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Sheer Cover At-A-Glance

Strengths: One well-formulated toner; the blotting papers; the mineral foundations (particularly the pressed version) are a cut above most others and both contain sunscreen; surprisingly good powder eyeshadow set; Guthy-Renker has an excellent return policy.

Weaknesses: Mostly unimpressive skin care, including a sunscreen that leaves skin vulnerable to UVA damage; poor concealer; average mascara.

Ah, the power of infomercials! Next to Patricia Wexler's skin-care line and Procter & Gamble's SK-II products (both reviewed in this book), Sheer Cover is the line my readers ask about the most. It seems that television and radio personality Leeza Gibbons has connected with lots of women who are curious to see if mineral makeup is the answer for them. Sheer Cover is supposed to "transform your life" by letting "the real you shine through." You will be shining, but that's a feature of the sparkling mica particles in these powders.

As far as life transformations go, don't count on Sheer Cover being the ultimate answer. That's not to say these products are poor contenders, because they are decent for this category of makeup. Rather, as is the case in so many other instances in the cosmetics industry, the hype and effusive praise is way over the top and doesn't come close to reality.

The Sheer Cover Mineral Foundation was developed by aesthetician Pauline Soli, who appears in the 20-minute how-to DVD that accompanies every order for the Sheer Cover Intro Kit. Although she tries her best to describe the makeup and all its wonderful attributes, Leeza Gibbons' presence is missed (she appears only at the beginning and end of the DVD). Perhaps more fascinating (at least it was to me) was that Ms. Soli's complexion looked blotchy and uneven, as if things had gone awry after using a self-tanner. It's not a good sign when the developer of a supposedly life-altering foundation wears it on television with less than stellar results. (Of course, Leeza Gibbons looks flawless—but she already did when we met her during her talk-show hosting days, and that was well before this powder was launched.) Although the DVD is helpful, the essential application instructions and extra tips also appear in print; at least the DVD is instructional rather than being a regurgitation of the infomercial.

Fans of mineral makeup may want to give this line a look. We was admittedly impressed with the Mineral Foundation, though its drawbacks were still great enough to not make it my choice for personal use (just as a reminder, it's not my policy to review cosmetics based on my own preferences or needs). The Pressed Mineral Foundation is even better than the loose version, and for a niche line the shade selection is reasonably varied. The ancillary products comprising the rest of Sheer Cover aren't likely to top anyone's must-have list, but there are some worthwhile, albeit pricey, options, as well as a couple of really disappointing products. Sheer Cover is distributed by Guthy-Renker, and comes with a generous, 60-day return/exchange policy. They'll even take back empty containers if you're unhappy with the products, a rarity in the cosmetics industry. That offer makes it almost irresistible if you're curious to see if mineral makeup will work for you, and Sheer Cover is a cut above its competitors in some key respects.

For more information about Sheer Cover, call (800) 506-6281 or visit

Sheer Cover Makeup

Most customers who order Sheer Cover take advantage of the Sheer Cover Intro Kit ($29.95), which allows you to sign up for an automatic replenishment program that bills your credit card the same amount each month. We wouldn't recommend doing that until you're sure you like the products (based on the small sizes, you would need to replenish most of the products monthly anyway). Included in the kit are two shades of the Mineral Foundation, Duo Concealer, Finishing Powder, a sponge applicator, two brushes, and smaller sizes of the Purifying Cleanser and Nourishing Moisturizer SPF 15 reviewed above. Aside from the skin-care products, the color items in this kit are reviewed below because they are also sold separately, and the kit's overall neutral face rating was based on the mixed-bag nature of the products it contains.

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