Make Up For Ever's Aqua Rouge Waterproof Liquid Lip Color is an average take on an idea that's been around for a while now. Housed in a single tube are a long-lasting liquid lip color on one end, and a clear gloss top coat on the other—think CoverGirl Outlast or the original Max Factor Lipfinity lip paint and top coat and you have the idea.
The lip color itself is very rich – it only takes one or two swipes of the sponge applicator to get a full coat of color. It dries quickly to a semi-matte finish, at which point you're supposed to put on the glossy top coat. The top coat is a simple, clear gloss that's not too thick or goopy, and provides a high-shine finish as advertised.
The problem is that the gloss only stays shiny for about 20 minutes, and has a tendency to migrate to other areas (some of it wound up on this reviewer's chin, and it was definitely not applied there!). As for the long-wearing lip color, it barely lasted three hours, and faded badly after a single meal. Worse yet is that it doesn't fade into a single, uniform stain if you eat – instead, you're left with next to no color around the center of the mouth, with more color at the edges. Instead of taking your chances with this one, have a look at our list of Best Lip Gloss.
- Lipstick provides rich, full-coverage color.
- Glossy topcoat is not overly thick or goopy.
- Glossy top coat migrates to other areas of the face.
- Top coat only stays glossy for about 20 minutes.
- Lip color doesn't last as long as it should, and fades unevenly.
- Pricey for what you get.
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).