Cover FX Celestial Custom Enhancer Drops Review, Photos, Swatches

Cover FX Celestial Custom Enhancer Drops
Cover FX Celestial Custom Enhancer Drops

Cover FX Celestial Custom Enhancer Drops ($42.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a light, almost icy, pink with subtle, warmer undertones and a mix of cooler and warmer silver, pink, and gold pearl. Makeup Revolution Liquid Starlight (P, $9.00) is lighter, less pigmented (95% similar). Urban Decay Wicked (LE, $26.00) is lighter (95% similar). Burberry No. 03 Pink Pearl (P, $68.00) is less shimmery, warmer (90% similar). L'Oreal Daybreak (P, $14.99) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Colour Pop Poker Face (LE, $8.00) is less shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Jouer Rose Quartz (P, $24.00) is warmer (90% similar). NYX State of Flux (P, $6.99) is less shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Tarte Stunner (PiP, ) is more shimmery (95% similar). Laura Mercier Devotion (P, $45.00) is lighter (95% similar). Maybelline Iridescent (100) (P, $9.99) is less shimmery, less pigmented, warmer (95% similar). Tarte Stunner (P, $28.00) is warmer (90% similar). LORAC Moonlight (P, $23.00) is less shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Colour Pop Scrumptious (LE, $8.00) is warmer (90% similar). L'Oreal Ice (P, $12.99) is more shimmery, warmer (95% similar). Laura Geller Charming Pink (P, $26.00) is less shimmery, cooler (95% similar). OFRA Covent Garden (LE, $29.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (85% similar). Laura Geller Pixie Pearl (LE, $36.00) is less shimmery, lighter (85% similar). OFRA Pillow Talk (P, $29.00) is lighter (90% similar). Sydney Grace Melody (P, $9.00) is more shimmery, darker (85% similar). Makeup Geek Glitz (P, $20.00) 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.

Celestial had a moderate to strong pearly sheen. The sheerer it was applied, the less pronounced the finish was, while the heavier the application, the more metallic and high-shine the finish became. The highlighter had a thin consistency that spread across the skin easily, but it distributed the product evenly so it didn’t need a lot of blending once it was spread over the desired area. The edges remained blendable for about 10-15 seconds after initially spreading the product across the skin, and then the product had mostly dried down and was less easily diffused. I used maybe a fourth or less of the equivalent of drop for highlighting along cheekbones and on the bridge of the nose, which was plenty of product, for semi-sheer to medium coverage. One drop was sufficient for mixing in with moisturizer or foundation for a luminous finish that didn’t read pearly or shimmery. This shade wore well for nine hours before starting to fade slightly.

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.

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See more photos & swatches!

Cover FX Celestial Custom Enhancer Drops
Cover FX Celestial Custom Enhancer Drops

Cover FX Celestial Custom Enhancer Drops
Cover FX Celestial Custom Enhancer Drops

Cover FX Celestial Custom Enhancer Drops
Cover FX Celestial Custom Enhancer Drops

Cover FX Celestial Custom Enhancer Drops
Cover FX Celestial Custom Enhancer Drops

Cover FX Celestial Custom Enhancer Drops
Cover FX Celestial Custom Enhancer Drops

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Makeup Look

On face:
  • Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation
  • Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
On eyes:
  • Charlotte Tilbury Seductive Beauty Palette
  • Zoeva Good Karma Eyeliner
On lips:
  • Too Faced Honey Bear La Creme

About the Reviewer

Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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53 Comments

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They’re supposed to be back in the next month or so – I did not receive these until they were out of stock, so I am so sorry that I was not able to get reviews up before they then but I did not have them in my possession at that time.

Christine, I realize that horse has left the barn, but I’d have loved to see the results (even if they were hard to get to show fully in photos) of the various ways you tried this (including on your legs!). Also – and this is something I’ve wondered about for years – HOW do you know if a primer is water based or silicone based? The ones I use regularly (Hourglass, CoverFX, Benefit Porefessional, MAC Matte, a few others) – I have absolutely no idea if they’re water or silicone based and no idea how to find out.

Hey Mariella,

From what I understand, you have to look at the ingredients’ list and see if its primary ingredients are water or silicone! πŸ™‚

Here’s Becca’s Backlight Primer list – you’ll note water in the first ingredient, and there are no -cone ingredients: Water, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Panthenol, Silica, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Iron Oxides (CI 77491).

Here’s Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer list – it’s loaded with silicones (1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th): Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Polysilicone-11, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Hexyl Laurate, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isosterate, Stearic Acid, Alumina.

For silicones, there are the obvious -cone ingredients and then -siloxane is often the other one that appears often. For a water-based primer, you want an absence of silicones, not just water at the top.

In terms of *feel* on the skin, silicone primers often have a more velvety feel, they can be a bit thicker (not always the case), and are more smoothing.

The rule of thumb is to try and pair water-based primers and foundations together and silicone-based primers and foundations together. The exception is that water-based primers can typically be worn with silicone-based foundations. If you wear a silicone-based primer and put a water-based foundation on top, it can cause pilling.

My problem is that I always toss the packaging and lots of the products don’t have/can’t fit the ingredients on the tube or bottle. Good to know about the Becca primer – I love that stuff but hate putting foundation on top of it because it loses the “backlighting” aspect once I put on foundation and then powder. I’ve taken to wearing it with nothing on top.

You can probably google and get the ingredient lists for what you do already have, should you be curious! I don’t keep packaging either, so it’s usually by feel or memory.

They’re fun πŸ˜‰ I wish they were smaller/cheaper – it’s a lot on an individual basis, so I feel like for most, you have to pick just one to commit to.

Okay, this is probably not the best idea (and may even sound a little crazy) but here goes nothing: how many drops of this formula would you recommend for mixing with a 1 oz bottle of -sheer to medium coverage- foundation for a dewy effect? I’m looking to do a few test runs of a few pumps of foundation mixed with a drop or two of this first, but would like to customize it into a subtly luminous finish because I can never find anything glowy with my color (or lack thereof!)

I have no idea! I would think that you wouldn’t need the full bottle in that case, so it would probably come down to how the two mixed. The only reason I’d be hesitant about mixing that much is concerns about product stability over time – since they weren’t designed to sit together. You could try getting a separate container, like a sample jar, and then mixing within that so you could get several uses out of the sample jar (so enough to last a week or two).

My favorite way to use this product is in my body moisturizer! I’ve tried it as a highlighter and also in my foundation but I wasn’t super stoked on how metallic it made me look! I may re-try it though using less (even though I thought I was using barely any).

I’m liking them the most patted on top of cheeks – for me, I like to put them on first, then pat blush on, and then powder, which seems to bring everything together, and then following that, mixed with one of the bronzing shades for legs/shoulders.

What moisturizer have you been using with them?

Great product! So disappointed in the pricing…If they added 10-15ml more product I would have considered actually purchasing it!

Love its lovely iciness for a very cool looking highlight! Not too metallic, or too “barely there” either. Recently, icy highlighters have been appealing to me, probably because this has been the hottest summer on record so far. Minus a few days of flooding rains! All the parks took a major hit. ?

This and Moonlight are majoring on my wish list even if I’d be dropping $104CND on them. Need these in my life in the fall… can i hope for a value kit in the future because as much as I loved playing with the Cover FX Celestial sample I got, I don’t think I could go through a full bottle of this in 5 years time. lol

Would you recommend this to someone who has textured skin ? I wanted to strobe over my foundation ? My cheeks are very textured.

I think it would, but if you are very worried about texture, you might consider something with less coverage like Kevyn Aucoin or Becca (both have liquid highlighters) πŸ™‚

This one is tempting. I like how versatile they are, though I wouldn’t mind half of the product for half of the price.

This one looks perfect for me! I’m going to have to check these out in person. It’s actually available at my local Sephora which is a bit surprising. πŸ™‚

This stuff is AMAZING. It took forever to get my hands on it, but it is the best. Stays on all day, blends beautifully under and over powder. Love it.

I really love these! I’m sad that as I get older I’m able to wear less and less shimmery products as they just accentuate my pores and just do not look great on me anymore. I use to just love these kinds of products! This is why I love these drops, they appear subtle and give me a nice glow! And if I look too glowy, I can just top it with some powder. I usually just apply 1 small drop but can go up to 2 if I’m really feeling it!! And this will last forever!

I really like your eye makeup! I want to buy moonlight, but I’ve never owned Beca liquid highlighter and I cannot decide which would be better for my dry skin. I’ve noticed you mentioned you have dry skin as well. How would you compare Cover fx drops and Becca liquid highlighter? I hope you can help. Thank you.

I have normal-to-dry skin that is mostly normal, so I don’t know if I’m much help! Becca’s liquid highlighter is VERY, VERY sheer – you cannot overdo it at all. I find that one is best mixed in with product. Cover FX is more versatile, as it is more pigmented, but you’ll have to be careful to get very sheer coverage (if desired!).

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! πŸ™‚ If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!