This post is just a bit of fun. Yes, I am talking about CoverGirl again today, but, but! I just went back to the NYC store with a friend (I warned you I would), and I totally missed this very exciting opportunity the first time I went in December: to customize my own CoverGirl lipstick packaging!
So I was on the upstairs floor, and was casually speaking with a salesperson about the Exhibitionist Lipstick range. I was swatching away, deciding which color & finish to get (there are 3 finishes, by the way, Cream, Demi-Matte & Metallic). Then she says to me, you know you can customize your packaging for any of the Exhibitionist lipsticks for an extra $6.00. Immediately, I was sold! She led me back to a computer where you pick your shade of choice, and then design one side of the lipstick case with stickers & decals. I was like a kid in a candy store, lemme tell you!
MY CUSTOMIZED PACKAGING
Of course I had to pick the most juvenile packaging design, but what the hell?! I was having fun! I really wanted to include so many more decals but as you can see, the space I was working with was quite small. I had to include my name, just because, and I chose a few other decals that were fun & colorful. I didn’t really have a strategy here or an overarching message behind the images I chose. It just wasn’t that deep 😉.
As I said earlier, the customization was an extra $6.00; the total cost for my lipstick was then $13.99 before tax. Not too bad, in my opinion.
So once you’re done customizing your CoverGirl lipstick, you proceed to the cashier to pay and submit your order. They tell you the lipstick will be ready in about 15 minutes, but for some reason mine took longer. My friend and I actually left the store and were walking around outside, waiting to get the email that my order was ready. After almost 45 minutes with no email, we went back and my lipstick was there waiting. Not sure why they didn’t notify me as stated, so I suggest putting your order in before you finish shopping (as weird as that sounds).
MY COLOR CHOICE
I believe this is my first (traditional) CoverGirl lipstick purchase. I did own a shade or two from the Outlast All-Day Lip Color range years ago, which was my first liquid lipstick ever. (They are not kidding around with that formula! It. Stays. On. All. Day.) After swatching a few shades from the Exhibitionist range, I ultimately decided on Sultry Sienna, a mid-tone rosy pink shade with a little brown.
It’s a beautiful cream finish lipstick that’s super hydrating and comfy to wear. Do I have shades like this in my collection already? Um, you bet (see: Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk; see: Flower Beauty Honey Nude; see: MAC Twig), but I can’t help myself! This is the kind of shade I wear all the time so I naturally gravitate to it; it’s truly a MLBB (my lips but better) kinda shade.
I believe this service is only available at the NYC store. I looked to see if you could do this online, but it doesn’t appear you can. So if you’re in the area or are visiting the city, this is such a fun thing to do either for yourself or as a present for someone else.
How would you personalize your own lipstick case if you could? I’d love to know!
Well, it’s review time. Back in December you may remember that I visited the CoverGirl flagship store in NYC, and snagged a few products for free (read the full story by clicking the first link below); I’m very lucky that the Clean Liquid Foundation was one of them. I’ve been testing this formula out since then so I’m ready to present you with my thoughts & opinions now! So let’s get into it.
(Just FYI, this is not about the matte/oil-free or the sensitive skin versions.)
Let your natural beauty shine through with COVERGIRL Clean Liquid Makeup! Clean Makeup’s water-based foundation noncomedogenic formula lets your skin breathe, goes on easily, and blends perfectly, so the world doesn’t see makeup, just the look of great skin. COVERGIRL Clean Liquid Makeup is also available in Sensitive Skin and Oil Control formulas.
I like to dab medium-sized dots of this on the areas I want coverage (generally around the T-zone), and then blend in circular motions with my fingers. I like my base products to appear and feel as skin-like as possible. I have not tried applying this with a brush. I do not set this foundation with powder (it’s winter and I already have dry skin, so that ain’t happenin’!).
MY THOUGHTS ON PACKAGING
The glass bottle is small & dainty with no pump. Definite pro’s & con’s here. I like the fact that it’s small but still holds 30 mL; the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue holds just 5 mL more but is much bigger, for example. It’s also easy to store on your vanity at this size. However, it’s glass so you can’t really travel with it or toss it in your handbag if you wanted to. And no pump = more mess. I will always prefer a pump to control the amount of product.
This is marketed for normal skin types, but this formula applies & blends pretty effortlessly over my dry skin. The consistency is quite thin but that’s not surprising considering it’s a “water-based foundation.” I will tell you that I’ve applied this both over a moisturizing primer and over bare skin; I prefer over a primer but you can certainly apply over bare skin without much tugging or patching off. Ah, and before I forget, this foundation does have a scent that dissipates after application. I personally don’t mind it, but if you are sensitive please be aware.
Rating: 5 / 5 ⭐️
MY THOUGHTS ON COVERAGE
Overall, I’d categorize this as a light coverage product, which is A-OK with me. You can build it up ever so slightly in places where you want more coverage, but do not buy it thinking it will give you a flawless complexion. It definitely won’t.
Rating: 5 / 5 ⭐️
MY THOUGHTS ON FINISH
This has a very natural finish for sure. It’s definitely not matte, definitely not dewy; it’s completely somewhere in the middle. It just looks like skin, but slightly more perfected. As someone who doesn’t like wearing heavy coverage products, this is awesome!
Rating: 5 / 5 ⭐️
MY THOUGHTS ON SHADE SELECTION
I only see 11 shades listed on CoverGirl’s website for this foundation; not that great. Weirdly, the shade I have is 105 Ivory but that’s not even listed online. I see 110 Classic Ivory; is it the same? No idea, so not sure what’s going on there.
Rating: 2 / 5 ⭐️
MY THOUGHTS ON LONGEVITY
This foundation definitely sticks around quite a while on my skin. Usually I wear my makeup anywhere from 8 – 11 hours depending on the day, and when I go to finally remove my makeup I still see the effects of this product on my skin. However, please keep in mind that I have not worn this foundation in heat or humidity yet, so I don’t know how this would stand up in that environment.
Rating: 5 / 5 ⭐️
MY THOUGHTS ON PRICE
You can see some of the prices listed above from different retailers. It’s CoverGirl, you know the drill, it’s very affordable stuff. For me, someone who likes a lighter coverage, I think this product is totally worth the price tag(s). If you need or want fuller coverage, as cheap as this is, it would be a waste of money for you. So make sure you know what you want before you buy.
Rating: 5 / 5 ⭐️
Despite the fumbles with packaging and shade range, I do think this is a lovely foundation if you’re looking for something lightweight and natural-looking. It’s very affordable and does exactly what it says on the tin, so to speak. I will gladly continue to use it!
Have you tried the Clean Liquid Foundation? If so, what are your thoughts? I’d love to know!
If you didn’t know, CoverGirl recently opened their first stand-alone store in NYC. I first heard about this back in the spring, and I got so incredibly excited. As a self-described “super-fan” of drugstore beauty, I feel I haven’t tried as many products from CoverGirl over the years than I have from, say, L’Oreal or Elf. They were one of the first makeup brands, along with MAC, that I ever used as teenager, but I got distracted along the way and lost touch with their products. They’ve been in the news a lot lately since they became certified cruelty-free, making them the largest cosmetics brand to do so. So now is the perfect time to get inspired by CoverGirl again!
The 2-level, 10,000 sq. ft. store stands at the corner of 48th Street and 7th Avenue, right in the heart of Times Square. From what I could spy online, they opened to the public back on Black Friday.
When I walked in, I saw rows and rows of product, testers (thank goodness and finally!!) and loads of merch. Everything from makeup bags, stationary, hoodies, active wear, cell phone cases, water bottles, beanies, you name it. All branded with the CoverGirl logo.
Supposedly there’s a bunch of interactive stuff there like glam stations where you can virtually “apply” makeup to check for colors, but to be honest I must have breezed right over those! I was on sensory overload a bit and my attention was on the products & the merch.
On a side note, I felt I had the store all to myself for most of the visit, which was awesome! No fighting through crowds or waiting to swatch a product. (I was there at a slightly odd time during the week.) Also, the staff was overall very sweet and helpful which made for a pleasant shopping experience.
So you’re probably wondering by now, what did you snatch while you were there? Well, I have a quick little story for ya.
Three out of the seven items I’m going to show you below I got for free, and here’s why. When I was on the second floor checking out the Cheekers Blushes, a couple of CoverGirl marketers approached me and asked me a few questions about the Clean Liquid Foundation. (I’ve never tried the stuff before, by the way.) What did I think of the bottle? What did I think of the word “clean”? Stuff like that. In exchange for my time, they rewarded me with a free bottle of the Clean Liquid Foundation. Score! They also slipped in two of the Katy Kat glitters for nothing.
(On a side note, I have no idea what to do with the Katy Kat glitters. They are not approved for use around the eyes…so where do I apply them? Any suggestions?)
So besides the free items, I got an adorable CoverGirl beanie hat (don’t judge me, I couldn’t resist), good ‘ole Shimmering Sands Eyeshadow Kitwhich has been in the CoverGirl line-up forever (my mother specially requested this), and the Exhibitionist Lip Liner in In The Nude. I’ve already started using the lip liner, and I really like the texture and longevity. After I use the foundation for a while, I’ll bring you guys a thorough review.
If you’re in the NYC area or are coming for a visit and you like CoverGirl products, I’d definitely recommend stopping by the store. There’s a lot to see, touch and try on. I’ll definitely be returning sometime soon myself!
Are you a fan of CoverGirl products? Are you excited about their first stand-alone store? I’d love to know!
I’m not big on nostalgia. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reminiscing from time to time about great experiences or moments that I’ve had with friends and family. But I generally try to keep looking ahead rather than backwards. While this sentiment refers to a broader life philosophy, let me take this back down to makeup. I found myself watching an old Pixiwoo video a few days ago when all of a sudden I was struck by a feeling of honest-to-goodness nostalgia. Sam whipped out Gilt by Association eyeshadow by MAC, which I believe is now discontinued, and a piece of my makeup past flashed in front of me. It was one of the very first eyeshadows I used in high school, and I couldn’t remember the last time I even thought about it.
It got me thinking, how many other products did I regularly use when I first started wearing makeup that I’ve since forgotten about? How many are actually still on the market now? How many do I still use today? I racked my brain and came up with a nice list of products (sorted by brand) that I’d love to share with you. And in true nostalgic form, each product reminds me of a specific period in my life. I know I missed ‘Throwback Thursday’ with this post but I hope you’ll indulge me anyway.
Of course we all know this one is still on the market, but I feel this is definitely a product that has been overshadowed over the years by a million new launches. This was either one of or the first mascaras I used, I can’t remember exactly. I used it in high school for quite a long time and generally enjoyed it. However I stopped using it after my mom told me it was snapping off her eyelashes (!). Yup, you read that right. She had noticed her lashes were getting shorter since using this mascara. It got me so freaked out, I threw mine out and never went back.
Intense ShadowBlast Eyeshadows (discontinued)
I loved these way back when. At one time I had all the colors from the line, which were the three pictured above plus a light olive green shade. They were cream shadows in a tube with a doe-foot applicator; easy to apply, blended perfectly and locked into place all day. I particularly loved the brown shade (of course) which I think was called Brown Bling. It was a true taupe shade, very cool-toned, which made it very work-appropriate. This was a staple in both my work makeup menu and also in my travel makeup bag in the mid to late 2000’s. I remember specifically taking this on so many work trips since it was so easy to apply. But unfortunately CoverGirl discontinued this line a while back and have yet to replace it.
JEMMA KIDD MAKEUP (DISCONTINUED LINE)
Jemma Kidd Eyeshadows
Remember Jemma Kidd makeup?? This was definitely early in my makeup-wearing days when I only really shopped at either MAC, the drugstore or Target. This was a UK brand that was carried at Target in the U.S. before the entire line was discontinued. I know a lot of UK bloggers and YouTubers were obsessed with her complexion products like foundations and highlighters, but I never really wore face makeup until about six or seven years ago. I had the eye/lip palette pictured above (probably right after college), and I was obsessed with the dark, sparkling blue shade on the lower right-hand side of the top quad. I look at this now and I’m not sure what I was thinking with that shade, but I used to dig my finger in and lightly pat it across my lids. I almost hit pan on that shade too.
MAC was the first higher-end makeup brand I ever used because my mom was a big fan of their products. (Spoiler alert: there’s a lot of MAC on this list.) I’ve honestly never been the biggest lipstick/lip liner person. I alternate between really loving lip products and wearing them everyday to hating the feel of any product being on my lips. But when I was first experimenting with lip color after college, of course I went to MAC first. If I was going to wear anything on my lips, I thought, it was going to have to last so I bypassed lipstick at the time and went straight to lip pencils. I still think the Pro Longwear Lip Pencils are a great formula, if not a bit stiff, but I don’t have any in my collection right now. I used to have Staunchly Stylish (a browny nude), In Anticipation (a mid-tone pink), and More to Love (a deep but bright fuschia). Most of the time I would apply these all over my lips as a lipstick.
The Prep & Prime Eye Base (in the compact version) was very first eye primer I ever used. I remember specfically my mother gave it to me and said you should always prime your eyes before using powder shadows to get the best effect. So I do what I’m told and I still prime to this day. I’m not sure if this version exists anymore in the Prep & Prime line, but I’ve linked above to the 24-hr Extend Eye Base in the squeeze tube.
I’ve talked about my big love for Paint Pots as primers umpteen times on this blog before, so I won’t bore you much longer. But after the Prep & Prime Eye Base, it was Paint Pots for me, and Paint Pots it will likely stay.
These are real nostalgia products for me. Before I was into face makeup, I was into eye makeup…big time. My eyes were the first feature I really wanted to play up as a teenager and as a young adult. I remember lining my upper and lower lashes with black liner for the first time and thinking I was super cool. The MAC kohl liners weren’t the first liners I ever used, but they were the first liners I really loved. But this was back when I didn’t know much about makeup, so I’d line all over my eyes without setting it with powder, and by half-way through the day I was a panda. I really don’t use kohl liners anymore because of their smudginess, but I’ll always have a fondness for the MAC ones. I used to own Powersurge (a gold), Teddy (a bronze), Smolder (a charcoal-black), and Tarnish (a blackened-green that might be discontinued?).
Powder Eyeshadows in Gilt by Association, Patina, Club & Satin Taupe – Shop here (everything except Gilt by Association)
Gilt by Association was a baked eyeshadow with a mineralize finish that had this beautiful marbled effect with gold, black and dark browns. I hardly used eye brushes early in my makeup-wearing days, so I used my fingers to gently tap the shadow all over my lids. It gave me a subtle, shimmering golden-brown effect that I loved at the time. Then I got heavily into MAC singles in the mid-2000’s and eventually created my own palette with my favorites, as pictured above. But I particularly loved, and still love to this day, Patina (a cool-toned golden-pearl shade), Club (a warm brown with green/blue shift), and Satin Taupe (a cool-toned purpley-brown satin shade). Classics.
This was one of the first blushes I ever bought when I started wearing blush. I’m not sure exactly how old I was, but most likely I was in my early to mid-20’s. I didn’t want to invest in a high-end blush yet in case I didn’t like the effect, so I went to the drugstore instead. If memory serves, the only reasons I gravitated towards the Dream Bouncy Blushes were the fun colors they came in and the cool-looking texture. I had an apricot shade and a pink shade, but I remember thinking these were kinda crap after a while. But perhaps it was my fault. They have a powder-to-cream kind of formula, so I used my fingers to apply the color to my cheeks but I could barely get anything to show up (and I have fair skin). They hit the trash not too long after purchasing them, but whenever I see them in the drugstore I remember when I first discovered blush.
Lola Lola Single Eyeshadow (may be discontinued?)
This one takes me all the way back to high school. I loved this warm, rusty brown shade just simply applied all over my lid (again, just using my fingers). I never applied shadow underneath my lower lash line when I was teenager; too dramatic. I might have hit pan on the first one I had, but I repurchased it a few years ago. Sadly I couldn’t find this shade on NARS’s website, so perhaps it’s since been discontinued.
Lip Butters (discontinued)
I was heavy into the Lip Butters around 2013-2014. I loved this formula so much that I had three or four of these on the go at one time, and nearly all of them lived in my purse. I would never remember the exact names but I had a fuschia, a red, a nude and a peach at least. If you never owned a Lip Butter, they were basically colored lip balms. Nothing special necessarily, but they had some cling to them so the color lasted a little longer than you’d expect for such a moisturzing formula, which I loved. And they had decent color payoff for being just balms. Revlon discontinued them in the past few years and replaced them with the HD Gel Color line, which is equally as moisturizing.
Which makeup items make you feel nostalgic? I’d love to know!
By this point so much has been said and written about how Fenty Beauty changed the makeup game in 2017. And with good reason. The launch of their Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 40 shades is now widely considered a hallmark moment in beauty. It sent an unequivocal message to the larger community of brands, corporations, and advertisers that coverage products should be formulated, produced, and distributed equally for all skin tones. To highlight this point further, Fenty produced an equal 10 shades per skin tone category (light, medium, tan, deep) for the grand total of 40 shades. The bottom line: no one (or nearly no one) felt left behind this time.
While the concept of 40 foundation shades wasn’t invented by Rihanna or Fenty (heritage and pro brands like Estee Lauder and Make Up For Ever, respectively, have historically produced extensive foundation lines with upwards of 35 to 40 shades), they were the first to successfully market or call out said concept. The Pro Filt’r launch awakened and revived the dialogue between brands and frustrated consumers who felt systematically excluded from certain segments of the beauty industry.
It’s a conversation that’s now clearly here to stay.
The issue of companies not producing enough shades for either the very lightest skin tones, or in most cases the darkest skin tones, isn’t confined to just a few brands nor is it confined to just one segment of the makeup industry. Truthfully it’s been an issue across the board from luxury/high-end, to more middle-market brands, and in the drugstore. Drugstore brands have been particularly notorious for this in the past. Historically they’ve crammed most of their foundation & concealer shades into narrow buckets, and produced ranges of perhaps 10-15 shades that have left a lot of the makeup-wearing population out in the dark. (Off the top of my head Wet n’ Wild Photo Focus Concealer comes to mind. Really poor selection of shades.)
But the tide is certainly shifting since the Fenty launch. More consumers, more influencers, and more thought-leaders in the beauty community are speaking up and demanding more of companies and brands not only in regards to product ranges but also in regards to marketing imagery. They want to know that brands are formulating products not for just for those with light to medium skin tones. They want to see more people with medium to darker to deepest skin tones in beauty ads and campaigns. Quite simply, they want to be represented; they want to be included.
While 2018 started off on the wrong foot with the Tarte Shape Tape Foundation fiasco, I feel that this has been the year of inclusive foundation launches as both high-end and drugstore brands work to either mimic Fenty’s approach or best it. Below I’ve compiled just a few of the stand-out foundation launches that we’ve seen so far in 2018. These launches offer a broader range of shades that are more equally distributed from fair to deep skin tones.
Just a few things to note. Firstly, this is not an exhaustive list (plus the year isn’t over anyway). Secondly, this is not meant to be a traditional review of these foundations, especially since I’ve never tried any of them personally. This is just a commentary on how the heightened conversation around inclusivity in makeup has influenced recent product launches.
BEAUTY BAKERIE CAKE MIX DEMI-MATTE FOUNDATION – Shop here
30 shades total ranging from fair to deep
Like Fenty, Beauty Bakerie brought out an equal amount shades across skin tone categories for their widely celebrated Cake Mix Foundation launch back in April (their magic number is 5). While they launched a lesser amount of shades total than Fenty did, they spread their line across a slightly broader category range; meaning 5 fair, 5 light, 5 medium, 5 tan, 5 dark, and 5 deep shades. As a black-owned indie brand that’s gaining massive traction on social media, Beauty Bakerie took it one step further and reversed the standard convention of listing shades from lightest to darkest; their range is listed darkest to lightest. It’s subtle, but it’s brimming with meaning and significance at the same time.
NARS NATURAL RADIANT LONGWEAR FOUNDATION – Shop here
33 shades total ranging from fair to deep
While this launch from NARS may not have the most equal distribution across skin tones, it’s much more wide-ranging in comparison to some of their earlier launches like the Sheer Glow Foundation (20 shades) and the Luminous Weightless Foundation (also 20 shades), with more undertones represented as well.
DIOR BACKSTAGE FACE AND BODY FOUNDATION – Shop here
40 shades total ranging from fair to deepest
This is Dior’s most recent foundation launch inspired by makeup artist secrets and backstage beauty, that includes what they call “16 intensities” and 6 undertones within a total of 40 shades (the magic number now). Looking at the visual above, it’s undoubtedly an impressive range. And if you take a quick peek at the other Dior complexion products currently on the market, the Backstage Face and Body is much more expansive in comparison. Diorskin Forever stands at 24 shades with significantly less variety in dark/deep skin tones.
Of all the visuals included in this post, this one holds the most weight to me. Look at that color range! Truly impressive. And Cover FX really wants you to know that too. If you scroll through their Instagram feed and take a look at the marketing on this product, the messaging is all to do with the vastness of the shade and undertone range (“ your perfect match awaits”) (“foundation for all”).
COVERGIRL TRUBLEND MATTE MADE FOUNDATION – Shop here
40 shades total ranging from porcelain to deep
CoverGirl made news this year with one of the largest drugstore foundation offerings after Maybelline’s expansion of the Fit Me range in 2017. The TruBlend Matte Made Foundation comes in at the magical 40 shade-number, making it broader than even L’Oreal’s True Match range. At less than $10 a bottle for both TruBlend and Fit Me, it’s reassuring to consumers of all skin tones that the more affordable brands are taking the issue of shade range seriously.
COLOURPOP NO FILTER NATURAL MATTE FOUNDATION – Shop here
42 shades total ranging from fair to deep-dark
Finally, ColourPop. With the largest offering of this entire list, the new No Filter Natural Matte Foundation comes in at a bulky 42 shades which are distributed equally amongst 6 skin tone categories, ranging from fair to deep-dark. This is another visual that has both great aesthetic and emotional impact when you stop to think just how many options ColourPop is offering to its customers at an extremely affordable price ($12/bottle). If any brand could best Fenty’s range, it would be ColourPop; a brand that has immense community, marketing and financial power within the industry and an extremely quick turn-around to market.
What is your opinion on inclusiveness in beauty? Do you think it’s at a good place now or do we have some distance to go still? Would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.