Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating) Review, Photos, Swatches

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Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)
Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)

Halo

Cover FX Halo Custom Enhancer DropsCover FX Halo Custom Enhancer Drops ($42.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a very light, almost translucent white, with iridescent, bluish-violet pearl. It seemed less holographic as it was iridescent and had a subtle shift.

The Custom Enhancer Drops formula is supposed to a “buildable highlight” that can be used alone (“even on top of powder”) or mixed in with base products (like foundation, primer, or moisturizer). For a more extensive overview of how I’ve used the formula in different ways, check out my original reviews here. The formula tends to be buildable but plenty pigmented, and I find that so much of how it applies and whether it looks intense or subdued is in the application (more so than the average product).

Halo had a thinner, more watery texture with a lot less shimmer–and finer shimmer at that–compared to other illuminating shades in the range, so I think it would be more versatile and easier to control for most compared to other shades. It was also less pigmented and took more product to build up to full coverage. It never emphasized my skin’s texture, though, even at opaque coverage. It spread well along the tops of my cheek bones as a standalone highlighter, and there was a noticeable, icy shift as I turned my head. Mixed in with foundation, there was a subtle luminosity but not tons of visible shimmer, and it seemed to cancel out some of the warmth of my foundation. I did notice, however, that this shade did not play as well over liquid or powder makeup, as it seemed to take longer to dry and had a tendency to lift base product, which other shades have not done. As a highlighter, it lasted for nine hours on me.

FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

$42.00/0.5 oz. - $84.00 Per Ounce

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.

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.

Browse all of our Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating) swatches.

Ingredients

Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Mica, Hydrogenated Styrene/Isoprene Copolymer, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77499).

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Makeup Look
On face:
  • Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Foundation
  • Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder
On eyes:
  • Anastasia x Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit
  • Anastasia Blazing Eyeshadow
  • Anastasia Sateen Eyeshadow
  • Urban Decay Scorch Eyeliner
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Earthquake Eyeliner
On lips:
  • Estee Lauder Naked Truth Hi-Lustre Pure Color Envy Lipstick
  • Bite Beauty Champagne Pearl Crème Lip Gloss
About Reviewer
Review FAQ
Reviewer

Christine Mielke is the editor-in-chief and has been reviewing products for over 14 years.

She has normal-to-dry skin with occasional dryness on cheeks and nose. She has a light plus skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones (view her foundation matches here).

Learn more about her review process here.

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21 Comments

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If I read you right, Halo would be more suitable for mixing with cooler foundation shades. That would make sense given its color. Personally, I’m not sure this color worn as a highlighter would ever work that well for warmer undertones. Thanks for your review. I’m definitely interested.

I can mix it with warm or neutral foundations (I’m not true neutral – definitely warm, but often yellow undertone foundations are TOO yellow on me) without getting any cast or cooling effect with one drop but there’s definitely a stopping point for me! I loved it as a highlighter, though, and I’m warm-toned, so I don’t think you have to be cool-toned to wear it personally.

Yeah, that is the downside to the Cover FX highlighters – it’s a decent amount of product for the money, but smaller sizes (travel size!) would be great.

I’m super pale and I have a strong urge to smear this all over my entire face and look like a candy coated unicorn. Hahaha I won’t, but it’s tempting. I could see myself using this with some lipgloss and even on my eyes as well as the “normal” places.

Ah, I really thought I was going to love this one and get it, until I read that bit about how it lifts foundation and takes longer to dry over it. No bueno. Besides, I really love my Saphyre from Alchemist for a bluish hue or Nyx Lavender Steel for a purpler one.

But; let me take a minute to tell you how much I am loving your eye and lip combo you’ve got on! Summer perfect!

I think I need to try NYX TWILIGHT TINT first before getting Holo. But dang I might like this for mixing into foundation to get a olive cast to my foundations…. need a sample first. 😉

So far I have Celestial (a must that works great on so many skin tones), Blossom (oh how I love this one. I love that it has enough color to act as a blush or blush topper depending on tone), and Halo. I was most excited for Halo but clearly have the least to say on it based on that sentence haha. I was hoping it would be more properly holo or at least more shifty in its iridescence. Could use a stronger lavender and blue shift and a bit less white. Of course given my skin tone (about NW-05/Bobbi Brown Alabaster/etc) it’s a good match but the white cast takes over too much for the iridescence of the blue-violet to come out properly. I found the texture a bit less workable than the others as well. Still worth it for me though since much like MILK’s Holo stick is awesome for adding a colored highlight on top. Blossom used in a more classic blush placement with Halo on top in the more classic highlight placement is a cool combo.

My skin is cool-olive. Do you think this could desaturate at least a little my foundation? Kind of like a blue mixer (much weaker, of course).

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