Review: The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops – Lightening

Are you like me? Do you have the complexion of a recently deceased person? Does the idea of shopping for foundation make you want to be sick? Have you ever even owned a foundation that actually matched you? Me neither. Which is why I was super hyped when I found out that The Body Shop had released these Shade Adjusting Drops. I didn’t even read reviews before I went rushing out to grab it. That’s how real the excitement was. Am I still hyped? Well, read on and you’ll find out.


The Body Shop – Shade Adjusting Drops
£10 for 15ml

Okay so, here’s what The Body Shop has to say about this product:

You wouldn’t settle for Mr. “Almost right” so why do it with your foundation? Our Shade Adjusting Drops help turn an almost there shade into the perfect one.

    If you have light to medium skin you may find your foundation looks too dark or orange. A concentration of white and pink pigments in our Lightening Drops helps neutralise yellowness while lightening. Simply add a drop to lighten light to medium shades.
    • For use with light to medium foundation shades
    • Transform an “almost right” foundation shade into the perfect one
    • 1 drop = ½ a shade lighter
    • Works with most liquid foundations
    (Taken from The Body Shop UK website)

Okay so, I first want to say that I really love the concept of these. From what I’ve gathered the idea of these is that throughout the year, as your skin changes with tanning and such, you can use the same foundation that you always use rather than having to have different shades for different times of the year. Or if  you simply can’t find your shade, you can create your own.

Of course, TBS aren’t the first company to identify that there is definitely a problem with the lack of shade range in the foundation market. Several different companies sell a white foundation (Makeup Revolution, Illamasqua, Mac, etc) that you can purchase to customize your own shade. However, most of these are not readily available, or are rather expensive for the average consumer. The Lightening Drops retail for £10 for 15ml and are available on The Body Shop website and in store, and you don’t even need a Pro Card to purchase them.

Now, as you’ve seen in the blurb TBS provide, these drops are not white. They are in fact a very light pink. This is going to be something that you’re either going to love, or hate. If you’re of a cool or neutral undertone, you will probably appreciate the pink tones. However, you warm toned babies are going to be less than impressed. I have to say, I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I personally have yellow and peach undertones, putting me in the more warm/neutral category, and I actually really enjoy my warm tones. I’m going to be a little more restricted in what foundations I can actually pair this with, anything more on the neutral side is going to lean more cool when the drops are added, and cool tones wash me out like crazy. However, it is useful for the foundations I own that are too warm/orange.


I like the consistency of these drops. They’re not runny and watery, they’re creamy but not too thick that they’re difficult to use. I have paired them with 2 foundations so far, and I noticed that the drops were similar in feel to both the foundations. People have asked me whether these drops have changed the behaviours of my foundation, and I haven’t noticed any changes in coverage, wear or the usability. However, I suspect this is because of the similarities in texture of the liquids. I feel like if you were to use these with a thinner liquid then the nature of your foundation would change. I’ll have to test this, and report back later.

Revlon ColorStay Normal/Dry & The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops
Buff & Lightening

My perfect shade is Revlon ColorStay in Buff with 2/3 drops of Lightening. My hands are not cool toned in real life, lighting wasn’t my friend today. Buff is a warm shade, so I can afford to neutralize it slightly without washing myself out.

One important thing to mention; these drops are heavy on the fragrance. It’s actually a very nice smell, sort of like Swizzlers Fizzers, or Refreshers, at least that’s what I smell. But pleasantness aside, I’m pretty disappointed. Fragrances are a very common irritant, and I wouldn’t have expected TBS to make such an odd decision. This is not a standalone product, it’s made to be added to other products. I would have expected this to be unscented since a) it alienates those that can’t use scents, b) it could easily clash with existing smells in your foundation. So in my mind, this is a definite flaw in the product.

Another bugbear I have is the packaging. That dropper is next to useless. Good luck picking up enough product with it to actually form a drop. Plus the opening to the bottle is quite narrow, so if, like me, you have shaky hands, you can easily miss and end up making a bit of a mess. Probably a trivial problem to have, but still.

Overall, do I like this product? Yes, it does what I need it to do. Would I recommend it to everyone? No. My problem with these drops is that they are not universally useful. These are basically unusable to anyone with warm tones and sensitive skin. What I would actually love is for The Body Shop to actually extend this range of Shade Adjusting Drops. I want to see Lightening drops with yellow undertones, maybe even a peach/olive undertone. I want to see the same with the Darkening Drops. I also want to see an option for these to be unscented for those with sensitive skin. Also I think just a straight up white version of these drops would be well received. I mean, the whole idea of these drops is that you end up with your perfect foundation shade, right? How is that supposed to happen if you’re going to end up with the wrong undertone? It isn’t.

There is huge potential with this line, I just don’t think it’s been fully realized just yet.

So, enough of what I think, have you tried these drops? What are your opinions on them? Come and tell me in the comments.

Until next time, Kim xo

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