I had been meaning to try the Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet+ Foundation ($36) for years. It comes highly recommended by fellow bloggers. Plus, it claimed to meet all the characteristics I usually look for in a foundation-- matte or satin finish, long-wearing, and contains no SPF. A few months ago, my adoptive sister (hey, girl) got a sample from Sephora and that just completely sealed the deal. It worked amazingly well on her so I used my $25 Sephora gift card towards purchasing one for myself. Here are my full thoughts on it...
I got the color n.40 which is described as "Natural Beige, for medium-light skin with yellow undertones". Sounds like me, right? Let me tell you something, though. Choosing your shade of Mat Velvet + is a bit of a pain. First of all, the bottle is "frosted" plastic which means the foundation inside is actually a lot darker than what it looks from the outside. Secondly, the shades don't have names (just a number) or indication of undertones in-stores. So if you're browsing by yourself, you'll have to swatch a bunch of colors first (because, you know, you can't see a damn thing of what the color inside looks like). What I did was look for my shade equivalent using the Temptalia Foundation Matrix and Sephora Color IQ. That directed me towards #30, #35, and #40. Then, while I was in the store, I swatched NARS Sheer Glow in Punjab on my hand and looked for the color that most resembled that one. I still wish #40 was as yellow as Punjab, but when it's blended down to my neck and once I have all my makeup on you can't really tell. You could also get a Sephora SA to match you. I chose not to because I haven't had the best experiences doing that.
The consistency of Mat Velvet+ is considerably thick. It does't feel cakey, at least not for me, but I wouldn't call it a "natural finish". It gives your complexion a flawless, matte look. It should go without saying, but this definitely isn't suitable for dry skin types. I wouldn't even recommend it for combination skin because it would look unflattering in your dry zones. It holds up wonderfully to humidity and lasts great on oily skin (I have a normal skin type and my sis has oily skin and it lasts for hours on both of us). The coverage is medium buildable. As you can see from the picture above, it almost covered up my blemishes completely.
Verdict: I love this foundation and whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a long-wearing matte finish. The lack of SPF means it photographs great in flash. It has become my go-to special occasion/going out foundation because it keeps shine at bay for a little longer than my favorite, NARS Sheer Glow. It's also cheaper than most high-end foundations which are retailing around $42+ right now.
I want to wish everyone a happy 2015! May it be an even better year than this one!