Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Skin Booster: THE Solution to Drying Concealers and Foundations

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Skin Booster Hydra-Plump Serum

Do you ever try base products that look amazing when you first apply them, but by day's end, they look....ugh? That's my reality far more often than I would like. I learned only recently that most of the time, it's not because my skin is producing too much oil and making things slide around. It's because my skin is dehydrated. It literally absorbs the moisture from my base products, leaving behind blotches of pigment. It's not pretty.

Typically, adjusting my skin care solves this problem. But sometimes you run into a product that just doesn't like your skin. This was the raved-about Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer for me. It looked great when I put it on, although I could tell it was a "dry," long-wearing formula by the way it applied. By mid-afternoon the first time I wore it, my base was a broken-down mess. No amount of powdering could fix it. After another day or two of testing, I determined that alas, it was a product better suited to younger, oilier skin. I was so disappointed. I'd wanted to love it. I couldn't return it. And I didn't want to waste it.

Then I was reminded of a product that Make Up For Ever shared with me at an event a couple of months ago: Their new Ultra HD Skin Booster Hydra-Plumping Serum. It's a thin, clear serum designed to hydrate and plump your skin using hyaluronic-acid and argan oil extract.

You could dispense a tiny bit of the serum right onto your skin with the dropper before your primer or foundation and tap it in. But my favourite way to use Ultra HD Skin Booster is as a cocktail, mixed right into my base product. For me, this trick transforms Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer from an unusable disaster to a beautiful concealer that still looks amazing under my eyes even after 12 hours of wear.

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Fair mixed with a drop of Ultra HD Skin Booster. (Please forgive this photo. I've misplaced my camera battery charger, so I'm down to my iPhone today.)

When the Make Up For Ever artists were showing us how to use Ultra HD Skin Booster, they shared a handy tip: mix products on a palette instead of on the back of your hand. Why? The beneficial ingredients in the products—like hyaluronic-acid—will begin to absorb into your skin as soon as you apply them. Rather than wasting them on your hand, mix them on a palette so that your face is the products' first contact with your skin.

Once the serum and your base product are on the palette, mix and and apply them with a brush or damp beauty blender. Abracadabra—your base product is transformed into a slightly sheerer and more hydrating version of itself.

I'm so glad I remembered this trick before I gave up on Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer. I'm planning to try my Ultra HD Booster with MAC Pro Longwear Concealer next.

Have you tried Make Up For Ever's Ultra HD Skin Booster to transform a base product? If not, what other concoctions do you swear by? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: Ultra HD Skin Booster was provided by Make Up For Ever for my consideration. Tarte Shape Tape Concealer was purchased by Eyeshadow Addict.

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Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Micofinishing Powder: Review and Photos

Make Up For Ever's new Ultra HD Microfinishing Powders, loose (L) and pressed.

It's hard to believe how far powders have come since my high school days, when I caked on far too much Covergirl in a compact. They're so much more sophisticated and so much more finely milled than they used to be—meaning they do more while remaining undetectable on the skin. Sign me up!

I was introduced to these two beauties at a Make Up For Ever demo workshop in Vancouver. We got a step-by-step tutorial on how to use some of Make Up For Ever's new base products, including some sweet pro tips. And at the end, we got to take these home. Pretty sweet!

Make Up For Ever's Ultra HD Microfinishing Powder, which comes in both pressed and loose, is the most delicate finishing powder I've ever seen. It melts right into the skin, and it really does blur my pores and lines—like an Instagram filter in real life.

A key thing to remember is this: They're not setting powders. They're finishing powders. I learned the difference at the Make Up For Ever workshop. You use a larger amount of setting powder to lock your makeup into place. A finishing powder goes on top to finish the look and blur the skin. Could you set with finishing powder? Probably. But it wouldn't work as well to mattify your skin and make your makeup last, and you might get some flashback due the amount you would need to use.

Another great tip we got at the workshop was application. A little goes a long way, and they recommended that we dip a brush such as Make Up For Ever's 160 Blush Brush into the powder, tap off the excess, and gently roll it onto the face. The brush has a long tip with a lot of surface area, making it perfect for a rolling motion that will let you lightly apply the powder without disturbing any of the base makeup underneath.

The result is a smooth, almost pore-less finish. And when I use the finishing powder, my makeup lasts just a little bit longer. I'm a big fan!

We were told at the workshop that the pressed powder has a few more ingredients than the loose, but I notice no difference in performance. Here's what it looks like (I'm wearing the pressed version in these photos):

If you're looking to up your base game, I definitely recommend giving these a try.

More great news: If you have a deeper skin tone and you haven't had great luck with these white/transparent powders, you're in luck! The pressed powder also comes in banana, for medium and tan skin tones, and peach, for tan to dark skin tones.

You can find them at Sephora, both in stores and online:

Have you ever tried a finishing powder? Will you be giving these a try? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: These products were provided by Make Up For Ever for my consideration.

My Sephora VIB Sale Haul!

My Sephora VIB Sale haul (clockwise from left): Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Colour in Paradiso, AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel, Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder, Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick in 203, and NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Chantilly.

No matter how many times I tell myself I'm going to be restrained during the Sephora VIB Sale, I always end up putting in a second and third order. Even so, I think I did rather well this year! Here's the damage.

1) Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Colour in Paradiso ($75)
These very pricey eyeshadow duos are a guilty pleasure for me. I now have four. They're that delectable. I was browsing the Sephora site a few hours after placing my first VIB Sale order (oops), and I saw that this new beauty, Paradiso, had been added to the colour range. It was in my card in about four seconds flat. The duo comes with two shades: a cream shadow, which is a rosy peach colour, in the bottom, as well as a pinky bronze glitter shade in the top.

Texture-wise, the cream shadow reminds me very much of the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize Cream Eyeshadows (not surprising given she helped Tom Ford develop his range), and the glitter shade reminds me very much of the pop shades in her eyesahdow quads. You even apply the glitter the same way as her pop shades—with a finger, as a top coat to the cream shade. Together, the effect is a gorgeous, foil-like rose gold. I love it. It doesn't last as long as some other cream products, which is frustrating given the price, but it's so pretty that I don't care. (Much.) Just be sure to wear it with a solid primer.

2) AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel ($66)

This is another pricey product, but it's 100 per cent worth it. Tracy from Beauty Reflections sold me on it, and I'm so glad she did. It's my favourite cleanser ever. As I get older, my skin has gotten fussier. It's prone to dehydration, congestion, and sensitivity. Fun, right? But this deals with all of that. It's actually a powder product that you add water to, and then rub on. It foams up, then cleanses and exfoliates, but gently. It leaves my skin perfectly clean, but not tight or dried out. And because it's a powder, it lasts forever. You also don't need to worry about using too much. The packaging is quite brilliant. It's designed to dispense the perfect amount of product when you hold it upside down.

3) Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder ($31)

This is an oldie, but a goodie. I've been using it for years to set my under-eye concealer. It's loose and incredibly finely milled, and it has lovely, subtle brightening properties that make it perfect for setting my under-eye area, which is delicate, aging, and prone to fine lines. I write about it more in this post about covering my under-eye circles. Also, bonus: A little goes a long way, so the bitty little jar lasts longer than you would think! Tip: Don't remove the entire sticker from the sifter.

4) Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream ($57)

I love this stuff. The scent of Brazilian Bum Bum Cream is absolutely out of this world. I've never put anything yummier-smelling on my skin! It smells like love, happiness, and the tropics. It's also very smoothing on the skin. It's not your average moisturizer, my lovelies. Try it. Trust me. I bought the smaller size during the VIB Sale in the fall, and I was literally counting the days to this sale so I could buy the full-sized tub at a discount. (It's pricey. Sorry.)

5) Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick in 203 ($25)

Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick is a matte liquid lipstick I actually like! Most are way too drying for me. The colour, a pinky mauve, is right up my street, and the formula is amazingly comfortable for a liquid lipstick, in part because it's so light and thin. It also lasts several hours!

6) NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Chantilly ($37)

I'm always on the hunt for even better base products. One of the best things about NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer is the texture. It's very light and thin—similar to a MAC Paint Pot—yet it's quite high-coverage and hydrating. I'm a big fan. Just remember that you're probably a shade lighter in this range than in NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer.

7) Ouai Dry Shampoo Foam (Not Shown) ($35)

Forgetting to include this product in my photo was like foreshadowing—because I ended up returning it. Simply put, the new Ouai Dry Shampoo Foam just doesn't work all that well. It does make a slight difference, and it's nice that it doesn't leave a dry, white residue in the hair like some dry shampoos. But for $35, I want it to work at least as well as the cheaper dry shampoos I own. You don't hear this a lot on my blog, I know—but save your money on this one.

That's it! What do you think? Do any of these products pique your interest? What did you get during the VIB Sale? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: All of these products were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict. Make Up For Ever did send me some Artist Liquid Matte Lipsticks after the VIB Sale for review. As always, all opinions are mine.