Cover FX Custom Cover Drops Review & Swatches

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops is a product specifically designed to add customizable coverage to your beauty/skincare product. Basically anything that is liquid or cream, clear or colored, can be transformed into a tinted base and/or foundation with your desired coverage. It's pretty straightforward to use and the idea sounds nice and innovative, but is it practical? Let me share my experience with you.

In a nutshell

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops is basically a liquid product of highly concentrated pure pigments. Its primary use is to add or increase the coverage of any liquid or cream product be it serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, primer, foundation, BB/CC cream, tinted moisturizer, or even oil. It is also compatible with anything that is water-, oil-, or silicone-based. The brand recommends adding 1-4 drops to achieve sheer, medium, full, and total coverage, respectively, but since I have pretty severe acne scars, I've gone up to 6 on a few occasions. I don't recommend any more than 6, though, since it is likely to look cakey then. The product is formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates but contains alcohol, silica, and silicone. There is no detectable scent as far as I'm aware. The product is NOT to be used alone (and I'll tell you why later) and must be shaken thoroughly prior to use (don't forget to dispense the product from the dropper before shaking to ensure even distribution of pigment).

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops
Cover FX Custom Cover Drops

Experimentation needed

It sounds great to be able to tint your skincare product with pigment to save time but I honestly can't see myself doing this on a regular basis. The easy explanation is that I have sensitive, acne-prone skin and I think I have my skincare routine down to the point that I don't get breakout often anymore. The last thing I want to do is mess it up! Additionally, I feel safer separating my skincare routine from makeup which is meant to “sit” on rather than “absorb” into the skin.

However, there will always be days when you are absolutely pressed for time, and just for review purposes, I have gone ahead and tested the product by mixing it with my moisturizer, primer, and sunscreen and I found that you really need to be experimental and critical with what to mix and the amount to mix. I find the results are based largely on the nature of the finish and texture of the product you're mixing it with. It certainly does not work on all mediums. 

For example, with certain moisturizers and primers, you may experience increased coverage along with the moisturizing texture and glow factor but you may also get a streaky or uneven finish if the mixing base is too thin or slippery. I find the best mixing medium is something liquid-cream that's not too thin or thick, and preferably slightly tinted or colorless. For sunscreens, if they are white or thick, they tend to sheer out the pigment considerably. I honestly don't recommend mixing it with sunscreen at all since the last thing you want to do is dilute the active ingredients in it and therefore lower the level of sun protection.

What have I been using it extensively for?

Tinting my base! My skin color is probably naturally darkened to NC35 now from all the suntan I've been getting unavoidably living in this part of the world. The majority of my old foundations has become too light and useless unless I darken them. I've been using the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops the very same way I have my favorite Giorgio Armani Maestro Liquid Summer Bronzer SPF 15 and that is to darken the foundation color to match my current skin tone except the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops has additional benefit of adding extra coverage to my foundation, too!


Cover FX Custom Cover Drops
Cover FX Custom Cover Drops

Pretty much almost every review out there mentioned a thing or two about the packaging so I'm going to follow the trend and confirm that while the glass bottle of the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops is seemingly nice to look at, with a teardrop-shaped window to let you identify the color inside and a convenient dropper to let you control the amount of product to dispense easily, it actually creates quite a lot of mess in practice. I think the opening of the bottle is just too large. They should have implemented some sort of a stopper or made the opening smaller.

The image below will give you an idea of how the bottle looks once you start “dropping”. As you can see, my bottle has collected quite a bit of product overflow around the rim. I've cleaned it several times, each time wasting more product, but since it happens after every use, I have decided to just let it be!

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops
Cover FX Custom Cover Drops

Shades and performance

There are 24 shades total in the line-up. The shade number is prefixed with either N, G, or P for neutral, golden, and pink undertones, respectively. My closest shade is G40 described as a shade for medium skin with golden undertones.

And here's why I can't and won't use G40 alone — it is simply too yellow. See my arm swatch below.

L-R: Cover FX Custom Cover Drops alone, Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation alone, and Cover FX Custom Cover Drops and Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation combined
L-R: Cover FX Custom Cover Drops alone,
Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation alone, and
Cover FX Custom Cover Drops and Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation combined

The product is truly packed with pure pigments and by applying G40 alone, it turns my skin into such a bizarre, overly yellow-looking color. It is also so dry and matte to the touch that it will cling on to any dry spots (I have a lot of those on my cheeks) and emphasize pores and lines. So in this case, trust the brand and never use it as is! :D

Next to the right is one of the foundations I've been mixing it with. The color is way too light and pink for my current skin by itself but once it is mixed with one drop of the Custom Cover Drops, it matches my skin perfectly.

Now for the real test on the face!

Wearing Cover FX Custom Cover Drops alone (L) and combined with Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation (R)
Wearing Cover FX Custom Cover Drops alone (L) and combined with Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation (R)

On the left is the Custom Cover Drops alone, notice the yellow cast? Yep! Not a good look. My face on the right where I mixed the Custom Cover Drops with the foundation looks much more natural in comparison while still preserving that dewy glowy nature of the foundation. Besides adding tint and coverage to my base, the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops also makes my skin appear smoother and more even overall. It is weightless on the skin and stays put throughout wear. It does not oxidize during the day and has no effect on oil-controlling.

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops
Cover FX Custom Cover Drops

So while the product itself is pretty straightforward to use, how much to use and what to use it with requires experimentation. I like experimenting, I like mixing things, I actually do mix my makeup all the time so I find joy and fun in using it. However, for those who don't, you may be inclined to deem the product unnecessary and are probably better off finding a product that works on its own. Nonetheless, the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops presents a nice option and a ton of possibilities for you to create your own base with desired coverage and tint! :)

Have you tried mixing the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops with your skincare product? How did it work out for you? Share with me your experience and tips!


US$44 at Sephora

฿2,050 at Sephora Thailand

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  1. says: pp

    Thanks na ka!
    I decided not to buy this lovely little bottle before reading ur review ;)
    It worths my wait as always ka

  2. I love mixing foundations and usually I find my best matches like that. Currently I mix La Mer Reparative Skintint with Estee Lauder EE Cream, latter is too dark and too dewy, former is too light and a little dry, so this reveals a match made in heaven! I can get it adjusted to my skin day, feeling dry? A bit more EE, feeling hydrated? More of La Mer.

    Now for these drops, I love the idea and would be very intrigued to try it out. If I see them somewhere to try out the shade, I will do that for sure. I can understand though why you don’t want to mix these with your skin care, exactly for the same reason I wouldn’t like to do that either. Thanks so much once more for such a detailed and wonderful review.

    1. says: Jaa

      Great idea, Sara! I feel that by mixing, you also get to use up the product that you wouldn’t alone otherwise. I have been lusting after the La Mer Reparative Skintint! My oily skin probably wouldn’t mind something a little drying! :D I read somewhere that Cover FX has redesigned (or are in the process of) the bottle so maybe wait until they hit the market to buy one. Trust me, the bottle can get really messy over time! >.<

  3. says: Meiko

    I’ve been eyeing this but wasn’t sure I needed it, and I can see now I don’t. I have some foundations that are too dark/yellow that I mix with others bases that are too light/pink. Thanks for the review!

  4. says: Sunny

    Hey Jaa, thanks so much for the review! I’m glad you managed to figure this out. I for sure did NOT! You pointed out the same issue that I discovered, which is while Cover Fx advertises this as something you can mix with EVERYTHING, skincare products just aren’t meant to sit on your skin the way a foundation is. I also think you are right: the SA who decanted the product for my friend probably didn’t shake everything up right, so the pigment just sits on top of my skin in a really unflattering manner whatever I do. G40 is so SO yellow on me as well, so perhaps it makes sense to add it to a foundation that is not yellow enough like what you do!

    1. says: Jaa

      I can almost guarantee that your sample wasn’t shaken properly, Sunny! Because I did forget to shake it once and you can just tell by the consistency that it’s thicker than when you shake it. It also didn’t blend very well with the other base I was mixing it with! Yup, never ever use G40 alone, way too yellow!

  5. says: Natasja

    I think the yellow cast doesn’t look bad on you?!! So, I basically like both sides of your last photo! But you know, the differences are subtle. I get your point, though. I do like my foundations more yellow than red or bleak/greyish.. cos I end up looking like a ghost :P

    What do you do about your dry spots btw? my cheeks have been getting drier and drier (le sigh) and the other day I noticed dry spots that were emphasized by my foundation too.. which had never happened before *cry* but you know.. my skin is changing, so I need to change with it. Any suggestions?

    1. says: Jaa

      The yellow cast was much more apparent in natural light, Natasja! Studio lighting kind of washed it out a little bit. ^_^

      As for tips on relieving dry skin, I can think of a few things that I do that may help! I stopped using scrubby exfoliator altogether and only use enzyme-based powder now. I figure the more gentle you can be to your skin, the better! I wash my face with luke warm water and splash a cold water to finish then pat dry with a soft cloth (no rubbing). I also dab a little bit of face oil on the dry spots, let it soak in, then follow with my regular moisturizer. I try not to wear mattifying or long-wearing makeup many days in a row but switch it up with something moisturizing, too. I’d rather get a little dewy/oily than have dry flakes later on in the day. Concealers tend to be drying as well, so if you can skip it once in a while, it will help a lot!

  6. says: Jen

    Thanks for such a thorough, helpful review! I’ve been ultra curious about this one, but recognize it’s a bit finicky. But your review shows that, when mixed with the right base, it can be incredible stuff! :)

    1. says: Jaa

      True! It has to be mixed with the right base and in the right amount! :) Are you planning to get a sample from Sephora?

  7. says: Erin

    I liked the idea of the product I went to Sephora to get matched. Nothing was light enough. Even mixing it with creams didn’t help. The SA was quite frustrated and grabbed a few other foundations that were newer to try to match me with. Same problem! The only one that barely works is the new Bare Minerals one!

        1. says: Jaa

          I didn’t know you were not well, Erin! Hope you’re much better now! :) I’ve just gotten back into blogging more regularly myself. :)

  8. says: Xuvious

    I was very sceptical about this because of the experimentation needed but I like the idea of using this to darken existing foundations instead of buying new ones when tanned.

  9. says: Jenny

    I’ll be honest and admit that at 40 I am a makeup novice, just recently experimenting with foundation and not buying cheap over the counter brands. I tend to be acne prone because of my oily skin, so finding something that didn’t look cakey, and could last all day as been challenging. When I saw this product I was intrigued enough to take a trip to sephora for a color match. After finding the right tone, deciding on the base to use for my acne prone skin and investing on quality brushes, I was ready. I like the coverage you get with so little product. It’s not heavy or streaky, and I needed very little powder to set it. It lasted all day in hot California weather which says a lot. So far I am liking this and will experiment more with it, thank you for such an in depth review, It’s the first one I’ve read that was so detailed!

    1. says: Jaa

      Hi Jenny! Thanks so much for your kind comment! I’m so glad that you are also enjoying this product and that we have similar experience!

      I remember when I was just getting into makeup I was completely overwhelmed with selections! There were so many things I wanted to try from so many different brands but through experimenting, I realized what worked for me and what not. I wonder if you ever feel overwhelmed, too, considering that the amount of makeup on the market right now has probably tripled since when I started (which was only a few years ago)! I love hearing people’s experience on how they get started on makeup so anything you can share with us would be great! :D

  10. I love experimenting and mixing all my makeup! I don’t think this is something that would work for me though, but it definitely sounds interesting. And it does look great mixed with your foundation! Great in-depth review as always. I feel like I always learn something new when I come here. :)

    1. says: Jaa

      Thanks so much, Lisa! I also learn something new when I visit your blog! (Especially when it comes to Kat Von D liquid lipstick! ;D)

  11. says: Lily

    Hey Jaa, I’ve read so many mixed reviews on this, it’s kinda intriguing. LOL! I’m too lazy to be mixing things and actually taking time to figure it out, so I decided to pass. It’s been fun reading all the experiments going on though :-)

    1. says: Jaa

      Right? I chose not to read too many reviews before I purchased mine or during experimenting so that I wouldn’t be influenced by them. Turns out my experience has been a positive one which makes me really happy! :)

  12. says: Lulle

    I really like the idea of being able to customize my products with these drops – it could be a great way for me to darken my foundation just a bit during the summer so it matches my “tan” better, without having to buy a whole new shade of foundation. But for $44 I can easily find a good foundation, so if it’s not that versatile (doesn’t mix well with other products like skincare) then I’m not sure it’s worth it!


    1. says: Jaa

      True, for some people I can see how they’d rather spend money on one thing that works from the get-go. But then they are people like me who live for mixing. LOL. And people who can’t for the life of them find a good foundation match with the right coverage. I think this product appeals to those people the most. :D

  13. says: Kelly

    I am so glad you did a review on this product. I had not even thought about how it might interact negatively with skincare products or that you can use it to lighten/darken other foundations.

  14. says: popsicle13

    This is very interesting way to customize foundation shades and I think it looks great with Koh Gen Do. I have seen mix reviews about this product it’s great that you found the way to make it works

    thx you for your review

  15. I think this is a very interesting product, it could really be helpful for anyone who gets darker throughout the summer and finds the Giorgio Armani Liquid Summer too bronze / shimmery! Great review as usual, Jaa! All of my questions were answered! :D

  16. says: Ingrid

    This is the best and most in-depth review I read on this product so far. I’d kind of already decided it’s not for me, not because it doesn’t sound good, but more because I’m way to lazy to mix my base products. Great review!

    1. says: Jaa

      Thanks, Ingrid! I see what you mean! Some people prefer finding a great base that matches their skin to begin with! No messing around! Hehe

  17. I don’t like these and wouldn’t recommend them.
    They are like a dry oil or something and don’t mix well with water products or moisturisers or primers that have a lot of water or silicone. They oxidise weirdly in certain mediums and get lighter in others.. so strange and I didn’t find an increase in coverage either. Just made the product go tan and then drying. Weird stuff but a good idea. Not worth the price tag.

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