Beauty Look | Photo ready skin with Make Up For Ever

Photo friendly makeup is the tag line of a lot of products out on the market now a days but if you rewind back to the original high definition brand, then we have to give it to Make Up For Ever for bringing the concept to the mass market. Following my last post about the newly relaunched Ultra HD range of products, I thought it’d make most sense to show you everything in action…appropriately, in a video. After all, that’s what this is made for.
One of the things which continues to impress me about the brand is their focus on product education which they take extremely seriously. I was lucky to be invited to their recent education workshop here in Vancouver where I learned a wealth of knowledge not only on the Ultra HD products but also how they can be personalized for my skin type and preferences. At the end of the day, you’re only most likely to use makeup that fits your lifestyle and that you feel comfortable putting on.
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD

PRODUCTS MENTIONED
SHOP Make Up For Ever | Online, Sephora
While this routine is not something I would invest in every single day, I was surprised by how wonderfully light it felt despite how many products I used. I can see the textures were created to work synergistically with one another because they blend with each other easily and not to mention, as I’m looking through the photos again, they do photograph nicely as well! Since the workshop, I’ve worn variations of this foundation routine on different occasions and I definitely prefer the Ultra HD foundation in conjunction with the priming products versus using it alone. A few of these items will definitely make a reappearance in future videos so make your bets now on the favourites.
Chat soon,

Tutorial | Close up with MUFE Ultra HD

High definition. I can still recall the first time I heard the word being explained on a shopping channel. Award winning make up artist Kevin Bennett was waving around a bottle of the first HD approved foundation and freaking out over how all the tv cameras were officially switching over to this brand new medium. That was Make Up For Ever.

Fast forward to our selfie, Youtube, DSLR and 4K infused world today and there’s no better brand I can think of to reintroduce a base product line than MUFE with their Ultra HD skin range. The foundation itself launched a year or two ago but its now joined by a reformulation of the powder and a few additional camera ready prep products that’s created to deliver quick, visible and perfecting results. While the original HD products were focused on coverage, the Ultra HD aim is for adjustable opacity, customization and fine textured formulas that sit smoothly on the skin. I had the pleasure of attending a recent MUFE workshop to try out the products and learn how to apply them to my own face along with some pretty snazzy tips.

MAKE UP FOR EVER | ULTRA HD SKIN BOOST*

A pro secret used to boost and revive tired skin on sets: this hydra-plumping serum works to boost skin radiance and luminosity. Skin looks healthy, plumper and complexion is more luminous. Use Skin Booster alone or mix a few drops with your foundation or primer to boost comfort and hydration.

Quick thoughts: This is your ultimate mixing medium booster product that can go in a primer or foundation or as a quick fix spot treat for dry patches and those darned blemishes that’s dry and impossible to conceal. Filled with hylauronic acid, it helps to make the best of a bad skin day.

MAKE UP FOR EVER | ULTRA HD LIP BOOST*

A pro secret used to boost and prepare tired lips on sets : this hydra-plumping serum hydrates and smoothes, adding fullness and comfort to lips. Wear alone for naturally healthy-looking lips, or use as hydra-plumping mask before lipstick application, wiping off any excess before applying color. (2 Shades)

Quick thoughts: Quick absorbing and seems to plump up my pesky lip wrinkles without sting or tingling that most plumpers make you endure. I have the clear which means it’s invisible under lipstick. Not sure how long the effects last but will report back.

MAKE UP FOR EVER | ULTRA HD PRESSED POWDER*

Created for the very latest high-definition technologies of the film and TV industry, ULTRA HD advanced formulas look invisible on 4K camera and to the naked eye. Perfect for the makeup pros and for you. Last step to ULTRA HD perfection: ULTRA HD MICROFINISHING PRESSED POWDER is a finishing powder that gives a light matte effect and a smooth luminous finish. A real technical and sensory feat, this invisible veil of powder combines synthetic mica, silicone powders and silica to instantly blur fine lines, pores and imperfections for a beautifully smooth complexion. Also enriched with hyaluronic acid. For a perfect ULTRA HD compatible finish, use a very small quantity and blend evenly. Apply over make up or wear alone using a kabuki brush. (3 shades)

Quick thoughts: Yes, you read that right. This finishing powder now comes in three colours from invisible (white) to banana (yellow) and peach. The powder is not really “pigmented” at all but I do believe the coloured options impart a super sheer tint for colour correction. The packaging is now square, metal and contains a mirror on the flip top lid which goes along with the rest of the brand’s formal repackaging. I also learned you’re supposed to use this after setting your foundation as this is a finishing product – watch this Sephora video to get it straight.
MAKE UP FOR EVER | ULTRA HD LOOSE POWDER*

Created for the very latest high-definition technologies of the film and TV industry, ULTRA HD advanced formulas look invisible on 4K camera and to the naked eye. Perfect for the makeup pros and for you. Last step to ULTRA HD perfection: ULTRA HD MICROFINISHING LOOSE POWDER is a finishing powder that gives a light matte effect and a smooth luminous finish. Spherical micro particles of silica instantly give skin a naturally glowing complexion with an incredible velvety effect and an unrevealed touch. For a perfect ULTRA HD compatible finish, use a very small quantity and blend evenly. Apply over make up or wear alone using a kabuki brush.

Quick thoughts: Made to be lighter, finer than its predecessor, this loose finishing powder now comes with a well thought out sieved container and really just feels like air. I’ve been told that the loose remains in one universal shade as MUFE was not able to match the same texture in the loose while adding the tints so they decided it was best to have one awesome product instead of a couple of mediocre ones. I’ll need to test this more but I do love the new thoughtful repackaging.
With all this in hand plus the informative Make Up For Ever Ultra HD workshop, I’m hoping to film a tutorial with everything in action including the foundation, foundation stick and primer. I’ll be sharing all the pro-approved makeup tips and even talk about how I finally confirmed my skin undertone..oh yeah, it’ll be a fun one.
Chat soon,

Make Up For Ever | High Precision Lip Pencil

REVIEW


Ah, lip pencils. Every necessity or frivolous add on, I think it never hurts to have a few faithful in the back of your beauty drawer for perfecting that fussy lipstick. Make Up For Ever has been incredibly busy expanding their lip collection it seems and with that, they’ve recently re-released their classic wooden lip pencils. If you’re still looking for some beauty regime builders, look this way.


THE BASICS
Brand: Make Up For Ever
Product: High Precision Lip Pencil*
Size: 1.14gram
Colour(s): 12 MUFE website, 8 Sephora online
Price: $22 CAD / $18 USD
Availability: Sephora, MUFE Boutiques
Would I (re)purchase: Yes!
Website: www.makeupforever.com

Make Up For Ever markets this lip liner collection as a set of neutral colours used to define and perfect the lip contour. Variations of nude, plum, rose and brown shades makes this a basic makeup wardrobe builder especially if you prefer earthy makeup or need something polished for work. Separated into three tonal families, there’s a few variations in each of the nude, pink and red categories.


Make Up For Ever Lipliner
Top – Bottom | #23, #14, #40

APPLICATION:

Great balance between glide and durability, I like how they are so easy to apply without any tugging. I’ve used pencils that are more like glossy lipsticks and others that are thick and hard to manipulate but these are pretty fool proof. Colour comes on strong, glide is great and the formula allows for a little bit of blending but doesn’t smear into nothingness if you rub it with your finger. Nothing intimidating here. 


WEAR & COMFORT:

This is where this MUFE pencil really shines and immediately jumped to my top drawer selection; these are one of the few options I can wear as an actual lipstick all over and look great throughout the day. Despite not labeled as a long lasting product per say (there’s Aqualip for that), I found this to be very forgiving on my lips, did not accentuate my lip lines nor crack or made my lips look dry. That in itself deserves a gold star because I have an awful time wearing lip liners that not only last but doesn’t parch my lips. Note that these do not claim to be and are not transfer proof but I have eaten with this and still came out with a good even stain.


Make Up For Ever Lipliner

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ON MY LIPS: #14 all over

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Make Up For Ever’s High Precision Lip Pencil offers flexibility for wearing as a liner or going solo as a lipstick. Either way, the well curated selection of neutral shades offers lots of options for everyday colours and I can see these as a makeup staple for lipstick lovers especially. I was most impressed by how evenly and comfortably these wore throughout the hours while not enhancing my lip texture. Essentially, you (and I) need more of these.

Chat soon,

Make Up For Ever | Artist Rouge Lipstick + swatches

REVIEW

Not shy to a little drama, you’ll know Make Up For Ever for their array of innovative products that merges makeup artistry with ease of use for the at home beauty lover and everyone in between. Their latest lip addition is the Artist Rouge line in a beautiful array of wearable shades plus a few extra surprises as well – newly formulated, newly packaged and out to impress.

THE BASICS
Brand: Make Up For Ever
Product: Rouge Artist Lipstick*
Colours: 16 mattes, 32 creams (some limited edition)
Size: 3.5 grams
Price: $27CAD
Availability: Sephora & MUFE counters worldwide
Would I (re)purchase: Yes, the mattes.
Website: www.makeupforever.com

Revamped from the conservative look of their previous best seller, these new tubes have a cool girl vibe with sleek black metal casing, a satisfying weight in your hand and their signature logo on the cap. The twist up mechanism is smooth and the overall feeling is premium which is more than what can be said for a few other high end lippies I own. Available in two formulas; there are 16 mattes and 32 cream finishes (including a few limited edition shades) and cover a good range of approachable colours yet with a few surprises like turquoise blue and peacock green. And if the name Artist Rouge sounds oddly familiar, their original range of lipsticks were called Rouge Artist so perhaps the flip around naming is an alter-ego persona.

T-B : C-210 | M-500

If bold high impact colour is what you’re after then these will hit the spot – with 25% more colour pigment than its previous lipsticks, these certainly don’t mess around. The cream formula offers a subtle sheen that’s more satin than glossy and the matte formula imparts a soft matte finish that’s not at all severe. Both are single swipe coverage and I do find the new bullet shape easier to work with and provides a cleaner line even when I don’t have liner around me. Neither are transfer proof but I haven’t noticed any bleeding around the lip line or smudging which is always a bonus.

For me, these Artist Rouge lipsticks comes down to wear because there many brands making high pigment colours nowadays and competition is high. While I wouldn’t call these moisturizing by any means, I do find them easy to wear and the matte has gorgeous depth to it without making my lip lines look overly pronounced (see me wear it in this video). Ironically, I’m not as stoked about the cream finish formula as it didn’t make my lips look plump but instead settled oddly and is far lacking from what I expected a good creamy lipstick to be. If you have dry or more wrinkly lips then the creams are not your best choice. Lasting power is average with the creamy pink but great with the matte wine although realistically because these aren’t moisturizing, I’d rather just re-apply through out the day.
THE FINAL VERDICT

The Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge lipsticks are one swipe, long lasting and highly pigmented lip colours that not only offer you satisfaction in singles but also encourages you to mix up your own shades with extra options like black, white and turquoise just to name a few. I like the new design of the bullet and the fact they are easy swipe and go formulas but the cream option lacks in smoothness once applied and just doesn’t enhance the look of my lips. The matte formula however is a stand out choice if you want luxurious colour that’s much more forgiving than a liquid lipstick and that you can pop on in 5 seconds in the car without a liner.

Chat soon,

Review & Look: MakeUpForEver | 50 Shades of Grey Lip Trio

Today is the big day. For everyone anticipating the North American release of 50 Shades of Grey (the movie), you may also have your eyes on the beautifully wearable makeup worn leading lady Anastasia Steele.

Inspired by the film and working closely with its head makeup artist Victoria Down, Make Up For Ever entices us with a limited edition collection of lip, eye and blush products that will get you ready this for your own personal close up encounters.

THE BASICS
Brand: Make Up For Ever
Product: Tease Me (Innocent) Nude Lip Trio*
Collection: Aqua Lip WP Lip Liner “3C”, Aqua Rouge WP Liquid Lipstick #03, Lab Shine Diamond Gloss “D16”
Size: Liner (1.2g), Liquid Lipstick (2.5ml x 2), Lipgloss (2.6ml)
Price: $38CAD for the set
Availability: Sephora (in stores & online)
Would I (re)purchase: Probably yes!
Website: www.makeupforever.com

Lips are a major focus in the movie, whether painted in an natural tint of nude or a sultry shade of rose, they signal Ana’s transformation and growth into the passionate lover of Mr. Grey. This Tease Me set comprises of their best selling Aqua Lip waterproof lip liner, Aqua Rouge waterproof liquid lipstick and the Lab Shine Diamond gloss to create an array of innocent looks.

The included instructional pamphlet introduces a natural and playful look created with this trio but once I swatched the colour on my skin I knew this could be so much more interesting. The Aqua Rouge is such a full bodied rich nude on my lighter skin that I decided to reverse the roles and create a strong and sophisticated makeup look worthy of a Miss Grey.
MAIN PRODUCTS USED

  • Make Up For Ever | Face & Body Foundation*
  • Pantone x Sephora | Marsala Shimmering Cheek Trio
  • Make Up For Ever | Sculpting Duo* #02
  • Make Up For Ever | Aqua Brow
  • Sauce Box | Etude Palette
  • Make Up For Ever | Aqua Lip* | 3C
  • Make Up For Ever | Aqua Rouge* | #03
Pigmentation and saturation from both the lip liner and the liquid lipstick are excellent and you could really have used either one on its own for a lip look. The Aqua Rouge stood out to me for how smooth and creamy it feels on application but most importantly the stay put formulation allows me to cheat my naturally thinner upper lip into something more voluptuous without worrying it would feather or smear. No splitting or cracking with the base coat colour and better yet this is pretty much bullet proof through an entire meal with no colour transfer on your glass of fancy champagne (of course Mr. Grey would only serve champagne right?).
The Lab Shine gloss has a more casual feel with light-medium translucent coverage and is littered with pink and copper micro shimmer which can be worn on its own or over the Aqua Rouge base colour in lieu of the attached clear gloss for a more dimensional look. It is a thicker formulation but is not at all uncomfortable to wear.
THE FINAL VERDICT

A very well done collection by Make Up For Ever, the Tease Me Lip Trio for the 50 Shades of Grey movie is both fashionable yet functional. I can see the shades being quite universally flattering whether it pulls more of a rich nude on your skin tone or a natural nude. The star of the set for me is undoubtedly the Aqua Rouge but I’m sure you’ll find plenty of use for the liner and gloss as well. I believe all the colours are available individually as part of their regular permanent range but the set offers a great discount for the money. 

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Review: Artist Shadows 210Shades | Make Up For Ever

There’s no doubt that when it comes to make up artistry, Make Up For Ever stands out as one of the leaders in the industry and being easily accessibly to the mass market makes lots of us even more giddy. In celebration of the brand’s 30th Anniversary this year, they went back to basics and worked on a new formulation of eye shadows….oh and did I mention there are 210 shades? You’ll probably want to sit down for the rest of this.

THE BASICS
Brand: Make Up For Ever
Product: Artist Eyeshadow in D504* (yellow gold), I238* (medium teal), M106* (smoky charcoal)
Colour Selection: 210 shades in matte, satin, iridescent, Metal, Diamond finishes
Size: 2 grams
Price: $24CAD (single), $39CAD (duo), $50 (trio)
Availability: Sephora, Make Up For Ever Boutiques
Would I (re)purchase: Probably yes.
Website: www.makeupforever.com

Released this fall, the Artist Eye Shadows were 3 years in the making and exploded on the market with a rainbow of colours in 5 enviable finishes. The formulation itself uses what Make Up For Ever calls Pigment Atomization technology which maximizes pigmentation, up to 88% concentrated pigment and said to be highest on the market.

L-R | D504* | I238* | M106*

In line with the rest of it’s revamped packaging, these eye shadows come in customizable palettes of singles, doubles or trios. The case itself has a magnetized sticker that allow the metal pans to sit inside firmly and a small hole on the bottom of the palette allows pop it out again with a pin. Of course, if you’re stranded on a dessert island, a quick smack onto the palm of your hand does the trick easily as well. The case, although plastic feels solid in the hands with sturdy hinges, a clear top for quick colour picking and snaps close with a reassuring click.
(If you’re wondering, these pans are much bigger than regular MAC shadows.)
Of the 3 different finishes I have here, the diamond and iridescent have a smooth almost slightly gel-like feel to the touch which the matte shade is smooth without feeling chalking. None of these are particularly powdery when you put a brush to them but there is some fallout with the matte shade.
The swatch on bare skin (see below) gives very consistent and true to pan colour payoff which feel so satisfying. Pigmentation is definitely up there with some of the best I’ve used and if all the 210 shades turned out like this, I think we have just found ourselves a new beauty staple. Make Up For Ever actually recommend you use these all over, certain shades can be used as blush and certain mattes can double up as eyebrow powder. This has versatility stamped all over it.
For the most part all three colours are rather blendable but the matte charcoal was hard to lay on evenly in one swipe and did require some more attention and careful layering. Mattes are the most fickle of all eye shadow finishes and while this one isn’t the smoothest I’ve used, it’s still certainly up there in the top tier. If you’re keen to see them live in action, I used them in this GRWM Video right around the 5 minute mark.
Without a primer, longevity stretches to about 4-5 hours before I noticed some shifting and if layered over another shadow formulation it does have a tendency to crease once in a while. On that front, wear time is standard to good for this price point.
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THE FINAL VERDICT

If you are a colour fanatic and are looking for a very specific shade of shadow with rich saturation then these Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows are the way to go. With 210 options to choose from you are pretty much guaranteed to build a palette that you love. But with that being said, there will be certain shades in finishes (like metal and iridescent) which are easily replaceable from another brand so not every single colour will be unique. At the heart of this, it is really about the pigmentation and the subtle nuances of those hard to find shades that makes this range unique. Worth swatching, trying and bringing home a few favourite shades especially if you snag a few multi-purpose ones.

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INGREDIENTS: (Not yet found, will update.)

Review: Aqua Smoky Extravagant Mascara | Make Up For Ever

If there are two makeup items that women are constantly debating over, it’s foundation and mascara. When it comes to the latter, I am a hard customer to win over. Mascaras vary in formulation, brush, opacity and a plethora of minute details that needs to match not only to my own lash condition but also my desired results. With a name like Smoky Extravagant however, this mascara has much to live up to.

THE BASICS
Brand: Make Up For Ever
Product: Aqua Smoky Extravagant Mascara*
Variation: Washable, Waterproof
Size: 0.23oz
Price: $28CAD
Availability: Sephora (Sephora online), Make Up For Ever Boutiques
Would I (re)purchase: Possibly
Let’s take a few steps back, this waterproof concoction in a tube is actually the new version of Make Up For Ever’s ever popular Smoky Lash that released a few years ago. The original formulation promises thick voluminous lashes that pairs well with a dramatic look.
For Summer 2014, this Aqua Smoky Extravagant touts micronized iron oxide pigments for an intense colour, pro vitamin b5 to nourish lashes, volume, length and curl in addition to being water and oil resistant.

A quick examination of the mascara in your hand and you’ll notice its unique brush head which comprises of a conical shaped design; a large size at the base and tapering to a precision tip. Formulation wise, I found the product to be quite creamy, easy to adhere to my fine lashes and easily combed through with the brush for an even distribution.
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The before and after photos (below) shows the Aqua Smoky Extravagant applied to my curled lashes (with the Shu Uemura lash curler if you are interested) in two coats on both top and bottom. Note that I decided not to wear any eyeliner so you can see the full affect from this mascara alone. From experience, I never count on a mascara to curl my natural lashes but rather measure it’s ability to hold my curl in place all day. 
As you can see, this gave me a very pretty fanned out and defined lash line. No lash comb was used and this mascara didn’t need it at all. For those with thinner lashes like mine, you’ll likely achieve more length and definition rather than any real smoky volume however I have seen some impressive dramatic result from those with better lash density. Surprisingly I found the conical brush easy to use and was actually very helpful in reaching to my corner lashes. I was also able to hold the wand vertically and really define the base.

My curl lasted well throughout the course of the day which and I loved how it was able to achieve that without a heavy formulation thus being completely comfortable and weightless to wear thanks to its synthetic thermoplastic resin coating that forms a film around each lash. This worked well for the waterproof claim however I did notice some minor smudging after a few hours which takes a point off the oil resistant claim for me. 

THE FINAL VERDICT

Having been around the block with mascara products, I really thought I resigned myself to a few staple drugstore options. Yet the Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Extravagant Mascara caught me by surprise with its lash separating brush and all day definition, this is a mascara that this false lash addict would actually wear on a casual basis. Personally, I would have liked an extra dose of volume but I think you could easily layer this with another density building product to get the best of both worlds. The price is reasonable for the high end market (though a little expensive for my everyday budget) and it’s something I would happily pick up again when I feel like a bit of a splurge. This is a near perfect mascara for me. Enough said.

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Ingredients: Water, Paraffin, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), Polybutene, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Acacia Senegal Gum, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Algin, Hydrolyzed Rhodophycea Extract, BHT, Serine, A13301/01.