Cover FX

Cover FX At-A-Glance

Strengths: Broad range of foundation shades for those seeking moderate to full coverage; superior mineral powder foundation; good primer; most of the products are fragrance-free (but not all); very good brushes at an attractive price point.

Weaknesses: Expensive; some of the foundations with sunscreen leave skin vulnerable to UVA damage; average mineral makeup (loose powder form); lip balm/lipstick contains irritants; mixed bag of good and bad products; really exaggerated claims.

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.

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