This is a lipstick lover’s dream in terms of selection, but before you dive in to the 50 shades offered, you’ll want to arm yourself with this vital info: The lipstick is offered in four finishes: Matte, Cream, Pearl, and Satin. We’re sad to report that the Matte is terrible with a capital “T.” This is the type of matte lipstick that causes women to never want to try another matte formula again. It’s dry, difficult to apply evenly, and stubborn when it comes time to remove it, because, basically, it stains your lips.
The Cream and Satin formulas fare much better. Each has a classic creamy texture that’s slightly on the dry side, but they still have good movement during application. Once on, you’ll enjoy full coverage and lasting color with a cream finish. The Pearl formula is nearly identical to that of the Cream, but each Pearl shade has a glittering shine rather than a glossy or dimensional finish. The big deal with all of these finishes is the intense pigmentation—and the colors really do have impressive staying power. The shade selection runs the gamut and offers several winners, especially for pinks, reds, and all manner of coral.
The Best Product rating applies to the Cream and Pearl finishes only; we do not recommend the Matte formula.
Note: The Cream finish is described as Satin on Sephora’s Web site, but it’s listed as Cream in their stores.
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).