I think we can all remember 6 years ago, when Topshop decided to launch a beauty range...I know I was rather dubious back then, but any doubt over the quality of the products was quickly erased (swatches galore anyone?). It's not every day a high street clothes store decides to invest in makeup and does so successfully, but 5 years on (yes I'm a little late to the party) and H&M have repeated the feat!
I do have a sneaking suspicion that this is not H&M's first dip in the makeup pool, as I do remember spotting some eyelash curlers and eyeliners through a store window maybe 3 or so years ago. But this is certainly the first time they have released such a beautiful, cohesive and extensive range.
The standout packaging of the H&M Beauty collection has to be the hexagonal blush compact. Geometric shapes, especially hexagons, have been the latest fad in the jewellery world. No more the statement earrings and necklaces (I'll keep mine just in case, we all know fashion is bound to repeat itself...hello 90s) but rather the more delicate and minimalistic jewellery is the new "in".
H&M have got it so right when they decided to use minimalistic and just as equally gorgeous packaging. Enough with the gushing though, I know you are all here to read about the quality of the products...and let me tell you, they don't disappoint!
Colour Essence Eye Cream - Champers & Earth Angel
When it comes to cream eyeshadows my only real reference in terms in quality has to be the Maybelline Eyestudio Color Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Eyeshadows (try and say that 5 times quickly!). In terms of colour payoff and lasting power I would say the H&M Colour Essence Eye Creams are on par with the former. However, texture-wise they are a lot lighter and mousse-ier hence it's very easy to accidentally dig your nail in the H&M cream eyeshadows and get too much product on your finger (especially if you are heavy handed like me). But the light texture also means you can barely feel it on your eyelids, so not really something I'm going to complain about.
Champers is a beautiful warm beige with gold shimmer and Earth Angel is a rich chocolaty brown also with gold shimmer (don't base yourself on the colours of the pots in my photos above but rather the swatches on my arm below). So far, I've only tested Champers; by itself, over eyeshadow primer, over eyeshadow primer and with powder eyeshadow to set it, and I got very different results:
- BY ITSELF: very much like the Maybelline Color Tattoo, the product creases after a couple of hours. Nothing too noticeable, especially with such a light colour as Champers, but not ideal.
- OVER EYESHADOW PRIMER: no creasing even after 8 hours of wear. The only issue I had was that my eyeliner in my upper lashline smudged onto my crease because the H&M eyeshadow cream was not matte enough to prevent the smudging. Completely resolvable by wearing a smudgeproof eyeliner, powder eyeliner, or simply no eyeliner at all.
- OVER EYESHADOW PRIMER & WITH POWDER EYESHADOW: This combo will mean zero budging, the problem then becomes finding the perfect powder eyeshadow to match the eyeshadow cream which kind of nullifies the need for an eyeshadow cream in the first place I think (just wear the powder eyeshadow).
In conclusion, the best technique with this product is to wear it solely over an eyeshadow primer (my favourite you'll know by now is the Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eye Primer) and avoid wearing a smudging eyeliner in your upper lashline.
Pure Radiance Powder Blusher - Imperial Red
If you have read my KIKO Super Colour Eyeliner post then you'll know that I've been looking for a bright and pigmented poppy red blusher for a while now. I was so pleased to finally find such a good one in H&M Beauty, the Pure Radiance Powder Blusher in Imperial Red is exactly what I had wanted.
Now don't be an idiot like I was and assume that this blusher doesn't have a lot of colour payoff, because it does! I did a couple of dabs with my brush and applied it directly to my cheek...needless to say I immediately regretted this move (dab off the excess on the back of your hand first). Amazing pigmentation, zero patchiness but because I had applied too much I had to go in with some foundation to neutralise my error. Hence why the blusher you see in the photos below is perfectly reasonable and not a re-enactment of Pikachu (a Pokémon with very red and round cheeks in case you didn't know).
Fluid Hues Eye Colour - Mulberry Mist
This is a gorgeous cranberry colour that swatches beautifully on the arm but eyelid application is a completely different story:
- BY ITSELF: I tried applying it directly to the eyelids with the sponge applicator then immediately tried to blend with a brush. The brush unfortunately removed some of the product and created patches.
So I then tried again this time blending with my finger...this worked but you do loose some of the pigmentation when blending, so I then put on an extra layer (to get the colour intensity back) and tried to blend a bit more...disaster, it removed some of the product underneath. I tried a gentle patting motion but that also lifted off the previously blended product. So I then just went straight in with the applicator again on the patches and abandoned blending a second time altogether. This technique kinda works, but it still didn't give me the colour intensity I wanted or that swatches on your arm. Plus, it was also rather uncomfortable, heavy and sticky to wear, especially when waiting for it to dry.
- OVER EYESHADOW PRIMER: a total disaster, this was how I first tried to wear it, and because the product is so good at sticking to your eyelid, I got drag marks when I tried to blend it in the outer corner and my crease.
- OVER EYESHADOW PRIMER & WITH POWDER EYESHADOW: because of the said drag marks mentioned above, I only had a limited time the fix the issue caused by the eyeshadow primer before having to go out in public (yes, the blusher incident did not help either). I had to quickly apply some Mac eyeshadow in Coppering in my crease, and Cranberry (Mac eyeshadow post coming soon) on my mobile eyelid and outer crease as well as my lower lashline. I then added some Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in 001 Black in my waterline (when wearing such a dramatic colour on your eyes you need a dark barrier between the whites of your eyes and the colour, otherwise you just look like you've been crying). I finished off the look with the Sephora Lip Liner To Go in 17 Light Brown.
The best technique with this one is...I don't know?!! This is a very difficult product to use, but it's such a beautiful colour I will persevere and try and find a solution. But if you were to buy from the Fluid Hues Eye Colour range I would suggest going for a much lighter colour so that the patchiness (if there is any in the lighter colours) might not be so noticeable and the need for blending not so dire.
So there you have it, my H&M Makeup haul, the liquid eyeshadow needs a little more application practice but overall I was super happy with the quality of these products.
What is your favourite look to wear now that it is finally autumn? This is the first time I've ever worn such red eyeshadow, but I rather like it! Plus, it makes my eyes super green (complimentary colours).
Do you know of a liquid eyeshadow with easy application and longlasting staying power?
Were you surprised by this H&M launch or were you expecting/hoping for it after Topshop?