Explanations of Sheer Cover, Light Cover, Medium Cover and Full Cover Makeup

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What is sheer cover and when do you use it?

The best foundation make up also depends on the coverage needed. An even skin tone requires a sheer to light cover foundation makeup and scarred skin or tattooed skin will need a full cover foundation makeup.

Below are 4 explanations to determine which coverage is best for you.


Coverage is the opacity (transparency) of the makeup.

  • High opacity means that coverage is strong and will hide any blemish that it covers.
  • Low opacity or no opacity means that it is clear and it will not conceal (or hide) a skin blemish.

Sheer Cover

The most transparent and contains the least amount of pigment. It will not hide discolourations on the skin; however, it can minimise the contrast between the discolouration and the rest of the skin tone.

Sheer foundations have pigment content of 8–13% . Words to describe this level of cover are “sheer foundation”, “sheer makeup”, “sheer cover” … next time you hear these words, you will know exactly what they are talking about.

Light Cover

This level of opacity can cover unevenness and slight blemishes, but is not opaque enough to cover freckles. It contains 13–18% pigment.

Medium Cover

This level of opacity will cover cover freckles, discolourations, blemishes and red marks left by pimples. It contains 18–23% pigment.

Full Cover

This is very opaque (not transparent) and is used to cover birthmarks, vitiligo, hyper-pigmentation and scars. For general makeup use, it can contain up to 35% pigment.

For high performance applications (for example, presenters on HD Television and very dark skin blemishes), the product can contain up to 50% pigment.

When you hear words “corrective makeup” or “camouflage makeup” or “paramedical makeup”, you will know that they are talking about full cover makeup.


Understanding the above will guide you to select the best foundation makeup, one that is just right for the coverage that you need.


Keywords for you to learn :

  • Birthmarks
  • Freckles
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Vitiligo


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Sheer Cover (Back to Top)

Makeup Ingredients (Item 1 of 3 - Choosing the Best Foundation Makeup)

Makeup Application Method (Item 3 of 3 - Choosing the Best Foundation Makeup)

Choosing the Best Foundation Makeup