I'm about to confess something that might get my beauty blogger card revoked, but here goes: Foundation has always intimidated me. The few times I've tried it, I've been turned off for one reason or another. The colour pigments are either a tad too light or too dark, the liquid formula too mask-like, the powder versions too cake-y, the coverage insufficient or way too much. That's why throughout my fresh-faced 20s, I mostly relied on BB cream or tinted moisturizer when I wanted to even out my skin but still have a natural, dewy finish. Now that I'm in my early 30s though, I find myself craving more coverage for special occasions but still wanting that natural, dewy finish, which is why new MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($50) is such a godsend. More details after the jump!
Fans of MUFE's old HD foundation will find plenty to love about the new formula. First, it boasts 4K Complex technology. That's MUFE marketingspeak for how the formula looks flawless even under better-than-HD cameras (and to the naked eye, obviously), thanks to: amino acid coated pigments that reflect light, blur flaws, and provide invisible coverage; hyaluronic spheres to plump the skin and retain moisture for more comfortable wear; and sericite, a fine-grained mica that gives skin a luminous quality.
Second, the liquid version of Ultra HD Foundation is available in 40 shades, whereas the old HD Foundation had 26—perfect for the Goldilocks in me who wants a shade that's just right. (The stick version comes in 15 shades.)
The liquid formula boasts light-to-medium buildable coverage, while the stick version has medium-to-full coverage.
Choosing a shade
The folks at MUFE generously offered to send me 3 shades of my choice to try, but I still found choosing the right shade to be daunting. If you're not used to shopping for foundation, how do you choose the one that's right for you out of 40 variations on beige goop?
Luckily, MUFE's new numbering system for the Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation made things considerably easier. The letter prefix Y stands for yellow undertones and R stands for red/rose undertones, so I ruled out any of the R shades immediately.
I also found it easier to look at the limited number of swatches for the Ultra HD Stick Foundation, and then determine a more precise range from there. I'm usually a light-medium shade with a yellow undertone, so...Y225 and Y245? I requested Y235 (the shade in-between) to be safe.
So how did MUFE Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation measure up?
Having never tried the old MUFE HD Foundation, I have no point of comparison, but I will say this for the new-and-improved formula: It's everything I want in a foundation and none of the things I detest.
The expanded shade range was a smart move on MUFE's part. As it turns out, Y225 was just a little too light and Y245 was just a little too dark, but Y235 proved to be the perfect match. The formula is liquid-y and feels weightless on the skin, and once I blended it in properly, it was impossible to tell where my skin ended and the foundation began. It was natural and dewy and luminous, without looking mask-like or flat at all.
I also appreciated the light yet buildable formula. Using a smaller brush to layer coverage over dark circles, blemishes, and discolouration, I barely needed any concealer afterward. The only bummer about MUFE Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation—especially if you're used to the blend-and-go ease of a BB cream or tinted moisturizer—is the more intense colour pigments do tend to emphasize pores, so using a primer is recommended.
At $50, this foundation might be on the spendier side if you're used to paying drugstore prices, but trust me when I say this is a Holy Grail foundation that's completely worth the investment. Besides, the pump bottle lets you dispense just the right amount with minimal waste, and the coverage is so good a little really does go a long way. I wore this foundation to a wedding recently and someone complimented me on my amazing skin. That's when you know a foundation's a keeper—when someone compliments your skin instead of your makeup.