Bright Purples with Make Up For Ever by Nicholas Lujan
While I was in Las Vegas last week, there was one mission I KNEW I had to accomplish: visit the (relatively) newly opened Make Up For Ever Boutique in Sephora at the Venetian. I’ve never been to Make Up For Ever’s flagship boutique in NYC, and their range is more extensive than what you normally find at Sephora, so I really wanted to see what else they had! I popped by on Tuesday afternoon and met with the oh-so-fabulous Nicholas Lujan. He was absolutely phenomenal–so knowledgeable but even more? infinitely passionate about all things makeup and Make Up For Ever.
Over the years, I’ve found myself getting less and less “makeovers” by artists at counters because I recognize more now than I did before that for many, those are just jobs (and retail ones at that)–which is OK but we, as beauty aficiandos, have to understand that. Too often there is a lack of emphasis on artistry and technique, and instead, artists (even those who would love to teach and show more) are compelled to push product. If you’re lucky, you’ll find and connect with the artists that are passionate about their job and makeup, and then you can learn so much from them.
Make Up For Ever is ALL about artistry. Lujan (along with the others who work at the Las Vegas boutique) were trained in a one-month long makeup “bootcamp” and had hands-on training with Dany Sanz herself (founder of the brand). It’s easy to tell when someone is passionate about what they do, because you can hear it in their voice. He knew the brand’s history, products’ history and development, and most importantly, he knew how to use everything.
I recommend visiting the boutique if you get the chance, and if you have some time, book a session with one of the artists working that day. They have shorter sessions (30 minutes or so, approximately $50 redeemable in product) and longer sessions (60 minutes or so, approximately $120 redeemable in product)–and it’s not hard to spend either amount on their products. My session was complimentary, as I came as press, but I could not leave without purchasing their Liquid Lift Foundation–I was willing to find a way to cram it into my quart-sized liquids’ bag!
The look you see in this post was created by the talented Lujan–I wanted to give him freedom to do something he thought would look good and work for me. Surprisingly, the black liner on the upper lash line was not as irritating as liner typically is, so I’ll be testing that out myself over the next few weeks. He called this his “spotlight” look, because of the brightness popped onto the center of the lid. Lujan also told me that my eyes are set far enough apart that I can get away with wearing dark eyeshadows on both the inner and outer creases/corners. He also told me to go nuts with the lower lash line, because it works well with my eye shape!
You will need the following…
Eyes:Make Up For Ever #2 Aqua Cream (steel), Make Up For Ever Eye Seal, Make Up For Ever #116 Eyeshadow (lilac), Make Up For Ever #92 Eyeshadow (vibrant purple), Make Up For Ever #940 Star Powder (white iridescence), Make Up For Ever #1 Diamond Powder (white), Make Up For Ever Aqua Black Eyeliner (black), Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Lash (black)
For eyes, Lujan applied #2 Aqua Cream with Eye Seal using the 6N brush. He then applied #116 eyeshadow in the creased with the 17S brush. He applied #92 eyeshadow in the corners with the 14S brush. He patted #940 Star Powder underneath the arch and the inner corner. He then mixed #940 Star Powder with #1 Diamond Powder onto the center of the lid. He lined the upper lash line with Aqua Black eyeliner. The eyes were finished with Aqua Smoky Lash on lashes.
For cheeks, he applied #6 HD Blush onto cheeks with #5 eyeshadow used as a highlight. Lujan contoured with #170 HD Foundation and set with #1 Velvet Finish.
For lips, he used #1C Aqua Lip Liner to line lips, and then applied #23 Rouge Artist Lipstick for a nude lip. He topped the lips with #16 Lab Shine Lip Gloss for shine and shimmer.
Win the Look @ Mara Hoffman with Make Up For Ever + Tresemme!
Congratulations to Helen!
Make Up For Ever Alliance artist, Lottie, served as key make up artist for the Mara Hoffman show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim in Miami. Mara Hoffman’s collection celebrates life and spirituality and the make up reflects this ideal. These are women who are not afraid to be strong and feminine all at once and can show their individuality.
Cheeks: The skin was modern with a glowing complexion. Lottie applied MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Invisible Cover Foundation to give the models a flawless canvas. Next, Lottie created beautiful flushed cheeks using MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Blush and MAKE UP FOR EVER Mat Bronze.
Eyes: Lottie created a “blessing” like smudge between the eyes using neon orange MAKE UP FOR EVER Wet Make Up for a strong look. The brows were sculpted straight, almost masculine in shape, and the eyes were lined with heavy black using MAKE UP FOR EVER Khol Pencil #1K. She also added a thick coat of MAKE UP FOR EVER Smoky Lash Mascara.
Lips: The lips boasted next to nothing color using MAKE UP FOR EVER Glossy Full Couleur #10, a sheer peach.
Mara’s gorgeous prints and designs evoked a very spiritual, ethnic feel. TRESemmé Stylist Elsa Canedo, the lead stylist for the show, created earthy fishtail braids to match the inspiration. The overall style is meant to have lots of texture and to look effortless without being too polished. See below for steps on how to recreate the look:
Create a middle part and divide hair into sections
Prep each section with TRESemmé Thermal Creations Curl Activator Spray, then curl using a 1″ barrel curling iron and pin to the head
Once all sections are completed, take out the pins and brush the curls with a paddle brush
Flip your head upside down and spray TRESemmé Fresh Start Dry Shampoo throughout hair for added texture, lightly combing the product through with your fingers
Flipping your head upright, divide hair into two sections down the middle of the head, and begin to create two French braids, starting at the top of the head to the base of the neck
From the base of the neck, create two fishtails braids, and secure them with clear elastics, leaving some length on the ends loose
Lightly rough up hair at the top of the head, pulling a few pieces loose with your fingers, and finish by lightly applying TRESemmé No-Frizz Secret Smoothing Créme in a backwards motion
blacks: There are really no distinguishable differences between Illamasqua Abyss, MAC On the Hunt, or MUFE #13–they’re all a really deep, dark inky black. Stila Sequins is similar but has noticeable shimmer. MAC Marked for Glamour is a little grayer than Stila Sequins, and MUFE #15 is comparable to Marked for Glamour. MUFE #14 and Stila Starry are comparable, while MUFE is a little darker overall.
golds: There are no distinguishable differences between Illamasqua Alchemy, MAC Pure Show, or MUFE #1.
olives: MAC Desires & Devices has more gold shimmer and a blacker, less green base compared to Stila Flash.
greens: MAC Treat Me Nice and MUFE #3 are indistinguishable from each other.
teals: MUFE #4 and Stila Electric are indistinguishable from each other.
blues: The darker blues are rather varied; none of them look alike. From the lighter blues, MUFE #5 has more shimmer and is a lighter, more neon blue than Stila Bora Bora.
purples: Similar to the darker blues, there is quite a bit of variation of the four purple shades available. MUFE #8 and Stila Royal are the only ones that are comparable, but Stila is less red toned, more violet shimmered.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners – 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners
Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner ($23.00 for 0.058 oz.) is a new liquid liner that launched recently at Sephora. It claims to be “weather, tear, and sweat-proof color” and “100% waterproof.” There are fifteen shades in total (there is no #2 shade), all of which have been photographed and swatched in this post.
#1 is a semi-sheer yellowed gold base with gold shimmer.
#3 is a darkened forest green with olive and green shimmer.
#4 is a medium-dark blue-teal with silver and teal shimmer.
#5 is a bright blue with soft silvery-white shimmer.
#6 is a blackened, cool-toned blue-purple with silver and blue shimmer.
#7 is a blackened violet purple with blue-violet and purple shimmer.
#8 is a medium-dark red-based purple with violet and fuchsia shimmer.
#9 is a bright, neon pink with a soft sheen.
#10 is a neutreal red with soft ruby red shimmer.
#11 is a burgundy wine with fuchsia and pink shimmer.
#12 is a lightened black with a touch of brown.
#13 is a deep, dark black.
#14 is a black-brown with multi-colored shimmer.
#15 is a silvered black with multi-colored shimmer.
#16 is a colorless base with white shimmer.
It’s clear that there’s a new liquid liner formula on the block, and a lot of brands have taken advantage of it: MAC Superslick ($17.50/0.06 oz.), Illamasqua Precision Ink ($27.50/0.06 oz., only available in Abyss and Glister), Laura Mercier Liquid Eyeliner ($26, only available in Gold Thread), Stila Sparkle Liquid Liner ($22.00/0.05 oz.), and Bobbi Brown Glitter Liquid Liner ($20.00/0.05 oz., only available in Silver and Gold during the holiday). I couldn’t tell the difference between the majority of these when it came to the formula (Laura Mercier’s I haven’t tried; Stila’s is chalked full of shimmer/glitter, so they feel a little different).
Make Up For Ever definitely changed up the formula and tweaked the packaging, which is something I didn’t see in the other brands. The brush is actually more tapered and shorter, though still made out of foam. The shorter length actually enables you to have a little more precision and makes it easy to never have too much product on the brush (this makes these edge out just oh-so-slightly ahead, but the longer applicator is still easy to work with). I also felt like the formula was thinner, almost watery, but it wasn’t watered down, because each liner was intensely pigmented. You also have to shake up these Aqua Liners (you’ll hear something rattling inside when you do) — and this isn’t something common to the other brands.
Aqua Liners are budgeproof, smudgeproof, and waterproof. These don’t budge until you’re ready to remove them, and they removed easily with an eye makeup remover like Lancome Bi-Facil or Make Up For Ever’s Sens’Eyes. MAC’s Makeup Removing Wipes also did a fine job of removing these from my arm. The product will flake off more than it will dissolve, but I didn’t experience any flaking while wearing–only when I went to remove it; the best way to describe it is to analogize it to tube mascara.
Though Aqua Liners have a different applicator and the formula is definitely tweaked (at least, in consistency/feel), but in wear, I’ve found that all of the variations on this new type of liquid eyeliner wear extremely well. Make Up For Ever has the largest range at 15. The two shades that overlap across nearly every brand is gold (for MUFE, it’s #1), though Make Up For Ever’s #1 seems a little darker, less metallic gold, more sun-gold, and plain ol’ black (for MUFE, it’s #15).
P.S. — I’m still waiting for a few Stila Sparkle Liquid Liners, and then I’ll post some comparisons for any shades that do compare.
The color range is amazing--it's exactly what I'd expect from Make Up For Ever and totally useful for liquid liner fanatics. There are fun, brightly colored shades, but also some interesting takes on black. And then it's delivered in a formula that holds on all day, through showers and workouts!
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Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner – 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner Sneak Peek – Photos & Swatches
I’m not quite done with all of the photos/swatches I need for the review, but I’ve tested these, and they’re amazing! Definitely long-wearing and waterproof. They look a lot like some of the other felt/foam-tipped liquid liners we’ve seen come out in the past few months (MAC Superslick, Illamasqua Precision Ink, just to name a few), but the applicator on these is actually a little different–all of which I’ll go into greater detail in the actual review.