Seeing is Believing: Make Up For Ever HD Complexion Starter Kit


Did you see Make Up For Ever’s HD un-retouched campaign earlier this year? I remember opening up one of my glossy mags last spring to find their latest advertisement. It featured a model whose photo was un-retouched for their HD line of complexion products. I was quite amazed by the brand’s courage—selling complexion perfection to everyday consumers is a daunting task, mostly because it’s intimidating (and so easy to mess up). Trying to make it a little easier for us to get it right, they now offer an HD Complexion Starter Kit with four key pieces for flawless skin. I tried it out, in my own shade to see if I could achieve the look that usually requires an army of artists and a PhotoShop expert to achieve. Let’s go!

When I toured MUFE’s new Los Angeles flagship store last month, I made sure to have their head artist color match me for the HD High Definition Invisible Cover Foundation. (As an NW20, I converted to #130.) There are 26 shades to choose from—so there literally is something for almost anyone! The Complexion Starter Kit comes with a full-size foundation, HD Microperfecting Primer #0, the HD Microfinish Powder, and a great kabuki brush. They’re confident this combo will minimize the look of visible pores and fine lines without looking or feeling too heavy, in just three steps. 

Step 1: Prime with HD Microperfecting Primer in #0 Neutral

This is an oil-free formula that contains silica micro beads that can refract light to blur out uneven skin texture. It also helps to keep foundation shades true and wear longer than if not wearing primer. It has a texture that’s sheer and somewhat watery (for lack of a better explanation), but dries down to a hydrating finish. It’s such a bummer when foundation and concealer hangs on to dry skin for dear life, and this definitely helps avoid that!

Step 2: Cover with HD Invisible Cover Foundation

Another oil-free formula, this foundation offers buildable medium-to-full coverage. To be honest—I think applying just a small amount for medium coverage is just right. This is a professional-grade product, and less is definitely more! It does a great job at concealing too; it helped the couperose around my nose look much less prominent. One might think that HD means a thicker, heavier foundation consistency—but this dispenses as a liquid that’s much easier to blend, even if you don’t have a foundation brush! You can use your fingers or a dry sponge too.

Step 3: Finish with HD Microfinish Powder

I can see why this product is so heralded in the beauty world—it totally transformed my finished look into one with a soft focus. I didn’t wind up with those light patches that most translucent finishing powders leave behind. Not quite matte, not quite dewy; this was literally the finishing touch that made a true difference! It helps bounce light out of my enlarged pores, and makes my skin look and feel super smooth. The kabuki brush is a nice touch to have in the kit, it’s made from nylon and buffs the skin perfectly.

Before & After

(Also wearing Make Up For Ever Lab Shine Lip Gloss in S4 and Smoky Lash Mascara.)

As you can tell, #130 really cut down on the red in my skin, covered a few blemishes and evened out my tone (without erasing too many freckles). I feel like the HD series is right up there with some of the best complexion products I’ve ever used! It’s nice to have pro-quality products that perform the same way when I apply them home, versus when an artist applies it. You can purchase each product individually, but if you’re looking to make a switch—I recommend purchasing a set first (you pick your shade from 26 colors), then replace individual products as needed since you’re getting a sizable break on the price. The foundation itself is $40, and I’m telling you…it should last you a long time!

Price & Availability: $79 ($109 value), Sephora

An editorial sample was provided by the company and evaluated to determine our opinion of the product in this post. Please see the Disclosures page for further information regarding our policies for using editorial samples.