When it comes to Smoky Extravagant Mascara, the only real "Extravagant" parts are the claims! The company says Smoky Extravagant uses "4D technology" (because 3D is so 2012, right?) and has an "exclusive microdefining wax complex that envelops the lash surface in ultrablack pigments." That's impressive sounding, right? In reality, that's what all mascaras do, but we have to agree that that's great marketing spin.
Extravagant claims aside, this is a good mascara that adds significant length and moderate volume to lashes. It doesn't flake or smudge throughout the day, and it comes off easily with cleanser and water. It also doesn't feel heavy or stiff, which means all-day wear is comfortable.
The only problem is that this does have a tendency to clump after you put a couple of coats on, although it's relatively easy to comb these clumps out. But, given that there are mascaras that don't clump, why bother with this one?
- Adds significant length and moderate volume to lashes.
- Doesn't smudge or flake throughout the day.
- Lightweight and doesn't make lashes feel stiff.
- Comes off easily with a water-soluble cleanser.
- Tends to clump after a couple of coats, although the clumps can be easily brushed out.
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).