It has been a long time since we've been so disappointed by a mascara. This extra black formula definitely makes lashes dramatically dark, but its messy, uneven application smears from the beginning and doesn’t let up. Within moments we noticed flaking and by midday our entire upper lash line was splotched with smeary mascara. All this for average length and a formula that is moderately waterproof. Even though much of it comes off before you want it to, removing the rest of it is no easy feat—the ultimate irony for one of the worst waterproof mascaras in recent memory.
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).