Saturday, March 24, 2018

REVIEW: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation

I remember when the original Make Up For Ever HD liquid foundation launched. High definition was becoming THE standard in television and photography, and people had to figure out new ways to put on their makeup without looking made up on camera. MUFE HD foundation promised to give you that perfected-but-not-Photoshopped look. I bought it in what was then the lightest yellow shade, 115, and found that it was too dark for me, great in pictures but makeup-y in person, and overall just not to my tastes.

I also remember when Make Up For Ever reformulated a lot of their base products. The switch from their admittedly gorgeous, but smelly Face and Body foundation to the sheerer, still stinky Water Blend prompted a lot of hurt feelings on the net. However, the reformulated HD liquid foundation received a more mixed review, with some raving that it was far superior to the original formula and others grousing that they didn't like the new version. I waffled on buying this for years before getting a Sephora gift card via Ebates (note: referral link) that would cover the cost.

Natural light on top, ring light in the middle, flash on the bottom. From left to right: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation in Y205, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in Sx01, NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Siberia, Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Fair, The Ordinary Coverage Foundation in 1.0N.

The reformulated MUFE HD liquid foundation is roughly equivalent to the previous formula in terms of price and packaging: you're paying $43 for just over an ounce of product in a clear, plastic bottle with a pump. The pump is easy to control and dispenses just a little product at a time, so don't be freaked about their "two pumps" recommendation--it's not as much foundation as you might think. The biggest change in the formula, in my opinion, is the shade range; there is now a yellow shade light enough for me (Y205 Alabaster), and there are multiple very deep shades.

Actually, I think Y205 might be a bit too light for me, since it seems to match my super pale neck and that's more fair than I normally like to go, but you can be the judge of that. I did not notice any oxidation.

The formula itself feels thinner than the original Ultra HD, almost like it has a bit of air fluffed in to it. The smell is not especially strong to me after application.

Applying this foundation with a brush gave me a true medium coverage, but it was much drier feeling and looking than I want. In fact, it felt a bit uncomfortable on my dry, dehydrated skin applied straight to the face that way. So from then on, I applied it with a damp Beauty Blender over a rich moisturizer (usually Belif Moisturizing Bomb). This gave me slightly lighter coverage, but only slightly; I'd still call that "after" picture medium coverage.

The good news is that, like its predecessor, this formula looks beautiful in photographs. It gives me skin a downright soft focus look in both cell phone selfies and HD pictures. The bad news is that it doesn't look quite that good in real life. It's dry and makeup-y without being patchy, flaky, or heavy-looking; the best way I can describe it is "chalky." Get within three feet of me wearing this product, and you'll think I've dusted my face with a flour. I actually felt uncomfortable in public when I wore this foundation to the grocery store because I knew it looked so odd.

 Me wearing MUFE Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation.

I also had a Hell of a time getting it to apply to my nose. Unfortunately, the HD-ness of this foundation made it almost impossible to photograph these foibles, but if you zoom in on the above "after" picture, it should be a bit more clear. (Not the salty Demi Lovato gif, the actual photos of my face.)

So it's not as "unnoticeable" as MUFE claims. It is, however, weightless when applied with a Beauty Blender. I felt like I had nothing on my skin when I wore this.

Note: I did blot with a blotting sheet after taking the 3 hour photo.

Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation was "meh" on me in terms of wear as well. Again, it looked gorgeous in pictures, but it got drier and more chalky on most of my face and faded off of my nose throughout the day. It didn't control the oil on my nose, either, which makes me think it's not a good option for truly oily skin.

I was hoping I'd like this reformulated product better than the original. Unfortunately, my feelings are roughly the same: it's great in photographs and weird looking in any other scenario. Granted, "chalky" is a different look from the original formula's "heavy," but it's still unattractive. What a bummer. Maybe I'll give Water Blend a second chance, but really, the smart thing to do might be to give MUFE a wide berth. I think it's an overall lovely brand that just doesn't suit my skin or my needs.

RATING: 3 out of 5
I purchased this product from Sephora.


  1. Aww, sad. This is one of my no-fail options that always looks good on my skin no matter what time of year or how I apply it. Y215 is also the best foundation match I've found. I think I've gone through 3 bottles now and I'll probably buy it again at some point. I never tried the original formula but I always hear that it was better, but I really like the current version. I've heard more negative things about it than positive so I think I'm an outlier, haha.

    1. I'm so glad it works for you! I really do think it might work well on more normal/balanced skin types, but that's such a narrow group that I can't really give it a full-throated recommendation.

  2. I like the Water Blend alright other than the smell, the lightest yellow shade is a little light for me currently but it does oxidize ever so lightly after an hour or so. I haven't tried it since I *gasp* acquired this tan so it might be too light for me all together now. No matter how much sunscreen I wear I seem to pick up color here since moving to AZ which I didn't even know was possible and I grew up in California. I'm probably close to an NW15 now and it's only March!!!!

    I found the HD similar when I tried the new formulation. That's fine with me the old one oxidized asap and gave me hives. I've gotten sample pots when I knew I was going to be photographed and only wearing it for a few hours. The WB looks better irl but it doesn't seem to photograph as nicely on me.

    1. Water Blend definitely doesn't have the same HD quality in photos, no, but it's a really lovely formula in general. I just hate the smell.