Pro-Bronze Fusion by Make Up For Ever was something of a surprise for us, as it is an unusual product from the brand that is so well known for its high-pigment color formulas. Make Up For Ever designed the range specifically to deliver sheer color that can be easily layered for more intensity—a combination that makes this a good option for both the faux-glow aficionado and those who are traditionally bronzer shy. The range is fragrance free and suitable for any skin type, including the acne prone.
Pro-Bronze Fusion is available in six shades (at the time of this review) that cover a wide range from light tan to deep bronze. The shade options are coded from lightest to deepest—10m, 15l, 20m, 25l, 30m and 35l—their finish noted by the letters "I" or "m." The "I" denotes a subtle luminous finish (without visible sparkles), and "m" refers to those that have a matte finish. The matte shades are better described as "satin matte," as there is a hint of sheen that looks natural on skin.
Make Up For Ever describes these pressed powders as enhanced with "gel power," which actually refers to their unique soft texture that isn't powdery, yet blends exceptionally well and works well for both oily and dry skin. This texture also seems to be a critical quality to their sheer-yet-buildable finish. One of the more impressive qualities of Pro-Bronze Fusion is the fact that it is practically impossible to apply too much product with the first pass of your brush. (Bonus for the fair-skinned among us.)
Application Tips: For best application, we found a denser brush—such as a kabuki—works especially well with this formula (the denser the brush, the faster the color builds on skin). It almost seems as if no product at all is coming off the compact onto your brush, but the color builds rapidly. In our experience, one application gives skin a slightly warmed effect, while two to three achieves a glowing, bronzed look.
The color options are mostly neutral and excellent, with the lightest shades and deepest being the most impressive for their avoidance of overly warm undertones unsuitable to their recommended skin-tone range. The mid-tones, 20m and 25i, do lean warm (but not unnaturally so).
Though on the pricey side, Make Up For Ever Pro-Bronze Fusion is a unique entry into the bronzer category, with a little something for everyone due to its sheer-buildable, natural-looking finish and shades that avoid overly warm undertones (especially as few brands offer such a library of bronzer shades.) It was for these interesting and exceptional qualities that it earned our highest rating.
One last note—Make Up For Ever claims these hold up to water exposure. While they wear well over the course of a workday (even in warm, humid weather,) they aren't water-resistant unless applied to bare skin. In other words, if your foundation/tinted moisturizer, etc. is not water-resistant, Pro-Bronze Fusion will wear away as it does upon a dip in the pool.
- Unusually wide shade range (for a bronzer category).
- Unique sheer-yet-buildable quality helps prevent "over application."
- Shade options for the fair to deeper skin tone.
- Available in both satin matte and non-shimmery luminous finishes.
- Fragrance free.
- On the pricey side.
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.