Tested on animals:Yes
Make Up For Ever's original HD Invisible Cover Foundation was iconic for its time, so we had considerable expectations for their new Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation. Upfront, this is an excellent formula, looks surprisingly natural on skin and provides light to medium buildable coverage. It is, however, substantially different from the previous version (and we'll discuss how in a moment) but in determining its rating, we'll note that we judged it based upon its claims and performance—not solely in comparison to the former HD Invisible Cover Foundation.
Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation is packaged in a plastic bottle with a pump dispenser. Super fluid, this will set to a satin finish, making it ideal for those with combination to slightly dry skin (including the acne prone). Those with oily skin will likely find they need to powder or blot more often over the course of the day, yet it isn't emollient enough for those with truly dry skin unless worn over a richer moisturizer.
Make Up For Ever promises this formula, developed for the more extreme detail of today's ultra HD video technology, will be "invisible to the naked eye," yet will feel comfortable on skin. The "ultra HD" claim is less impressive given that many of today's best foundations look quite natural and undetectable on camera. Nevertheless, let's take an "ultra HD look" at how this measures up against its claims.
The degree of coverage will blur redness, minor discolorations and give your complexion a healthier, more even appearance. True to its marketing claims, the finish looks incredibly natural and doesn't leave skin with an "artificial" look. Its fluid texture blends easily; if you're familiar with the original, this is considerably lighter. (We found buffing and stippling this with a makeup brush resulted in more of a medium coverage, while using a sponge—we used the Beautyblender—provided a lighter, sheerer result.)
Application Tip: A little goes a long way, and we found the two pumps recommended by Make Up For Ever to be much more than was necessary to cover our entire face. In fact, using two pumps made this foundation much more visible on skin, to the extent that it began to collect into lines on the face or around the nose area. One pump, at most, seemed ideal, with additional product buffed over specific spots only where more coverage was needed.
In terms of how this wears over the course of the day, Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation will hold up well for those who fall in the aforementioned combination to slightly dry skin categories. Make Up For Ever claims this is an all skin types formula, but we found it more like an "all skin types that aren't looking for a matte finish" foundation. If you have oily skin, this won't do you any favors, as it doesn't absorb any excess oil production. (To be fair, Make Up For Ever doesn't claim a matte finish, nor does it claim to be longwearing.)
The fragrance that appears in this foundation is in a low concentration, as it appears near the end of the ingredient list. It was virtually undetectable when using the product and we would not consider it to be a risk for the skin.
The shade range may be the largest Make Up For Ever has offered to date—40 (!) shades. This expands on the previous HD Invisible Cover Foundation's 26 options, adding more variations to their super fair/light and deeper shades. The color choices are truly staggering, with their undertones denoted by the letter "Y" (for yellow, or "warm") or "R" (for red, or "cool") preceding the shade number.
If you are familiar with the original HD Invisible Cover Foundation, be aware the shade number system has changed, but Make Up For Ever smartly included shade conversions on the product's packaging, as well as both online and in store—whether you're shopping at Sephora or a standalone boutique. The colors are not always perfect matches, however, as the difference in texture and finish has impact on how the final color looks on skin. (Thus, it's good to try your shade in-store just to be sure.)
Whenever a product like the original HD Invisible Cover Foundation is reformulated, there will always be polarizing opinions. While we wouldn't recommend the new Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation as a perfect choice for those with oily or very oily skin, we found it had more than enough positive qualities for those with combination to dry, including its blendability, lightweight finish and natural appearance on skin, for it to earn our highest recommendation.
- Lightweight, fluid formula that blends easily.
- Exceptional shade range, with options ranging from super fair to very deep.
- Natural looking, satin finish on skin.
- Not ideal for very oily or oily skin due to its finish.
- Contains a minor amount of fragrance.