Cover FX Sunlight Custom Enhancer Drops
Cover FX Sunlight Custom Enhancer Drops ($42.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a medium-dark copper-shimmered bronze with warm undertones and pink and gold pearl. Lancome Glowing Lights (P, $30.00) is less shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Colour Pop Butterfly Beach (P, $8.00) is less shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Moodlight (Candlelight) (LE, ) is cooler (90% similar). Becca Rose Gold (LE, $38.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Jouer Topaz (P, $24.00) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). Laura Geller Ballerina (P, $26.00) is less shimmery, lighter, warmer (85% similar). NARS Galet (LE, ) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). MAC Pearl Sunshine (LE, $22.00) is less shimmery, darker, brighter (85% similar). Becca Rose Gold (P, $41.00) is less shimmery, darker (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.
Sunlight had the most intense finish of the four, though it wasn’t much more intense than Candlelight or Celestial. The texture was thin, so it was easy to spread and blend on the skin as well as to mix with various liquids and cream products. The product felt lightweight on the skin, especially after it dried down, as it feels and looks more like a powder. I didn’t notice any emphasis of my skin’s natural texture or pores when I wore this as a cheek highlighter at medium coverage. It had buildable pigmentation from semi-sheer to fully opaque, but a little still goes a long way. The best way to work with it is to err on the side of less is more and then build-up, if necessary, to achieve the coverage level you desire. One to two drops was plenty when I mixed in with my moisturizer or foundation for all over luminosity, while I needed less than half a drop to apply on top of bare skin or makeup on specific areas. Once applied, I had enough time to blend and diffuse the color as I wanted before it dried down, but once it dries down, it is much harder to blend so I recommend doing one area at a time to ensure you’re able to get the blended application you want. This shade lasted just over eight and a half hours on me as a cheek highlighter and didn’t impact the wear of my base products when I mixed it in with them.
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.