My Make-up-Tox with Sheer Cover Studio
If you watch half as much E4 as I do (gotta love some Big Bang), you've probably seen the Sheer Cover adverts. Has it triggered your curiosity? It did mine.
So given I pick and choose my make-up products on a daily basis, it was a biiiit of a big deal - but a month or so ago, I had a week-long "make-up-tox" with Sheer Cover. So for a full week, I used only Sheer Cover products for concealer, foundation, bronzer and mascara. It was like what I read about those intense diets - the first day was the toughest. After a full week, and a few more of experimenting, I've got a firm grip on what exactly I think about their adverts..
The Not So Good
I think the most disappointing of the lot were the Bronzer Brush and the Foundation Brush. The former didn't pick up the Sun-kissed Mineral Bronzer very well, and the latter just wasn't dense enough to buff on the foundation if you wanted something more than a dusting. Don't get me wrong - I'll find uses for them with other products because they aren't bad brushes. I'm just confused as to why the creators chose these brushes for Sheer Cover.
The Lengthening Mascara and Lash Extending Fibers were interesting. The mascara itself isn't quite so bad - it was easy to apply, the brush was nice and it added length. But it doesn't hold curls to save its life, which rules it out immediately for me. The Lash Extending Fibers, on the other hand, added more volume than it did length. I might pick this up once in a while for special occasions, but for everyday, it's definitely an unnecessary step for my routine.
There's one product that I still use every single day, and that's the Conceal & Brighten Trio. To be honest with you, I think this is at the core of their claims for covering up imperfections, because this stuff has insane coverage. In fact, it's slowly overtaking my favourite MAC Studio Finish Concealer, because alongside its amazing coverage, it has slip and is creamy, without being heavy like the Bobbi Brown Corrector or Concealers. For this reason, you'll probably go through it quickly - I've already hit pan. But if you've ever tried Sonia Kashuk's Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette, this is almost exactly the same. Since using this, I've noticed that I hesitate to apply the MAC concealer on the outside parts of my face because my face is dry there - whereas this, I'll slap it on wherever I need it, even under my eyes! It works well both on concentrated areas and larger patches of skin - this stuff is gold dust.
The Concealer Brush is also quite good - I have no complaints about it, as its good for both undereyes and spots. Personally, I prefer my fingers, but it's a nice addition to this set!
I feel mixed about the Sun-kissed Bronzing Minerals. The screw-top packaging is ridiculous, cuz it's just such a faff. The waves are also ridiculous, because it's hard to get individual shades - even trying to get the bottom two shades isn't easy with bigger brushes. BUT.. the contents are good. I like the variety of shades, I like that it has a cool-toned brown (as opposed to orangey shades) and it lasts really really well on your skin. Just don't use the Sheer Cover brushes with it because it's too tightly packed and 'hard' to be used with floppier brushes. Use a denser one and you'll get a good amount of pigment that isn't prone to overdoing it, which is another aspect I like - over-pigmented powders are not a good thing in my books!
And the grand finale - the Perfect Shade Mineral Foundation with SPF 15. I really liked it! I found it felt lighter than bareMinerals Matte, and more like Bellapierre - really, truly weightless. It had a really creamy finish, and you couldn't really tell that it was a powder formula.
The finish was very natural and skin-like which is one of my favourite things about this foundation! The coverage was light to medium, depending on what brush you used, but I think it's best used with something between a light powder brush and a dense buffing brush. My favourite to use with it was actually bareMinerals' Full Flawless Face Brush.
One thing I'm not 100% convinced about is this shade matching technology.. Medium, which apparently works with most skintones (it won't), was always a tad light for me.
So.. the results?
Better skin. I kid you not. I started the week off with quite a bad breakout and significant acne scarring - it was right during exam period. By the end of the week, my scarring had faded noticeably and I wasn't breaking out. I hadn't changed my skincare routine - in fact, I was treating it badly, often just using cleansing water in the morning, or sleeping after using a face wipe. In fact, since I finished the make-up-tox, I find myself still reaching for the foundation (in addition to the concealer which I use all the time anyway) when I need to wear make-up but feel like my skin needs a break.
"Sheer Cover". Is it aptly named? I think it is. The Conceal & Brighten Trio has that much pigment that it will cover almost anything, but because you only use it in certain spots, you won't be 'masking' your whole face, so to speak. Add a layer of the Perfect Shade Mineral Foundation, which is sheer and more 'perfecting' than covering, and it'll still let your skin show through where you haven't applied the concealer. In that way, it doesn't cover EVERYTHING and give you a full coverage, Estee Lauder Doublewear look all over. It gives you coverage where you need it, and sheer, finishing touches to the rest. This really helps to give you that skin-like, natural look.
As I said, Day 1 was the hardest - I was NOT a happy bunny with how I looked. I thought I knew how to adapt to mineral foundations, but I really didn't. It took until about Day 3 to really get the results I wanted. So if you do decide to give it a go (or any other foundation for that matter), try to commit to a week long 'tox'. And hopefully you'll get as great a results as I have! Me? I'm converted.
You can try the full set for £30 at Sheer Cover UK, or the individual products separately.