Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation
Make Up For Ever's original HD Invisible Cover Foundation was iconic for its time, so we had considerable expectations for their new Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation. Upfront, this is an excellent formula, looks surprisingly natural on skin and provides light to medium buildable coverage. It is, however, substantially different from the previous version (and we'll discuss how in a moment) but in determining its rating, we'll note that we judged it based upon its claims and performance—not solely in comparison to the former HD Invisible Cover Foundation.
Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation is packaged in a plastic bottle with a pump dispenser. Super fluid, this will set to a satin finish, making it ideal for those with combination to slightly dry skin (including the acne prone). Those with oily skin will likely find they need to powder or blot more often over the course of the day, yet it isn't emollient enough for those with truly dry skin unless worn over a richer moisturizer.
Make Up For Ever promises this formula, developed for the more extreme detail of today's ultra HD video technology, will be "invisible to the naked eye," yet will feel comfortable on skin. The "ultra HD" claim is less impressive given that many of today's best foundations look quite natural and undetectable on camera. Nevertheless, let's take an "ultra HD look" at how this measures up against its claims.
The degree of coverage will blur redness, minor discolorations and give your complexion a healthier, more even appearance. True to its marketing claims, the finish looks incredibly natural and doesn't leave skin with an "artificial" look. Its fluid texture blends easily; if you're familiar with the original, this is considerably lighter. (We found buffing and stippling this with a makeup brush resulted in more of a medium coverage, while using a sponge—we used the Beautyblender—provided a lighter, sheerer result.)
Application Tip: A little goes a long way, and we found the two pumps recommended by Make Up For Ever to be much more than was necessary to cover our entire face. In fact, using two pumps made this foundation much more visible on skin, to the extent that it began to collect into lines on the face or around the nose area. One pump, at most, seemed ideal, with additional product buffed over specific spots only where more coverage was needed.
In terms of how this wears over the course of the day, Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation will hold up well for those who fall in the aforementioned combination to slightly dry skin categories. Make Up For Ever claims this is an all skin types formula, but we found it more like an "all skin types that aren't looking for a matte finish" foundation. If you have oily skin, this won't do you any favors, as it doesn't absorb any excess oil production. (To be fair, Make Up For Ever doesn't claim a matte finish, nor does it claim to be longwearing.)
The fragrance that appears in this foundation is in a low concentration, as it appears near the end of the ingredient list. It was virtually undetectable when using the product and we would not consider it to be a risk for the skin.
The shade range may be the largest Make Up For Ever has offered to date—40 (!) shades. This expands on the previous HD Invisible Cover Foundation's 26 options, adding more variations to their super fair/light and deeper shades. The color choices are truly staggering, with their undertones denoted by the letter "Y" (for yellow, or "warm") or "R" (for red, or "cool") preceding the shade number.
If you are familiar with the original HD Invisible Cover Foundation, be aware the shade number system has changed, but Make Up For Ever smartly included shade conversions on the product's packaging, as well as both online and in store—whether you're shopping at Sephora or a standalone boutique. The colors are not always perfect matches, however, as the difference in texture and finish has impact on how the final color looks on skin. (Thus, it's good to try your shade in-store just to be sure.)
Whenever a product like the original HD Invisible Cover Foundation is reformulated, there will always be polarizing opinions. While we wouldn't recommend the new Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation as a perfect choice for those with oily or very oily skin, we found it had more than enough positive qualities for those with combination to dry, including its blendability, lightweight finish and natural appearance on skin, for it to earn our highest recommendation.
- Lightweight, fluid formula that blends easily.
- Exceptional shade range, with options ranging from super fair to very deep.
- Natural looking, satin finish on skin.
- Not ideal for very oily or oily skin due to its finish.
- Contains a minor amount of fragrance.
A bestselling HD foundation that appears more invisible, comfortable, and natural-looking than ever.
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.