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Cover FX Sunset Custom Enhancer Drops

Cover FX Sunset Custom Enhancer Drops
Cover FX Sunset Custom Enhancer Drops

Cover FX Sunset Custom Enhancer Drops ($42.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is medium-dark brown with warm, reddish undertones and a natural finish.. Stila Sending My Love Bronzer (LE, ) is warmer (95% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Desert Nights (P, $48.00) is warmer (95% similar). MAC Tan Tint (LE, $29.50) is warmer (90% similar). Guerlain #02 (P, $53.00) is warmer (90% similar). Makeup Geek Burnished (P, $22.00) is cooler (90% similar). Laura Mercier Bronze (04) (P, $40.00) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty The Afternooner (Bronzer) (LE, ) is cooler (95% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Gold Dust (P, $110.00) is lighter (90% similar). Colour Pop Bronze Me (LE, $8.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Urban Decay Toasted (P, $26.00) is warmer (90% similar). Guerlain #03 (P, $53.00) is warmer (90% similar). Too Faced Gingerbread (LE, ) is lighter (95% similar). MAC Scone (LE, $27.00) is warmer (85% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Deep (P, $44.00) is lighter, cooler (80% similar). Giorgio Armani Sun Bath (110) (P, $64.00) is darker, warmer (80% similar). Colour Pop Happy Hour (P, $8.00) is darker, warmer (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Custom Enhancer Drops are a liquid formula that can add a “highlighting, strobing, or bronzing effect” to your favorite liquid products or used alone on top of (or underneath) your other products (including powder); two of the six shades are bronzing and four are more shimmery/metallic for highlighting. It is a buildable coverage product, so that you can use as many or as few drops as desired for the effect (and it will depend on how you use it; mixing with a moisturizer for all-over may require less product than spot application on cheeks after other makeup is applied!). These are similar to formulas like Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer (runs a bit sheerer overall, less buildable), Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (Liquid) (much sheerer), and NARS Illuminators (sheerer, usually contains larger shimmer/glitter particles). The major difference is the intensity of the pearl and buildability in coverage (easier to get to full coverage but still easy to retain sheer coverage).

What’s neat about these is that they are versatile as you want them to be; they really do perform well mixed with various liquid and cream products (moisturizer, foundation, tinted moisturizer, primer) while also working under and over makeup, and they really are buildable from sheer to opaque coverage. Initially, the formula might seem incredibly pigmented, but the thin, liquid consistency makes it very easy to sheer out. They are actually sheerer than they seem upon initial swatching or application, as the consistency naturally creates a sheerer layer as soon as you work it across the skin. That being said, unless you’re mixing with a base product, one drop is likely overkill for spot application. These have a strong sheen but very fine shimmer, so it produces more of a pearly, glowing effect on the skin–lightly dewy with moderate shine and some noticeable shimmer. They dry down within 10-15 seconds of blending out the product and feel like a powder but with better hold (I get almost no transfer, and it doesn’t noticeably lift or move), so the sheen you see is from a damp or wet product, it’s the reflective quality of the pearl. You can, however, build these up to opaque coverage, and at that level, some of the shimmery shades can emphasize the texture of the skin. The formula also wore well on me, ranging from eight to ten hours with minimal signs of fading. I’d expect that this formula will work for someone who likes moderate highlighters with luminous, shiny, pearly finishes or likes all-over warmth (in the case of the bronzing shades) with a satin-to-matte finish.

Sunset is the darker of the two bronzing shades. It had a warmer, redder undertone without strong yellow tones, so it didn’t look orange-y on the skin, which I find indicative of more natural-looking bronzers on more skin tones. I suspect that this shade will be more suitable for medium and darker complexions, while the other shade, Sunkissed, will work best on fair to medium skin tones. The texture was thin, smooth, and blendable on the skin as it dried down. Once it set, it was harder to maneuver without added force, but it was more forgiving in its dried-down state compared to the shimmery ones. It had more of a satin finish on the skin; it wasn’t fully matte but did not read shimmery or dewy either. It had medium, buildable coverage, and a little went a long way, as you might have guessed based on the range thus far! For my skin tone, less than one drop added warmth without changing my skin color completely when mixed with foundation or moisturizer. I only needed the lightest dab of product to bronze my cheek area (not even close to a full drop!). The color lasted for just over eight and a half hours on me.

Here’s an in-depth look at how I’ve used and trialed all the shades:

Alone: I’ve patted them over bare skin, liquid foundation, and liquid foundation with setting powder on top. For best results, I like to tap my brush against the applicator (not even using the droplet applicator to get a drop out) and then stipple the product onto the skin. I tend to apply both my bronzers and highlighters more along the cheek areas, so I would stipple a few times along my cheeks or cheekbones and then lightly buff in small circles. It worked equally well just dabbing my fingertips against my skin and using the side of my fingertip to sweep and blend the product out. I was particularly impressed by how well it applied over powder, as the sheerer, smooth texture didn’t disrupt base products and move foundation or turn the area patchy. When testing for wear, I used its longevity on bare skin as my major measure for the rating, but I did wear the shades mixed in and layered with a multitude of products to ensure that the formula wasn’t prone to shortening the wear of other products.

Mixed with Primer: I tried it with both water and silicone-based primers, and I had no preference for one over the other with respect to these drops. I used one to two drops for all-over luminosity; I preferred one drop myself, as it gave me a dewier finish that wasn’t over-the-top for my preference. If you wear a lighter-coverage base on top of primer, mixing with primer could work for all-over glow/warmth, but if you wear light-medium or heavier coverage, I would suggest mixing with your foundation or applying on top of your foundation as it gets lost under heavier coverage.

Mixed with Foundation: I tried it with tinted moisturizer, sheer coverage foundation, medium coverage foundation, and full coverage foundation. In general, heavier coverage foundations are a bit thicker than the ultra sheer formulas. I found one to drops was sufficient with tinted to medium coverage formulas, while full coverage was less receptive–it made the foundation dewier but wasn’t as luminous as with lighter coverage foundations. If I wore full coverage foundation, I preferred this patted on top at the end, rather than mixed.

Mixed with Moisturizer: Like primer, this method works well when you skip foundation or wear lighter coverage foundation. I can imagine this combination working well for those with flatter or more matte skin naturally, as it gives noticeable luminosity and dewiness. While I didn’t personally like the level of sheen it gave my face when mixed with moisturizer, I loved it for body–particularly on shoulders and decolletage. It is also gorgeous on legs. I really liked mixing one of the highlighting shades with a bronzing shade for a little color, warmth, and sheen on legs.

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops (Bronzing) Sunset
Sunset
Sunset
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
97%
Total

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MAC Blind Score Casual Colour Lip & Cheek Colour

MAC Blind Score Casual Colour
MAC Blind Score Casual Colour

MAC Blind Score Casual Colour ($23.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “dirty reddish lilac.” It’s a slightly muted, dark berry with cool undertones and a natural sheen. CoverGirl Deep Mauve (P, $9.99) is more shimmery (95% similar). MAC Here You Go (LE, ) is brighter (90% similar). Colour Pop New Lowes (LE, $8.00) is warmer, less glossy (90% similar). Viseart Violet #3 (P, ) is less glossy (90% similar). IT Cosmetics Magical in Mauve (P, $24.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). MAC Passionately Tempted (LE, $23.00) is darker (90% similar). Chanel Vivacite (88) (LE, $45.00) is less shimmery, less glossy (90% similar). MAC Hot Nights (LE, $23.00) is warmer (90% similar). MAC Restores Dazzle (LE, $21.00) is warmer (90% similar). NARS Jeanette (LE, $39.00) is lighter, less pigmented, warmer (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The Casual Colour formula is designed for use on lips and cheeks with a “non-sticky,” “lightweight,” and hydrating formula. As you might exect with a multi-tasking product, it is better in one area than the other; in the case of this formula, it’s better on the cheeks than on the lips. Applied as a blush, it goes on easily–blendable, smooth, and doesn’t lift product if used on top of foundation nor does it sit poorly on bare skin–and looks like stain, which wore for nine hours. Applied as a lip color, it is thin, clingy, and emphasizes the natural texture of the lips, and it is somewhat drying over the four and a half hours it lasted. Blind Score had semi-opaque coverage that was easily built up to opaque coverage or sheered out for sheerer coverage–it’s very easy to control and diffuse, particularly on cheeks. The thinness of the formula on lips makes it harder to sheer it out, but it is still buildable to opaque coverage on lips.

MAC Casual Colour Lip & Cheek Colour Blind Score
8
Product
10
Pigmentation
8
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
89%
Total

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MAC Trophy Pearlmatte Face Powder

MAC Trophy Pearlmatte Face Powder
MAC Trophy Pearlmatte Face Powder

MAC Trophy Pearlmatte Face Powder ($27.00 for 0.45 oz.) swirls together to create a light, warmer white with a pearly sheen. NYX Snow Rose (P, $7.99) is more shimmery (95% similar). Makeup Geek Psychedelic (P, $20.00) is more shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Becca Pearl (P, $38.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Looxi Beauty Celestial (P, $7.50) is warmer (90% similar). Wet 'n' Wild Where the Dreamers Go (LE, $2.99) is cooler (90% similar). Dior Glowing Pink (001) (LE, $58.00) is warmer (90% similar). Chanel Perles et Fantaisies (Left) (LE, $70.00) is cooler (90% similar). Anastasia Forever Lit (LE, ) is more shimmery (90% similar). Tarte Champagne Pink (LE, ) is more shimmery, brighter (90% similar). Burberry No. 01 White (LE, $68.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Becca Pearl (P, $38.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

It’s a multi-colored face powder that is primarily driven by the white, which seemed to dominate the pink and green (the red stripes on the pins are oversprays), even though the pink and green appeared to go through. The texture was smooth, moderately dense, and blendable on the skin, while it is rather pigmented. It has a strong white base to it, so it may not work on all skin tones. It applied well to the high points of the face and did not emphasize my skin’s natural texture. The powder lasted for eight hours on me before visibly fading. This shade is part of the It’s a Strike collection, which launches August 18th.

MAC Pearlmatte Face Powder Trophy
Trophy
Trophy
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
90%
Total

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Viseart Plum/Bronze (01) Blush Palette

Viseart Plum/Bronze (01) Blush Palette
Viseart Plum/Bronze (01) Blush Palette

Viseart Plum/Bronze (01) Blush Palette ($80.00 for 0.84 oz.) is a six-pan blush palette that is the same size (and contains the same amount) as the eyeshadow palettes. It comes in a black plastic compact with a clear lid. Each palette is divided into two families and is “scaled into three levels of cheek color, ideal for the fairest to deep skin tones.” The powder blush formula is supposed to “apply seamlessly” and have “sheer to fuller coverage.” In general, the blush applied better with a light-to-moderately dense brush, light hand, and built-up in layers rather than immediately packed into place. The texture was smooth but dusty, sometimes powdery, and kicked up excess in the pan, so with some of the richer shades, it was easy to over-apply. The formula played better with my skin when it was normal, whereas drier areas had some trouble with the product adhering to the skin for some shades but not all (if you normally wear a cream or liquid base, you should be good to go). The majority of the blushes in the palettes are mostly matte, and they look very smooth on the skin–they actually seemed to hide texture and pores, which was interesting. Most of the shades lasted at least eight hours on my normal-to-dry skin with some lasting as long as nine and a half hours.

Plum #1 is a light pink with subtle, warmer undertones and a matte finish. It had semi-sheer, buildable coverage–about semi-opaque with two to three layers–that applied well to the skin and blended out with ease. The texture was thin and a touch dusty, but the powder did not look uneven or dry on me. The color lasted for eight hours before fading. NARS Threesome (LE, $30.00) is cooler (95% similar). Hourglass Ethereal Glow (P, $35.00) is lighter (90% similar). Burberry S/S15 Runway (LE, $65.00) is darker (90% similar). Zoeva Gentle Touch (P, $11.80) is darker (90% similar). Surratt Beauty Guimauve (P, $32.00) is more shimmery, brighter (90% similar). Makeup Geek First Love (P, $9.99) is lighter, cooler (85% similar). Makeup Geek Promise Ring (P, $10.00) is cooler (85% similar). NARS Impassioned (P, $30.00) is darker (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Plum #2 is a medium-dark, dusty plum with subtle, cooler undertones and a matte finish. The texture was finely-milled and smooth, lightly dusty, and thin overall. It had sheer coverage that was buildable to semi-opaque coverage with three layers. This shade wasn’t as easy to diffuse along the edges on my skin, and it tended to apply a little unevenly. I ended up going back in with a large, clean buffing brush to get the color to even out for the most part. I noticed slight fading after eight hours of wear. LORAC Caribbean (LE, $23.00) is lighter (95% similar). Viseart Enamored (Blush) (P, ) is warmer (95% similar). Urban Decay Sesso (Blush) (P, ) is cooler (90% similar). Estee Lauder Rebel Rose (P, $34.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). NARS Outlaw (P, $30.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Estee Lauder Alluring Rose (P, $34.00) is more shimmery, warmer (90% similar). theBalm Cabana Boy (P, $21.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Urban Decay TMI (P, $26.00) is cooler (90% similar). NARS Oasis (P, $30.00) is more shimmery, darker (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Plum #3 is a medium-dark, reddish berry with subtle, cool undertones and a matte finish. While the texture was soft to the touch initially, it was also a smidgen grainy (this is something that I’ve experienced before with red-toned powders) at times. The color adhered well to the skin, and despite some reservations from the texture, it applied and blended out fairly easily. It had semi-sheer to opaque color payoff. This shade wore well for nine hours on me. Make Up For Ever B500 (P, $23.00) is brighter (95% similar). MAC Petulant (LE, $22.00) is glossier (95% similar). Tarte Ironic (LE, $28.00) is lighter (90% similar). Surratt Beauty Rougeur (P, $32.00) is darker, brighter (90% similar). Make Up For Ever S502 (P, $23.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Colour Pop Cheerio (P, $8.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Colour Pop Mistress (LE, ) is lighter (90% similar). Urban Decay Quiver (P, $26.00) is brighter (85% similar). MAC Never Say Never (P, $16.00) is lighter, brighter (85% similar). Viseart Coral #3 (P, ) is brighter, warmer (85% similar). Bobbi Brown Berry (LE, $26.00) is darker, brighter (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Bronze #1 is a medium, yellowed brown with warm undertones and a satin sheen. There was faint shimmer to this shade, though it looked more like a semi-matte-to-satin finish applied. The texture was soft, silky, and blendable, but it was looser and kicked up excess product in the pan and tended to apply more evenly to less dry skin (or prepped skin). It had semi-sheer to opaque color payoff, which wore well for eight hours on me. MAC Golden Rinse (LE, $35.50) is lighter (95% similar). Urban Decay Sun-Kissed (P, $28.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Desert Days (P, $48.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). By Terry Tropical Sunset #4 (LE, ) is lighter, warmer (95% similar). Hourglass Brilliant Nude (P, $38.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Laura Mercier Bronze (02) (P, $40.00) is lighter (90% similar). Urban Decay Lo-Fi (LE, $26.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Laura Mercier Bronze (01) (P, $40.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). MAC Liberating (LE, $23.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Desert Nights (P, $48.00) is darker (90% similar). Urban Decay Jawbone (LE, $26.00) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Laura Mercier Earth (LE, $24.00) is darker (90% similar). Benefit Hoola (P, $29.00) is warmer (90% similar). By Terry Savannah Love #2 (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). bareMinerals Warmth (LE, ) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Laura Mercier Bronze (03) (P, $40.00) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Scone (LE, $27.00) is darker (90% similar). MAC Aphrodite's Shell (LE, $33.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). MAC Bronzer (LE, $33.00) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Tarte Park Ave. Princess #2 (LE, ) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Bronze #2 is a medium-dark, caramel brown with warm, reddish undertones and a satin finish. It had semi-sheer to mostly opaque pigmentation that was buildable in two and a half to three layers. It was slightly thin, and it felt a little firmer than the other shades in the palette. The color took some extra effort to blend and diffuse along the edges for even coverage, though. On me, it stayed on well for eight and a half hours. Colour Pop Happy Hour (P, $8.00) is darker (95% similar). Le Metier de Beaute Sun Drenched (P, $55.00) is warmer (90% similar). Bite Beauty Honeywheat (P, $24.00) is glossier (90% similar). Laura Mercier Bronze (04) (P, $40.00) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). Giorgio Armani Sun Bath (110) (P, $64.00) is darker, glossier (90% similar). Bite Beauty Anise (P, $24.00) is darker, glossier (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Bronze #3 is a dark, subdued rosy brown with hints of warmth paired with a true satin sheen. This was the most shimmery shade in the palette, and the finish is gorgeous as it is blended on the skin–glowing but not overtly shimmery. It had buildable coverage from medium to full. The texture was soft, blendable, and smooth without being powdery. I noticed slight fading after eight and a half hours of wear. NARS Lovejoy (P, $30.00) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Black Opal Rose Gold (P, $8.95) is lighter (90% similar). The Estee Edit Ember Glow (04) (P, $28.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). bareMinerals The Indecent Proposal (P, $22.00) is less shimmery, cooler (85% similar). Chanel Accent (84) (LE, $45.00) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (85% similar). Makeup Geek Chivalry (P, $10.00) is less shimmery, darker (85% similar). MAC Blunt (LE, $23.00) is darker, cooler (85% similar). MAC Animal Instincts (LE, $23.00) is lighter, cooler (80% similar). Bobbi Brown Nude Beach Blush (LE, $26.00) is lighter, brighter, warmer (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Viseart Blush Palette Plum/Bronze (01)
8.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
8
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
88%
Total
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Also In This Review

B+

Plum #1

Permanent
Read Review
B-

Plum #2

Permanent
Read Review
B+

Plum #3

Permanent
Read Review
B+
B
A

Kevyn Aucoin Deep The Sculpting Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Deep The Sculpting Powder
Kevyn Aucoin Deep The Sculpting Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Deep The Sculpting Powder ($44.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a muted, dark brown with subtle, warm undertones and a matte finish. Kat Von D Subconscious (P, ) is warmer (90% similar). NYX Hollow (P, $5.00) is warmer (90% similar). NARS Talia (Contour) (P, ) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). Viseart Sculpting #2 (P, ) is brighter (90% similar). LORAC Deep Contour (P, ) is darker, warmer (90% similar). LORAC Medium Contour (P, ) is lighter (85% similar). Cover FX Sunset (P, $38.00) is darker, warmer (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The Sculpting Powder is supposed to feel lightweight and have buildable coverage from sheer to full. Recently, the brand expanded the Sculpting formula to include two new shades–Light and Deep–to complement the existing Medium shade. Deep is several shades darker than Medium, which is a good thing, and still retains the more neutral undertone that made Medium so beloved by those who enjoy contouring. It’s a very pigmented formula that’s more blendable than it is buildable; if you apply less, you can sheer and blend out the color enough for a subtler contour, but it has a tendency to apply rather true-to-pan. The texture was very soft, smooth, and finely-milled with a bit of excess kicked up in the pan. The color could have been slightly more blendable in practice, but it wasn’t too much work to diffuse the edges. The contour wore well for eight and a half hours on me.

Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder Deep
Deep
Deep
8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
87%
Total

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Cover FX Moonlight Custom Enhancer Drops

Cover FX Moonlight Custom Enhancer Drops
Cover FX Moonlight Custom Enhancer Drops

Cover FX Moonlight Custom Enhancer Drops ($42.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a light-medium, golden bronze with warm, yellow undertones and multi-colored shimmer with more dominant pale gold and bronze pearl. Cover FX Moonlight (LE, ) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment (Original) (P, $28.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). LORAC Twilight (P, $23.00) is warmer (90% similar). Anastasia Perla (P, $25.00) is less shimmery, more muted (90% similar). NYX Crystal Glare (P, $6.99) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Burberry No. 02 Nude Gold (LE, $68.00) is darker (90% similar). Burberry Gold Glow No. 01 (LE, $68.00) is less shimmery, darker, more muted (90% similar). Bobbi Brown 24 Karat (P, $46.00) is warmer (90% similar). Cover FX Celestial (LE, ) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Anastasia Bubbly (LE, ) is more shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew You (P, $44.00) is less shimmery, darker (85% similar). Charlotte Tilbury Sun Light (LE, ) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). Dior Glowing Nude (002) (LE, $58.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Becca Champagne Pop (P, $38.00) is more shimmery, darker (95% similar). Huda Beauty Capri (LE, ) is less shimmery, lighter, warmer (85% similar). Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Glow (Original) (P, ) is less shimmery, warmer (95% similar). Make Up For Ever 13 Ivory (P, $21.00) is lighter, brighter, cooler (85% similar). Colour Pop Flexitarian (LE, $8.00) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer (P, $24.00) is warmer (90% similar). Chanel Camelia de Chanel (LE, $70.00) is warmer (90% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Custom Enhancer Drops are a liquid formula that can add a “highlighting, strobing, or bronzing effect” to your favorite liquid products or used alone on top of (or underneath) your other products (including powder); two of the six shades are bronzing and four are more shimmery/metallic for highlighting. It is a buildable coverage product, so that you can use as many or as few drops as desired for the effect (and it will depend on how you use it; mixing with a moisturizer for all-over may require less product than spot application on cheeks after other makeup is applied!). These are similar to formulas like Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer (runs a bit sheerer overall, less buildable), Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (Liquid) (much sheerer), and NARS Illuminators (sheerer, usually contains larger shimmer/glitter particles). The major difference is the intensity of the pearl and buildability in coverage (easier to get to full coverage but still easy to retain sheer coverage).

What’s neat about these is that they are versatile as you want them to be; they really do perform well mixed with various liquid and cream products (moisturizer, foundation, tinted moisturizer, primer) while also working under and over makeup, and they really are buildable from sheer to opaque coverage. Initially, the formula might seem incredibly pigmented, but the thin, liquid consistency makes it very easy to sheer out. They are actually sheerer than they seem upon initial swatching or application, as the consistency naturally creates a sheerer layer as soon as you work it across the skin. That being said, unless you’re mixing with a base product, one drop is likely overkill for spot application. These have a strong sheen but very fine shimmer, so it produces more of a pearly, glowing effect on the skin–lightly dewy with moderate shine and some noticeable shimmer. They dry down within 10-15 seconds of blending out the product and feel like a powder but with better hold (I get almost no transfer, and it doesn’t noticeably lift or move), so the sheen you see is from a damp or wet product, it’s the reflective quality of the pearl. You can, however, build these up to opaque coverage, and at that level, some of the shimmery shades can emphasize the texture of the skin. The formula also wore well on me, ranging from eight to ten hours with minimal signs of fading. I’d expect that this formula will work for someone who likes moderate highlighters with luminous, shiny, pearly finishes or likes all-over warmth (in the case of the bronzing shades) with a satin-to-matte finish.

Moonlight had the subtlest finish of the four highlighting shades in the range, though I would still describe it as moderate to strong in finish with respect to shimmer and the amount of light it can reflect. For those who are more worried about an emphasis of the skin’s texture from shimmer, this might be the one to start with or swatched in person. The texture was thin, spreadable, and easy to work with when it was damp or drying down, and once it dried down, it tended to feel set in place, so it was harder to diffuse the edges without really buffing them out (and if you applied it over foundation, it could lift your base product due to the vigor needed to blend). It had buildable coverage that started at semi-sheer to medium, and it could be diffused to sheer or layered to opaque coverage. I find it works best applied in medium coverage layers and then built up in the places you desire. This particular shade did not add any noticeable color to my skin tone, but it likely will to those fairer or more pink-toned. The highlighter wore well for nine hours when I wore it alone as a cheek highlighter and didn’t interfere with the longevity of my foundation/base products when mixed in.

Here’s an in-depth look at how I’ve used and trialed all the shades:

Alone: I’ve patted them over bare skin, liquid foundation, and liquid foundation with setting powder on top. For best results, I like to tap my brush against the applicator (not even using the droplet applicator to get a drop out) and then stipple the product onto the skin. I tend to apply both my bronzers and highlighters more along the cheek areas, so I would stipple a few times along my cheeks or cheekbones and then lightly buff in small circles. It worked equally well just dabbing my fingertips against my skin and using the side of my fingertip to sweep and blend the product out. I was particularly impressed by how well it applied over powder, as the sheerer, smooth texture didn’t disrupt base products and move foundation or turn the area patchy. When testing for wear, I used its longevity on bare skin as my major measure for the rating, but I did wear the shades mixed in and layered with a multitude of products to ensure that the formula wasn’t prone to shortening the wear of other products.

Mixed with Primer: I tried it with both water and silicone-based primers, and I had no preference for one over the other with respect to these drops. I used one to two drops for all-over luminosity; I preferred one drop myself, as it gave me a dewier finish that wasn’t over-the-top for my preference. If you wear a lighter-coverage base on top of primer, mixing with primer could work for all-over glow/warmth, but if you wear light-medium or heavier coverage, I would suggest mixing with your foundation or applying on top of your foundation as it gets lost under heavier coverage.

Mixed with Foundation: I tried it with tinted moisturizer, sheer coverage foundation, medium coverage foundation, and full coverage foundation. In general, heavier coverage foundations are a bit thicker than the ultra sheer formulas. I found one to drops was sufficient with tinted to medium coverage formulas, while full coverage was less receptive–it made the foundation dewier but wasn’t as luminous as with lighter coverage foundations. If I wore full coverage foundation, I preferred this patted on top at the end, rather than mixed.

Mixed with Moisturizer: Like primer, this method works well when you skip foundation or wear lighter coverage foundation. I can imagine this combination working well for those with flatter or more matte skin naturally, as it gives noticeable luminosity and dewiness. While I didn’t personally like the level of sheen it gave my face when mixed with moisturizer, I loved it for body–particularly on shoulders and decolletage. It is also gorgeous on legs. I really liked mixing one of the highlighting shades with a bronzing shade for a little color, warmth, and sheen on legs.

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating) Moonlight
Moonlight
Moonlight
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
97%
Total

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