Now this is a long one, but…okay I have no excuse. It’s just a long ol’ review.
Since the age of about fourteen I’ve suffered from acne. Now hopefully most of you will know the difference between teenage and hormonal spots and actual acne. There is a difference, and for those of us who suffer with acne, it’s a big one. For one thing acne is a full time condition. There is no such thing as ‘time of the month’ spots – they just join in the party sometimes. There is no such thing has ‘t-zone’ spots. Acne doesn’t stay contained in a neat area, it goes pretty much wherever it wants – the back, cheeks, chest, legs, even stomach at times. It’s painful. It looks bad, and one of the worst things is that it leaves scars even if you manage to clear most of it up.
Right now, at this specific moment, my skin is the best it’s ever been. I have a few small break outs on my cheeks and chin, but because of prescription drugs and using a face wash that works for me, my face looks miles better than it used to. However, I’ve still have red circular scars that cover my whole face, and drug store concealers aren’t always brilliant at covering them.
I decided to go all out and try something different this time. I went professional. Ever wondered what products makeup artists actually use when they’re not lying to magazines? Ever wondered how actors have such a flawless complexion in films, and cover up that weird tattoo of their ex’s name? It’s all to do with companies like Keromask, Veil, Covermark and Dermacolor.
These are the manufactures of hardcore concealers and foundations, and they are not cheap. Luckily, I found a site that sold their sample kits and decided to try out a few. Lets start with Keromask London.
You could choose from three tones, light, medium or dark. I chose light, because I’m a whitey. It came in a Velcro secured folder with fifteen very small samples, and two before and after photos. One showed a woman with vitiligo around her eyes and the dramatic difference the cream made in concealing this. The other showed a man with…something wrong with his face…I guess, so they gave him a hat. He seemed happy enough.
The instructions said to mix the colours on the back of your hand and then match to your skin tone. It also said to use professional brushes, but I don’t have any, so I used my beauty blender (yeah yeah, it’s actually just a cheaper copy, get off my back) instead.
After a long application of blending and colour matching I applied the translucent finishing powder.
Overall, I wasn’t impressed.
This feels thick on your skin, and honestly, it looks it. When I asked my mum what she thought the first thing she said was how cakey my face looked, and this was after dabbing on only two layers. It felt heavy and greasy on my face, and most disappointingly of all didn’t really cover my scars that well. It also highlighted the small breakouts that I did have, which I don’t think anyone really wants in a concealer. For a brand that supposed to be used to cover up things like vitiligo, I can’t see this working on Caucasian people with the condition as it failed to even slightly cover up the small mole on my chin.
A bottle of this stuff is £15 and seeing as you’d probably have to mix two colours to match your skin tone, splashing out on a good foundation would be money better spent.
Wiping away my tears of disappointment I moved on to Veil cover cream.
This kit opened up showing little testimonials with catchy titles like ‘Brian’s birthmark’ and ‘Javeria’s Vitilgo’, with everyone saying how much they liked Veil Cover Cream. It also claimed to cover up tattoos, so I was expecting some seriously heavy-duty stuff.
It was immediately apparent how much lighter this cream was compared to the Keromask stuff. Online advice said to apply a light layer and set it with the powder before applying another layer. I started with the greenish toned cream mixed with a light beige to give me a base layer, before eventually building up to the darker tones. This seemed to work the most effectively and I did actually notice a difference. I could still see my mole but it covered it a little better than Keromask and it didn’t feel heavy on my face, so I could have added more layers. I have no idea if this would really cover tattoos as I don’t have one, but from the reviews I’ve read it seems to do the job.
I was happy with the coverage, but I wouldn’t say I was impressed considering that it still didn’t give coverage that was much better than drug store concealers. Maybe if you were a makeup artist you could make this product sing, but for me it was just like a good foundation. Nice to have around but nothing too awe inspiring.
So moving on. Covermark.
Like the awful shallow person I am, I was the most excited to try Covermark because their sample kit came in a box. Oh man, if they can dish out for a proper box just for their samples, then they must be good. It got better as well.
An actual plastic case! Okay, admittedly I don’t know what happened to number 7. Someone got a little excited filling that one up, but who cares, this looks fancy.
The first thing I noticed was a packet with a makeup base called ‘magic shield’. Was I excited just by the words ‘magic shield’? Yes.
It smelt like nappy rash cream and had the consistency of yogurt, so despite the smell it was actually quite nice to rub into my skin. When it had dried, I started on the foundation.
It wasn’t as easy to blend compared to the other brands, but it built up more easily, and although it had the same coverage as the others, I think it looked the most natural and felt the softest on my skin. It also felt like it was going to stay on all day, and yet it didn’t feel thick or mask like. The finishing powder was awesome, and left my skin looking matte but feeling silky.
Overall, it was like a very very good drug store foundation, and as my mum said, it looked the most natural but still didn’t conceal any better than a good drug store concealer.
So what have I learnt from this very long review? Well, I’ve learnt that either I’m applying this stuff in a way that’s so wrong that I couldn’t have possibly got good results, or that makeup can’t hide all perfections, and that before and after photos are greatly exaggerated.
None of these products were bad, but I had such high expectations and hopeful imaginings of perfect skin, that really even decent coverage wouldn’t have been enough for me. I’ve got drug store products that give me decent coverage, and so when professional makeup isn’t much better, I’m going to be a little harsh on it.
When you have acne, it’s very very difficult to achieve the ‘natural look’. If you want full coverage it’s not going to look as though you’re not wearing makeup. Scars are difficult to cover, and certainly not something you can do quickly with makeup whilst on your morning commute.
I’ve learnt that even though I love the sound of ‘magic’, there isn’t really any when it comes to makeup.
However if any of you guys and dolls have tried one of these products and it’s worked for you I’d really love to hear how you applied it and what it managed to cover. I’ll keep these samples, and maybe give them another try paired with my makeup, but this time, I won’t be expecting miracles.