The upgrade from a traditional foundation to an HD formula can be likened to the moment you had to upgrade your '90s-era television for a hi-def flatscreen--you weren't aware you needed to trade in your old model, but once you did, you can't imagine life without it. Many beauty products claim to have that HD finish, but what actually makes the formula high definition is the unique way the pigments are coated, and how they appear under the most discriminating camera lenses. "Ultra HD cameras have 4 times the amout of pixels as compared to standard definition. This means the photographer and videographers have a lot more capability when it comes to editing and expanding images with more clarity and color saturation, but because of this, you can see the texture and color on the skin on a magnified scale," explains Nicholas Lujan, pro and media educator for Make Up For Ever. "While traditional foundations can look mask-like or heavy, ultra HD foundations mimic the look of skin and are less detectable on camera. They can help to even skin tone and texture, even with minimal product." The product is then tested under super hi-def cameras to determine whether or not it keeps its promises.
Make Up For Ever's HD formula ($43; sephora.com) in particular uses the tiniest sphere-shaped pigment particles, which impart a smooth, skin-like finish, and have been coated to keep the color stable--meaning you won't risk taking on an orange, oxidized tint. The side of hyaluronic spheres blended into the foundation ensure that your complexion stays hydrated, so you won't have to aggressively pile on moisturizer beforehand. You definitely shouldn't skip your face lotion, but Lujan advises using slightly less than you would with a traditional foundation, and consider pairing it with an HD primer and setting powder to filter out pores and keep a uniform product lineup. "Start by applying the foundation to areas that need the most coverage first, typically the center of the face," Lujan recommends. "Use a tapping or dabbing motion in these areas to build coverage, then stretch or buff your foundation outward from the area toward the edges of the face."