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Clinique BIY Pigment Drops: Swatches, Review and Comparison to the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops.

Hello! I hope you are all well and excited about the long weekend! I’ve been waiting for this break with much excitement, to be honest. I finally get to have more time in my hands to catch up with so many things I’ve been postponing due to how busy life has become recently. One of these things is the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops review! I’ve been testing out these pigment drops for a few weeks now, as I wanted this review to be as accurate as possible. Here go my thoughts.

Clinique BIY Pigment Drops Close up

Clinique BIY Pigment Drops

CONCEPT, claims AND HOW TO USE the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops

The concept behind the launch of the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops is to give us the ability to create our own custom foundation or, as it says on the Clinique website, to transform our moisturiser into a BB or CC cream, or a full coverage foundation.

The tiny, plastic bottle contains 10 gr of product. However, Clinique claims that we only need a tiny bit in order to achieve custom coverage. Assuming we have a regular amount of moisturiser (I’d say a pea size or one pump), with one drop, we get a tinted moisturiser. This will be light coverage, of course; just a nice base that’ll even our skin tone but won’t cover much else. Add another drop, and we get to medium coverage. With three drops, we get a full coverage foundation with the skincare ingredients we choose.

This sounds amazing and Clinique was not the first one to innovate this way. I’m sure many of you are familiar with the Cover FX Custom Drops (to be found here). A comparison of the two will follow, but bear in mind that the concept is identical. It is advised that the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops are best combined with Clinique moisturisers, but that’s just marketing. You can use your very own moisturiser to mix with these drops.

Clinique BIY Pigment Drops

The brand new Clinique BIY Pigment Drops is house in a tiny, squeezable container

As you are able to customise this product the way you want, you also have the ability to go for a matte or dewy finish. It all depends on the moisturiser you’ll mix this with and your general skincare. As such, consider this to be a product for all skin types.

my thoughts

I tried the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops many times in various ways, namely mixed with:

  • A lighter tone foundation to adjust its colour
  • My moisturiser
  • A primer
  • Primer and highlighter
Clinique BIY Pigment Drops close up on container

Clinique BIY Pigment Drops

After a few trials, my conclusion was that this product performs well, when combined appropriately.  I did not see the point of using these drops with a foundation to alter or adjust the shade of the latter. Although I succeeded in adjusting the shade, I ended up making that foundation fuller coverage, it looked heavier and was less long-lasting. You can achieve a good effect with this method in terms of creating a high coverage base, but it’s definitely not something I would advise, as it didn’t work great for me.

In any case, the product is intended to be used primarily with moisturisers. Used with my trusted Perricone MD oil-free moisturiser, the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops perform well enough on me:

Clinique BIY Pigment Drops in 120 mixed with moisturiser on hand close up

Three drops of Clinique BIY Pigment Drops with some of my Perricone Moisturiser

In my effort to create a full coverage base, I mixed three drops of the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops with my moisturiser. This is what I achieved:

Me without any make-up

Clinique BIY Pigment Drops shade 120 on face

Me with the mixture of the three Clinique BIY Pigment Drops (shade 120) and my moisturiser

If you look at the before and after, you can clearly see that the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops brightened my face and evened my skin tone. However, I could still see some spots peaking through and especially around my chin, some concealing was definitely needed. Conclusion: you don’t get full coverage with three drops. Depending on your skin, you will need 5-6 drops for proper full coverage. I guess, if your skin is perfect three drops are enough. But if you have serious pigmentation to cover, expect to need more than three drops for sure.

Here’s me after adding a couple more drops to the mix:

Five drops of the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops mixed with moisturiser on face

Wearing my regular moisturiser with five drops of the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops (shade 120)

I’d call that full coverage, but still looking natural. For a porcelain doll effect, you’ll need more product, but for me I’d say that’s full coverage now.

Mixed with my moisturiser, the coverage lasts around 5 hours and then I see redness picking through my nose and my spots look uncovered. At that stage I get quite oily too and need to blot. After the eight hour mark, I still have foundation on but it doesn’t look fresh anymore. My make-up lasts well on top of the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops for around 8 hours.

I will be honest. The Clinique BIY Pigment Drops combined with moisturiser are just ok for me. They last ok but I get oily easier than with some other foundations that I have (used on top of the same moisturiser). They cover ok, but I need three drops for medium coverage. And third, doing the mixing every morning isn’t the fastest process in the world. So, there are a lot of “ok”s here, and I need more than that.


Mixed with my primer, this product works very well! I stand by the view that three drops don’t give you full coverage, but any of my primers mixed with the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops gives me great results in terms of longevity and smoothness. For example, the Coconut Primer by Marc Jacobs (reviewed here) combined with the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops, gives me 8 hour coverage and I get way less oily. I have to admit, I enjoyed this combo a lot, my skin looked fresh and my make-up lasted well. If you add a bit of highlighter in the mix, the results are still good.

shade selection and swatches

I was amazed to see that Clinique came up with 13 shades for the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops, most of which are quite dark! I was initially matched to 120 (all photos above are shade 120), which I think is too dark and had to take it down to my neck or sheer it out a lot. However, shade 115 works great for me and it’s the third lightest shade. Paler skin tones have another two options: 105 and 110. In general, most shades are quite dark.

Clinique BIY Pigment Drops Shades 120, 115 and 110 swatches on hand

From left to right: Clinique BIY Pigment Drops Shades 120, 115 and 110 swatched

As you can see, the consistency of this product is quite runny and liquid-like. It however sets well and I don’t need to powder.

Clinique BIY Pigment Drops Shade 120 swatch on hand

Clinique BIY Pigment Drops Shade 120

Here’s a full look with the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops:

Clinique BIY Pigment Drops shade 120 on face

Wearing the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops in shade 120, sheered out and mixed with my primer

On my eyes I have the Marc Jacobs Matte Highliner in Blacquer (reviewed here) and on my cheeks I have the Marc Jacobs Coconut Bronzer and Highlighter (reviewed here). On my lips I have the Bobbi Brown Art Stick Liquid Lip in Havana Coral (reviewed here) and the eyeshadow is a surprise (review will follow soon!)

comparison: Clinique BIY Pigment Drops VS cover fx custom cover drops

I have the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops in two shades, which I need to mix to get my perfect match when I’m at my palest (which is the case right now).

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops in G30 and G40 swatched on hand

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops in G30 and G40

You can immediately see from the photos that the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops are a bit   thicker than the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops. The claim is similar to Clinique; if you mix this pigment with your moisturiser you get full coverage with three drops and light coverage with one drop. In this case, the claim absolutely holds.

moisturiser mixed with the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops (G30 and G40 combined)

My moisturiser mixed with the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops (three drops, G30 and G40 combined)

Moisturiser mixed with the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops (G30 and G40 combined)

Moisturiser blended with with the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops (G30 and G40 combined)

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops (G30 and G40 combined) on face

Me wearing the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops (G30 and G40 combined)

That’s such full coverage that I needed no concealing. This make-up lasted well all day and I only needed to blot once, which is great.

If I were to summarise my thoughts, the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops are very different to the Cover FX Custom Drops. Expense-wise, the first cost £25 for 10gr of product and the second cost £36 for 15ML. So, it’s quite similar in this aspect, but you need more Clinique BIY Pigment Drops than Cover FX Custom Cover Drops to achieve full coverage. To add to that, Clinique’s shade range is more limited (13 shades vs Cover FX’s 24), but in my experience I can find a good match without having to combine two shades, as I need to do with Cover FX.

I’d say that the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops are a wonderful product for those that are after medium coverage and a more skin-like effect. I like this product combined with my primer though, not with my moisturiser. Cover FX Custom Cover Drops can be more reliably combined with moisturiser and are more long-lasting on me, but the effect is not as natural and skin-like (even when sheered out). They’d be a better option for those of you that love full coverage and want a more thick pigment. A little can indeed go a long way.

final thoughts

I like the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops, although I don’t think it’s a ground breaking product. I’m normally after medium, skin-like coverage and I can get that by mixing two drops of the pigment drops with my primer, thus, avoiding an extra layer of foundation. I feel my skin getting a bit more oily than usual though, which I wish wasn’t the case.

You can get the Clinique BIY Pigment Drops on the official  Clinique website or at your local Clinique counter. Given the shade range, I’d advise you to visit a store and take a sample to try at home before purchasing.

I hope you found this review helpful. Are you interested in this product? Do you like creating your foundation or you prefer the ease of using regular foundations? Let me know what you think.

For those celebrating, I hope you all have a great Easter/long weekend. I will speak to all of you soon!





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  1. LindaLibraLoca April 15, 2017

    It sounds as if the CoverFX ones would be more to my liking, but I usually skip moisturizer completely in summer. I wonder how they work mixed in with SPF?
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted…Instytutum Anti-wrinkle Brightening Serum – Mountain streams

    • rougenapples April 15, 2017 — Post Author

      That’s a very good question! My moisturiser has SPF 30 and it doesn’t change the shade at all, or affect the drops in any way, but I haven’t tested that with higher SPF or a more heavy duty one so far. Cover FX is more matte and pigmented, but looks a bit more dry on my skin. Saying that, it’s super long-lasting. Xx

  2. Astrid April 15, 2017

    Thanks for the thorough review, Eleni! Seemed like a good enough product to try out when you have a HG Primer / Moisturizer that you’d like to put some colors in. I’ll probably check this out when I ran out of one of my foundations.. or maybe use them when I get darker in summer. I’m not sure if I can get CoverFX around here.
    Astrid recently posted…Beauty shopping in Seoul – the 101 on K-Beauty shopping

    • rougenapples April 15, 2017 — Post Author

      It’s definitely worth checking out Astrid. Saying that, London is still pretty chilly, so not sure how this will perform in warmer weather seeing as it’s quite emollient. I would only recommend Cover FX if you like a matte finish. I use Clinique BIY way more than Cover FX, even if it lasts less because it looks more natural. If you go for it at some point/get a sample, I’d love to know your thoughts! X

  3. Emilia April 15, 2017

    Great post 🙂 I wanted to try this Clinique BIY foundation but unfortunately, all the shades are too dark, but I’ve heard positive opinions on CoverFX and I’ll probably try it one day 🙂
    Emilia recently posted…[JOLSE] Vprove Rhodiola Power Cream Review

  4. Menia April 15, 2017

    Very interesting post! I will definitely check out this product, especially in the summer when I need a darker shade.

  5. Yiota April 16, 2017

    Wow Eleni your skin looks flawless without any makeup on, just gorgeous!!! This is definitely a very interesting concept and I would love to try it, since I love medium coverage and more natural looking base for spring and summer and it is impressive that they have 13 shades to choose from. Hope you are having a lovely Easter weekend 🙂 xx


  6. Rachel April 18, 2017

    The Clinique drops sound like such effort to use in comparison with the Cover FX! I would probably prefer foundation as I like full coverage all the time! Really interesting post though 🙂 xx

    Rach |

    • rougenapples April 19, 2017 — Post Author

      Thanks Rachel! These can give you full coverage, however you’ll need around 6-8 drops, so yes, it’s not effortless! Cover FX give you it with three drops but the finish is matter, unless you mix with highlighter. Xx

  7. Amy April 24, 2017

    Great idea to mix with a primer rather than moisturiser. I would like to try something like this for a lighter base in Summer. I have to say your skin is amazing though, I thought the first photo was with makeup haha! – Amy
    Amy recently posted…Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Cream Kit

    • rougenapples April 24, 2017 — Post Author

      Thanks Amy! I think I had a good skin day that day, I always appreciate those! BIY Pigment is a good option of the summer, if your skin isn’t too oily. xx

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