Cover FX's Contour Kit includes two light highlighting shades and two deeper contouring shades, all of which have a solid, creamy-wax texture. Knowing that skin color isn't one shade fits all, they did a nice job of creating several different contour sets to suit light to dark skin tones with varying depths of color and undertones. For the contouring aficionado, the warmth of many of the contour shades may run contrary to what you were hoping for (traditionally, contour shades are more neutral), but that doesn't have to be a deal breaker— this kit will still work reasonably well for many to add subtle dimension and accentuate facial features.
Let's start with the highlighting shades, labeled as "1" (which has no shimmer) and "2" (with finely milled shimmer). Each has a thick cream texture that softens against skin's warmth and blends out smoothly to highlight skin as promised. Shade 1 sets to more a semi-matte finish, whereas shade 2 leaves skin with a dewy glistening glow.
As for shades "3" and "4" (the contouring shades), these vary in depth depending on the kit you choose, but as you may have guessed, 3 is a medium bronze/brown tone, and 4 is a deeper version. You can use these separately or mixed together to customize your own perfect contour shade.
Prodigious blending is a must for any cream contour product to avoid a visible, streaky result, and this kit makes that easy to do since the colors are pigmented enough to define, yet they sheer out nicely as they're blended so your work doesn't look unnatural or obvious.
Initially creamy, the consistency of shades 1, 3, and 4 dries down once blended onto skin; we did notice that setting these with a translucent powder helped improve their longevity and wear. Regardless, these doesn't hold up as well on oily skin due to their cream base, so "buyer beware" if that's you. (Shade 2 remains dewy and never quite "sets" on skin.) We also don't recommend this kind of texture for acne prone skin as its emollient/wax base may increase the risk of breakouts and clogged pores. Sensitive skinned folks, on the other hand, can rejoice in the fact that these kit's formulas are fragrance-free.
With any of the shades, it's helpful to have the right brushes to apply them. Cover FX sells a dual-ended Contour Brush separately, which has a small flat brush for precise placement and a larger, fluffier brush for smooth blending. You don't have to use theirs (it's pricey!), but the point is, brushes work better than fingertips for strategic placement which is key to contouring.
FYI: Cover FX goes as far as to include a paint by numbers cheat sheet so you know where to put each of the shades, and it works fairly well as a general guideline. (Though everyone's face shape is different, so it's smart to not think of this as a literal instruction chart and instead customize it to your face's needs).
The bottom line? Some may find using a contouring kit with this kind of texture a bit more difficult to work with, as opposed to say a pressed powder, but if you're game and have the right brushes to help, the high amount of pigmented coverage and beautiful highlighting it produces can be worth it.
- The colors are pigmented enough to define or highlight skin yet they sheer out nicely.
- Ultra-blendable creamy texture.
- Several shade options for a variety of skin tones.
- The luminous finish of shade 2 imparts an alluring glow on skin.
- Some may find the contouring shades have a warmer undertone than they prefer.
- The creamy consistency isn't for everyone.
This Cover FX Contour Kit features four ultra-blendable shades of the pro-contouring favorite Total Cover Cream Foundation. The Contour Kit comes in six global shades based on depth and undertone so that every skin has an ideal match, it includes a step-by-step instruction card to ensure perfect results, and it's exclusive to Sephora.
Cover FX At-A-Glance
Strengths: Broad range of foundation and concealer 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: Lip balm/lipstick contains potential irritants; color range can be a little tricky for some of their products.
Co-founded by makeup artist Lee Graff and M.A.C. Cosmetic alumnis, 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. According to the company Web site, Graffs 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! Cover FX manages to accomplish much of these with a line that has grown and been well curated over the years.
Many of the options within Cover FX offer medium to full coverage, but whenever serious camouflage is needed, there is a trade-off to accept that it wont always look totally natural. To their credit, Cover FX's full coverage options look more natural on skin than many (and their expansive color options helps quite a bit).
If you don't need full coverage, there are several other products from Cover FX worth considering, from their Cream Concealer, Priming Serum to their Skin Tint, Custom Cover Drops and makeup brushes. This isn't a comprehensive makeup line (for example, you won't find eyeshadows, pencils, or mascara), but they are a cosmetics line that understands what it does bestand sticks with it.
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 persons self-esteem, and as Cover FX has evolved over the years, theyve launched impressive and unique formulas. There are a few that need work due to their use of potentially irritating ingredientsbut fortunately, these are few and far between.
For more information about Cover FX, call (866) 424-3332 or visit www.coverfx.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.