|Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet+ Foundation|
Per the brand, this is a medium-to-full coverage foundation. Personally I think it's more "heavy-medium" than "full". This It blends well but does dry down quickly enough so no messing around with it. Also, for same reason, it doesn't layer as well as I'd hope, so the coverage is really going to be determined by your application method (want a more sheer coverage? Use a wet sponge... For more heavy coverage, use your fingers... you know the drill).
This supposedly gives a natural, matte look to the complexion. That it does; it's not a dead matte by any stretch. It's no Chanel Perfection Lumière, it doesn't have a glow to it, but it's not a chalky matte either.
This purports to be a long-lasting foundation. It is not. It is most definitely and categorically abso-bloody-lutely not. Make Up For Ever are lying badly, like a cheap rug. I've found that this fades on me after only around 6-7 hours (I'm happy if I get around 8-hours from a "standard" foundation). It also absolutely definitely categorically also shows up any dry patches on your skin (and in fact, exacerbates them, to the point where if I have slightly dry areas in the morning, I can look like I have a mild case of psoriasis by the evening - nicht gut!)
I haven't found that it needed powdering in my slightly oilier t-zone area, but for quite oily skins, it's likely to need a setting powder.
Shades & Undertones
Make Up For Ever shades are confusing as hell, ccross the board, for all their foundations, and this foundation is no different. There's no rhyme or reason to them, which drives me bananas.
Annoying shade labelling aside, there's quite a range, from very pale to "reasonably" dark:
15 - Alabaster (pink undertone)
20 - Ivory (neutral undertone)
25 - Warm Ivory (pink undertone)
30 - Porcelain (neutral undertone)
35 - Vanilla (neutral-yellow undertone)
40 - Natural Beige (yellow undertone)
45 - Soft Beige (neutral-pink undertone)
50 - Sand (pink undertone)
55 - Neutral Beige (neutral-peach undertone)
60 - Honey Beige (neutral-pink undertone)
65 - Golden Beige (golden-yellow undertone)
70 - Caramel (neutral undertone)
75 - Coffee (neutral undertone)
80 - Cognac (neutral undertone)
85 - Brown (neutral-pink-red undertone)
90 - Chocolate (neutral-pink-red undertone)
This foundation can also oxidise - in fact, similar to Chanel's Perfection Lumière, another matte foundation, it turns a little darker after a few minutes. I am around NC23-ish and I'm using #30, which is ever so slightly a smidgen too pale, however the neutral-beige-veering-on-slightly-pale-yellow undertone suits my skin absolutely perfectly.
Best Applied With
Make Up For Ever recommends using fingers, a dry sponge, or a flat paddle brush.
Personally I've found that a flat paddle brush (moisturised first) is best for this, or a damp sponge. I have found that a dry sponge can soak up this foundation and cause it to drag on the skin somewhat. It's too thick for stippling brushes. Buffing brushes, in general, can cause micro-exfoliation on dryer skin, and given how matte this foundation is, I've found that these are not good in this instance either. Fingers work great for a heavier coverage.
This is a thick liquid, not quite a cream, formulation, slightly similar to the gel-based formula MAC Studio Sculpt (see here for a review). It's quite a rich, pigmented formulation, so a small amount goes a long way - assuming that you work quickly enough with it, and moisturise well first.
It's waterproof, which can be handy, and contains talc, titanium dioxide, silica, parabens and hydrolyzed wheat protein (coeliacs, watch out for this one).
Best Suited To
Those with normal-veering-on-the-oilier-side to straight-up-oily skin will get the most benefit from this foundation. As mentioned, it causes baaaaaaad patchiness on dryer skin/areas, and I've found it can settle into fine lines on more mature skins.
Despite the Make Up For Ever claims that this can also be used as a concealer for minor blemishes etc, I've personally found that it can cake-up on blemishes after a while, then fade away (overall). A dedicated concealer is always going to be better (the only foundation that I've found which can double-up as foundation+concealer is the Dermablend Corrective Foundation, reviewed here).
Skincare, Flashback, SPF, Price
30ml of this will set you back €35 in Make Up For Ever Clarendon St.
Make Up For Ever have one of the most unyielding Pro programmes I've encountered; despite being a working Makeup Artist for some years now, unless you are well published, you will stay on a lower-tier membership plan (with the Pro discount hovering around 10-15%) for some time. This is annoying, and one of the reasons I don't purchase a huge amount of Make Up For Ever stuff for my kit, despite them having some great products.
According to my research, it has no SPF however the ingredients list suggests some of the shades (likely the very palest) contain titanium dioxide, which can cause flash-back. I haven't found it to flash-back, but I'm only basing this on my own use; this is not a foundation I have in my kit.
In terms of skincare, it's supposedly usable on sensitive skins; it's oil-free and non-comedogenic although doesn't specifically state hypoallergenic, I've used it on my (mildly) sensitive (at the moment) skin with no issues.
Would I bother with it for my kit? Probably not, to be honest. It's a little too drying, a little too finicky to work with, and despite its claims, nowhere near as long-lasting as it should be, and a little to expensive to purchase in bulk/shades for my liking. Not a bad foundation at all, by any means, but despite a very senior, very respected, very industry-savvy, highly sought-after MUA telling me at a recent photoshoot that this looked amazing on me, I won't be running screaming to the store to repurchase when I run out.
For more information on this product, look here on the Make Up For Ever website.
Long story short: not bad, not great, but honestly probably not worth the money.