Foundation is quite possibly the least exciting of all the forms of make up in existence. If it’s doing its job right one should barely know it’s even there. A good foundation should cover problems and even skin tone without looking made up, or dry or greasy. That should be easy right? Maybe for some people it is... I however am plagued by foundation that goes on one color, and the mysteriously changes into another, by too much coverage and too little, by make up that sweats off or rubs off on my clothes. After ruining 3 nice white shirts with rub off I spent a Year refusing to wear anything white.
So if anyone out there has seen the Sheer Cover infomercials you’ll know it seems like the Perfect product. The infomercial touts customizable colors (so one can match their skin tone perfectly); easily customizable coverage and sweat/rub proof staying power. Of course none of this is revolutionary since mineral powders have been around for ages. But most brands don’t have a late night infomercial to temp insomniacs.
But even though the infomercial was tantalizing as a rule I do not buy stuff from the TV or over the phone. So it wasn’t until my employment situation changed (IE I returned from Japan and had to find something local) and all of a sudden I had bountiful access to all things Sheer Cover (and Meaningful Beauty, Youthful Essence and Proactive, but UGH!) So I started using it (I mean it’s there so Why not...)
The mineral powder comes in 9 colors from super light to Darkish (It’s supposed to be for African-American complexions but generally is still too light)
When you order the kits you get two foundation colors
Light= Nude + Bisque
Medium = Buff + Latte
Tan = Almond + Golden
Dark= Mocha+ Almond
Special Colors = Frost(Super Pale) and Chocolate (Super Dark)
If you are super light (Like me!) or super dark you have to order your shades special because they aren’t available in kits. But why the Chocolate color is considered special order I don’t know since it’s really not all that dark. The colors paired in each kit contain two different tones, one yellowed toned and the other pink.
They have intended the color mixing to be the ultimate in customization (Or they say that as an excuse to cover up the laziness of only having 7 shades). I mean, how many of us can’t find the right shade of foundation from popular brands, it’s always too dark, to yellow or too pink. It’s downright aggravating.
But the sheer cover solution isn’t much of a solution. It’s downright frustrating. You have to Mix to find you perfect shade.
Using my Mother for example, her coloring tends to pink (like me) but a whole lot darker. She fits perfectly into the light category. Bisque is just the right level of darkness, but it’s so yellow that no matter how she blends it, her makeup doesn’t match her skin tone. The nude shade, which is pink toned is darker than Bisque, and so even though it’s the right tone, on its own it’s too dark to be worn alone.
So now comes the tricky part, her ideal shade is somewhere between those two colors. But finding it... *sigh* I can’t tell you how much make up we’ve wasted trying to get it right.
The result is sometimes my Mom looks lovely and smooth, as though she woke up looking perfect. But sometimes she goes out and all of a sudden she’s too yellow or too dark or too yellow and too dark. I concede that the lighting in her bathroom isn’t the best but in all her years of using other Make up brands my mom has never gone out looking so wrong.
It may be worthwhile to practice mixing to find you Perfect shade, but it’s time consuming and finicky, so really unless you have awesome lighting and lots of time, it’s better left to the professionals.
But, my experiences with SC are a bit different from my mothers. See I’m so pale that the lightest shade is just near perfect, no mixing required.
The powder is smooth, finely milled and Matte. The finish it creates is totally unlike the glowy finish of Bare Minerals. But if you’re tired of the too glittery, too obvious finish Bare minerals can create SC can be a good options.
SC is also a step up from a lot of the common drug store mineral powders, seeing how it doesn’t contain Talc, and has a more intense color pay off.
Application is similar to other mineral foundations- you are supposed to “swirl, upwards in circular motions”. The instructions dictate that it’s to be applied after the moisturizer has dried, - the result a dry powdery finish, totally unlike the soft dewy finish on the infomercials. On me anyways. If you have a bit oiler skin this method might work a bit better for you.
For me, I apply the foundation when my moisturizer is just barely still damp. This achieves a smooth dewy finish. In fact, random strangers have stopped me to say how perfect my skin is...
The infomercial touts “Sweat resistant”, showing a woman who’s been jogging for like 40 minutes but still has perfect make up... Yeah, right.
The only reason the model has perfect make up is the mineral power can be so drying it just absorbs the sweat (ew....)
However it is true that the makeup won’t slid right off your face (do many people have this problem?) But it will rub off on everything. As for staying power under normal conditions, eh. It’s ok. It lasts most of the day, just gradually fading.
Creasing + Pores
*sigh* It’s wonderful and awful in turns. If you aren’t careful I your application (very little on the brush and lots of swirling) it can clump in pores and fine lines.
And unlike liquid foundation where you can gently smooth out mistakes or Touch up with a Q-tip, with SC you generally have to wash it all off and start again.
On the other hand, once correctly applied it firmly resists creasing (well... unless you apply tons, then it can gradually shift...)
Having tried many many mineral powders (bare minerals, physician’s formula, Revlon, etc.) Sc is pretty good. It’s smooth and well pigmented. But it’s also very matte...
So I’d stay it’s a step up from drug store, but not nearly as nice as most of the brands at Sephora (mmm smash box)