CC creams are supposed to color and correct, which is pretty much what any good foundation will do, and, from what we've seen so far, CC creams work the same as most liquid foundations. Some CC creams contain beneficial skin-care ingredients, but that's true for quite a few foundations, too, so the hype over CC creams is more marketing buzz than the new, must-have product.
That being said, Cover FX's contribution to the CC cream craze distinguishes itself in two significant ways: Coverage and finish. Most CC creams, like most liquid foundations, allow some flexibility with coverage. They can go from sheer to medium depending on how much you apply. This one offers medium coverage from the start, and is tricky to sheer out. It also builds easily if you need more coverage for, say, pronounced redness or dark spots.
The finish feels matte but looks slightly dewy, making this best for normal to slightly dry skin or combination skin that doesn't have extremely dry or oily areas. It dispenses as a somewhat thick cream but softens and thins out while blending, resulting in a product that feels smooth and comfortable, though must be applied over moisturized skin. Applied over bare skin, it can exaggerate wrinkles and fine lines, especially around the eyes.
Broad-spectrum protection is provided by mineral sunscreen actives titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and their combined amounts contribute to this CC cream's matte feel.
The anti-aging claim is that this contains retinoid-like results without any irritation or sun sensitivity. First, not everyone who uses a retinoid will experience irritation, and often when that happens it's because the person overdoes it or uses a retinoid that's too strong for their skin. Second, retinoids do make skin more sun-sensitive, but that's a virtue of how they work to improve signs of sun damage. If you're protecting your skin daily with a product rated SPF 15 or greater, you don't need to worry about retinoids making your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Although the formula contains anti-aging ingredients like niacin, licorice root, and various antioxidants, none of them have research proving they're an apples-to-apples substitute for retinoids (like retinol). They're good ingredients, yet, but we wouldn't suggest anyone swap their retinol product for this CC cream.
Cover FX offers nine shades that include options for light and dark skin tones, and the darker shades don't look gray or ashen. Consider the P (Pink) shades carefully; G Light Medium and G Medium-Deep are the best of the bunch. Avoid P Medium-Deep (if your skin is this pink, you should probably see a dermatologist) and N Deep.
- Provides mineral-based broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Fragrance-free (the tiny amount of sandalwood extract imparts no scent)
- Considerable coverage without looking heavy.
- Contains some good anti-aging ingredients.
- Exaggerates fine lines and wrinkles when applied to bare skin.
Because this product is regulated in the U.S. as an over-the-counter drug, its inactive ingredients are listed in alphabetical order rather than in descending order of content. Although this may be the standard, we have more respect for companies that choose instead to list their non-active sunscreen ingredients in descending order of concentration, so you know more about what you are putting on your face, just like with any other skin care or makeup product.
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 10%, Zinc Oxide 5%; Inactive Ingredients: Aminomethyl Propanol, Aqua (Water), Butylene Glycol, Carrageenan, Chromium Oxide Green, Citric Acid, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Dimethyl Sulfone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Ethylhexylglycerin, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Glycerin, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Hordeum Distichon (Barley) Extract, Hydrogenated Didecene, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Iron Oxides, Lactic Acid, Lecithin, Niacin, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Panax Ginseng (Ginseng) Root Extract, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Polyglyceryl-2 Isostearate, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Portulaca Oleracea (Green Purslane) Extract, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Resveratrol, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Extract, Sea Salt, Silica, Sodium Coco-Glucoside Tartrate, Sodium Polymethacrylate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Synthetic Beeswax, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Theobroma (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Thioctic Acid, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Tocopheryl Acetate.
Cover FX is a small line of makeup products described as being "cosmetic cosmeceuticals." While we appreciate the alliteration, this description is the first of many blunders Cover FX makes, some of which are mere wordplay and easily overlooked while others are more serious and should make you question the credibility of the people behind this brand.
Co-founded by makeup artist Lee Graff and some former M.A.C. employees, Cover FX is a Canadian company specializing in camouflage makeup, the area of concentration in which Graff has focused her career as a makeup artist. The products are marketed as being ideal for sensitive skin, and are labeled with all of the buzz words that are designed to entice yet also mislead consumers, such as non-comedogenic, oil-free, and talc-free. According to the company Web site, Graff’s dream "was to help men and 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 skin, and achieve a perfectly natural, flawless effect." Lofty goals, certainly, but setting goals doesn't always mean you achieve them.
There is no doubt that the full-coverage foundation from Cover FX can hide a multitude of facial flaws, but describing the effect as natural makes about as much sense as planting a palm tree in Alaska and expecting it to flourish! Whenever serious camouflage is needed, consumers must accept the trade-off that the makeup that's needed to do the job isn't going to look seamlessly natural on skin. To their credit, Cover FX's camouflage makeup looks better on skin than many other full-coverage options, but it's still not a look we recommend unless it is absolutely necessary—and that's a personal decision only you can make. If you don't need full coverage, there are several other products from Cover FX worth considering, from their Priming Serum to their Skin Tint and makeup brushes. This isn't a comprehensive makeup line (for example, you won't find eyeshadows, pencils, or mascara), but they do some key items quite well.
There is no doubt that the full-coverage foundation from Cover FX can hide a multitude of facial flaws, but describing the effect as natural makes about as much sense as planting a palm tree in Alaska and expecting it to flourish! Whenever serious camouflage is needed, consumers must accept the trade-off that the makeup that's needed to do the job isn't going to look seamlessly natural on skin. To their credit, Cover FX’s camouflage makeup looks better on skin than many other full-coverage options, but it's still not a look we recommend unless it is absolutely necessary—and that's a personal decision only you can make. If you don't need full coverage, there are several other products from Cover FX worth considering, from their Priming Serum to their Skin Tint and makeup brushes. This isn't a comprehensive makeup line (for example, you won't find eyeshadows, pencils, or mascara), but they do some key items quite well.
There is nothing about these products that make them preferred for sensitive or rosacea-affected skin. For example, they use synthetic sunscreen actives, which are far more prone to aggravate sensitive skin than are the mineral actives titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. The continual non-comedogenic claim that appears on several products, including those containing heavy waxes and other thickening agents, should be avoided by those with blackheads or blemish-prone skin. Plus, a fragrance-free line shouldn’t be scenting their products with neroli and lavender oils, two fragrant plants that lack even a minor benefit for skin (though your nose will appreciate them).
Cover FX has an admirable goal in wanting to help people who have scars or discolorations face the world with their head held high. Without question, the right makeup can make a huge difference in such a person’s self-esteem, but Cover FX needs better products to achieve this. As is, at least for their Total Coverage Cream Foundation (which is what most of my readers interested in this line ask about), we find it hard to believe that this product was the best Graff and her team could do. It's actually one of the weaker links in the line, but that doesn't mean Cover FX doesn’t have some pleasant surprises in store.
For more information about Cover FX, call (866) 424-3332 or visit www.coverfx.com.