MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Skin Equalizer: Mattifying Primer

One of my best friends is getting in a few months, and I’ve been on the hunt for a mattifying primer for ages now. I decided to explore the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer: Mattifying Primer, which is described to be a “makeup primer that assists with balancing the skin’s texture and tone for smoother, more even, and longer-lasting makeup wear.” Previously, I wrote a post about the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer: Smoothing Primer. I’ve been very happy with that primer, and I wanted to see if the Mattifying Primer would be better or any different.

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In the warmer months, it’s important that I find a primer that specifically helps with oil-control. This is really hard to come by; and, I’ve found that most are really drying or apply clumpy on the skin. Because I like smooth makeup application, I’m picky about how my skin looks after the primer is applied. While I really like the Smoothing Primer, I found that the Mattifying Primer didn’t apply evenly as the smoothing one. The product pills a bit; so, there’s been times where I’ve had to pat the product in because smoothing it on the skin made the primer pill and clump on the skin.

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Additionally, I found that oil-control in particular was almost non-existent. Like most primers, the Mattifying Primer was good with giving a smooth appearance to the complexion and filled in my pores. But, it didn’t control oil very well; and, by that, I mean it didn’t do anything different than other primers I’ve applied. Makeup application was fine, and longevity of the makeup was fine too. If I had to choose, I’d pick the smoothing primer over the mattifying one.

I chose the travel size version to try and I’m okay with keeping it around. However, I wouldn’t purchase the full sized version since I’m happy with the Smoothing Primer. I didn’t really like this particular primer, but I think it was because I had higher expectations for its alleged claim to controlling oil lol.

Made in Italy.
Retails for $16.00 USD for travel size.

Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation in 115 Pink Ivory

I’ve been on a major Make Up For Ever kick lately and I’ve recently been looking into products that I’ve overlooked for some time now. I’m still a major fan of the HD Invisible Cover Foundation and the Step 1 Skin Equalizer: Smoothing Primer. Naturally, I gravitated towards the Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation, and I’m really glad that I did because I really like it. You can reviews of the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer: Smoothing Primer here and the Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation here.

As its name should suggest, this product is truly a multi-use powder foundation. And, like the HD Invisible Cover Foundation, the shade I use in the powder foundation is 115 (Pink Ivory) as well. It’s described to be a product with “breakthrough multi-use formula that can be applied as a foundation or setting powder.” In addition, it’s “formulated with exclusive vegetal coated bio-mimetic pigments, [which is a] patent-pending formula [that] allows for buildable coverage with a natural matte finish.”

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On its own, this powder foundation is extremely lightweight. It’s not as “creamy feeling” as the Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder, but the light fluffiness of the powder still makes it super easy to apply. Additionally, you can apply this product quickly since it’s so easy to use, it blends easily, and stays put on your face without any slipping. Paired with a base product, this product is a great setting powder that doesn’t interfere with what you’ve applied prior. It does add a hint of color since this isn’t a translucent product; however, if you’ve found a good color match, it shouldn’t be a problem.

The Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation has “lightweight, non-chalky texture [that] blends seamlessly with your natural skintone for a long-wearing, flawless complexion. [With] mineral oil-free and enriched with nourishing ingredients, Pro Finish helps to prevent skin dehydration for the ultimate in comfort. This unique formula has unparalleled versatility: use as your primary foundation or layer on top of your favorite liquid foundation as a setting powder.”

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I really like this powder, but I like it best as a setting powder that gives you some extra oomph to your skin (when worn alone) and a sense of “finishedness” when worn in conjunction with liquid foundation. I feel that the powder helps to allow my foundation to last all day, especially on particularly sweaty or long days. It adheres to previously applied foundation really well, and better yet, it doesn’t look or feel cakey. However, on its own, I’ve noticed that it’s very light in coverage and it’s just not as long-lasting as it would be if I were wearing it over a proper foundation. I’ve used primer underneath, but I still feel that it doesn’t wear as long as with a regular foundation underneath. I still tend to wear the powder foundation on its own when I’m in a hurry, but if I’m in the mood for a reliable powder foundation, I still choose something else like the LM Smooth Finish Foundation Powder — for coverage and lasting ability.

I recommend this powder foundation for those who truly want a setting powder, and for those who are looking for some coverage and color to their setting powder. If you’re looking for a powder foundation the functions well totally on its own with lasting coverage, I wouldn’t suggest this one. However, there are others I’ve reviewed to choose from. I also think that for the summer months, this is a good compact to have in your makeup bag/purse since it’s not cakey and will do well for touch-ups.

Retails for $36.00 USD.

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer: Smoothing Primer

Primers are often a hit or miss for me; which makes me very picky when it comes to choosing and committing to a particular primer. For the most part, I can do without one — as long as I apply an oil-free/gel moisturizer for the day time that is lightweight, and I religiously blot twice a day while wearing a full-face of makeup. As for oil-control, I’ve learned that blotting and accepting that I have to blot is the best way to go since no product out there truly eliminates or prohibits my skin’s oil production!

With that said, I was excited to get my hands on the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer primers that are now available in 10 different formulas. What makes the Equalizer range so wonderful is that you’ve got multiple primers/formulas to choose from depending on your own skin’s needs. The Skin Equalizer primers are designed to be a “makeup primer that assists with balancing the skin’s texture and tone for smoother, more even, and longer-lasting makeup wear.” Additionally, these primers function as the first step in your makeup routine, and they’re supposed to “address your skin concerns with this innovative makeup primer” that can be “perfect for balancing skin and achieving an ideal makeup result.” For the most part, all 10 of the Skin Equalizers are lightweight and creamy, and depending on what your skincare concerns are, they seem to leave your skin more evenly-toned in appearance.

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I chose the Smoothing Primer, which seemingly may increase your foundation’s longevity; however, it’s equally hydrating, comfortable, and soothing on the skin. Make Up For Ever describes this primer to be for all skintones, and suggests that the formulas all leave “makeup looking fresh for hours while it hydrates, firms, and smooths the look of the skin.” The smoothing primer is supposed to even the skin’s texture, such as lines, pores, and any bumps along the way. I feel like out of the 10 formulas, it’s the best one to address textural issues rather than pigmentation issues. A little bit goes a long ways and it adheres to the skin very well — without disrupting the foundation application process. It’s lightweight without feeling to balmy or tacky; and, it seems that it absorbs pretty quickly without looking too matte or too slick.

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I like to apply this right before foundation. The Smoothing Primer does just that — smooths. I feel like my skin looks a lot better before foundation is even applied, which allows me to use less product too. In addition, it “plugs” my pores nicely so that my foundation applies smoother and sits nicely on my skin. While it doesn’t necessarily control oil production, it does seem to keep my makeup intact so that it doesn’t budge or smudge away throughout the day. For me, I particularly like this for pairing with a powder foundation since it gives the powder something nice to “stick to.”

Made in Japan.
Retails for $36.00 USD.

REVIEW: Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation

I’m really late to the Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation game, but I’m finally experiencing what the big deal is about with this foundation. As an “oil-free medium-to-full-coverage liquid foundation that covers skin imperfections flawlessly while remaining invisible on-screen and in real life,” this foundation’s concept of being both invisible and HD is quite extraordinary. This foundation claims to “create a soft-focus effect, which is designed to meet the coverage concerns of those in the spotlight. It leaves your complexion with such a flawless finish, [and] it can withstand bright or harsh lighting” as well.

I chose the shade 115 Ivory which is for light skin with pink undertones. I thought about 110 but decided while I like some pink tones in my foundation, it was way more pink than I needed. I find that 115 is a great match for me since it’s both light in color with pink undertones. The formula and texture of this foundation is really light and runny — which is surprising for a foundation that is such high coverage. A little bit goes a long way, so it’s absolutely possible to adjust the coverage levels depending on what your skin needs. I need less than half a pump since I apply this lightly to the skin.

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I’ve used both a synthetic buffing brush and a regular foundation brush to apply this. However, I like using a damp Beauty Blender to apply this foundation sheer and even. The formula instantly cancels out redness and pigmentation, while evening out the skintone amazingly. There’s a hint of glow and radiance without looking glittery or shimmery, so the formula really helps the finish appear natural on the skin.

Coverage is adjustable and the formula is easy to worth with and blend. I think it’s a great foundation for special occasions and for every day use since the texture and appearance of this foundation is natural. While it’s great at covering pigmentation, discoloration, and redness, I find that it’s not as good as some of my BB/CC creams in covering pores and filling in lines. It’s very smooth and flawless on the skin with decent oil control after powdering, so it’s a very customizable product for sure. Without powdering, oil breaks through for me after about 4 hours of wear so I need to blot. I also think the wide range of colors available can be helpful for those who are “in between” shades.

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I recommend this foundation and I can understand why there’s a cult following. My only gripe is that the pump gets clogged easily and product will goop around the opening. I have to be extra careful to wipe off any excess before putting the cap on, or the leftover foundation will cake around the opening. A suggestion is to set your t-zone with a translucent setting powder because my combo skin gets oil within a few hours of wear with this foundation. If you haven’t already tried this foundation, I’d say give it a go and you’ll be satisfied with the results. In the future, I’m planning on experimenting with using this foundation as a mixing agent. I’ve read that combining the HD Invisible Cover Foundation with other formulas works wonders as well.

Retails for $42.00 USD.
Made in France.
Item contains 1.01 fl. oz.