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 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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