Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment

by Cover FX  
Price:
$38 - 1 fl. oz.
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Category:
Makeup > Sensitive Skin Products > Foundation Primer
Last Updated:
12/31/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
pH:
4.10
Tested On Animals:
No

This unique foundation primer is medicated with anti-acne ingredient salicylic acid. The water-based primer's pH of 4.1 means the salicylic acid will be able to function as an exfoliant, which is the goal, although a slightly lower pH would produce better results. Still, it's an extra benefit for acne-prone skin that most primers don't provide.

Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment (the anti-acne treatment being salicylic acid) missed our top rating because of the pH issue and the inclusion of fragrant citrus extracts, which pose a slight risk of irritation. On balance, though, the formula contains a very helpful mix of repairing and soothing ingredients plus several silicones for their smoothing, texture-enhancing benefits.

Applied to bare skin, this primer blends easily and goes on somewhat thick but quite silky. It sets to a soft matte finish that we were hoping would absorb oil for more than an hour, but the formula lacks enough absorbent ingredients to keep shine in check for long; this isn't the primer to buy if your main goal is shine control—but it does temporarily smooth the appearance of large pores.

Otherwise, this primer's smooth finish enhances makeup application and, owing to the beneficial ingredients it contains, can replace the serum step in your morning skin-care routine. This primer is best for normal to slightly oily or combination skin, and is suitable for breakout-prone skin, too.

This lightweight, mattifying gel-primer minimizes the appearance of fine lines and pores. It also facilitates blending and extends your foundation while preventing and healing acne blemishes, all the while providing an instant mattifying effect, leaving skin texture looking flawless.

Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid 1%; Inactive Ingredients: Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Acetylated Glycol Stearate, Aqua, Bisabolol, Butylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethiconol, Enatia Chlorantha Bark Extract, Ethyl Linoleate, Ethyl Linolenate, Ethyl Oleate, Glycerin, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Oleanolic Acid, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Phenoxyethanol, Phenyl Methicone, Phytosphingosine, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Silica, Sorbitan Laurate, Squalane, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Tristearin, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract.

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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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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