It’ll be interesting to see if the budget-friendly base makeup in Covo Cosmetics gives you luxe for less

by Paris B on · 16 comments

in Cheap and Good?,Foundation,Loose Powder,Makeup,New on shelves,Powder,Product Reviews

Reviewed by:
On July 22, 2013
Last modified:July 22, 2013


New brands in the cosmetics market always pique the interest, especially if they come in with a wallet-friendly pricetag. Ditto a brand that is homegrown. My only concern with homegrown brands is their longevity. Its hard to compete with the big players out there!

Not too long ago, I was introduced to local brand Covo Cosmetics and I told you about their affordable 3-Free nail polish. Expanding my horizons a little further, I’ll be exploring some of their other offerings starting with what they say are their bestsellers – the HD Picturesque Liquid Foundation, HD Picturesque Loose Powder and HD Picturesque Primer. The latter doesn’t interest me, as I don’t use primer at all so I’m afraid you’ll have to figure that one out for yourself.

covo foundation powder2 Itll be interesting to see if the budget friendly base makeup in Covo Cosmetics gives you luxe for less

Well how about that – an affordable HD quality base!

I will tell you that scepticism aside, one of the 2 items did made me pause and go “Hmm… this isn’t too bad!” The other, had me go “OMG! This looks just like something I own from YSL!”

Shade selection is a little limited but they do serve most local Asian skintones quite well – not too light and most certainly not too pink. Importantly, how well do they perform?

Well, let’s say that they do perform well enough. Both products.

Covo HD Picturesque Liquid Foundation SPF10 – RM89

covo foundation spotlight Itll be interesting to see if the budget friendly base makeup in Covo Cosmetics gives you luxe for less

I am pretty fussy about liquid foundation. I prefer something lightweight without too high coverage that you can use daily and to my surprise, this one does fit that bill. The HD Picturesque Liquid Foundation comes in quite elegant packaging, reminiscent of the Urban Decay Naked Skin liquid foundation. The slim packaging is portable and the pump dispenser makes it easy to use.

Texture wise, it is quite creamy and offers sheer to medium coverage depending on how much you apply and how you layer it. It is very lovely and lightweight which I like because in our heat and humidity, heavy foundations are a no-no. What I do is apply a thin layer of this foundation all over (half a pump suffices!) then touch up areas that need concealing with a little concealer. It evens out the redness in skin and gives it a good finish.

My gripe with this therefore is colour. There are currently 4 shades available – Spotlight, Nude, Glow and Sunkissed. Spotlight is the lightest shade, but it most certainly isn’t light enough for me. That said, I am the minority in the local market so really, I’m not the benchmark. Its just a little frustrating if you do share my foundation shades and want to try this because you may find that it gives you a little more colour than you like. Here’s a comparison with other foundations I wear. Shades vary, but they all fit my skintone.

covo foundation swatch Itll be interesting to see if the budget friendly base makeup in Covo Cosmetics gives you luxe for less

(1) Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum #51 Light Vanilla (2) Covo Cosmetics HD Picturesque Liquid Foundation – Spotlight (3) Diorsnow Liquid Foundation 010 Ivory (4) Revlon Colorstay Makeup #200 Nude (4) Urban Decay Naked Skin liquid foundation 1.0

Colourwise I find that the Covo Spotlight foundation has stronger peachy tones as compared to the rest I use which have a more neutral tone to the foundation. It is sheer enough so it doesn’t leave me with an orange face but because of this, it also doesn’t leave me with the sort of lovely glow that I get with a foundation with a more neutral tone.

Longevity isn’t too bad. I wore it without primer and got it to last most of the day on me. It started to fade by late afternoon so if you use a primer, naturally, you can expect it to wear a little bit longer. What I appreciate is that it isn’t heavy, too opaque or too fake looking on skin. It has a nice transparency that is found in the higher end foundations which I find quite impressive since it doesn’t come with a hefty price tag, and it isn’t drying.

I will say that it doesn’t replace any of the ones I love nor does it give me the sort of beautiful finish that I’m used to from my other foundations but it isn’t bad for a product in this price range and definitely worth a look, if budget is a concern.

Covo Cosmetics HD Picturesque Loose Powder – RM89

covo loose powder Itll be interesting to see if the budget friendly base makeup in Covo Cosmetics gives you luxe for less

Remember I said that one of the products made me think of YSL? This is the one. It could also remind you of Smashbox or any other brand that makes a grinding loose powder. My experience thus far has only been with YSL which I happen to love with every little itty bit of my being. I haven’t reviewed it here but I can if there’s enough interest (since we don’t get YSL locally anymore)

This one is the offering from Covo – a very portable loose powder because you only grind how much you need when you need it. It comes with a pretty serviceable brush so touch ups on the go are entirely possible. You don’t really hear me say this about a lot of included brushes and applicators but yes, this one does the job.

covo loose powder2 Itll be interesting to see if the budget friendly base makeup in Covo Cosmetics gives you luxe for less

So, what don’t I like about this loose powder? A few things.

The shade in Spotlight is even deeper than that of the liquid foundation and leaves a noticeable warmer cast to my skin. This is not a translucent powder, more like a layering or touch up powder for when you want to touch up your base in the day. If you layer the powder over the foundation, you get a pretty good finish too. But remember, I said I am in the minority when it comes to skintone so I’d discount that for now.

The other thing I wasn’t taken with was the fact that when I opened the box, I noticed that the case looked a bit powdery. I didn’t clean it up very much so you can see the powder bits around the edges of the case. What I noticed therefore was that somehow, the powder had leaked out, even though the grinder had not been turned. This leads me to believe that the product isn’t very compactly pressed, so the grinding mechanism isn’t supposed to grind the powder to create the loose powder, but to act more as a dispenser. In this regard therefore, I wasn’t too impressed. There was just too much product dispensed each time, because you really only need a very thin layer of powder on your skin without it looking cakey and you potentially end up with wastage and a dusty makeup bag.

The final thing I wasn’t happy with was the smell. The powder has a musty smell that drives me nuts because it smells, for want of a better word, cheap. I used it just twice – once to test and once for the photos you see here but I will not use it again.

Texture wise, it isn’t as fine milled as the other loose and pressed powders I’ve used and whilst it probably is unfair comparing it to the YSL powder, I couldn’t help it because it just looks so similar. Let’s just say that its like night and day. I’d happily repurchase one despite the price, but I’ll never use this one again.

For the sake of completeness, here’s how they look on me.

covo foundation powder1 Itll be interesting to see if the budget friendly base makeup in Covo Cosmetics gives you luxe for less

The Spotlight foundation is a little warmer than the foundation shades I usually use, but you may be able to see how it evens out skin quite nicely, covering up redness where it matters. The coverage is sheer-medium as you can probably tell. Add on a layer of the loose powder and the coverage is a little better and the finish is more matte. However, it also adds warmth to my skintone that dulls it somewhat.

In a nutshell

The Covo HD Picturesque Liquid Foundation and HD Picturesque Loose Powder are 2 products which I’m told are their bestsellers. I think the liquid foundation is worth a look if budget is a concern. The coverage is sheer-medium and does a pretty good job at evening out the skintone and is transparent enough that it doesn’t look fake or cakey on skin. You also only need quite little, about half a pump for a natural finish. If any of the shades suit you, its worth looking at because the quality is pretty good. The loose powder is more of a complementary product to the liquid foundation or a touch up product. I would have preferred it to be a translucent loose powder instead of being tinted. However, I don’t like it because the packaging seems to leak product, there is a strong powdery scent, the shade selection doesn’t suit my skintone and it isn’t as fine milled as I was hoping it will be. You could skip it and never miss it in your life.

Pros: Liquid foundation has a nice lightweight texture and sheer to medium coverage that is reminiscent of something of a slightly higher pricetag, Liquid foundation isn’t drying and doesn’t turn oily nor does it slip off and fade on my skin (without primer)

Cons: Loose powder smells funny and the packaging leaks powder, Loose powder isn’t very fine milled and the shade selection suits those of medium skintone and deeper only

Who will like this: Anyone on a budget who is looking for a sheer to medium coverage liquid foundation that looks natural and feels lightweight on skin

Have you tried any of these Covo products or other Covo products?

If the foundation shade had been a touch more neutral I’d be happy to put it into my foundation drawer and keep it on rotation as the quality does belie the price tag (Yes, I do have a foundation drawer and the foundations in there are the only ones getting any love from me hehe…) But since the shade is off, I can’t. As for that loose powder, hmm… no, just no icon razz Itll be interesting to see if the budget friendly base makeup in Covo Cosmetics gives you luxe for less

Paris B

Covo Cosmetics HD Picturesque Liquid Foundation SPF10 Price: RM89/30ml HD Picturesque Loose Powder SPF10 Price: RM89/17g Availability: Covo counters – Sunway Pyramid, One Utama, The Mines, Berjaya Times Square, AEON Mid Valley

Disclosure: Featured product was a press sample for consideraton. For posting guidelines please read my disclaimer

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[ 16 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

July 22, 2013 at 9:20 am

I was quite interested in the loose powder until you mentioned that it smells “cheap”. I know that smell and its something that I really don’t like!! At that price I’m sure that there are other options available that smell better! :P
Jenn recently blogged…Product Review: The Body Shop Vitamin E Sink-In Moisture MaskMy Profile


Paris B
July 22, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Yes when I smelled the powder I knew I could never like it and I think you know exactly what I mean about that cheap smell! Otherwise, it would have been quite a nice powder to tote around. But then maybe my nose is over sensitive :P


Evan Chang
July 22, 2013 at 11:16 am

I have the same problems as well!
They don’t have a lighter shade!


Paris B
July 22, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Pity right? It is actually a pretty good foundation otherwise! Then again, we are probably in the minority when it comes to shades haha!


Firn July 22, 2013 at 11:53 am

I actually think the liquid foundation alone looks good on you! Almost as good as your Lunasol Skin Modeling foundation. I don’t really notice any colour difference between your face and neck (my biggest foundation pet peeve).

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the YSL loose powder (not like I need another tub, since I already own 2 from Lunasol. One is a sample size…).


Paris B
July 22, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Thanks Firn! Its not as flawless as the Lunasol one but its almost there and at that pricetag I really won’t be complaining :) Once you blend it out it works but in person just doesn’t give me the glow I have come to expect :) Oh and I love that YSL powder! I’ll get to it – if you like portability, you’d LOVE it :D


July 22, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Yay for more local brands! I always wondered why there weren’t many local brands in SG/MY, since makeup and beauty in general is so “big here”. I was eyeing the loose powder ’til you commented on the smell, yucks. Smell really puts me off in products.

x Renee

P.S. You don’t even need makeup! Your skin looks amazing bare! :)
Renee recently blogged…Clinique Says, If It Ain’t Broke, Fix It Anyway!My Profile


Paris B
July 22, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Aww thank you Renee! :) And yes, yay for local brands! I always do wonder why so few local brands actually make it but I think a lot of it has to do with local consumers’ preferences. We tend to prefer looking outwards rather than inwards, don’t you agree? ;) Oh and yeah, they should have done something about the smell. Spoils an otherwise interesting product!


Firn July 22, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Now I’m itching to go look at the YSL one…
Firn recently blogged…Art of the Touchup: baseMy Profile


Paris B
July 24, 2013 at 11:54 am

Fortunately, its permanent! ;)


Jyoan July 22, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Wow! I didn’t know you are that much fairer. I am UD 4.0. You are 1.0. Wow. haha, no wonder you say that you are not the the norm.

I think I’d probably find a match in this brand. I normally do, because I am in the middle of everything.

But I am not a foundation person, so, probably no to Covo as well.
Jyoan recently blogged…e.l.f Blush in Candid CoralMy Profile


Paris B
July 24, 2013 at 11:55 am

Haha yes, 0.5 is practically WHITE! LOL But the SA at the counter agreed with me that 1.0 was the best bet too and I think even she was surprised LOL :D I do think the foundation in Covo is a good match for most. Just not the very fair


Ting July 23, 2013 at 10:13 am

It does look rather peachy. Reminded me of Bobbi Brown’s corrector. Somehow in your full face shot, you don’t look a tiny bit Oompa Loompa. :p

How do you tell if the foundation has faded, by the way?


Paris B
July 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Thankfully it doesn’t turn me into an Oompa Loompa but it definitely is noticeably warmer. Usually, if a foundation has faded, I will see my skin looking less than perfect e.g. in the morning, it looks smooth and nice, and by evening, it looks patchy. Some foundations do that, most good ones won’t.


Leonard Goh July 28, 2013 at 3:15 pm

For budget foundation i like Revlon Colorstay foundation =) Matte fninsh , long lasting , high coverage and affordable =) it’s sweat-proof and water-proof so it’s perfect for humid weather <3


Paris B
July 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Good choice, Leonard! I have to agree with you about Revlon, since trying it recently. Quite impressive!


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