Hopes were high for these drops, probably not just mine, as it's one of the very rare such products in our drugstores. 90% of the time I mix my foundations because a majority of my good foundations are too dark for my pale skin and the ones that actually fit me, suck (Maybelline, Rimmel, Manhattan). So I mix them together and get a semi-decent foundation. I was dead set on getting this, even though as soon as I saw it on Instagram Stories from the German Essence event, I had my doubts about it. Two versions exist - the Lightening one and the Darkening one. I'm not sure about the tone of the Darkening one, I hear it's not the best, but the Lightening is yellow and actually not that light. I don't think I've ever seen a yellow version of such a product and most are much lighter, usually white. Considering most of my dark foundation are warm toned, this wasn't a good start.
Texture: The drops isn't the best name for this product, since they aren't actually that watery, instead they are a light foundation type of texture. They start light, but once you start rubbing them on the skin, they feel slightly greasy. On their own these have a sheer to light coverage and if Catrice were really serious about creating a lightening product, they should have added more pigment. I have to use a lot of the product for it to have an effect, with certain foundations the ratio can be even greater than 1:1, so forget about the idea of adding a drop of it to make the foundation lighter. What this results in is that it messes with the actually texture of the foundation. In some cases it makes the foundation more obvious on the face, then sometimes it adds that little bit of greasiness to it to make it less flat matte looking. But the biggest change these drops do is that they almost completely destroy the staying power of any foundation. By the end of the day, when I'm taking my makeup off with a micellar water, the cotton pad has very little traces of foundation.
What I wonder is why didn't Catrice just use the formula of their HD Liquid Coverage because that foundation has a lot of coverage for a very light texture and then the product would actually be drops.
Shade: It's about the same shade as Nars' concealer in Chantilly, about two shades lighter than my lightest foundations (Maybelline Fit Me 110 and Revlon Colorstay Ivory) and it's tinted yellow. Because of the light texture, I discovered these basically almost fit my skin tone (about a shade lighter) and I can wear it as a tinted moisturiser. I really think these should be lighter and I wish they had a pink version too, so I could make foundation more neutral (most of my dark foundations are warm).
I've tried them with most my dark foundations:
- Milani Conceal + Perfect 01 (about NC30, very yellow): it lightens it about one-two shades which is not enough and I still can't wear it. Also the yellow on yellow when it comes to undertone, doesn't help either.
- Beyu Nutri Power Foundation 10 (about NC25, warm): still not quite enough lightening and it affects the texture of foundation, as it makes it more obvious and it basically destroys the staying power (Nutri has a great staying power on its own).
- L'Oreal Infallible 24h Matte 10 Porcelain: these are a great match. Porcelain is pink, so the drops neutralise it and lighten it enough, plus the pore hiding capabilities remain. This is the only good combination I've found so far.
- Catrice HD Liquid Coverage 010: surprisingly a weird combination. It made the foundation sit strange on the skin, but it lightened it enough. Ironic these don't work with a foundation from the same brand.
- Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum 51: ruined the natural finish of the foundation, but it lightened it enough, however the yellow undertone remained too strong. The reason I wear this foundation is the invisible finish, so this is a no-go combination.
- Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream 31: Makes it a very glowy foundation, but lightens it enough. It makes it wear funny, almost like you've overdone on a highlighting primer on an uneven texture. Again not a fan.
Packaging: The drops are stored in a classic tube with a precise nozzle, so I have no complaints here. However, it's only 15 ml of product and considering how much I need to use with every foundation, these won't last long.
Price and availability: These are sold in drugstores for 3.49 €.
Yay or nay? I don't know. It's not like we any other choice here in Slovenia. Alverde has something, but I hear it's got a thick formula that effects foundations texture. Catrice's Drops lack pigmentation and are capable of lightening for about one-two shades, they also greatly affects staying power. It works really well with L'Oreal's foundation, but so far I'm not a fan of other combinations. I still prefer mixing my foundations with other foundations over with this, so a light one with a dark one and of course always a pink one with a yellow one because I have a neutral skin tone, so for these to work they need more pigmentation, to be lighter and too be available in both yellow and pink undertone.
Recently I got The Body Shops Adjusting Drops in Lightening. It's a far superior product in my eyes. Not only does it lighten significantly better and you need to use a lot less, it also does not affect the texture of the foundations as much and original staying power remains. The only thing that is worse is the packaging, which drives you insane. If you're really pale and struggle to find foundations like me, so you're not just looking for something that'll lighten your summer foundation for one shade, try to get your hands on TBS drops. You'll be much happier. I'll have a review in a few weeks once I properly test them with all my foundations.