September 19, 2013

Cover Girl Clean Whipped Creme Foundation in #320 Creamy Natural and Clean Glow Bronzer in #120 Spices

Is it me, or have drugstore foundations been getting better and better over the last few years? I remember buying my first high-end product (a Bobbi Brown foundation) specifically because I couldn't find a good shade match or reasonably decent texture at the drugstore. Granted, that was about 20 years ago, so most drugstore makeup has improved dramatically in the interim, but I've been taken aback by how many drugstore foundations in particular I've found to be just plainly excellent.

I'm happy to add the new Cover Girl Clean Whipped Creme Foundation to that list.

Cover Girl Clean Whipped Creme Foundation in #320 Creamy Natural
Clean Whipped Creme Foundation in #320 Creamy Natural
It has a "modern" matte texture; the finish is indeed matte, but looks like clean, perfected skin texture rather than dry or powdery. Although it has a cream consistency, it's also incredibly lightweight and airy, and blends into skin flawlessly, leaving no perceptible trace and no tangible sensation, only a smoother appearance. For those who don't enjoy the way foundation feels on their face, then this is a great option.

I found the formulation to be exceedingly sophisticated, very similar to the way in which the Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation feels and interacts when applied. (And also similar to the equally budget-friendly L'Oréal Magic Nude Liquid Powder.) The difference being that it has that initially thicker, creamier consistency, which actually makes it easier to manipulate than a very liquid formulation.

The coverage is light to almost-medium with a second layer, but I would hesitate to build up too much past that point, as it does start looking more obvious and powdery. Like the two other foundations I've compared it to, I find it also does best on normal or slightly combination skin. If you have oiler skin, you'll notice some sheen after a few hours, like I did around my nose. I didn't find the foundation getting patchy, or emphasizing my pores, just looking dewier. A primer or mattifying powder would be enough to control that. For drier skin, you'll notice it will pick up on flakes and dry areas somewhat, though that effect does diminish substantially after an hour or so as the foundation settles. Minus the sheen aspect, the wear was great, lasting me 10 hours with no fading or breaking down.

As you can see, the shade number #320 matched me well, even though it was a randomly provided press sample.

As an aside, this foundation also has no discernible scent, which is a welcome change from previous Cover Girl foundations I've tried.

Cover Girl Clean Whipped Creme Foundation in #320 Creamy Natural
The foundation is blended out on the left, and swatched on the right.
I always enjoy a multi-tasking product, and the three shades available in the Cover Girl Clean Glow promise to do that by offering an ombré range of colours in each palette.

The one I have, in the shade #120 Spices, is specifically marketed as a bronzer as opposed to a blush. I think using it as such would largely depend on your skin tone. The shades range from a pale peach, a nectarine with a strong beige undertone, and a muted redwood. The two lighter shades actually make for a lovely peach blush that looks fresh and natural on my skintone, and would probably be especially flattering on a pale redhead.

The darkest shade is a bit too ruddy for me to wear as a blush, but works when applied to the high planes of my face to mimic the way my skin looks after I've caught some sun. I think for olive skin tones that look sallow in yellow-toned bronzers, this would work beautifully. It could also work as a contour if the traditional taupe makes you look like you have giant bruises instead of high cheekbones.

Cover Girl Clean Glow Bronzer in Spices
Clean Glow in #120 Spices
The packaging promises "lightweight, blendable matte colour", and I think that's accurate. The finish is matte, and the texture is silky-fine and firmly packed, dry and light without being chalky or powdery. It's also inherently quite sheer, though I was able to build up depth without it looking cakey on the skin due to that lightweight texture. (It's also what the model with the ponytail and burgundy eye look was wearing as a contour in this post.)

This is meant to create a natural look, blend in seamless and be relatively foolproof to apply, but if you prefer a dense, creamy texture and strong payoff, then this isn't for you. For deeper skin tones, it will probably be too light and sheer to have much effect.

It has no masking fragrance included, which actually results in a slightly odd smell if you sniff the pan directly, though it's not noticeable at all once applied.

Cover Girl Clean Glow Bronzer in Spices

Availability: Out in most drugstores now, including Jean Coutu and Pharmaprix/SDM. Also available on Prices vary, though 8.99$ for each is the suggested price.

Pros: Both products have a very lightweight feel, and look natural and seamless on the skin. The foundation has a very sophisticated texture that looks like skin, only perfected, and it wears very well overall. The bronzer can be used as blush, bronzer and/or contour, depending on your skin tone.

Cons: Some shine and emphasis on flakiness with the foundation, depending on skin type. Unsuited for very oily or very dry skin. The bronzer is sheer, which makes it unsuited for darker skin or those who prefer more intensity.

(Disclosure: I am a #BeautyUnited blogger. As part of my affiliation with this group, I receive products and special access to P&G events. The opinions on this blog are my own.)


  1. Cover Girl? Really?? This could be a nice option for me since I don't wear foundation often. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I bought something from this brand, except for a lip crayon last spring. :)

    1. I know, right?? I was really impressed by both this and the L'Oreal version of the Maestro. I think the formulations are getting so much better across the board, and it's finally becoming more of an expectation for drugstore makeup to keep up.

    2. Completely agree -- I do find that drugstore makeup in general, not just foundation, has gotten pretty innovative. Before, you would have never been able to find so many matte eyeshadow options or such beautifully complex shimmer; it was always reserved for artist brands like MAC. The progression to higher-quality yet affordable makeup has been so amazing to watch!

    3. Definitely! I only wish that the drugstore prices weren't taking a similar progression. It's shocking how expensive some items have become. A near 20$ foundation is mid-price, not drugstore, to me.


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