Aqua XL Color Paint
The inspiration for Make Up Forever's Aqua XL Color Paint Extra Long Lasting Waterproof Shadow is obvious at first glance. The range of 20 colors in matte, shimmer, and satin finishes is reminiscent of artist's paint, and the small tubes of color carry that theme even further. Intrigued, we couldn't wait to try this paint shadow—recommended for use by itself, as a liner, or as a base for other shadows—and those of us with normal to dry skin were impressed with the smooth, uniform texture that didn't crack or bleed, even in the darkest matte tints.
We can attest to the extra-long wear and the waterproof quality—swatches on our hands stayed put through several washes over the course of twelve hours. The matte ultramarine blue hue even improved after immersion in water (yes, it'll last through a shower), taking on an ever-so-slight iridescent effect. But be aware that skin type may have a lot to do with your opinion of this product.
For those with normal to dry skin, this paint will stay put all day—and then some—and the moisturizing ingredients in this waterproof shadow keep it from ever feeling dry. If you have oily skin, however, you may notice this paint beginning to crease and migrate as the day (or night) progresses.
- Stunning range of colors in three very different finishes.
- Long lasting, waterproof wear.
- Endless opportunities for creative application.
- Some tints may stain skin, particularly the yellow.
- Tends to wear unevenly on oilier skin.
Make Up For Ever At-A-Glance
Strengths: Wonderful foundations; impressive options (and shade ranges) for powders, powder blush, and powder eyeshadow; some extraordinary lip glosses and lipstick/lip color options (and again, the shade ranges are remarkable); a few formidable mascaras; good shimmer options.
Weaknesses:Can be expensive; a few formulas contain needlessly high amounts of fragrance.
This Paris-based makeup collection traces its roots to theatrical and fashion makeup, building on the concept that a professional makeup artist not only desires, but also needs, every conceivable color and texture to create the broadest range of looks. Since 1984, Make Up For Ever creators Dany Sanz and Jacques Waneph have been doing their best to meet these criteria. Through the years, this line has gone from offering a tremendous array of colors in their own European boutiques to a more streamlined, "everyday" collection of products in select department stores and (primarily) Sephora, whose parent company, LVMH, has owned Make Up For Ever since 1999.
The color line presents an intriguing blend of classic, workable shades positioned next to some truly unique hues and finishes that only those involved with theater or the most flamboyant "anything goes" makeup artist (or diva) would covet. A major plus for this line is that many of the colors are densely pigmented, working beautifully on medium to deep skin tones. The drawback is that fair and lighter skin tones may find their choices more limited in a few areas of the brands ranges. However, for those who want it all when it comes to possible shades, this line more than delivers what it takes to please.
An interesting aspect of this line is that, category to category, there are mostly exceptional choices, with products that we found to be averagecertainly falling short of what we know Make Up For Ever to be capable of. However, if you are cautious of those few pitfalls (fortunately, there are an abundance of testers to experiment with at Sephora or the brands standalone boutiques) you will undoubtedly be pleased with those products that Make Up For Ever does best.
For more information on Make Up For Ever, call (877) 757-5175 or visit www.makeupforever.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.