,” he said.
“The second step is to make sure that these brands, in every part of the world, have ranges of products that are completely specifically designed, formulated and adapted to the needs and demands of the local consumers. The L’Oréal Paris brand is the same brand in China that it is in the USA or in Europe, but the products are different.”
Agon also argued that such an approach could come to define the next ten years, when 2bn people globally will enter the middle class for the first time.
Agon is building upon the transformation the business underwent when former CEO Lindsay Owen-Jones was at the helm. He led the Parisian company for 20 years (and guess what..he is from Wales!!)
I remember reading about Owen-Jones in Time Magazine back in 2004 (yes, I have been on this beauty thing for a LONG time…), where he was named as one of the 100 most influential people on the face of the planet. He was being recognised for his ambition and success in creating a truly global beauty business that set out to meet the needs of women from across the globe. L’Oréal purchased the hair care brands Soft-Sheen and Carson in 1998 and 2000 respectively and merged the two brands to create the Soft-Sheen-Carson division we know today (brands such as Dark & Lovely belong to the division…but you all knew that right!!)
In 2003 the L’Oréal Institute for Ethnic Hair & Skin Research, a R&D research laboratory that was dedicated to understanding more about Black, Asian and Hispanic hair and skin was also unveiled ….although it now seems like the facility is no longer functioning…I scoured the L’Oreal website for more information…but to no avail. 😦
Despite this, I am really excited that these beautiful Jamaican women will be joining L’Oréal’s diverse global spokespersons such as veterans Beyoncé, Frieda Pinto, Kerry Washington and the latest women of colour to join the roster, Ethiopian born model Liya Kebede.
I will most definitely be keeping my eye out for the initial campaigns!
A few posts ago I was enthusing about the newest foundation launches with shades for dark skin!
I will reviewing some of these new offerings over the course of the next few weeks, letting you know my thoughts based upon 3 criteria:
- Colour Match – is it detectable?
- Coverage and Wear – how does it perform during the day?
- Marketing Support – many woman of colour bemoan the fact that they are underrepresented in the marketing and advertising of beauty products, and as a result conclude that these products are ‘not for them’. I will assess the marketing support for each product to see how well each brand represents the markets that they are targeting.
I am a loyal MAC Studio Fix user and I have been wearing shade NW45 for years. It is a good match for me…just so you know what I am benchmarking the trial foundations against.
…Teint Idole Utra 24H by Lancôme
As I mentioned in my previous post, Skin Deep, Lancôme offered customers a 7 day trial of their newest foundation. From the adverts in the press I suspected that I would be shade 13 (Sienne)…and what do you know…I was right!
Interestingly, it was back in 2005 that Lancôme identified a need to extend its foundation colour palette. Employees of the USA laboratories noticed they were not all able to find the right shade among those available on the market. Too red, not dark enough, overly ash, not vibrant enough, too orangey…
Thus L’Oreal (the parent company Lancôme belongs to) created what was dubbed the “Women of Color” association, and these women decided to blend a shade range perfectly tailored to their specific needs with shades for every skin tone.
Lancôme soon committed to support “Women of Color” with the launch of an international study. Using colorimetric measurements, 15,000 complexion colour points were observed on around 1,000 women. This international study gave rise to the shades unveiled in the Teint Idole Ultra 24H range!
The new shades suitable for a darker skin tone include:
Shades 10 (Praline), 11 (Muscade), 12 (Ambre), 13 (Sienne), 14 (Brownie) range from sandy to more intense tones and these shades been developed for every mixed-race, South-American, Afro-American, Indian-American, Antillean or North-African complexion. Shade 15 (Acajou), the darkest shade is designed for ebony-toned skin.
So that was the science…but what do I think??
Although Lancôme professes to have a shade for all, with only 6 shades for women with a darker skin tone, I am not 100% convinced.
Sienne is a rich toffee colour with deep yellow undertones.
It did blend well to match my skin tone…however upon application to my face (with my fabulous BECCA foundation brush), it was slightly to dark…but I know that shade 12 would be to light, so unfortunately it was a mismatch for me.
Colour Match Score: 6/10
Coverage and Wear
The foundation provided a medium coverage, and was easy to apply. If you do have any imperfections that require extra coverage (as I do!) you may need to use a concealer too. The foundation has a subtle floral fragrance, which was surprising – but it was pleasant to inhale the fragrance as I applied the makeup.
It dries to give a velvety matte finish. My skin tends to get shiny throughout the day, thus I was concerned that the liquid formulation would begin to slide, but I found that it wore well although I did need a little powder to take down the shine. All in all I was very impressed!
Coverage and Wear score: 8/10
Lancôme has backed the launch of Teint Idole 24H with a heavyweight campaign which has been highly visible in store, outdoor, online and in the press.
Lancôme’s global HQ has done a fantastic job in communicating that this range is indeed for all women…and I was commenting to a friend just last week (yes…I am always talking about beauty!!), that I believe that this is the first major Lancôme campaign that DOES NOT feature a Caucasian woman!! It is fronted by Tunisian beauty, Hanaa Ben Abdesslem and the stunning Arenis Sosa.
A fabulous campaign!
Marketing Support score: 10/10
So there you have it! All in all, if you can find your colour match, I would highly recommend this foundation!