Cover FX has made a name for itself as the complexion expert—for a full, fail-safe range of shade-matched coverage options, the beauty brand has become an industry go-to. With its global color palette carefully crafted to suit every skin tone—along with its color consistency across various formulations—Cover FX offers infallible foundation options to serve any complexion.
"If you can't find your shade, look to Cover FX," says the brand's chief chemist and co-founder, Victor Casale, who jokes that he would personally get angry with himself if someone couldn't find their shade. "We're about complexions and that's why we started," he noted when we caught up with him to learn about the brand's beginnings as well as what's next.
We were pleasantly surprised by Cover FX's unique coming about and the philanthropic origins that still shape the brand's mission to deliver high-quality, safe, effective products for its consumers. Keep scrolling to discover all the things you never knew about Cover FX.
It Started to Help Patients With Skin Conditions
"We never really intended to start Cover FX," admits Casale when recounting the beauty company's beginnings. "Twelve years ago was more of a prescription-type product." Casale, a founding partner of MAC, had been helping Lee Graff (Cover FX co-founder) formulate makeup for patients with skin conditions at the CosMedic Clinic at Toronto's Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Center. Casale set up a lab and his formulations helped cover up rosacea, psoriasis, vitiligo, eczema, and even burns and were carefully matched to the skin tone of each patient.
I "did it as a service and really appreciated what it did for the patient as a person," he explains, describing how it could have the potential to transform a life. Patients would date again, go out, go back to work. "That's the kind of profound change you can have." Cover FX's roots were in giving back to the community, and it blossomed into a successful beauty brand because people wanted more of it. "Cover FX didn't start because we were a brand from a multinational marketing company," Casale emphasizes. "At MAC, I formulated product to make mostly good-looking people look even better.
At the lab, I was formulating product just for people to feel good about themselves."
It Was Developed With Dermatologists
Because Cover FX's first consumers were patients with skin conditions, Casale was especially careful with his formulations to make sure they were safe and good for the skin. "When I was formulating it, I was very careful about what to put in it," he recounts. "I had 20 plus dermatologists around me vetting everything I was doing."
Casale managed to balance product safety with performance. "As a science guy, as a chemist in the industry, I had a lot of insight as to what I wanted to do as far as performance and color, but working with dermatologists I learned how to manage safety, toxicity, what to put in, and what not to put in."
Casale notes how he was probably one of the first to use anti-inflammatories to reduce redness. To this day, Cover FX prides itself on steering clear of the "inflammatory five": parabens, fragrance, gluten, mineral oil, and talc. Instead, Cover FX's line of products boast redness reducers, emollients, and vitamins. "We're known as a healthy brand that's good for you," says Casale.
Its 40 Unique Shades Are Consistent Across Products
"We're about complexions and that's why we started," explains Casale when discussing the brand's impressive range in skin tone offerings. The Cover FX line offers 40 unique shades that are consistent across its formulations.
Drawing on his years of color matching, Casale created a collection that spans from the lightest shade he's ever matched to the darkest shade he's ever matched. Every shade in between is a step down by 3%. A few years ago, Casale reformulated everything, changing the shading system to neutral, gold, and pink. "You can buy liquid foundation, pressed mineral foundation, and cream foundation in the same shade," says Casale. "So if you're N30, you're N30 across the board. You can buy every product we have in N30, and it's for you."
Its Name Plays on a Formula
"Cover FX was the fourth name we came up with," recalls Casale. "When you're trademarking a name, you come up with ideas, you can't just have one, you have to have many." In terms of the meaning, the brand's name references the company's formulaic beginnings in more ways than one. "The idea was coverage and F stands for foundation and X stands for unknown," Casale explains. "Like in mathematics, X can be anything."
The Products Are Multifunctional
Thanks to the brand's safe formulations and natural palette, many of its products are multipurpose. One of Cover FX's best sellers, the Custom Enhancer Drops, can be used to transform a number of other beauty products. "You can put them on straight, you can put them in your foundation, you can put them in your moisturizer, and your sunscreen," explains Casale. He even recommends putting a bit in the middle of your lip for added dimension to your lipstick or lip gloss.
The Hero Product Is the Full-Coverage Foundation
"Our hero product was the Total Cream Coverage Foundation," says Casale. "It's still one of our best-sellers." With its origins in helping improve complexions and finding the perfect match for every skin tone, this comes as little surprise. "But what we did was we took the shades—we have 40 shades, which is a lot—we morphed it into Pressed Mineral Foundation and Natural Finish Foundation and went into primers and concealers," says Casale of the beauty brand's expansion into a line of hardworking products.
While Cover FX has experienced much growth and success since its early days in a clinic, Casale emphasizes that they still stay true to their original core values of serving the community and providing products that will make users feel good about themselves. "What you see in Sephora is a result of 16 years of efforts," says Casale.
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