When mega fast fashion empire H&M got rid of their original cosmetics line a few years back, they had promised it would return better and brighter. But all their loyal customers got throughout the last five years were generic takes on palettes, random lip glosses and mini nail polishes. After what’s been a long wait, the Swedish-based brand finally released images of their 700 piece collection of makeup and skincare this summer. Packaging-wise, their promise was kept. While there was nothing wrong with their more downtown, hard blocky outlines and large print before, the new H&M Beauty is very uptown with compacts and tubes in more sleek shapes and mainly decorated in black, white and gold. The packaging of the boxes also feel inspired by Tom Ford‘s eponymous luxury cases. Sara Wallander, for her Vogue.com interview and the concept designer for H&M Beauty, described the new makeup launch as “‘fashion for the face’—-[the products will be] a fun part of shaping your look.”
Beginning in September, H&M slowly began rolling it out in the U.S. and it officially debuted in Boston the week of October 4.
In person, H&M Beauty is very inviting as the displays are clean and evenly spaced. You want to try out everything and instead of feeling overwhelmed, you feel excited! H&M (makeup) is back!
Per contra, the real question is if the quality of H&M’s new makeup is any good. Are the shadows pasty? Lippies dry? An utter lack off pigmentation? Surprisingly, those worries will not arise, at least for the eyes, lips and nails. The first product I tested were the Cream Lip Colour lipsticks and instantly I liked “Amethyst”, a strong violet that’s a bit less raspberry blue than NYX’s Intense Butter Gloss “Berry Strudel.” I quickly placed the last tube in stock in my shopping bag.
I went on to swatch most of the other Cream Lips and the textures were soft and the colors vibrant. Equally impressed by the other options such as their Lip Colour To-Go crayons and Gossamer Lip Stains, their Lush Lip Vinyl (gloss) in “Chic Chock”, an average looking cup of latte with hint of pink-brown, also went in my bag. It slightly reminded me of one of M.A.C.’s new Vamplify glosses in “Hyper Fabulous” and I’m always in search of a flattering nude.
The 30+ High Impact Eye Colours may be the main highlight of H&M Beauty as the colors wonderfully range from light to deep within color families and the pigments are very rich. There are milky browns and stunning golds. If you’ve been looking for cheaper dupes to the cult-like love for Chanel and Urban Decay shadows, H&M has your alternative and the quality is just as reliable. You might even give in and wear a turquoise lid because the color is just so pretty.
My left hand in no time was half covered in a rainbow of swatches from lipstick and shadows.
On to the rest of the eye products, the Colour Essence liners swatched well and the 9-pan shadow palettes are thoughtfully flushed out. (The pink-based set is a memorable stand-out. Again, the shadows in general are the greatest improvements in H&M Beauty). And let’s have a hands-up emoji praise for how beautiful the plush Colour Essence Eye Creams are. I kneeled to “Dauphine Truffle.”
The Pure Radiance Powder Blushers and Pure Velvet Cream Blushers reside more on the paler, neutral side, note for a few lively pinks. The only true concern came for H&M Beauty came when it was time to check out the foundations and face powders. Unfortunately like a lot of makeup brands, department or drugstore, too aggressively, skin tones on the lighter spectrum were catered. Because of the bottles of All-Day Liquid Foundation all look virtually the same. Sames goes for the Radiant Concealers and Cover-Ups. The in-store Beauty correspondent reassured that darker skin tones were in the label and that they would be available in days to come. One “browner” shade of face makeup I could swatched was the Perfectionist Finishing Powder and it appeared as dusty as Cover Girl’s perpetually disappointing TruBlend Pressed Powder.
Present as well was a sole Dark Tones Foundation Quad that contained four warm shades of cocoa to a red-based espresso. While gorgeous to look at, it seemed a little like a hush-hush way of quieting complaints of not enough deep tones from the liquid foundations. On the website, the quad reads as: “A compact foundation palette with four silky, blendable shades for dark skin tones, making it easy to create a perfect match for your complexion.” So deeper tones have to mix their tones while others just pick up a bottle? #DoBetter
Aside from the typical lackluster face makeup options, H&M Beauty is really awesome and the best part aside from the colorful hues is that it is affordable! You can easily spend $40, but we know that’s the price of just one product from Nars sometimes. And there are more items included in H&M Beauty such as parfums, brushes, sea salt sprays, body creams, press-on nails and false lashes and appliances.
So whether money is tight or you just want dependable makeup, H&M Beauty is a highly recommended choice.