Many years ago when I was a beauty writer for a magazine, I attended the press launch of Make Up For Ever’s Aqua range. It was one of the most memorable makeup presentations ever: the waterproof nature of the range was demonstrated on a synchronized swimming team with elaborate face paint, who emerged from the pool with their makeup perfectly smudge-free and as vibrant as it had been before they’d jumped in. I was so impressed that the whole thing just stuck in my head forever!
So when Make Up For Ever started expanding their waterproof range recently, I got super excited. It’s awesome to see a makeup line you like evolve, especially when it’s for the better, and especialy-especially when you’re able to say you remember it “way back when” like a total granny. Today’s Aqua XL lineup is not only incredibly comprehensive but ever-expanding. The latest additions are the Aqua XL Colour Paint (waterproof cream eyeshadows) and Aqua XL Ink Eye Liner (waterproof liquid liner) ranges.
The Aqua XL Ink Eye Liners come in 15 colours divided into Matte, Metallic, Satin and Shimmer finishes. Even the lighter colours like ___ are very bold and pigmented, so you aren’t going to find yourself having to go over the same area again and again to build up colour. The liner tip is super fine and fairly stiff, which I found makes for excellent detail work. If you do a lot of really artistic, editorial looks, I highly recommend checking these out.
As for the Aqua XL Colour Paints, they come in 20 shades divided into Matte, Lustre and Iridescent finishes. What really gets me excited about them is that they come in little squeeze tubes, so are less likely to dry out as quickly as cream shadows that come in jars. Actually, Make Up For Ever has been pretty dialed-in about the shelf life of their products lately. Take for instance Aqua Brow, which is very similar to Anastasia Beverly Hills’ cult-fave Dipbrow Pomade – where my Dipbrow pots can go maybe a year without stiffening noticeably, my tubes of Aqua Brow have maintained their consistency perfectly so I’m pretty optimistic about these cream shadows as well.
In terms of texture, these are very creamy and are relatively blendable…though you have to work fast because they do set fairly quickly. When I first attempted this FOTD, I tried to apply the dark blue cream all over my lids first, but found that it was setting before blending out fully. After another attempt, I discovered that trick (with darker colours at least) is to do all your crease/transition colours first with powder shadows, before patting this in place and quickly blending out any edges.
I used Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows in Milk Tea (M-536) and Dark Purple Taupe (M-546) from Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol 4 in my crease, and then applied Make up For Ever Aqua XL Colour Paint in L-22 on my mobile lid afterwards, blending it out with a bit of Prussian Blue (M-240) where necessary. For a look like this, I do think it’s important to have a (preferably matte) powder shadow in the same colour as your main lid shade that you can use to blend out the edges of the cream shadow.
I used Aqua XL Ink Liner in M-10 as an all-over liner, with a flick of L-40 in my outer corner, and am wearing Make up For Ever Aqua Matic in I-90 along my lower lashline and ME-54 in my inner corners as a highlight.
Though starting with powder, applying the cream and then blending again with more powder sounds complicated, it’s actually quite a cinch in practice and far quickler/less frustrating than trying to blend out the cream shadow on its own…especially when it’s as pigmented and intense as this one was!
Face: Make Up For Ever UV Bright Cushion // Cheeks: Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in Antique Pink (M-806) // Eyes: Make Up For Ever Dark Purple Taupe (M-546), Prussian Blue (M-240), Milk Tea (M-536) all from the Artist Palette Volume 4, Make up For Ever Aqua XL Colour Paint in L-22, Make up For Ever Aqua XL Ink Liners in L-40 and M-10, and Make up For Ever Aqua Matics in I-90 and ME-54 // Lips: Make Up For Ever Artist Acrylip in 201.
This post features products that were provided as press samples, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.