Bright Purples with Make Up For Ever by Nicholas Lujan

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…

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.

Check out more photos!

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Love the look! I know this goes against the whole point of the post, but MAC seems to be the only brand that doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes. What MAC colours could I swap in to achieve this same look?

Maybe try Digit or Beautiful Iris for the lighter purple, Parfait Amour for the purple – though MAC doesn’t have anything that truly competes with #92.

Politely butting in: Try Grape pigment together with Creme de Violet! Reflects Transparent Teal mixed with a little Reflects Transparent Pink looks SO good on top, patted lightly on.

@Christine: You look so stunning! Gorgeous!

I went there in February and it was so cool. I didn’t buy anything, but I did notice one of the artists creating a look on a tablet and everyone could see her work on a big screen. I’m going back in 2 weeks and definitely checking it out thoroughly.

Woah, he took your gorgeous eyes to the next level… o_o It’s so fierce and bold, yet soft and humble. Just incredible, major props to Mr. Lujan!

Wow this look is great on you! I’m trying to get more into MUFE. I think I got turned off of them because their buzz product is their foundation, and the lightest shade is too dark for me. I’ve been eyeing the aqua creams, though. Great story!

Wow, your eyes look unbelievable! I think Nicholas was right about your inner and outer crease, I hope you do this more often. My eyes are too close together so I’m uber-jealous!

Wow! Totally stunning! I always wanted to get a real makeover so I could get outside what I’m used to doing for makeup and see if something else works for me.

I also dislike makeovers at beauty counters, I usually end up feeling I have a mask on, and I hate that salespeople usually don´t know or care about the brand’s history or upcoming products or discontinued ones. In more than one ocassion I have asked about a product I saw at the brand´s website or a magazine and the salesperson doesn´t know what I am talking about!

It depends where you go to be honest. I work at Sephora and I’m never pushy about products and very knowledgeable about all the brands. It really the luck of the draw and who you get. You could get stuck with someone who doesn’t care but you could also meet someone amazing. You never know 😉

Wow! What an amazing look for you, really stunning!

I sure hope I can find dupes in my makeup collection (Urban Decay, Illumasqua and Too Faced) and try to mimic this look.

I think you can forget the question I submitted about purples that really makes the green in your eyes pop! 😀

Again, just WOW!

I wondered about the upper lash liner – hope it can continue to work okay for you because it’s a nice option to have. What a brilliant purple look, though I think I’d feel a bit intimidated if I were wearing it.

wow that is awesome christine. i could actually tell from the first pic that it’s not something you did, very different styles and yet so cool. he’s right, both darker in the inner and outer corners suit you very well. and that wing is soo cool. and finally imma have to get that bright purple.

Youe eye really popped! Amazing, I find that #92 discolors my lids after I remove it (I have primer on prior to #92), does it do that to you too?

While I like how you look with the liner, I like it more that you don’t use it a lot. It’s different than most other people and makes me happy to see beautiful looks without it. Liner and my skin get on ok, but I can’t do the shapes to save my life. That means your liner-less looks can actually be more helpful to me!

You look AMAZING. I can actually see myself in this look and the color, since our coloring is quite similar. Thank you for this, I think I will try bright purple for once!

THIS LOOKS GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!! I’m absolutely beside myself; you already are so pretty but this accentuates your eyes amazingly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You look absolutely gorgeous, Christine. I live in NJ and I can easily get to either the mufe store or the sephora in soho with the mufe studio. However, I hate taking the train. I really want to try the lift foundation and I’m kicking myself for not getting it the last time I was there. Now, I have to get my butt in gear.

I really liked it when he put it on me – had great coverage and feel. Seemed to wear well during the Las Vegas heat, though I have to do a full trial here at home 🙂

This is one of the most fabulously, beautiful pictures I’ve seen of you. Please follow his advice, as he is right about it all! You are so lovely to begin with, but now you’re even lovelier!

Sorry, upper lash liner tends to cause swollen lids, so I really don’t do it often 🙁 Here I only had slight redness & swelling the next day, but in the past, I’ve literally not been able to see the next day!

In order to get the service, you basically commit to buy at least that amount in product – so instead of just paying for a service you’re really paying for product and get the service with it.

This looks amazing! A little different from your usual style and I must say the eye makeup with the thicker wing at the outer corner does flatter your eye shape! Gorgeous! Loved the light shimmery centre!

Oh, yes ! This looks beautiful on you !!! I love the eyeliner and the addition of darker color in the inner and outer crease. Color on the bottom lash line looks great, too.

Sorry, but that is a freaking awesome picture! I’m not sure if it’s the purple eyeshadow (probably), but your eye color is just stunning here- like someone partially melted amber and green together.

Wow, Christine this is simply gorgeous! The look is sublime and you are positively glowing. I love the sheer artistry in the way he did your eyes!

The photos are better than ever and the look is fantastic on you – it enhance the green in your eyes. I love a good purple smoke but a good matte purple is hard to find. I bought “Shock-A-Holic” from Dare to Wear but find it patchy, poor in pigmentation and hard to even out. Could Mufe #92 be a happier choice?

OMG the liner on the top lashline looks AMAZING! I wish you would wear it this way more often, not that you aren’t gorgeous no matter what you wear!

Wow…super gorgeous look!!!
I wish u had taken a pic of a face shot, where One could see more of the eye makeup from a distance 🙁 u know something like when one is looking sideways or down…and the lids are half closed..

I always feel like your looks are missing something because of the lack of upper eye liner, and this looks SO AMAZING.

I understand that it’s irritating to your eye, though, so that’s no dig against you.

I’ve always liked looks without the upper lash lined, so it makes me sad when people feel that way. I understand you don’t mean it as a dig, but I wish it wasn’t such a “rule” to wear it. I don’t look at someone else’s look and think it looks bad with liner – I just appreciate it for what the person intended it to be 🙂 I like it both ways but don’t think anyone should feel like they are incomplete without it.

I used to think it was mandatory that you line the upper lash until I came here and I could see that you didn’t do it, Christine. Then, I started to go without and I like everything I do a lot more now. I think it keeps the eyes open. Sometimes I may line the top, but I really prefer to go without.

That’s so cool, Shontay! 🙂 I’m all about doing whatever someone wants to – line, don’t line, whatever makes you happy!

I do love some of the really funky and creative things people can do with liquid liner, though!

I definitely agree! I used to think that liner pulled a look together but I definitely don’t feel like that anymore. I have relatively small lid space so liner often makes all the colour I put on disappear. I used to rely on liner to give me that almond eyed, doll eye effect — now I can just use lots of mascara to still give me definition, and concentrate instead on my outer-V/crease area. I think this is alot more flattering on me too, especially day by day. Liner can look too precise and overdone — without it I feel like I look a bit more casual. I still love my liner though 😀

Hi, Christine.

I just wanted to say that I really like the fact that you don’t tend to use liner on your upper lid. I’m Indian, and believe me when I say we press down HARD on the liner, but I generally prefer looks without upper lid liner. It looks softer and gentler to me.

Plus, if it hurts you, please don’t! I’m grateful for all the lovely work and effort you put in.

What a shame people make you feel inferior for not wearing eyeliner on your upper lash line. I can’t imagine how you must feel hearing how much better you look with it. No wonder you stopped posting looks. I think you should stop too.

Ok, I haven’t commented in a while (life has been in the way) but OMG I WAS JUST THERE LAST WEEK TOO! I was meeting friends from New Zealand (I am from Portland, OR) and OMG they laughed so hard when I saw that giant Sephora, and ran towards it practically squealing. It was like HEAVEN.

How crazy would it have been if you’d been there the exact same time? I took a pic of that same MUFE sign too! And I LOVE the purple eye!! Great stuff! But OMG it’s so weird, the coincidence!

How funny! I was there on August 9th (Tuesday)! A fellow blogger from Australia was also there (for Cosmoprof and leisure) and she made THREE! hauls at Sephora, ha!

christine, i think all of your looks are amazing, and i love that you don’t go crazy with liner on the upper lash line – makes me feel better about not wearing a lot of liner b/c i think it makes me look tired 🙂 i’m learning SO MUCH about applying makeup from your looks, so keep up the good work!

that being said – this look ROCKS! LOVE the violets with your eyes! and the liner is very pretty 🙂

Obviously, this looks amazing. I really do like the darker colors surrounding the brightness in the middle. It makes a whole new effect!

And as for the whole upper liner thing, I don’t get irritation when wearing liner there, and I probably only line the upper lashline 50% of the time I ever wear eye makeup. I just don’t find it necessary. I think the lower lashline/waterline is way better to do funky/weird pops of color anyway.

I usually never look at another person who is wearing makeup, and think “I wish they did ______ instead of ______”, because I don’t really… care? Like, it’s just not something that would cross my mind. Frankly, I think it’s bizarre that anyone would /wish/ you wore liner on the upper lashline– it’s not their face!

So after I looked at the pics I went on to reading lol I’m Definitely buying 116 and 940. I already have 92 and have never had a problem with staining either. Your eyes look gorgeous with or without eyeliner. I had the same problem for awhile with irritation to my eyelids and I went to the dr for it and he told me it was blepharitis and it was just an allergic reaction to sooooo many eyeliners. But I finally found clinique brush on cream liner which I’ve been using for years with no irritation. Your lucky to have bright eyes without outer liner. Mine look small if I don’t put on eyeliner and look even smaller when I line the waterline :-/

Interesting!! Any idea if there was a particular ingredient you were allergic to or just trial and error? Glad you found one that works! 🙂

It was pretty much trial and error until he recommended I try looking for hypoallergenic liners. I guess I can look at all the ones I used prior and try to pinpoint a similar ingredient. I also notice that a lot of pencil liners irritate my lids so I stay away from those.


Beyond gorgeous – I adore that vibrant grape colour and it looks amazing on you. Loving the subtle pink highlight in the inner corners too.


(haz happy face!)

Wow – I am not one to comment often, but I have to say, this look looks AMAZING on you. You do a great job…but I really think your eyes have never looked brighter or prettier!

Hey Christine. It could be the latex in a lot of liquid liners that you’re allergic to and causes your eyelids to swell. I have the same problem. Zuzu Luxe makes some liquid liners for sensitive skin (not just eyes) and they work for me. You should check them out.

OMG. Now that is beautiful. Man, your eyes!!! Do they ever pop and the colour makes you look like you are glowing radiant. Holy. Wow. Just wow.

i’d love to have an experience like that somewhere in chicago – you know, like have a makeup artist actually give me tips! like what he told you about being able to go bold in both corners because your eyes are a little more wide set, being able to go crazy on the lower lashline… gah, i want to go to vegas just to have a consult with this guy!

the look is STUNNING. your eyes just pop, whoa. and i think i need that lip color…

You look fabulous Christine! I’m sure you’ve tried this before, but out of curiosity, have you ever just tried using black eyeshadow as liner?

Yes, I have. I’ve always felt that it’s partially just anything in the area, like a brush, because the irritation begins pretty quickly.

Great colors! I’ll definitely try to recreate it and adapt it to my eye shape. I have a question though. You say that he used the MUFE Liquid Lift (2) and I can’t find on the Sephora website. Is it really its name? And what about the Velvet Finish (1) too? Is it the Mat Velvel Foundation or is it some kind of powder? I’d really like to know because the finish look is amazing! I’m sure you got many compliments.

They are, essentially, pro products – you can only get them at boutique locations (so Sephora MUFE boutique locations or their flagship store in NYC).

Christine you look absolutely stunning! I have a thing for purple eyeshadow looks so I am going to have to try to do this look myself. Gorgeous!!

Christine you are looking like a One Hot Fairy ….
I couldn’t find a better word then Fairy … and this fairy is decked in hot hot colors
flawless skin flawless makeup and the smile is the killer honey 😀 😀
I sware you have got wonderful smile and your eyes speaks volume ….
loved the purples on you sweetie

stay happy and keep smiling 😀 😀

The look would be just as beautiful without the liner, imo. Lujan really did an amazing job.

Re: liner on your upper lids. This might be dumb to suggest, but have you tried just using a wet shadow to line your eyes? Is it the formula of the liner that irritates or is it the proximity to your lash line?

Btw, I think all your looks look great without liner on your upper lid!

I’ve actually never noticed that you don’t line your upper lid most of the time, lol. Probably because I usually stick to swatch posts that you do; as much as I’d like to read and respond to them all, reading = my number-one distraction culprit, haha.

I looovee purple, and really like MUFE (haven’t had reactions with anything from them, yay!) so this post had me all a-squee.
The way he maps eyeshadow out on your eyes is my default way of wearing eye makeup, lol, but his blending skillz pwn mine XD.

On the note of not being able to wear upper eye liner: I’m sure you’ve tried this before, but it would seem to me that using Mixing Medium or similar + powder eyeshadow would be a lot gentler on your eyes than actual liquid liner while still preserving some of the sharpness.
My bet is that the preservatives in liquid liner are at fault (if I’m reading this correctly by assuming that you mean liquid liners are what trouble you on your upper lid, not liners in general). Since liquids are prime bacteria breeding grounds, I wouldn’t be surprised if cream/liquid eye products have more stuff in them to keep gross stuff at bay – not to mention whatever chemical components that would be necessary to keep the formula at a usable consistency and the color/pigment well-distributed.

I’m just curious about your experiences because while I have little to no problem with liners on my upper lid, I cannot STAND wearing anything on my waterline – ever! I approve that Lujan seems to echo my sentiments, lol :P. It strikes me as counter-intuitive that either of the two sensitivities can apparently manifest with or without the other.

TL;DR you look gawwgjuss, dahling, and I hope that you will one day find your OTL of upper-lid-liners 🙂

I think my lash line is just sensitive – because if I work too closely even with an eyeshadow brush, it can flare up a bit. It’s less reactive to say eyeshadow with a liner brush than a full-on liquid liner, but it does react to both. Even when applying my eyeshadow, I take care to really just skim across the very bottom of the lower lid so it’s not too much for the upper lash line area. More or less – as soon as I get between those lashes, it all goes downhill!

Curious and curiouser! If/when you do find a solution to your dilemma, I’d be interested in hearing about it for the sake of curiosity if nothing else.

You look beautiful. I love this look because it’s intense but yet, so wearable! You could walk out of that store and go on with your day feeling like a million bucks.

Everyone deserves to do their own thing without having a bunch of judgment heaped on them. You do things your way, and I’ll do them mine. But hopefully, we can all learn from the differences. I’ve learned a TON about color combos, blending and application from you, Christine. And, because it’s different from your normal methods, I’m sure you learned a ton from Lujan.

I love the shape he created with not only the liner, but the amazing work he did on the lower lash line. Can you tell us more about what was used/technique on the lower lash area?

AMAZING look! You can see it comes from a professional who loves what he does! And as usual, you look beautiful, girl! Just one thing: perhaps you could teach us how to do the “spotlight” eye? 😉

Oh my gosh Christine…that look is absolutely AMAZING!!! I am sitting here agape at how great you look. The purple shades are REALLY your kind of color. Wow! If ever there was a visual to encourage me to buy a brand’s product, this is it!

WOW that is LOVELY! I really like how he did with the darker shade on both inner and outer corners of the crease, and the spotlight is, well, spot on! I can really feel/see the difference between a fully trained passionate makeup artist vs someone you get at the counters…the final result you’ve shown in these pictures looks a lot like the advertisement photoshoots, it has that much more impact. awesome!

Oooooh!! I LOVE this look on you! And that’s great news if you’ve found a liner that doesn’t irritate your upper lash line, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for you!

Wow! what a gorgeous look on you Christine! I was wondering though, why did he use the eye seal with the aqua cream? the aqua cream is creamy enough so i am confused as to why he used a liquid with a cream?!

Very beautiful. Sorry that you have to have such problems with liner. Ever tried taking a black eyeshadow, mixing it with Illamasquas sealer to make your own liner? Maybe that would work? Or just using a dark eyeshadow as is to define the lashline?

This look is really gorgeous on you- the liner suits your eye shape so well! I hope you can enjoy upper liner more often now if this one doesn’t irritate your eyes. : )

As a professional makeup artist I love to push the boundaries a bit with some clients. Too many prefer to stay with muted colors, the taupe’s etc. While looking natural for bridal makeup is fine, it’s fun to create an edgy look for parties or a special night out. Your purple eye makeup is dazzling and fun, just what every girl needs. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color. I agree with not pushing products. While every makeup artist has their favorite products it’s not something clients want to deal with, it’s the finished look that matters to them most. Over the counter makeup artists will always push a product.

Wow, I love it when you wear black/dark eyeliner with your looks, they make your eyes look sooo amazing 🙂
And you should wear more cool eyeshadows, they always look great on you.

I finally got around to trying this look out on myself. It looked identical to what Nicholas Lujan did but I didn’t like the way it looked with my eye shape. He really knew how to accentuate your eye color and eye shape to their full potential. I wish it looked as beautiful on me as it did you.

I haven’t commented in a long time, kind of fell out of my makeup obsession, but started going backward through your entries and came across this one. I usually see you do more neutral ‘looks’ than anything else, which do look good on you -but this purple look stopped me in my tracks. This looks ABSOLUTELY gorgeous on you!! That purple really pops with your skin-tone and eye colors (by the way, you have amazing eyes), and I feel like it gives you this younger air (I am in no way calling you old, lol! Just a young-er look to you.)

You should definitely rock out bold purples more often, this is a very striking and attractive look for you!:)

I’m late to the comment party aren’t I… ^^;

I have pretty hooded eyes so I generally just tightline and apply eyeliner only on the outer third of the lid, winging it out slightly. If I don’t line my upper lashline at all I always end up bringing too much attention to my dark circles. >.<

I love how your eyes look with or without liner. I do envy your ability to pull together a look with just mascara, though! (My sad Asian lashes would never let me do that. 😛 ) I just can't imagine how it would feel to have all these people tell you you look less beautiful without — While you probably wish for an eyeliner that wouldn't irritate your sensitive eyes. *hugs*

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