Saturday, July 18, 2009

Product Review:
Make Up For Ever
HD Invisible Cover Foundation

If you're at all interested in makeup (of course you are, why else would you be here?) then it's fair to assume you've at least heard of Make Up For Ever's highly praised HD Foundation. Touted as a holy-grail product for many women, French makeup masters Make Up For Ever created this formula to meet the demands of actors and actress in this new age of high definition. The idea is to make the skin look flawless, but still look like skin.

With 25 shades in the range, I was hopeful that I'd be able to find a perfect match for my exceedingly fair, warm toned skin. Alas, this prospect disappeared when I learned that the lightest 3 shades in the HD range have cool undertones (mini-rant: Why can't makeup lines realize that not all pale people have pink skin? Honestly, even those that do have pink undertones often look best in a yellow based makeup- give us pale ivories some options!) One glance at the lightest warm shade (117-Marble) told me that it was too deep to be an option. I did a quick test swipe and decided on- surprise- the fairest option available, 110-Pink Porcelain. (The line does have a fairer shade, 107-Pink, but I've been unable to find it.)

Though MUFE recommends a flat, nylon brush, I had read review upon review suggesting a stippling brush, so I whipped out mytrusty MAC 187 brush and prepared to be amazed. When I applied the foundation to my skin, I was thrilled to find that the shade was a decent match. Unfortunately, my skin still has quite a bit of color from the cruise I went on back in April- if I wanted to wear this foundation in the winter, I would most certainly have to hunt down the 107-Pink shade.

The HD foundation is described as a medium/full coverage makeup with a natural, radiant finish. While it is oil free, it does include several moisturizing ingredients, making it suitable for a wide range of skin types. Despite this, my first impression was that it looked quite matte on me. My skin does tend to be dry, but it is not lacking in luminosity, and I felt like this foundation gave me a dull, lifeless look. I also noticed immediately that it emphasized my expression lines, especially the ones around my mouth (you know, the ones dermatologists affectionately call "marionette lines"). While the Invisible Cover is not the only makeup that I have had this issue with, I did not expected it to be a problem since Make Up For Ever specifically claims that the HD Foundation does not accentuate wrinkles. Sadly, the way that I looked after applying the foundation had me seriously considering Restylane- odd, considering that the lines aren't even visible when my face is clean.

I really wanted to like this foundation. How could so many people love it so much? There had to be something I was missing. I experimented with various methods of application: different brushes, with and without primer, etc...and, low and behold, found that I liked the finish much better using a flat, synthetic foundation brush like the one MUFE suggests. This type of brush seemed to work the product into my skin better, whereas my softer, fluffier 187 brush left the makeup lying on top of my skin, imparting an unnatural mask-like effect. When I applied the makeup with my 187 brush, it gave, at best, medium coverage- it evened my skin out, but did little for imperfections. Layering the makeup in an attempt to achieve fuller coverage just resulted in a cakey, pore exaggerating effect. However, after I discovered that I preferred my flat brush, I realized that the HD foundation could indeed give natural looking full coverage, even without the aid of concealer.

I give this foundation a 5.5 out of 10. The formula felt good on my skin, stayed on relatively well, and, unlike some foundations that are designed for photography, it looked just as good in person with full sunlight as it did in a flash photo. While I would say it is a good foundation overall, there are other brands and formulas touting a smaller price tag that seem just as good.

Pros:
-Wide shade range available (25 shades)
-Long wear
-Non-drying
-Photographs well
-caused no irritation to my sensitive skin

Cons:
-Limited availablity; additionally, not all shades are available at all retailers.
-settled into and accentuated fine lines
-most shades in the range are pink/beige based
-price ($40) seems a bit inflated given the average performance of the makeup.

3 comments:

Valz said...

I absolutely loved that foundation :)
(now I'm more into mineral foundation)

Anonymous said...

I use this foundation and I love it. If it is enhancing your wrinkles that is probably because you aren't applying primer first? Primer is always a must even with the best foundations around. Also, about the crease that forms from the sides of your nose down to your chin are supposed to be enhances by contouring and highlighting anyways. Just take a look at how Marilyn Monroe contoured and hightlighted her face and you should see what I'm talking about. But yeah this is an awesome foundation because the color pigment itself is very easy to blend into your natural skintone which gives the face more dimension.

Jessica said...

Anon,

As I stated in the post, I actually tried this every way imaginable- including with primer. It just wasn't the hit for me that it seems to be for so many other people.

I'd do want to point you (and other readers that may come across this comment) to an article I wrote about primers:

http://outinapout.blogspot.com/2009/03/foundation-primer-do-you-really-need.html

As popular as primers are today, makeup artists worked for years and years (and years) without them and still achieved great results. Depending on your skin type and concerns, you may benefit from the use of a primer, but it's not, in my professional opinion, a must.

As far as your suggestion that my laugh lines are in any way Marilyn-esque, bless you! Honestly, it's not a trait I criticize in others, but as we all know, we're usually our own worst critics :)

Given that I have very few lines to begin with, and smile lines usually aren't even visible on my face, I suppose it took me off-guard that this exaggerated them so much, especially since it specifically claims not to. While it may not have this effect on everyone, I strive to share my experiences as candidly as possible, and frankly, MUFE HD just didn't wow me.

Oh well, on to the next...

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