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The Life Aquatic — Make Up For Ever Expands Its Stellar Aqua Range For Summer 2014




Jump in the pool, splash around in the ocean, go skinny dipping at the lake, and twirl in the sprinklers! Summer is just as much about soaking up the sun’s rays as it is about cooling down in any body of water but sadly, for us makeup-loving gals, that can often amount to many a beauty snafu: disappearing lipstick, smeared eyeliner, smudged mascara, and melted-looking blush and powder. And though many brands now purport to have waterproof formulas, those who have taken these beauty weapons to the watery trenches have found they were less than battle-ready. Fortunately, Make Up For Ever has plenty of experience taking us to new aquatic dimensions, releasing new additions to its Aqua range every summer. MUFE’s Aqua collection already includes the shimmering, long-lasting, crease-resistant, richly pigmented Aqua Cream cream eye shadows; the Aqua Eyes kohl eye pencils, which glide onto lids with ease and deposit long-lasting color along the lash line and lids; the Aqua Lip pencils, which can be used to trace the contours of the mouth or fill it in; the Aqua Liner, a liquid eye liner with a slim brush for great precision; the Aqua Rouge, a two-in-one lip product with a liquid lipstick on one end and a clear gloss on the other; and the Aqua Smoky Lash, a mascara that lengthens and volumizes lashes without clumping or smearing.

Now, you might remember that, for Summer 2012, Make Up For Ever introduced its Aqua Shadows, jumbo-sized eyeshadow pencils formulated wit a combination of waxes, oils and polymers that effectively created a hydrophobic but flexible film, adhering to lids while effectively sealing out water (be it in the form of sweat, rain drops, or ocean mist). I was immediately smitten with these goof-proof eyeshadow pencils since they were easy to apply, offered long-lasting color, and effectively stayed in place without creasing, flaking, or running. Given that most of us prefer easy, low-maintenance looks in the summer season, these Aqua Shadows were a beauty life preserver for me.

But now, for Summer 2014, Make Up For Ever took the idea behind the Aqua Shadows and improved it further. How do you take something that’s so close to perfection and make it even better? Ahh, well therein lies MUFE’s genius. Like its predecessors, the new Make Up For Ever Aqua Matic eye shadow pencils ($21 each at Sephora.com) feature silica in order to create a blendable texture and glide onto lids easily without any uncomfortable tugging. And, in true MUFE form, they are available in 10 luscious shades that are adventurous and full-bodies. But the main difference here is that these jumbo pencils feature a retractable twist-up mechanism and — wait for it — a sharpener built into the end of each tube. In other words, if you pull out that colored rim along the bottom of each Aqua Matic pencil, you’ll find a tiny sharpener therein. Anyone who has ever bought an eyeshadow pencil probably knows first-hand that, finding a sharpener to accommodate this pencil’s width can be a tricky endeavor, so having one built into the device is absolute genius.

The Aqua Matic eyeshadow pencils are available in the following 10 shades:

  • D-10 Diamond Black
  • S-60 Satiny Warm Brown
  • D-12 Diamond Golden Grey
  • I-90 Iridescent Pop Purple
  • I-22 Iridescent Electric Blue
  • I-20 Iridescent Turquoise
  • I-30 Iridescent Lime Green
  • ME-50 Metallic Golden Taupe
  • ME-54 Metallic Pinky Beige
  • S-52 Satiny Flesh-Colored Pink.

I had the pleasure of trying out three of the ten shades:  S-52, I-22, and I-20. Below, you’ll find swatches of all three colors.




As you can see, all three shades are absolutely stunning. The I-22 color has this mesmerizing iridescence to it and it reminds me of electric blue tire rims because it glistens when the light hits it while retaining that rich and almost surreal intensity. The I-20 color is similarly fascinating, an iridescent teal-meets-turquoise shade that seems befitting of a mermaid’s tale and even boasts the effulgent look of fish scales. In comparison, the S-52 might not look like that big a showstopper, but I have to admit I’ve probably used this shade the most since it’s s remarkably versatile. For a no-makeup effect, you can apply it directly onto lids and walk out the door whereas, for more complex eye looks, you can use it as a base and then layer the neutral shades of choice atop it.

The Aqua Matic eye shadow pencils all have this amazingly creamy texture when applied to eyelids, and they’re remarkably easy to blend whether you’re relying on a makeup brush or your fingertips to do so.

They’re systematic, hydromatic, ultramatic, Aqua Matic lightning!

Moving onto lips, for Summer 2014, Make Up For Ever introduced five new Aqua Lip shades ($19 each at Sephora.com). The new colors are:

  • 21C Cool Candy
  • 22C Tender Pink
  • 23C Apricot Pink
  • 24C Vintage Coral
  • 25C Orange Red

In their respective packaging, the 22C, 23C and 24C  shades may all strike you as very similar since they’re all neutral, medium-intensity, somewhat muted pink shades, but their undertones play a big role in how different they truly look when applied to skin. The 22C shade is a vintage rose pink, the type of color you’d expect to find on antique floral print wallpaper, whereas the 24C Vintage Coral has a decidedly peachy warmth that feels cheeky and fun, and the 23C Apricot Pink boasts tawny, honey beige undertones that make it feel like an earthier, beige-y pink.

The two “wow” shades, however, are the 25C Orange Red and the 21C Candy Pink — and, of course, these are the two hues I gravitated toward immediately. The 25C shade is a lobster red color with a demure matte finish, but it’s not at all drying on the lips (which can be a common problem with matte lipsticks) and it doesn’t feather or seep into fine lines along the lips or settle into the outer corners. The 21C shade, meanwhile, is a medium-intensity, lavender-toned pink, a true bubblegum pink shade.

Here are swatches of the two shades:



What I adore about these two Aqua Lip colors, in addition to their tonality, is that they offer remarkable pigment pay-off and have this creamy, delectable texture when applied to the pout yet their finish is so matte that it looks as if you’d somehow adhered pure powder pigment to your lips. 

These Aqua Lip shades are so fantastic that you can actually wear them on their own, without any tinted gloss or lipstick layered atop it. I actually love wearing these on my lips. All I do is dab on a bit of clear lip conditioner (like Smith’s Rosebud Salve or MAC’s Lip Conditioner) atop the liner and then blend everything together to give the hue a bit of sheen. Check out this photo of me wearing the 21C shade:


Doesn’t it look like I’m wearing lipstick? Talk about lip pencils that offer full coverage!

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