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The Blog

Approachable inspiration for a stylish life. 


Spend or Save: Shade Adjusting Drops from The Body Shop

Kristen Berry

It happens every summer and every winter – I look in the mirror one day to find that the foundation I’ve been faithfully wearing all season no longer matches my tanned or untanned skin. What if instead of having to buy a new foundation, I could simply pluck a jar from my medicine cabinet and add a drop of liquid to transform my makeup to the perfect shade?

Intriguing concept, right?That was my reaction when I received a package from the kind PR folks for The Body Shop, containing their new Shade Adjusting Drops. The drops are available in two shades, one to lighten and one to darken foundation to create your ideal color.

I couldn’t wait to put them to the test. I did have an initial reservation, though – the bottles are sold separately, at $20 a pop. But if it works, and you have a collection of numerous foundations to lighten or darken, it might be worth it, right?

The product is very easy to use. I applied a few drops of a foundation that’s a bit too light to the back of my hand. I then used the dropper to add one drop of the darkening shade adjuster. I mixed the two with my fingers, and applied it to my face.

The resulting color was indeed a ½ shade darker than the original foundation, and if you add more of the adjusting drops, you can create an even deeper shade. The drops also blended perfectly with the foundation, creating an even color and consistency.

Did the drops actually create the perfect shade? Unfortunately, no. The finished color looked a bit – gray, noticeably ashy. Which is ironic, because in addition to deepening the foundation color, one of the promises of the darkening drops is that it will help combat ashy tones in your makeup.

I tried adding the lightening drops to a too-dark foundation in my makeup kit, and I found that the finished product had a similar grayish hue.

The thing is, our skin tones are different in many ways, beyond just their lightness and darkness. Some of us have golden undertones. Some have cooler undertones. Others are more neutral. In order for a foundation to be perfect for us, it has to match those undertones, in addition to the darkness or lightness of our skin.

So while the concept behind this product is brilliant, I’m not sure that it works in practice – especially at $20/bottle.

If you’re looking for a new foundation, and you’re in the market for a higher-end product, I highly recommend going to Sephora and asking for a few samples of foundations in multiple shades. That way you can test drive the makeup – in terms of color, as well as wear, coverage and overall feel – in your everyday life over the course of a few days to see if it really suits you. If you’re more of a drugstore makeup gal, at worst, you spend $10 or less each on a couple of foundations until you find the right one. And if you’re somewhere in between two shades, you’re not spending an arm and a leg if you need to buy them both and mix them.

While this is a “save” versus a “spend” for me, I hope the folks at The Body Shop continue to explore how to solve key beauty pain points like these.