Aqua Cream is a long-wear, highly pigmented cream that can be used as an eyeshadow, blush, or lip color. In each of those functions, Aqua Cream sets to a matte finish and is resistant to water, moisture, and perspiration (so much so, you’ll likely need an oil- or silicone-based makeup remover to take it off).
True to claims, you won’t have to worry about smudging or creasing, but no matter where you apply it, it’s important to instantly blend the product because it sets quickly once applied.
The shade range is a bit on the wild, theatrical side, with a mixture of neutral and bright tones, but out of the 22 colors, there are some beautiful options to consider in a variety of intensities and finishes (shimmer, matte, and metallic).
Although you can use Aqua Cream on the eyes, lips, or cheeks, we found it most ideal as a cream eyeshadow because it is resistant to creasing and smudging and it won’t flake. There are some over-the-top shades you might want to avoid, such as Intense Blue, but others such as the shimmer-finish Pink Beige and Taupe are quite stunning.
This product works OK as a stay-put cheek color, but avoid the extremely bright colors such as Fuchsia and Orange, which not only look unnatural, but also have a tendency to seep into pores, bringing more attention to them.
In terms of using this as a lip product, the texture is a bit more mattifying than what’s comfortable for use on the lips, making them look overly dry or cakey.
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 selected 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 the majority of colors are densely pigmented and work beautifully on medium to deep skin tones. The drawback is that fair and lighter skin tones may be left feeling that most of the color choices are too intense for them, especially if their goal is a soft, natural makeup application—though the choices in that regard are becoming more plentiful. For those who literally 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's often a similar pattern: one or two extraordinary to very good products, followed by mediocrity. It is the average products (and a correspondingly fewer number of poor ones) that tarnish this line and make its prices seem too inflated. However, if you pay attention (and purchase) the products Make Up For Ever does best, you will undoubtedly be pleased.
For more information on Make Up For Ever, call (877) 757-5175 or visit www.makeupforever.com.
Note: The product assortment below is typical of what you will find at Sephora boutiques across the country. If you wish to view the complete collection of Make Up For Ever, the only place to do that is at their freestanding stores in New York City or Los Angeles (or their European stores).