All About HD Makeup

High-definition television (or HDTV) is a digital television broadcasting system with a higher resolution than the average TV. When viewing something in HDTV, it's noticeably different: the colors are more vivid and the picture is crisper. How? High-definition cameras magnify up to six times more than regular camcorders, making the picture that's ultimately broadcasted distinctly richer and clearer.

Everything is visually magnified when seen in high definition—especially makeup. Accordingly, film and television makeup artists now turn to technologically advanced formulas that are undetectable yet highly effective. This high-definition makeup provides a picture-perfect complexion and is invisible to hi-def cameras (and the naked eye!), thanks to:

-Innovative, superfine microparticles that blend imperceptibly into skin
-Photochromatic pigments that react with all types of lighting

The result is skin that looks naturally flawless whether on screen or on the street. The high-definition primer, foundation, and powder combination works together to cover imperfections, diffuse pores, smooth out skintone, and reflect natural and artificial light. Use this three-step technique to give skin an airbrushed finish—at every angle.
Cargo's blu_ray High Definition Line

Life happens in High Definition. The revolutionary new collection from CARGO cosmetics, blu_ray™, was created especially for filming in high-definition. The professional-quality makeup covers imperfections while looking completely natural—since any heavy coverage is amplified in hi-def—and the result is radiant skin. CARGO's The blu_ray™ Collection is ideal for weddings, special events, or for flawless everyday beauty.

1. blu_ray™ Pressed Powder $30
Blu_Ray™ Pressed Powder contains specialized photochromatic pigments that adjust with the light so that your base makeup always looks perfect regardless of lighting or setting.

2. blu_ray™ High Definition Mattifier $24
Blu_Ray™ High Definition Mattifier is a luxurious, silky liquid skin mattifier that can be applied either over or under makeup to refine pores, minimize lines and condition for a polished look.

3. blu_ray™ Mascara $20
Blu_Ray™ lengthening mascara has a specialized comb that separates lashes for a look that is defined and never clumpy.

4. blu_ray™ Blush/Highlighter $27
Blu_Ray™ Blush/Highlighter is a universally flattering shade of blush with a velvety formula that adjusts with ambient lighting, providing a natural finish day or night.

5. blu_ray™ Lip Gloss $29
Blu_Ray™ Gloss offers high shine, subtle brilliance, and a plumping effect that makes lips look full, smooth, and natural. Cargo offers four gorgeous shades of high definition lip gloss in one convenient compact with an enclosed mirror.

CARGO blu_ray™ Concealer, $28
Created to provide picture-perfect results during high-definition filming, the blu_ray™ concealer offers the effects of a professional, water-resistant concealer, while adding the benefits of a wrinkle eliminator. This waterproof/weather-resistant, long-wearing concealer provides foundation-like coverage for select areas. The formula contains light-diffusing pigments to create a natural, fresh look, and Vilsilox™, a state of the art cosmetic alternative to Botox, to smooth fine lines and wrinkles.

CARGO blu_ray™ High Definition Lip Gloss, $24
CARGO blu_ray™ High Definition Gloss provides a high-shine and plumping effect that makes lips look full and smooth —for picture-perfect results. The technology-driven formula has a plumping and line-filling effect for instantly fuller and smoother lips with long-term results. It delivers high shine without the shimmer—making it perfect for photography. The formula improves elasticity of the lips and provides the ultimate in hydration and comfort while the cap features Timestrip® technology to show you when your gloss needs to be replaced.
Make Up For Ever HD Line

1. HD Microfinish Powder
Sets the foundation and slightly mattifies skin without changing its natural contours. This 100% mineral silica powder softens the appearance of imperfections. Completely evens out the complexion for a glowing, radiant look. One universal shade for all skin tones.

2. HD Microperfecting Primer
HD Microperfecting Primer deeply nourishes, moisturizes, and softens the skin, creating a glowing effect. Creates a protective layer on the skin allowing foundation to glide on easily and last longer.

3. HD Invisible Cover Foundation
An oil-free medium-to-full-coverage liquid foundation that covers skin imperfections flawlessly while remaining invisible on-screen and in real life. Creates a soft-focus effect, designed to meet the coverage concerns of those in the spotlight. It creates a complexion that looks flawless, even in bright or harsh lighting.


- HD Brush 30N A medium-size brush that is ideal for applying foundation
- HD Sponge A polyurethane makeup sponge.
- HD Microfinish Puff A powder puff.
-HD Kabuki Brush It is a soft-to-the-touch yet sufficiently firm nylon brush designed to easily sweep powder on the face. This Sephora-exclusive brush was designed especially for HD Microfinish Powder, or other loose powder application. It can also be used to remove excess powder after initial application.

Also, newly released:
HD Elixir
HD complexion collection uses innovative formulas to create a new generation of makeup that is invisible on high-definition cameras and to the naked eye. This unique, lightweight elixir absorbs quickly into the skin, instantly hydrating and brightening the complexion. The breakthrough formula contains D-Panthenol and Glycerin to ensure an immediate boost of hydration (+520% after 15 minutes) that lasts throughout the day (+175% after 6 hours). Argatensyl is added to provide an immediate smoothing effect. Each ingredient was specifically added to prepare skin for high- definition makeup—so you can count on the camera picking up the perks of this perfecting formula. This product is oil and paraben free and dermatologist tested.



Finding a new TV can be daunting enough, but do you really need makeup to go with it? To understand the new wave of HD makeup, it helps to appreciate how this technology affects your must-see programs.

Newer, high-definition TV sets can project larger images with 2-5 times the resolution of analog versions. So everything from wardrobe malfunctions to the care instructions on a host’s outfit will air in much more vivid detail.

Realizing their pores and dark circles could show up on screen five times larger, news anchors across the country balked. Makeup artists responded with high-definition makeup formulas designed for the new viewing experience. In Hollywood, the union for makeup artists has even held seminars to educate members on adapting to the new technology.

Even if you never plan on having your 15 minutes of fame, high-definition makeup may deserve a supporting, if not starring, role in your makeup routine.


What is HD makeup?
High-def cameras create a catch-22: Any crease, wrinkle, or blemish will be exposed, but thick, unnatural pancake makeup will also be obvious through an HD lens.

To avoid the cakey texture of standard TV coverage, high-definition makeup formulas are designed to be more sheer yet still hide uneven skin texture and other un-telegenic flaws, says independent makeup artist, Joanna Schlipp, who has applied HD-friendly coverage for the Oscars, Grammys, and Emmys. “You can see the skin through the makeup, but it creates a softer focus,” she says.

In other words, these cosmetics simultaneously camouflage imperfections, cover blemishes, and still manage to appear invisible. The pigments and formulas are designed to blend seamlessly with the skin -- in short, what any good cosmetic should already be doing. Most cosmetics today are designed to create a “natural” look.

What’s in HD makeup formulas?
The main difference involves light-scattering ingredients, says Tina Turnbow, a makeup artist for Beauty.com who has made Mary Louise Parker and Taylor Momsen HD camera ready. “The reflective particles are what makes the foundation really flattering,” she explains.

Diffusing light creates an illusion of an even finish so you can’t detect the flaws beneath -- like airbrushing for your skin. Cosmetics with an HD label will likely contain one of the following: mica, silicone, crystals, or quartz. These particles sit on top of the skin and help to scatter light in subtle ways.

The powders are often milled to a fine consistency to help avoid detection by the cameras. Mineral pigments in a micronized texture are often present as well because they don’t settle into pores.

Some formulas may contain mattifying agents to prevent shine in oilier complexions and avoid glare. For the same reason, the foundations are usually oil-free.

And, often these HD makeup formulas are designed to moisturize because makeup can settle into cracks and creases apparent in dry complexions. The hydration also plumps up dry skin to make wrinkles and lines less noticeable.

Does HD makeup need to be applied differently?
In most cases, no. You should always brush or sponge on your foundation in a downward motion to avoid highlighting the fine hairs on your face. And, it’s always essential to blend down to the neck so you don’t end up with a telltale stripe along your jaw.

“Any makeup should be body temperature when you apply it for the best blending,” Schlipp says. She suggests warming a few drops of foundation in the palms of your hands before dipping an applicator in the fluid.

Do I need to switch to HD makeup?
Upgrading to high-def formulas isn’t a necessity for anyone who doesn’t log hours of face time on a red carpet. “Women should be applying their makeup light enough that you can’t detect it in person,” Schlipp says.

“Much of the HD makeup trend is all about clever marketing,” says cosmetics chemist Jim Hammer. “But it does make sense that these formulas can soften skin perfections and make it appear more uniform and smooth without visible residue.”

That doesn’t mean you won’t see similar results from other cosmetics. “Many of these same ingredients in HD makeup formulas are present in wrinkle-concealing and mattifying foundations that have been on the market,” Hammer says.

Cosmetics with light-reflecting ingredients will have the same benefits as many high-definition makeup options. And the airbrush foundations that have gained popularity recently also get your complexion camera ready.

Which HD makeup products are worth the investment?
If you’re in the market, consider a foundation or concealer designed for HD filming. This is often where you see the most impact, Turnbow says. HD foundations are especially wise purchases if you’re worried about how your skin will look in pictures, so they’re perfect for a bride.

Camouflaging imperfections to create a smooth canvas will make any other cosmetic you apply next look even better. Plus, focusing on your skin tone means you can also get away with wearing less makeup.

With a lightweight, light-reflecting base, you won’t have to worry that your makeup looks like it was applied with a trowel.

Who makes HD makeup?
offers a blu_ray line that contains powder, blush, and foundation from $15 to $49, cargocosmetics.com, all with light-reflective particles.
Dior’s Capture Totale Foundation boasts a “high-definition finish.” $75, saksfifthavenue.com.
Givenchy sells a Photo Perfexion Fluid Foundation, $42, sephora.com, to "conceal and retouch skin problems."
Makeup Forever "gets skin ready for close-ups" with HD Invisible Cover Foundation and HD Microfinish Powder, $40 and $30, sephora.com.
Smashbox High Definition Healthy FX Foundation and Photo Foundation Primer "set the scene for flawless skin," $38 and $42, sephora.com.

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