MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Invisible Cover Foundation Is a Hit on Camera, But How Does It Handle Oily Skin in Real Life?

Published in: Guest Post, Makeup


Written by Sam

Lights, camera, action! Today we’re filming on location, and the show is in HD. Let’s take a closer look at a mammoth makeup all-star in today’s guest post from Sam.

MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Invisible Cover Foundation

Within every category of cosmetics are those products that almost everyone adores but yet for one reason or another I just haven’t tried. Maybe I had my nose stuck in a novel, or perhaps I was busying myself on a different bandwagon at the time.


Whatever the reason, I always seem to be hopping on some bandwagons late, like this one, which drove by me like a lumbering, metal makeup truck with the words, “MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Invisible Cover Foundation” plastered across its side.

MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Invisible Cover FoundationActually, I’d latched onto the rear bumper of this popular foundation about three years ago, but I was just getting into makeup at the time and rarely stayed with the same products for more than a month, regardless of how good or bad they might have been. It wasn’t long before I lost interest in Invisible Cover Foundation ($40 for a 1.01-oz. bottle; exclusive to Sephora) on my endless quest to find bigger and better things.

Then, a few months ago, I decided to try it again, so I grabbed a new bottle of this four-star-rated product and gave it a whirl.

My skin is pale (think Elmer’s Glue), with yellow undertones, which few cosmetic companies seem to recognize as an actual skin tone, as if they think that if you’re pale, you’ve gotta be pink. Color me surprised and excited to learn that Invisible Cover comes in 26 shades!

That’s pretty impressive for a consumer line, and the colors run the gamut from pale, to pale pink, to deep ebony, meaning that most people, including me, should be able to find a match. In my case it’s Marble 117, for “light skin with yellow undertones.”

The product comes in some of the most stunning foundation packaging I’ve ever seen. A completely transparent outer plastic bottle has the information and product name printed on it in MAKE UP FOR EVER’s signature font, and the actual product is housed within an inner vial inside the outer shell.

Under the glossy black cap sits a pump (thank god, a pump!). I’ve really come to despise bottles of foundations designed to be poured because no matter how hard I try, they always make a mess. And I can never get that last bit of product out that sticks to the sides of the bottle without getting Medieval on the packaging.

My elation with this pump, however, faded within the first few days. I find it extremely messy and quickly got product all over the top of the bottle. Plus, I think it leaks ever so slightly, which is odd because the actual pump-action works perfectly fine; it’s both controllable and smooth. I wonder if there’s not something faulty with this particular bottle.

The product itself, which is touted for its ability to be used in HD video, is touted as an oil-free medium-to-full-coverage liquid foundation that covers skin imperfections flawlessly while remaining invisible on-screen and in real life. For the record, it’s silicone-based, which means that those with allergies to silicone should steer clear.

The first time I applied it, I used a dense stippling brush (the Sigma F80), and about two pumps worth of foundation to cover my entire face with a single layer.

The first thing I noticed: the finish. Sephora lists this as a medium-to-full coverage foundation (the type I always use), so I wasn’t expecting to see the finish I saw.

It was glowy, dewy, and…transparent. Although it had evened out some of the ruddiness naturally occurring in my cheeks, I could still clearly see every blemish and spot, and the dark area underneath my eyes.


My skin wasn’t fantastic at the time, but it wasn’t in terrible shape, either. I almost never use concealer, so I usually rely on my foundations to do the work (unless I have a really prominent blemish or unusually dark circles), so I stippled on a second layer.

Better, but it still wasn’t cutting it, and I felt that a third layer would start to look cakey. Instead, I set it with my normal powder and headed out the door.

About two hours later I popped into a restroom to check out how Invisible Cover was holding up to my ridiculously oily skin.

Let’s just say it wasn’t faring well. Shine was beginning to show through on my nose, cheeks, and forehead. Normally, when I use an oil-controlling foundation, I can usually eek out four to six hours without having to blot.


Make Up For Ever Invisible Cover Foundation Shades

I was surprised that people hadn’t been using my face as mirror! It was literally a reflective mess, but already mortified, I chanced a closer look. The foundation had sunken into my pores, creased in places I didn’t even know had lines, separated on my cheeks, and made my few blemishes more apparent than they’d been on my clean face.

By the end of the day, most of it had disappeared, and I was left with a patchy, greasy finish for all my hard work.

Determined to give a fair shake to a product that so many people refer to as their holy grail foundation, I tried it repeatedly over the rest of the week. I tried it without primer, then with a silicone primer, then with a dampened brush, a paddle brush — no luck for me. My best results, which still weren’t very good, were probably when I applied it with a silicone primer and used a dry stippling brush.

On the positive side, Invisible Cover Foundation does photograph beautifully. In that way I think it is “HD ready,” but that’s probably because it’s so sheer. If you spend much time in front of a camera and have nearly perfect, normal to dry skin that’s blemish-, wrinkle-, and texture-free, lucky you.


Written by Sam

Sam is a 17-year-old, oddly tall guy whose love of all things skincare, makeup, and fashion started when he entered the modeling world at 14. Since then, he’s established himself as a freelance makeup artist in the theatre and fashion worlds, and started his own blog to preach the wonders of orange eyeshadow, Asian skincare, and designer fragrances to the masses.


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  1. Vanessa says:

    Love your posts, Sam!

    I tried a sample of this foundation and my face was an oily mess within a few hours too :/. I highly recommend the MUFE Matt Velvet + set with MSFN from MAC; it provides amazing coverage without a heavy/cakey finish and keeps my oily skin in check for most of the day. I also love how it photographs :).

    • Rose says:

      I don’t know if someone else has pointed this out yet but this foundation is not silicone based, but rather water based. This means that if you have oily skin, your oils will rise above the foundation makin you appear even more oily than usual. (Oil is lighter than water). Paired with a silicone primer is not going to help since this is a water based foundation- try the primer made by MUFE for this foundation. It is also water based &although you are oily it may work better than the silicone primer. Also try spraying your brush with a setting spray (I.e., skindinavia setting spray) to help the longevity of the foundation. Hope this helps!!

      I am 127 in this foundation btw.

  2. laksh says:

    “have nearly perfect, normal to dry skin that’s blemish-, wrinkle-, and texture-free, lucky you.” Freakishly Lucky indeed!!!

    I love orange eyeshadows too 🙂
    laksh recently posted … LUSH reviews: Grease Lightning

  3. Chiara says:

    This is such a charmingly written article… I love it!

  4. Katie says:

    So glad for this review, all the ads have made me super curious!

  5. Sabrinna says:

    Oh dear, its sad to hear it didnt work for you. I could agree with it not holding oil but since it isn’t marketed as that i let that one go. I just tried to use primer and setting spray to control oil (i’m using Hourglass Mineral Veil primer…its okay, but not great. and UD Deslick Spray. i still havent gotten around to trying the Milk of Magnesia you said. Just not sure how it will go with my skin as it just started to clear up). MUFE HD works for me at least, i do have a LOT of acne scarring esp. in my cheeks >__<

  6. katrina says:

    I use the MAKE UP FOR EVER Full Cover Concealer as my foundation and love it. I have super oily skin and it works great and a little goes a long way. 🙂

  7. Your experience is almost identical to mine, without the oiliness, since my skin is quite dry. Far less coverage than I expected, and it exaggerated every little line, pore & dry patch.

    I also was disappointed that there wasn’t an ultra-fair warm shade- the 110 is a hair dark & far too pink for me. Oh well- just because something’s popular doesn’t mean it’s good for everybody!

  8. Megan says:

    My results with this foundation were similar–AND I have that near-perfect, poreless skin. It caked under my eyes, around my nose, and ran off the tip of my nose. I only use the smallest bit of foundation (just enough to even out my concealer; I have decently blue undereye circles), and I still looked ridiculous by the end of the day. I can’t even imagine 2-3 pumps.

    I use Hourglass’ tinted moisturizer. Sam, I know you’re down on tinted moisturizers, but this one…try this one. I love the coverage, it has a luminizing component, and it looks natural (I set it with Ben Nye powder) 12 hours after the fact. Love. It.

  9. Thank you! Finally someone else who feels the way I do about this foundation! It is definitely not med-full coverage, and although I agree it photographed well, it didn’t do much else. At least now I know I will probably agree with more of Sam’s recommendations.

  10. Amanda says:

    Okay not sure if this is the same thing or not, but I bought the HD foundation…regular one? A year ago for my wedding, used it with the HD powder, and LOVED the finish. It lasted alllll day long (My wedding was in July–HOT!) and my pictures turned out perfect. I couldn’t have asked for more. It’s a bit heavy for my day to day routine, so I wear it mostly for nights out or long work days, etc., but one bottle has lasted me an entire year and going strong. I fucking love the stuff! I have also discovered that mixed 60/40 with Maybelline mineral power foundation in 0 dark, my MUFE 153 transitions beautifully for a sheerer, darker, tan summertime me. I am Italian-American (no spray tan! lol!) and have dark olive oily skin. I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience, but for a girl I think this stuff is awesome!

  11. Amanda says:

    huh. I use the MUFE original #153 and blend it with Maybelline mineral power in 0 dark to make it more sheer and wearable for me. I am 23, Italian-American (no spray tan here! lol), with oily skin and pardon me, but I fucking love my MUFE foundation. A bottle lasted me a year and then some. Try using it with the HD powder. It works amazingly well for me. Maybe because guy’s skin tends to be oilier with larger pores? idk good luck and thanks. 🙂

    • Nina m l says:

      Hey Amanda !!! I am 153 as well! But twice your age. I do like MUFE HD. I have far from perfect skin. You do need to powder. I use Pixi translucent. When I want something a bit more coverage. I use Lorac natural performance in 7. That is a bit darker and better match and it’s lasting. Love them all !! I also used Urban Decay Sureal cream to powder in hallucination. But you hit pan quick. That slides off too

  12. Amanda says:

    Sorry to hear that your experience wasn’t that fab! I’ve been using HD Invisible Cover for about six months now and actually quite like it. It definitely doesn’t control oil very well, but that isn’t one of its claims. I know I get shiny within a couple of hours using it, too! It doesn’t really settle into my pores or nasolabial folds (which definitely WASN’T the case with the cult favorite Revlon Colorstay – talk about a cakey mess). What I love most about this foundation: no breakouts and no oxidizing. I’m very breakout prone (I use Differin and take Minocycline for my acne). I know everyone is different this way, though. I loved the look of MAC’s Studio Fix, but within an hour or so I was slightly orange and broke out like a mofo! I’m still searching for my HG foundation, but for right now, I’m satisfied with MUFE.

  13. lazeny says:

    This is indeed good especially in videos. It’s quite beautiful on high def screen, but in person it’s an altogether different story.

  14. Jennifer says:

    I dunno… I didn’t have a great experience with it either, but I don’t think it’s fair to judge its oil-controlling properties when it isn’t marketed touting any oil-control claims.

    • Sam says:

      I would normally agree, and after re-reading it, I guess it came off that way, but this reaction occurs even on dry-skinned friends/clients I’ve tried this on. And silicone-based foundations are supposed to be able to work extremely well with oily skin because silicone doesn’t oxidize in the presence of oil and shouldn’t be disrupted by it, but this was. Also, I have extremely oily skin, so this was just my test-run with it.

      • Adrienne says:

        Ironically, i tried this because I went to sephora and asked for a recommendation for a good full coverage foundation specifically for oily skin. Yeah, fail. I find that I can’t really trust just any sephora employee anymore, only the select few…

      • Victoria says:

        Hey Sam! I love your blog posts, but I wanted to clarify that foundation pigments don’t oxidize, but rather in the process of drying foundation can change colour due to the liquid base in it sinking into your skin or drying away, causing a foundation’s pigment to appear more intensified. However, foundations that are heavy in dimethicone content aren’t great for oily skin — dimethicone is more or less a lubricant, and gives foundation that lovely slip, but high percentage of it means that oily skinned users can’t appreciate it!

  15. Adrienne says:

    I LOOOVE how his foundation makes my skin look… For the first hour or so! Then, ugh, not so much. Afte about 2 hours, my oily skin started seriously breaking it up. Then around 3 hours, whatever foundation actually survived was left to settle around my acne/ larger blackheads and in my pores. I got pretty good coverage, I’d say medium, when I applied it after my concealer which I spritzed with the mufe fix spray. After giving it a shot a handful of times, I’ve decided to save the sample I have of it for special events that dont last more than a few hours. I wore it to a charity prom with my girlfriend, and even she noticed how nice my skin looked on our way there, she even was thinking of buying me a bottle to be sweet 🙂 … until I realized that I just doesnt hold up 🙁

  16. Aleeya says:

    Aww what a shame!! Thank you for your review because I have oily skin and the last thing I need is to be looking like a hot oily mess! Btw I love your blog and your guest posts on here are awesome.

  17. Eesha says:

    Great review Sam!
    I wonder how same products work differently! It has so far worked wonderfully for me & so love this foundation as it is very light and doesn’t look like as if I am wearing a ton of make-up!
    Eesha recently posted … Purple eyes – Tutorial!

  18. AnnaBanana says:

    Hi Sam… sorry to hear this foundation did not work very well on you. I have tried it myself during a personal beauty class @Maquillage Professionnel (supported by MUFE) and you are right this foundation does not provide as much coverage. However, I can say it lasted for more than 8 hours on my skin with minimal blotting and I have extremely oily/acidic skin. And I’ve learned during the class that MUFE base products work very well provided you apply them using their “French Method’ of application (at least that’s how the instructor coined it)… One thing I learned is that they prefer your face bare and not moisturized prior to application then you put on the MUFE HD Primer… once this has sinked in, the foundation is applied on a downwards motion using a foundation brush and blended by dabbing their damp sponge (they sell this wonderful round sponge)… then the foundation is set by dabbing and rolling MUFE Super Matte Loose Powder using a velour puff… excess powder is then knocked off using a powder brush.

    I think foundations work differently depending on how they are applied… Also, since this foundation is not matte anything emollient or an extra barrier of moisture will make it slip off easily.

    As for blemishes and dark circles, there is a need to use correctors/concealer when paired with this foundation.

  19. AnnaBanana says:

    Also, I think it should be considered that HD products are meant for HD filming/video recording and this is totally different from photography (utilizing flash/strobes). Although there are HD products that photograph very well but there are also those that don’t especially when applied heavy handedly… MUFE HD Powder I’m looking at you =P

  20. Tally says:

    Totally agree with you Sam! Thank goodness I just got a sample of this instead of buying the whole product – within hours I was an oily, horrible mess. How is this universally praised?! I’m not even that oily-skinned!

    Thanks for your honest review!

  21. Lilly says:

    Hi Sam,

    Again, thanks for a well-written, informative article. I bought this foundation on a weekend when I woke up with crazy itchy, red, blotchy skin (I put a band-aid on my face to keep the pimple cream in place while sleeping, please don’t ever do that). I’ve tried a lot of foundation (Lancome, Bobbi Brown, MAC (urgh hate!)) and never liked it, maybe the SA put too much on, and they always chose such a dark shade that makes me look like a leather bag (I’m Asian with medium skin tone).

    I really like this foundation. I read on Lisa Eldridge’s website that foundation is not supposed to cover any thing, it’s only to even out your skin tone (this revolutionized the way i use foundation!), which I think MUFE HD foundation does a great job at. My favorite method is to mix it with a silicone primer ( I use the Monistat gel). It creates a ‘blur’, soft focus effect on the skin. I have very easy normal/dry skin that doesn’t need much cover-up or anything, so I guess that helps, too.

  22. Shontay says:

    This along with mufe’s face and body are my HG foundations. I guess t works best on y dry skin. I do two light layers and it covers my slight blemishes. I also use mac’s lustre drops with it to help spread it out because it can be thick to me. I do agree with the mess that gets on the pump, though. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.

  23. Sheena says:

    Glad you did a review on this, I have oily skin and am on the market to try a new foundation

  24. Rachel Phillips says:

    This is actually my favorite going-out foundation. I’m sorry it didn’t work for you! I find that it photographs perfectly. However, I don’t wear it daily, because it makes me break out after two or three days of wear.

  25. Zach says:

    I have had so much luck using this foundation, but everyone is different and has different expectations from their foundation! I rely on my concealer (MAC Pro Longwear is my current fave) to cover any imperfections/dark circles, therefore I usually like my foundation to have a soft focus light to medium coverage. I feel anything beyond that on my skin just screams fake, and anything too matte looks absolutely terrible on me unfortunately. I have light medium combination/oily skin with reddish undertones, so I just set the t-zone with a more matte powder, and then everywhere else with the MUFE HD powder. It seems to me that people are either totally in love with the HD silicone-infused make-up trend, or they absolutely hate it. I would definitely say give it a try yourself!

  26. Zach says:

    P.S. Sephora Brand Perfecting Cover Foundation is an AWESOME dupe for this foundation (having used both), and it’s less than half the price!!

  27. Mel says:

    Thank You Sam! I always look at this when I’m in Sephora, but I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it and now I’m glad I didn’t! With my oily/acne prone skin – by days end I’d look like someone cooked bacon on my face!

  28. Bing says:

    I bought this foundation in 127 a few months back after trying some on at a Sephora. I absolutely loved the smooth texture and its coverage for the first 2 hours. Like many comments above, without a setting powder, it runs away very quickly and makes your face oily. I have also experienced minor breakouts after using it. Now I only use it for special occasions which require photo ops.

  29. Gina says:

    Sheer coverage? Hmm, I found that I get solid medium coverage from this, and I apply it with my MAC 188, which usually gives me sheerer color when I use it. I can’t comment on the wear, because I have dry skin, so this lasts a solid 12 hours on me, without primer. That’s too bad it didn’t work for you!

  30. Amy says:

    Hi Sam,
    I just wanted to say that your post made my day. this is a great review and your clever eloquence got me out of my bad mood! funny how makeup can do that 🙂
    keep up the good work! more more more!

  31. Rachel says:

    hi sam!
    i had the same exact experience when i used this foundation. i wouldn’t consider myself incredibly oily but my face was shine central when i tried this out. so far my favorite foundation that i have used is stila’s natural finish foundation. since it sounds like we have the same skin type, what are some of your favorite foundations?

  32. Katie says:

    I have this foundation in #118 and love it! Different foundations work for different skin types though. I have more normal skin, but when I was 17-18 my skin was oily as well. I enjoyed using NARS Oil-Free Foundation, but they replaced it with NARS Sheer Matte, which I haven’t tried.

  33. Vesna says:

    * My skin is pale (think Elmer’s Glue), with yellow undertones, which few cosmetic companies seem to recognize as an actual skin tone, as if they think that if you’re pale, you’ve gotta be pink. *

    Interesting, over here (Croatia, Europe) we mostly have fair foundations with yellow undertone, lol. Which is actually frustrating, of course. I won’t try this one cause I don’t like dewy skin. Thanks for review! 🙂
    Vesna recently posted … Chanel Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eye Shadow 19 Enigma Review & Swatches

    • Sam says:

      Lucky! I mean, I’m Russian-Ukrainian, so… same-ish area I suppose. Everywhere targets the main demographic… Unfortunately, my skin tone isn’t in it in the US!

  34. Neeraj says:

    Please don’t hate me if I say MUFE is one brand I don’t like at all. Maybe its the USP of the brand to either look artificial or like plastic or be overtly painted like a clown. They don’t have anything subtle to sport. You’d have a bright purple eyeshadow from MAC or Urban deacy that can be sported but the MUFE ones were scary.

    One product I may think I liked was the face and body foundation but that’s all. They may have brilliant colors but when it comes to quality and delivery of the product MUFE lacks like anything. Has any1 bought their makeup brushes that are so overtly priced in india but the worst ones I have seen.

    Don’t want to brag but my estee lauder double wear light is better.


  35. Danii says:

    Eh.Seems like a waste if it doesn’t work for everyone (isn’t that sort of the point…?).I pass on anything labeled ‘HD’,I personally see no point…I’m not a model and don’t like anyone taking my picture so it doesn’t matter!Btw,I love your posts,Sam!

  36. AliciaMLay says:

    Great article and review! I also had a terrible experience with this and will never understand the hype over this foundation. And I have dry skin! Guess I can stick with my tried and true CARGO liquid foundation.

  37. Alexandra says:

    I really appreciate the honesty of your article! I’m so sick of sponsered crap just rehashing what the ads want you to think. Keep it up, keep it real!

  38. kia says:

    i agree with the sentiments in this article =(

  39. Nika says:

    I had the same experience. I’m going to try their velvet foundation

  40. Tiffany says:

    Ahh! I love this article your experience was exactly the same as mine! I have super oily skin and I can’t believe how this product came off so easily and my skin looked so shiny! My foundation had creases as well near my nose and I was just shocked that for the reviews and price this product is such poor quality. I compare this product to MAC pro-longwear foundation for me. Both made my skin more shiny than usual.

  41. Niki says:

    I just started getting into Makeup. I’ve been doing quite a bit of modeling lately and decided to start doing my own Makeup.

    I went to Sephora and they recommended MUFE HD invisible foundation to me.

    Got a sample of it and used it for a week on a Photo shoot. Pictures were amazing.

    Decided to wear it for regular work day and that’s where we run into problems.

    My skin is oily/combination. Dry on the cheek and chin area. Oily on the nose, and forehead.

    I use a oil controlling moisturizer before priming my face with MUFE’s HD primer in conjunction with the foundation and by the end of the day my forehead and nose look like a mirror.

    I had a series breakout recently and my skin is still recovering and there is hyper pigmentation ranging from dark browns to reddish blemishes. The foundation covers some of the redness but not the darker blemishes.

    I usually just brush on the foundation with a flat foundation brush and then buff it in with a blending brush. Then in the areas where it didn’t cover the blemishes I have to go in and put on a second or third coat.

    Still doesn’t cover it. I ended up having to get one of MUFE’s HD concealer and that doesn’t always work either. By the end of the day it just seems to move and you can see the dark blemishes. I set everything with MEFU’s HD Micro finishing powder and my makeup still shifts around on my face. >__<"

    I think when I run out of the MUFE HD foundation I'm going to try Lancome's Teint Idole Ultra 24H. I heard really good reviews on that one and they are about in the same price range. Can also be used for Photography.

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