High street beauty is booming, ensuring that covetable makeup and purse-friendly prices can happily coexist. Now H&M Beauty has joined the conversation with a collection that is designed to be easy to use and coax out your creative side.
“The new collection is bringing backstage expertise to the masses but it’s also great for artists,” declares Raoúl Alejandre, the makeup artist the Swedish high street brand has enlisted to bring its new line to life. “These are things that I use in my own kit and the formulas are made in Italy so the standard of the actual product is really high. If you’re spending $8 on a product it should have colour payoff. It should be high performing. We’re in a space now where having something that’s not pigmented or something that’s not going to last is just not an excuse anymore.”
The 32-piece collection of vegan makeup products includes bronzers, lipsticks that are refillable as well as cream and powder iterations of highlighter and blusher. Notably, all are pleasingly priced under £10 and are formulated with a roster of skin-loving ingredients including hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.
When I caught up with Raoúl at the global launch in London, he told me that draping is his signature technique and one that he uses on his celebrity clients – an impressive roster that includes Zendaya, Nicola Peltz-Brooklyn and GLAMOUR cover star Willow Smith.
“For a long time it was just with blusher, draping with a pinkier colour on the lids or using a transitional colour that moved onto the temple and the cheek,” he says, adding that he loves a monochromatic look using cream blusher first on the eyes and cheeks before going in with a powder blusher and a big fluffy brush to set it.
“But now, it’s all about bronzer,” he says. Raoúl prefers to place bronzer high on the cheekbone rather than in the hollow as it doesn’t look so harsh or drag the face down. “If you don’t have anything transitioning from the eye or the temple, it just feels like a line. If you want that contoured effect, use a brush that’s a little bit more tapered to create that definition. But it’s also nice to use those old-school big fluffy brushes and just start buffing what’s left over from the cheekbone upwards so that it starts creating this beautiful grading effect.”
As well as doing your draping before applying brow gel or mascara – “you don’t want any dustiness” – he also recommends taking what’s left on the brush down the neck and behind the ears to keep the colour consistent.
A key feature of the new H&M Beauty offering is a mascara wardrobe comprising four different products, whether you’re looking for a full-volume flutter to mimic falsies or your fallback position is separated and lengthened lashes.
“The important thing about mascara is that you really want to give it that opportunity to bond with you,” says Raoúl. “You have to wear it a couple of times and it’s one of those products that kind of needs to age a little bit [before it looks its best].” Hence none of the H&M Beauty mascaras are “too wet when you start to pull out the wand”, but feel very malleable instead.
As for how best to apply mascara? Raoúl’s advice is to start with the tips rather than the roots: “When you start applying mascara at the base of the lash, it creates a bit of heaviness. But when you start with the tips, your lashes are just going to fan out.”
Intrigued by the new H&M Beauty collection? Here are the GLAMOUR beauty team’s top picks:
H&M Beauty Volume Icon Lash Mascara
Fiona Embleton, GLAMOUR’s Acting Associate Beauty Director:
“This product is the star of the show for me. I love my mascara to be blacker than black and look gritty rather than pristine – like I’ve been dancing all night in a sweaty nightclub and it has just melted onto my lashes. Or the way you can grip and wiggle mascara through your lashes a week after you’ve cranked open a new tube and air has whipped up the formula a bit. I also want both length and volume (a tall order, I know). This mascara delivered on all fronts as you can see from this picture, where one set of lashes is coated in the Volume Icon Lash Mascara and the other is left bare. The only down side is my lashes have added so much newly-added length, I have to keep cleaning the lenses of my glasses as they keep smudging! The glossy red packaging also deserves a special mention as, for me, it has a more luxe look than the matte tubes some of the other mascaras in the collection are housed in. Great product and even better price point.”
H&M Beauty Bronzed Actually Pressed Powder Bronzer in Light
Fiona Embleton, Acting Associate Beauty Director:
“I love a year-round matte bonzer for warming up my skin tone so I immediately gravitated towards the Matte Powder Bronzer in the collection, which comes in six different shades (Light was the best match to my skin tone). I usually use a cream bronzer on my cheeks as I’m not a fan of applying a double helping of powder: first a light dusting of translucent powder to mop up any oily patches, topped by powder bronzer. I was running really late the morning I tested the Pressed Powder Bronzer so I went a bit rogue and let my moisturiser sink in for a few minutes before using a large fluffy brush to add a little of the bronzer to the high points of my face. It’s surprisingly creamy for a powder so buffed in well without leaving a patchy or muddy finish despite the fact that I hadn’t prepped my skin properly. Impressive.”
H&M Beauty Pressed Powder Blusher in Peachy Keen
Elle Turner, GLAMOUR’s Beauty Editor:
“I tried the pressed powder blusher in the shade Peachy Keen. The packaging is compact and cute; as for the formula, it took a few of swirls with my brush to get a good colour pay off, but I really liked the juicy shade. There’s also six other colours including baby pinks, rose pinks, berry, brick and beige. I got compliments on the colour early in the morning, however this is one you’d probably need to reapply as it had faded by home time.”
H&M Beauty Never-Ending Lash
Shei Mamona, GLAMOUR UK’s Beauty Writer:
“Mascaras are a desert island product for me, so I was excited to get my hands on this Never-Ending Lash mascara, which promises to define lashes in an instant. As soon as I opened it, I had high hopes. The wand was on the thinner side, tapered and silicone, so it bent nicely to contour each one of my naturally curly lashes. My main goal is maximising length, and then volume, so I really wanted something that could extend my lashes beyond what they offer naturally. This mascara did just that. It separated them, but not too much that they look too gappy and sparse, and my lashes looked like they could touch the crease of my eyelids. All in all, at £8.99, this proves that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have a flirty flutter.”
H&M Beauty Max Drama Lash
Shei Mamona, GLAMOUR UK’s Beauty Writer:
“If you haven’t acquainted yourself with the power of mascara cocktailing, then it’s a get-to-know. While I liked the Never-Ending Lash mascara it wasn’t giving me the dramatic finish, which I usually like from my mascara. But seeing as the H&M Beauty Max Drama Lash mascara had also dropped on my desk I decided to layer them to create my ideal go-to lash look. On first impressions, I liked the look of the Max Drama Lash’s jumbo, full-bodied brush. The product transferred easily onto my lashes (maybe a bit too easily) and you only really need one or two coats to get maximum volume. It did clump the lashes a bit but it each strand of lash hair felt thicker. It’s a little harder to use on the bottom lashes as the colour can transfer onto your cheek, but it dries relatively quickly. As it didn’t give me the spidery lash effect I’m after, I cocktailed it with the Never-Ending Lash Mascara and it balanced things out. This may not be my go-to mascara but it’s certainly a great player if you fancy trying mascara cocktailing.”
H&M Beauty Satin Lipstick in Crème Brulée
Denise Primbet, GLAMOUR’s Beauty Commerce Writer:
When I got my hands on the new H&M beauty makeup range, I immediately gravitated towards the lipsticks (what can I say, I’m a lip girlie and can’t resist a good bullet lipstick). I opted for the satin version in shade Crème Brulée, which, as it turns out, was a great nude colour for my complexion. The lipstick glides on like butter and delivers seriously impressive pigment in one swipe. Plus, the sleek and magnetic packaging is a nice added bonus too.
H&M Beauty “Do-it-all Stick” Highlighter Stick For Cheeks, Lips and Eyes in Rose Glow
Denise Primbet, GLAMOUR’s Beauty Commerce Writer:
I must admit, I’m not big on highlighters but something about the “Do-it-all stick” captured my attention almost immediately. First of all, I appreciated the fact that H&M included cream makeup products in their collection, but what I love even more is just how seamlessly they apply and melt into the skin. I went for the shade Rose Glow, which is a pearly shade with a pinkish hue. It delivers just the right amount of glow without being too subtle or blinding. In fact, I went a little crazy and used it as cream eyeshadow and even dabbed it into the centre of my lips for an ethereal look. Definitely my favourite product out of the whole collection. (edited)
For more from Fiona Embleton, GLAMOUR’s Acting Associate Beauty Director, follow her on @fiembleton.
Read the full article here