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. Cover FX's contribution with their CC Cream Time Released Tinted SPF 30 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, but can be sheered out. It also builds easily if you need more coverage for, say, pronounced redness or dark spots.
The finish is slightly dewy, making this best for normal to 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. If you have dry to very dry skin, be sure to apply this over a rich moisturizer, as this may not feel sufficiently moisturizing for your skin type.
Broad-spectrum protection is provided by mineral sunscreen actives titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and their combined amounts contribute to this CC cream's satin 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. 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).
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 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 alumni’s, 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, 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! 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 won’t 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 best—and 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 person’s self-esteem, and as Cover FX has evolved over the years, they’ve launched impressive and unique formulas. There are a few that need work due to their use of potentially irritating ingredients—but fortunately, these are few and far between.
For more information about Cover FX, call (866) 424-3332 or visit www.coverfx.com.
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