Derek Selby of Cover FX Gives Us Makeup Advice for the Perfect Foundation

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A FACE FULL OF MAKEUP is not for everyone; muggy weather, lack of time, and fear of looking too "done up" are a few reasons that women far and wide opt out of foundation's full coverage. But as any cosmetics craver knows, makeup is not there to hide your beauty, but enhance it. That goes for foundation, too: it shouldn't look layered and obvious. It's there to give a great foundation for a great beauty look. And Cover FX is one of the best brands out to give you confidence in a compact. With a range of 30 unique shades that can be worn alone or blended for your skin's perfect match, Cover FX sticks to what it knows best: primers, foundations, concealers, and powders that bring out the best in your skin. Formulated by Victor Casalechemist and founding partner of MAC — Cover FX is more than "cover up." We recently chatted with Derek Selby, lead makeup artist for the concealer giant at the company's New York City launch party about the brand's origins, why it's better than that talc-filled base you're using, and how easy it is to achieve your own flawless finish.

Q:

How exactly was Cover FX developed and what makes it different from other foundation lines?

A:

We were developed in Sunnybrook Hospital [in Toronto] Dermatology for really sensitive skin… we were actually developed for people that have rosacea and acne, specifically. So, gentleness is what we do…. you have to think of this as treating whatever the issue is, but we're covering it in a natural way. We don't have any of the bad ingredients, and then, we have soothing, skin-loving ingredients in it. So it looks pretty. And what also is a great point is if you have a blemish or a demarcation, or even shine, what happens is people look at that, instead of your gorgeous eyes, your smile. That's what we try to do. We try to cover up the imperfections and play up the beautiful features… It's confidence in a compact. That's what we do!

Q:

You have a wide range of foundation shades at Cover FX. Explain how they're categorized.

A:

There are three shade series. The first here is our P series, which is pink. You'll notice that there is a letter and a number, in this case, P50. P means pink, and the lower the number, the lighter the shade. So here, we have from P20 up to P50. So fair pink skin up to deeper pink skin. That would be your English, Irish, Scottish, British undertones, [which] typically are pink. Then we have our N series. N is neutral, and N goes from N10 up to N110. So you can see we have a huge range here — this is where we have a majority of the population fall. [It's] equal parts of pink and yellow. If I put on a neutral, my skin likes the pink, it throws off yellow. Then we have our G series, which is golden and has a yellow undertone. So, from G10 up to our deepest shade, G80.

Q:

We're entering into winter, which we all know can dry out skin, no matter what type. What's a product you can recommend from Cover FX to keep oil at bay but still prevent the skin from drying out?

A:

This formula is a pressed mineral foundation. The formula contains Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and green tea, which is an antioxidant cocktail, so it helps to neutralize environmental damage. It also have Vitamin F, which comes from squash. It's an omega-3 fatty acid, which is great for dry skin. But everything in Cover FX is oil-free, fragrance-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, talc-free. All the bad stuff's gone.

Q:

Talk about talc. Why is that a "no" when it comes to picking the right foundation?

A:

Traditionally, what's used in powder foundations is talc. Talc is also a mineral. It's very soft; it's what's used in baby powder, and it's used in all kinds of cosmetics. It's not a bad ingredient — it gets a bad rap. What's great about talc is it's oil-absorbing… but it's also light absorbing, so you tend to look flat. And talc is white. So, on darker skin, it looks ashy. When I take talc, and put talc beside mica, you'll see right away, it's white [and] it's absorbing the light.

Q:

So mica is the way to go when finding a shade that best matches your tone?

A:

A lot of cosmetics companies will use mica in their products. This is mica [rubs powdered mica onto his hand], which is a mineral. And we know it as glitter or shimmer. Very disco-ey. Mica's a mineral. So, it's basically a rock that is processed, basically just refined, and this is what it looks like. Literally, with mica, you can take it and peel off the layers, and you can crush it up, and you'll get glitter, the raw product. What we've done, is we have taken mica and micronized it. It's processed so that it is ultra-fine. [Derek demonstrates Cover FX's processed mica by rubbing a line next to raw mica]. This is the same ingredient, the exact same ingredient. So when you see on a box, mica, mica, is not necessarily the same as mica, is mica, is mica. It might be the actual ingredient, but how it's processed is totally different. Same ingredient, but what you see here [points to Cover FX mica] is that it looks more luminous on the skin, it doesn't look glittery. It's blurring imperfections and it's bouncing light away from the complexion so that it doesn't look "disco."

Take a look at a few of our favorite offerings from Cover FX and work your way to a great (beauty) foundation now.

Total Cover Cream Foundation (shown in N100), $42 | Powder Brush, $42 | Cream Foundation Brush, $38 | Matte Setting Powder (shown in Medium), $32 | Illuminating Setting Powder (shown in Light), $32 | Conceal FX Camouflage Concealer (now available in 12 shades), $27