Review: Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams

By Voxy  

I have held off on writing this review as long as I could, but the time has come.

Let’s say you have a really good student in class who, inexplicably, at the end of the term, turns in a surprisingly crappy final project. And so you send the following email:

Dear Make Up For Ever,

Ha ha! You seem to have inadvertently sent me the leftover crusty paints from your fifth grade art project in lieu of the fabulous Aqua Creams I was expecting. What a joker you are! The rest of your work is so consistently good that I am sure that this was some farcical error that we will laugh about someday. I can try to grade your product last so that you will have time to send me the utter fabulousness that I’m sure you meant to turn in.

Chortling heartily,


::radio silence::

Uh… Oh. Really? Oh.


All righty then.

I am going to go out on a limb as one of the few beauty bloggers who seems not to be gaga over these Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams. Seriously, everyone seems to be in love with them except me. Let me be perfectly frank — I wanted to be gaga. I anticipated gaga-ness. I positively dreamt of gagaliciousness. And it is only after several days’ testing that I have to admit defeat and say that I just can’t get my gaga on over these products.

There are, for me, three problems with these creams. First, they are not really creams. A cream should have the consistency of cake frosting. It should be, well, creamy. The texture of these “creams,” though, is more like — warning: strange comparison ahead — the baked meringue layer of a lemon meringue pie. If you tried to swirl a brush through a lemon meringue pie, which I am not suggesting that you do, you would end up with small gobs of meringue and a slightly wet brush — but you would not have a cream. Seriously, that’s what these remind me of.

Second, they are difficult to apply smoothly with either a brush or fingers. A cream should, IMHO, be more workable than these are, and no matter how careful I am, if I even approach the upper lash line, I get the cream equivalent of fallout beneath my lower lashes. And, since these are long-lasting and virtually waterproof, that fallout is extremely difficult to remove. So I can’t get the product where I want it, but it inevitably ends up where I don’t want it, and then I can’t get it off. Lovely.

Third, and I’m sorry to say this, since I have such respect for MUFE as a line, but the packaging just feels cheap. Something that costs $22 should come in a glass jar, not in a thin plastic jar with a lid that’s difficult to replace (the threads in the lid just don’t seem to want to catch — and this is true of all four of the colors I have). MAC has it all over MUFE in this regard.

I have three shades designated for eyes (#13 Warm Beige, #15 Taupe, and #22 Emerald Green) and one for cheeks and lips (#5 Peach). The peach looks gorgeous in the pot, but as soon as I dipped into it I found that immediately below the surface (which was relatively matte-looking) was a surprising amount of gold shimmer. The color is all wrong for a blush for me — and don’t even think of using it on your lips unless you are going for the Tin Man’s Girlfriend look. The #13 and #15 are OK shades, but given the problems with consistency and application, they are not going to ever be my go-to bases for neutral shadows. And while the #22 Emerald Green shade is a gorgeous color, it proved surprisingly difficult to work with in building a base for a look with green + blue, gold, or brown shadow. I also really wanted #19, which is a fabulous purple, but it’s not being sold in the US because apparently there is an ingredient that’s not cosmetically approved here.

I’ll keep them, and find ways to use them, but I confess myself greatly disappointed.

Maybe you’ve had better luck? I’m open to my mind being changed…


#5 Peach, #22 Emerald Green

#13 Warm Beige, #15 Taupe. Don’t ask me why my skin appears white in this one. I give up.


Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams: $22 (Sephora exclusive at the moment)

Provenance: Purchased

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Oooh. Toughie. If I liked the product, I’d probably say Fair. (The packaging really does bother me.) Given that I don’t like the product, I’m going with Poor.

Purchase again? Doubtful.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

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  1. avatar marigolds
    Posted June 18, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh, right. I meant ALL of them look like hell, and NONE of them look good. (Even Temptalia looked like crap with the peachy-pink Aqua Cream on her lips, though it was lovely on her cheeks!)

    I can’t wait for the Multiple Tints review. What colors did you get? I like the Multiple stick so far – tried it this morning.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted June 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, she’s warmer than I am; that might be why it worked better for her. But I agree — on lips, eeeeew.

      Re: Multiple Tints — I got the pink (Cadaques) and the “red” (Beverly Hills — but it’s not really red… more of a reddish pink, like MAC Viva Glam Cyndi but in cheek stain form). I’m wearing the Beverly Hills today. This is kind of a bad time for me to be testing makeup because I’m also testing new skincare stuff that’s made me peel (but is awesome) and so I can’t use a lot of my regular lotions and potions until my skin recovers a bit.


  2. avatar marigolds
    Posted June 17, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I can totally see the meringue comparison – I didn’t even TRY them with brushes. I did it with my fingers and did a very light smudging kind of application – patted a little bit all the places where I wanted it, smudging and blending as I went. I haven’t had any problems with my two (though I agree about the packaging – I haven’t had any lid issues, but the jar does feel thin/cheap.) (I just got four MUFE lipsticks and I similarly hate the lipstick packaging because it seems thin and cheap.) And it came out less shimmery when I did it all smudgy.

    I’m sorry they didn’t work for you – the peach and the green are BEAUTIFUL colors and I thought they’d be amazing on you!! (I have noticed that NONE of these “all-over-your-face-only-need-one-color-product-for-the-rest-of-your-life” creams look like hell on the lips, even if they look fab on the cheeks/eyes. Although I just got The Multiple [not the Tint, despite your advice, because I wanted orgasm really badly (that sounds worse than I meant it to) and maybe that will look better on the lips than other one-color types?] I have to put another sentence here so that I don’t stick my close parens right next to my close brackets. There.)

    ANYWAY, at least they’re more blendable than the paint pots, right? Mine are pretty silky and workable. Maybe I had lower expectations or something. (Not that I’m rushing out to buy more colors – they’re more sparkly than I generally want.)

    My, I’m parenthetical this evening.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted June 17, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yes, they are more blendable than paint pots — you are quite right. Actually I don’t think I ever thought of paint pots as things to blend, so there’s probably some bias there in my comparison.

      I do love the colors, and am going to try to find a way to work that green in somewhere.

      You meant “none of the all-over-your-face… colors look *good* on the lips,” right?

      I just got two of the Multiple Tints and am *dying* to test them! If I am organized tonight maybe I’ll photograph them so I can start using them.


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