I had recently developed a love for cream products when I was browsing Sephora’s website. After hearing great things about Make Up For Ever’s quality and pigmentation, I decided to take the plunge and try out one of their Aqua Creams, in 01 Anthracite. Surprisingly, the shade is remarkably similar to how it appears in the photo above. It’s a steely, cool, dark grey with subtle shimmer.
Aqua Creams are multi-purpose, and I tested them in multiple ways: as a cream liner, as a cream eyeshadow, and as an eyeshadow base. Anthracite was also formulated for use on the cheeks, but I didn’t test it for this purpose, as it’s not a color I-or most women, even the bravest of us-would sport there. (I imagine the only circumstances a shade like this would be applied on the face is for a very high fashion photo shoot).
As a liner, this went on seamlessly, with one dip into the pot being enough to opaquely, evenly cover the whole lash line. Needless to say, I had no issues with dragging/tugging/skipping. The shimmer was noticeable-it twinkled under bright light-and had a nice, metallic sheen. The color seemed so much more nuanced on the lash line. It was absolutely beautiful to look at. Under very close inspection, the base color seemed to have a bluish/greenish tinge-it’s undeniably cool toned. It reminded me vaguely of my beloved Urban Decay Junkie eyeliner,
except more steely. It wore flawlessly as well, reaching 8 hours easily, and only wearing off ever so slightly at the inner corner after a grueling 12 hours of wear. This is a one and done formula-it’ll stay put no matter what and look great until you remove it.
As a cream shadow, I was a little less wowed. On the lid, it looks very steely, metallic, and cosmic-the shade is undeniably pretty. However, it creases within seconds of applying, even with primer underneath. In fact, it creases more with primer than without. It also dries really quickly and sticks to wherever it’s placed, which makes blending a hassle (so work quickly). The creasing isn’t a deal-breaker, really, as it’s only noticeable with the eyes closed-looking in a mirror or conversing with someone, no one would be the wiser. But it is a flaw in the formula, so it’s worth pointing out. It wore effortlessly without further problems for over 8 hours.
Finally, as a primer, this is pretty disappointing-it’s not going to replace my Urban Decay Primer Potion
any time soon. As a base, Aqua Cream is difficult and dry. Oddly, I had to wait for it to dry before I could effectively apply powder over top. Usually a sticky/tacky base is desired for extra pigment depth and staying power. Aqua Cream, however, somehow “ate” the color when it was still creamy-I tested Urban Decay eyeshadow in Perversion
over top-a rich, matte black-and it just vanished from my lid. It was as if I had nothing on my brush. I was able to pack it on after the Aqua Cream had dried, but I found this occurrence bizarre. Also, if you don’t wait for the base to dry first, the shadow over top will crease (if the base is dry, the shadow has no problems with creasing). As I’ve already mentioned, Aqua Cream stays put, so an eyeshadow over it will be difficult to blend. However, it didn’t look any sheerer or less rich compared to the same shadow over UDPP. Around 4 hours of wear, a hint of shadow had migrated to the inner corner of my eye (but was easily wiped away). At 6 hours, I noticed Anthracite’s inherent shimmer peeking through slightly (Perversion is by no means sheer). By 12 hours, the shadow was, admittedly, darker and more opaque than when UDPP was used. However, some of this can be attributed to Anthracite being a similar-toned base. It also doesn’t make up for how fussy it was as a primer-most of us will never be in a situation where we need dark black shadow on for 12 hours straight, anyway.
In all instances, the Aqua Cream was smooth, creamy (at first) and opaque-the texture was a dream to work with, and I needed little product on my brush for the coverage I desired. I’ve had this product for longer than I should’ve, and it still shows no traces of drying out. I found it worked best for me as a liner, hands down. It wasn’t very disappointing as a cream shadow, either-some “hidden” creasing, but a special, lovely color that outweighed the problem. I would not want to go through the trouble of utilizing Anthracite as a shadow base again, though. I also noticed that this had a weird, very off-putting scent. I’m not particular about odors, but this was very unpleasant. I don’t know how to describe the fragrance other than chemical and “gritty.” It’s not noticeable on the eye, however, but you may catch a whiff of it as you dip your brush into the jar.
Aqua Creams come in clear, circular plastic jars with black, screw-on lids. The plastic is sturdier than average, but I was under the impression AQs were housed in glass. The plastic is actually a bonus, not a drawback, though. While it may feel less luxurious, it is by far more travel and drop safe-there’s far less risk that this will shatter or crack. These are flat-topped and easy to store and organize. The size of the container seems to be on the smaller side of medium.
However, this smallness is strictly limited to the jar size. MUFE Aqua Creams are $23 USD for 0.21 oz of product-which is a heavier fill weight than MAC’s Paint Pots. However, AQs are only marginally more expensive per ounce-a mere 70 cents, to be exact (MUFE rings up to be $109.52, while MAC will cost you $108.82). Paint Pots are more tried and true bases, though-not really designed to be as multipurpose as AQs (although by all means, nothing is stopping anyone from using them in multiple ways), but I wanted to compare relatively similar products. Make Up For Ever is by no means an unheard of brand, it’s considerably rare to see. You won’t see MUFE counters set up in every department store. In fact, MUFE is only carried in one Sephora in my entire state, in a smaller city about 45 minutes away. Your best bet is to shop for them online. Their own site, in fact, redirects buyers to Sephora. MUFE performs animal testing where mandated by law.
AS AN EYELINER:
Wow Factor: 5/5
Overall: 5 (A+)
AS A CREAM SHADOW:
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 4 (B-)
AS AN EYESHADOW BASE:
Wow Factor: 3/5
Overall: 3.3 (C-)
Combined Scores: 4.1 (B-)
Recommend: Yes, Anthracite performs it’s various purposes considerably well (doing some functions better than others). The color is so pretty, the price for the amount you get is pleasing, and it lasts forever, making it something I feel comfortable recommending to others.
Make Up For Ever products are available exclusively at Sephora.
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