Create Your Custom Foundation Shade With The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops Review

I’m pretty sure this is the answer to most beauty girls’ prayers.  Being quite pale in complexion, I often struggle to find a foundation that is light enough to suit my skin tone – especially during Winter, and especially when it comes to drugstore foundations.

We’ve all been there at some stage in our lives: Spent R200,00 – R400,00 on a foundation, only to take it home and realise it’s the wrong shade.  It happens to best of us, and it’s not necessarily due to our lack in foundation-matching-abilities.  There are so many contributing factors – the lighting in the department store, foundation oxidation, being unsure of the undertone of your skin, or testing the shade on your hand (it’s always best to test a new foundation shade on your neck or jawline).

Don’t even get me started on seasonal changes – having to buy multiple shades of your favourite foundation, as skin tends to get paler in Winter and more tanned in Summer.  And we all know how much I love online shopping, but ordering a foundation online is always a gamble and I don’t always get the shade matches right.

Earlier last year I was lucky enough to attend a launch where The Body Shop introduced a handful of bloggers and magazine editors to all their new products that were set to launch up until the end of 2015.  I was SO excited when I heard about these Shade Adjusting Drops, and I made a mental note to start hunting it down towards the end of 2015.  I finally spotted them whilst we were on holiday in Cape Town at the end of December, and immediately popped both shades into my basket.

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops

Here’s what The Body Shop says about their new Shade Adjusting Drops: “Transform an ‘almost right’ foundation shade into your perfect one in just one drop with The Body Shop’s Shade Adjusting Drops.  The ‘Lightening’ drop lightens and neutralizes yellowness, while the ‘Darkening’ drop darkens while keeping natural depth.”  In other words the ‘Lightening’ drops will lighten a foundation that is too dark, and the Darkening’ drops will darken any foundation that is too light.

While I was listening to the presentation at the launch, I immediately thought of the ‘Cover FX Custom Cover Drops’.  The Body Shop’s products will help to customise the colour of your foundation, but won’t necessarily add or enhance the coverage of your foundation.  After testing both shades for the past 2 weeks, I can confirm that this product will not sheer out the coverage of your foundation in any way – in other words your foundation will perform exactly the way it did before.  It’s magic!  I’m not exactly sure what wizardry went into creating these drops, and I can’t see fairy drops or unicorn tears listed in the ingredients list.

First things first – the idea behind these drops is to add your foundation to the back of your hand, add a drop or two of the ‘Shade Adjusting Drops’ and then mix.  Don’t add the drops to your foundation bottle.  I love the idea of the pipette / dropper to make things a bit more user-friendly but I do find sometimes the suction isn’t that powerful (perhaps the product is a bit too thick for it) and when you go to squeeze the rubber top, it can sometimes release the liquid with air bubbles.  It doesn’t happen every single time, though, and for me it’s not really a game-changer.

The Shade Adjusting Drops from The Body Shop are dermatologically tested and is suitable for all skin types (even sensitive skin).  I can vouch for this, as my skin has been going through a bit of a rough patch lately and I haven’t had any type of reaction.

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops Lightening

The ‘Lightening’ shade is extremely pale (basically white) and has a slight cool (pink) undertone.  It truly is magic – even if you prefer a warm-toned (yellow) undertone to your foundation, the pink tones in the drops won’t make a noticeable difference i.e. change the shade so much that in won’t match your complexion any longer.  BUT if you find most drugstore foundations are a bit too yellow-toned for you, then the pink tinge in the drops will neutralise those yellow tones for you.  It sounds rather confusing, I know, but trust me: These drops will definitely customise both the foundation shade and undertone to match your skin.  One to two drops is perfect to lighten your foundation by 1 shade.

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops Darkening

The ‘Darkening’ shade is really dark and basically looks like melted milk chocolate – yum!  It is definitely more intense in terms of pigmentation, and that’s why I strongly recommend you use a very light hand when it comes to this one.  Just half a drop is ideal, and will darken your foundation by 1 shade.

Here’s the problem: I don’t think the ‘Darkening’ drops work very well to darken up a light to medium (MAC NC15 to NC35) foundation, especially if your foundation has a neutral or pink undertone because once mixed with a light / pale foundation, it looks quite grey-toned and ashy.  This will only work with deep to dark foundation shades.

BUT I like to turn lemons into lemonade, so I decided to try using it to create my very own custom contour product since it creates the perfect ‘shadow’ shade for my skin tone.

Let’s get to the good stuff – SWATCHES:

I experimented with almost all the foundations in my collection that are currently too light or too dark for me.  Let’s be real, though, only one foundation in my collection is too light for me: Max Factor Facefinity Foundation (Light Ivory).  And the foundations that are too dark for me are: Physician’s Formula Youthful Wear Spotless Foundation (Light), Stila Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer Duo (Hue 5), Chanel Les Beiges All-In-One Healthy Glow Fluid (No. 20), Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation (Intensity 2.0), Physician’s Formula Nude Wear Touch Of Glow Foundation (Light), Max Factor CC Cream (Medium), Smashbox Studio Skin Hydrating Foundation (Shade 2.3) and the NEW Bourjois Air MAT Undetectable Matte Finish Foundation (Light Beige).  The Bourjois foundation isn’t in-store yet, but will be rolling out to Clicks stores soon.  Needless to say, I’ve tested the ‘Shade Adjusting Drops’ on various foundations ranging in coverage from sheer / light to full coverage.

By mixing the drops with these foundations I noticed that the drops do not change the consistency or the finish of your foundation, but I have found it does add a tiny bit more coverage (which might not be noticeable to most people).  One thing that I will tell you is that going to extremes will only leave you with an ashy mixture that cannot be used i.e. as mentioned trying to change a light foundation to a dark foundation.  These drops are meant to take you 1 to 2 shades up or down – not change it completely.

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops Lightening Swatch

Please bear in mind I went slightly overboard with the amount of drops I mixed in with the foundations, just to give you a proper indication of what they can do.  As you can see, the ‘Lightening’ drops definitely do a great job of creating a foundation shade that is lighter, yet still in the same undertone family as the original foundation.  For the above swatch I mixed it in with the Physician’s Formula Youthful Wear Spotless Foundation.

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops Darkening Swatch

As for the ‘Darkening’ drops, I tested them both with a foundation that is too light for me (the Max Factor Facefinity 3-in-1 Foundation) and one of the darkest foundations in my collection (the Smashbox Studio Skin Hydrating Foundation).  As you can see, the ‘Darkening’ drops definitely give both foundations a rather ashy tone.

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops Darkening Swatch2

When used with a medium to dark foundation, I imagine the ashy tone won’t be as noticeable but it might still be unwearable for some.  I recommend you take your favourite foundation with you next time you pop in to The Body Shop and use one of the testers to test it out for yourself.

These are versatile products and I think they cater well for both the individual beauty girl and the professional makeup artist.  Most of you know I love multi-functional products and I’ve used both the ‘Lightening’ and ‘Darkening’ drops to contour and highlight.  Again, keep in mind, they are meant to be used sparingly – a little goes a long way (especially with the dark shade).


If you have a light to tan skin tone – Mix the ‘Darkening’ drops with your favourite foundation to create a cool-toned contour shade that is 1 to 2 levels darker than your complexion.  The best part is, it will be in a formula that you already know and love (your favourite foundation formula).  To highlight, you can use the ‘Lightening’ drops as-is (no need to mix with a foundation), they blend away so easily and will give the most beautiful natural finish to your highlight.  Bear in mind, we are not talking about a shimmery / strobed highlight here, I’m referring to a highlight that is 1 to 2 shades lighter than your skin tone to enhance & bring your features forward.  These 2 products will give you the most natural looking contour and highlight.

If you have a medium-deep to dark skin tone – Use just the ‘Darkening’ drops as your contour shade, mixing it with your foundation will give you a shade that is a bit too ashy (darker skin tones need something that is neutral in tone to contour).  To highlight, mix the ‘Lightening’ drops with your current foundation to create a shade that is 2 shades lighter than your skin tone.  This custom highlight will melt into your foundation, since the mixture you just created has the same formula as the foundation.

Last but not least, if you struggle to find a concealer that is pale enough to be used to highlight the face, add a couple of the ‘Lightening’ drops and you’ll be good to go!

You’re wondering whether the ‘Shade Adjusting Drops’ will work with foundations that have a mousse texture, right?  I tested the ‘Lightening’ drops with my Essence Pure Skin Anti-Spot Mousse Makeup, Catrice 12H MATT Mousse Makeup and Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation and although it requires a bit more effort to mix the drops with the airy-textured foundation, it definitely does work.  Just bear in mind, you’ll have to scoop out a bit of the foundation and mix it on the back of your hand or on a mixing plate first.

As a fair-skinned gal, I am in love with these 2 products, mainly because I am now able to use foundations that have been sitting unloved in my acrylic makeup storage unit.  I think one or both of these are perfect additions to any makeup collection as they will definitely come in handy more times than you can imagine.

I can’t wait to see what else The Body Shop has in store for us in 2016!

The ‘Shade Adjusting Drops’ retail for R300,00 each and is available at The Body Shop stores nationwide.  If you’re keen to try both shades, perhaps wait until their 3-for-2 promotion to stock up.

{UPDATE} If you would like to see the Shade Adjusting Drops in action, take a look at my ‘Get Ready With Me’ YouTube video here.



  1. Kelly 11 January 2016 / 12:25

    Wow. Love this post! Well explained and loved the swatches which gave a better insight to what the shades really look like. Also loved the fact that you explained it clearly for light and dark skinned women. You simply amaze me. Would definitely love to try this product. Thanks! :) Oh and Compliments of the season too you :)

    • Luzanne 11 January 2016 / 19:43

      Thanks so much, Kelly – I really appreciate you taking the time to leave such a sweet comment. I hope you have an amazing 2016! :)

    • Nausheen 20 May 2016 / 14:05

      Agreed!!! Especially the how to use for contouring – I have fair skin and it’s hard to find light enough products for highlighting

  2. Euneen 11 January 2016 / 12:26

    Blog lyk mooi Luzanne! Dankie vir die review. Ek het die naweek vir my die shade adjusting drops gekry maar het dit nog nie gebruik nie. Ek gaan definitief jou tips gebruik! x

    • Luzanne 11 January 2016 / 19:42

      Baie dankie, Euneen! 😀 Ek is 100% seker jy gaan baie van die drops hou, ek gebruik hulle elke liewe keer as ek makeup aansit. 😉 xo

  3. Prettiful Blog 11 January 2016 / 12:41

    I only bought the lightening drops, I found the darkening one was way too cool toned and ashy for my skin tone. Thanks for the review and swatches! Oh, and loving the new blog design!

    • Luzanne 11 January 2016 / 19:41

      You’re welcome, Azraa! And thank you for your kind words regarding the new look of Pink Peonies. 😉

  4. Chanel 11 January 2016 / 13:39

    Thank you so much for the great advice!!! I loved this post as I struggle with finding the correct foundation color.

    • Luzanne 11 January 2016 / 19:40

      My pleasure, Chanel! So happy to hear you enjoyed my blog post. :)

  5. Lalannie Knoll 11 January 2016 / 13:49

    Always ahead of the pack, Luzanne. Thank you for this. I am currently stuck with foundation that looks orange… and I think the lightening drops will neutralise the shade to my complexion.
    Looking forward to all you have in store for us this year!!

    Happy New Year!!!

    • Luzanne 11 January 2016 / 19:40

      Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the review, Lalannie. :) I think The Body Shop should create a whole colour correcting range, so many people would benefit from that.

      Thanks for checking in on the blog – I really appreciate it.

  6. Prianca 11 January 2016 / 14:18

    YEESSS!! I was waiting for someone to do a review on these (glad it was you 😀 ) …I recently went to TBS and they were on special for about R240 (or somewhere to that price range) …I wanted to grab them but I was a bit reluctant …Definitely going to get them, I struggle to find good foundation matches.. >_< I also thought of the Cover FX when I saw these …I hope they come out with a yellow toned drops …

    Very informative and straight to the point post as usual! I find your post very honest !

    Happy New Year!!


    • Luzanne 11 January 2016 / 19:38

      Thank you for supporting my blog, Prianca – I love it when my review helps someone to make a decision (especially when it enables them to buy more beauty products – haha!). I know the struggle of finding that perfect foundation shade, it can be very frustrating. Fortunately we have these drops from The Body Shop now, so it will make life a whole lot easier! 😉

  7. Anye 11 January 2016 / 15:32

    Got mine when I saw your photo on Instagram late last year. For some reason the price was marked as R300, but when I paid it was R150, so they had to give it to me for R150. Score!!

    • Luzanne 11 January 2016 / 19:35

      Wow!! You definitely got lucky!! 😀

  8. Kivanya 11 January 2016 / 17:32

    Absolutely love this post! Will try and find them in durban, I still haven’t found the perfect shade of foundation so hopefully this will help lighten alot of the darker shades that I have purchased

    • Luzanne 11 January 2016 / 19:34

      Finding the perfect foundation shade is always such a struggle for me too – they’re either too yellow-toned or too dark. I hope you find the Shade Adjusting Drops soon! :)

  9. Trish 11 January 2016 / 22:51

    Such an awesome review! I can always count on you to do an indepth, interesting and beautiful review. Your photos always brighten my day. :)

    • Luzanne 13 January 2016 / 11:41

      Thank you so, so much for your kind words, Trish – I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the review. :)

  10. Niela 11 January 2016 / 23:16

    Really excited to try the lightening drops as I’m a fairly pale girl too and the idea of mixing your own contour is also so ingenious too. By the way absolutely love the new blog design and look!!

    • Luzanne 13 January 2016 / 11:42

      Thank you, Niela! I’m loving the new design too – it’s quite different to my previous ones. 😉

  11. Genevieve Scalf 12 January 2016 / 09:33

    L-o-v-e-d this review, you are always so honest and detailed. Can’t wait to see what blog posts you have in store for us this year, you are my favorite blogger for sure!!!!!!!!!

    • Luzanne 13 January 2016 / 11:43

      Thank you, Genevieve! Best compliment ever! 😀

  12. Jenise 12 January 2016 / 10:24

    I’m definitely heading to Body shop after work to buy the lightening drops. Its always such a frustration when I need to get a new foundation, because I can never get the shade right.

    Thank you for introducing us to this product, Luzanne.


    • Luzanne 13 January 2016 / 11:43

      I hope you managed to get your hands on the drops, I’m sure you are going to love them! :) xo

  13. Holly Morello 12 January 2016 / 12:41

    Love your swatches, so helpful! :)

  14. Anina 14 January 2016 / 09:44

    Oe, dis n pragtige nuwe look vir jou blog – mal daaroor!

    Al my mooiste wense vir 2016 vir jou en vir Pink Peonies, sien uit na baie koppies koffie deel via the interwebs. :-)

    • Luzanne 19 January 2016 / 11:28

      Baie dankie, Anina! :) xoxo

  15. Rivania Pillay 14 January 2016 / 18:27

    This is pure magic! I can’t wait to try this out. Thanks so much for sharing, xx

    • Luzanne 19 January 2016 / 11:29

      My pleasure, Rivania – I hope you love it as much as I do. 😉 I even bought another ‘Lightening’ one this past weekend (it’s on sale for R240,00). Stocking up like a squirrel, in case it’s discontinued at some stage (not that I’ve heard anything about it being discontinued). But a girl needs to protect herself… 😉

  16. Simone Cameron 18 January 2016 / 16:30

    Oh wow…. I really need to get this! I have a Clinique foundation that I bought in winter….by summertime it was just all wrong as I go really pale and pastey in winter.

    • Luzanne 19 January 2016 / 11:30

      You do need to try it!! I hope the ‘Darkening’ one works for you (let me know) – I strongly suggest you take your foundation with you to go test it out using one of the testers in-store. :)

  17. Arleen Marree 19 January 2016 / 13:11

    Great recommendation! Thank you so much. I have so many foundations that are too dark for me (in my head I obviously think I am bronze and the reality is I am pale LOL), so I picked up the lightening one and am so pleased I did.

    • Luzanne 23 January 2016 / 16:22

      My pleasure, Arleen. :) I’m exactly the same way, I often buy foundations that are too dark for me. Wishful thinking on our part that we’re bronze goddesses!! Haha!

  18. Tidi Esther Child 20 January 2016 / 15:27

    Im totally taken —wow wow wow

    • Luzanne 23 January 2016 / 16:22

      Thank you so much for popping by the blog, Tidi. 😉

  19. Marné 20 January 2016 / 16:38

    Dankie vir ‘n great review met baie possibilities, loved it!!
    Wil net hoor, hoekom stel jy voor om die druppels elke keer op jou hand te meng en nie sommer direk in jou botteljie in te gooi nie? Thanx :) xx

    • Luzanne 23 January 2016 / 16:27

      Groot plesier, Marné. :) Ek dink mens se veltoon verskil tussen Lente, Somer, Herfs en Winter – so as jy die druppels in die botteltjie gaan meng, gaan jy nogsteeds net met een kleur sit (en wat as jy bietjie donkerder tan in Somer?). Ek dink ook nie die wit druppels sal maklik en 100% met jou hele foundation in die bottel behoorlik meng nie, al skud jy dit baie hard. Dis baie makliker om dit net gou op jou hand te meng, want as jy te veel gebruik kan jy dit altyd regmaak met bietjie meer foundation bysit – jy’t baie meer ‘control’ as jy dit so doen. :)

      • Marné 26 January 2016 / 11:59

        Ai dis eintlik so obvious, dankie baie!!

  20. Martie 9 February 2016 / 01:16

    Ek kan nie glo ek het hierdie nou eers gelees nie Ek is baie sleg met al my “Blog” reading deesdae… Dankie vir hierdie review Lu, ek gaan beslis vir my n botteltjie optel ASAP, het nou die dag daarna geloer in ons Body Shop, maar genade dit is bietjie duur (so R400 as jy die conversion doen) hier! Weet nie hoekom nie, maar grimering en velsorg produkte is uitspattig duur hier! Anyhooo, nou dat ek weet dit werk gee ek nie om, om die prys daarvoor te betaal nie PS: Sal graag n post wil sien oor jou dag en nag velsorg roetine….

  21. Liani 17 February 2016 / 11:56

    Hi Luzanne!

    I bought the lightening drops 2 weeks ago after reading your blog post. The idea I had in my head is that THIS is the holy grail as I have not been able to master matching my foundation to my very pale face/neck. And the moment I do, my tan fades and I am back to wearing the dreaded foundation mask. I am going to be brutally honest and say I didn’t have the same experience as you, though. The lightening IS evident, but the wear is terrible. I tried it on 5 of my foundations (matt/ full coverage) and after 4 hours, my foundation goes blotchy & streaky everywhere, not just in the oily t-zone. It also transfers to my fingers and clothes, throughout the day. I do use a primer and fix + with my foundation. ANY advice from your side what I must rather do or don’t do?

  22. Elizabeth 27 March 2016 / 08:57

    New to your blog. And love it. Have you ever tried Clinique Beyond Perfecting foundation? I Love it. I usually never like full coverage foundations but this one is different! Now with the lightening drops i can actually buy this foundation without battling and stressing about the color. Seeing that i could find my perfect shade!! Thank a lot. Ek love al die info

  23. Lean 19 April 2016 / 09:54

    YES YES YES! Ek het gewag vir hierdie produk!
    In die winter is my onderlaag altyd te donker vir my en ek het self ‘n baie ligte vel.

    Baie dankie! <3

  24. portia 20 May 2016 / 08:13


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