Make Up For Ever HD Foundation Review

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So recently I’ve been on the hunt for that ONE foundation that will get me that photo-finish coverage. The sheer quantity of foundations available at your local supermarket is overwhelming at best. And that doesn’t even come close to the brands available at real beauty stores such as Sephora or Ultra Beauty. There’s a foundation for your night out, a foundation for your ‘natural’ look, a foundation with sparkle, a foundation without sparkle. There’s powder, there’s liquids. You get it- the choices are endless.

Every ‘natural look’ makeup tutorial begins with the famous words “…and you’ll only need these 28 different products!”, or worse, “so I tend to blend these three (super-expensive) foundations together to get the perfect ‘natural’ coverage.” For those of us who wake up in the morning with barely enough time for breakfast, let alone makeup, this kind of ‘natural look’ is not ideal. Make Up For Ever is a brand intended for professional makeup artists. This basically means that amateurs like myself wouldn’t normally go near it.

With that being said, word on the street was that it would provide the quality I was looking for, so I decided to try it out for myself. First things first, though, what does ‘intended for makeup artists’ really mean?

Make Up For Ever HD Products Explained

Array of Make Up For Ever HD makeup products.

Make Up For Ever’s HD makeup line.

The Make Up For Ever products are designed specifically for the use of professional makeup artists. Whether it’s a movie or a play, the products are made with a certain amount of theatrical intent. The makeup is long-lasting, contains fine fibers (so as not to be picked up on a TV screen) and is bold to boot. Make Up For Ever’s philosophy is that “life is a stage.” While I think this is a slightly dramatic outlook on life, the notion itself is strangely comforting.

Though the makeup is produced with makeup artists in mind, the products are available to all. This nurtures the belief that we all want to hear: you can get a professional makeup look at home.

When creating products, Richard Girousse, head chemist and R&D director at Make Up For Ever, states that the brand “creates without compromise.” This essentially means the brand is constantly trying to source new raw materials and analyze diverse ingredient combinations in order to perfectly match skin tones. In fact, their palette range is one of the most extensive I’ve seen in a foundation brand! The fact that they do so while simultaneously remaining environmentally-conscious and trying to minimize their waste volume is a bonus.

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation Review

Bottle of Make Up For Ever HD Foundation.

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation.

The Make Up For Ever website recommends only two pumps of the creamy foundation in order to get full coverage. When I saw that, my first thought was “this isn’t real.” It takes about 2 layers of foundation to get my skin looking even, 2 pumps would be unheard of. Nevertheless, wanting to test how well this product really works, I abided by their rules and applied only 2 pumps onto the back of my hand. Immediately, you notice that the texture is runny, which suggests it’s not too heavy. Yet when you lift it off the skin, you can feel its thick creaminess. That’s always a good start for a lasting foundation.

The fact that the foundation comes in 40 different shades is proof of just how versatile it is. So, if you’re one of those people who is incessantly whining about how “they never make a foundation in my shade”, grab a tissue to wipe those tears away because Make Up For Ever has got you covered (pun definitely intended).

Using a blending sponge to dab in the foundation, I could almost instantaneously see the results of that airbrushed effect I’ve been searching for. And yes, that’s with sticking to only 2 pumps! Although this definitely looked less ‘cakey,’ I’m pretty sure one more pump would provide that total, full coverage. This means this foundation has achieved the unthinkable- it can double as a ‘natural’ everyday foundation, and you can also use it for your more dramatic look on a night out.

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation Review

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation Stick Review

Bottle of Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation Stick.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation Stick

My first discovery was that this product contains only 0.4 oz, which is significantly less than the liquid foundation. However, it’s intended to be used as a foundation touch-up or contour, so you’re not really expected to use as much as you would for a full face of makeup.

Having never used a foundation stick before, I was intrigued to see how it worked. My initial thought was “do I really need this product?” Though it’s not advised to be used as a base foundation, I tried using it on a blank canvas face just to see if it had the coverage I was searching for. I used a blending sponge to even out the product. It wasn’t cakey or thick in the slightest, considering the formula itself was basically in solid form.

However, it quickly became clear why Make Up For Ever recommends using it as a touch-up applied over existing foundation. It doesn’t provide the kind of coverage you would need for a full face of makeup. The foundation stick offers that subtle yet necessary addition when your foundation is looking streaky throughout the day. So, in answer to my initial question: yes, I need this product. It’s an accessible necessity to carry around in your handbag for a sneaky touch-up on those extra-long days.

Are Make Up For Ever Products Natural?

Woman making peace signs with fingers.

Pay attention to the products in your makeup.

Does it really matter if my makeup uses natural ingredients? Um, yeah it does. Your skin absorbs what you put on it into the bloodstream. Just let that sink in. For those of us who are too lazy to remove our makeup at the end of a long night, the ramifications of leaving harmful chemicals on our faces are…harmful. Using products that contain as many natural ingredients as possible has endless benefits. It’s something we as a society should be more diligent about.

To clarify – a natural product utilizes the benefits of whole foods and plant-based extracts wherever possible. The fact that natural products are able to provide the same results as synthesized substances should be a testament to the redundancy of these chemicals.

Though Make Up For Ever eliminated its use of parabens in 2009, the products are by no standards ‘natural’. It’s difficult to get that high-quality finish without chemical ingredients. Having said that, many of their products contain substances such as beeswax and other natural elements. Beeswax creates a barrier which helps seal moisture in the skin as well as protect the skin from environmental toxins. In addition, to ensure maximum product safety for consumers, the company refrains from using heavy metals in their products.

Are Make Up For Ever Products Cruelty Free?

Nobody wants to think too hard about how the perfect makeup product ended up in their makeup bag. The reality is that animal testing is often just part of the makeup creation process. In recent years there has been a more fine-tuned awareness to the dangers and cruelties of testing on animals, and many makeup brands now claim to be “cruelty free.” This is fundamentally just another tactic to make us feel less guilty about buying that fourth unnecessary foundation.

Although Make Up For Ever maintains that since 1989 they have been committed to the elimination of animal testing, there is evidence to suggest that this is not the case. Due to the fact that the brand exports its products worldwide, some authorities require the products to be tested in state-certified laboratories. One such country is China, where animal testing is mandatory for foreign cosmetics.

The finished products themselves are not tested on animals, but in places where it is required by law, Make Up For Ever is susceptible to animal testing. This being the case, the brand is on PETA’s (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) “do list.” So basically, Make Up For Ever’s original claim is true – they, as a brand, are cruelty free. But their sales in countries such as China, where the law requires animal testing, means that their products may not be.

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Having experienced the even coverage that Make Up For Ever’s foundation achieves, I would definitely recommend it to a fellow makeup rookie like myself. It provides that “28 different products” natural look in just one layer. Although the brand has a long way to go in the way of natural ingredients, I think the fact that your skin is only absorbing one layer of chemicals is a step in the right direction. It might be a weak argument, but you have to admit that one layer is better than the minimum 2 (usually 3).

It’s surprisingly light, giving you the coveted air-brushed look while still remaining long-lasting. I think my only problem would be choosing the right shade from their extensive color palette!

Staying true to her word, Creative Director Dany Sanz has managed to create a theatrical concoction suitable not just for the stage and cameras, but even for your own daily dramas. As far as natural ingredients and animal testing go, I’m not sure I can turn a blind eye. But I can appreciate that all good things sometimes come with a price. (I’ll focus on the fact they’re trying to minimize their waste production…everyone’s got to start somewhere.)

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