Housed in one slim compact are two shades of silky, fragrance-free pressed powder: a light shade for highlighting and a dark shade for contouring and creating depth/shadows. Used with the appropriate angled contour brush (Make Up For Ever sells these, as do M.A.C. and Sephora) the two powders work beautifully to sculpt your face and define your features.
The process of contouring is an art and requires practice to look right (and be convincing). It may not be something you do daily, but for special occasion makeup it can make a big difference (especially if you’re going to be photographed). Almost without exception the covers of fashion magazines show models and actresses whose features have been softly contoured and highlighted to a flattering degree. You can do this, too, but again, it takes practice.
The shade options in Sculpting Kit are a mixed bag; the darker shade in 02 Neutral Light is too warm (orange-ish) for light skin tones, while 01 Light Pink isn’t pink at all and is actually soft and neutral (a much better choice for fair to light skin tones). Shade 04 Dark is great for tan skin tones while 03Gold is the trickiest to work with unless you blend the two shades together and use them for bronzing powder rather than for contouring and highlighting.
Regardless of which set you choose, these go on smoothly and impart soft color that’s easy to build—and the color lasts. This is worth seeking out if you don’t mind the expense and want to try your hand at contouring/highlighting.
- Shades for contouring fair to tan skin tones.
- Very smooth, flake-free powder texture and even application.
- Soft color deposit so you can build to desired result without skin looking muddy or “dirty”.
- Not every duo is ideally suited for contouring.
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.