Anti-Holiday 2016: H&M Makes Cosmetics And Some Of It Ain’t Half Bad Folks. Picture Heavy. Long.

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Did ya’ll know that H&M made cosmetics? I sure as heck didn’t. I was watching Irichel on YouTube a few months back when she first discovered it in store and decided to test it out, I liked some of the stuff that she reviewed and so I decided to test that sucker out myself. What you see in that picture is not everything that I got. I placed two orders and got at least one item from most of the range. The only thing that I didn’t get was lip stuff or mascara even though I’d really wanted to, but I have way more than enough of both so I wasn’t about to go that route.

I bought my stuff online, and two hours after I placed my first order everything went on sale. I was a little bit pissed. However, I had gone back on the site to place another order for the things that I’d initially said I didn’t want, and so I placed a bunch of stuff in my cart but didn’t complete checkout. About a week later I still hadn’t purchased them and even though the sale was over, the items in my cart still had the sale prices and I was able to get them for those prices, so that’s one good thing to know. Another thing to know is that they have a shite return policy, or what I prefer to call the European Cosmetic Return Policy, where once you pay for something it’s yours even if it doesn’t work, which for purchasing online is a pain in the butt cause things don’t ever look the same. So this is something to keep in mind if you’re planning to shop cosmetics at H&M.com seeing as the entire range is not available everywhere.

A couple of these items I really like, a few are meh, but nothing is truly horrible and that I find is pretty consistent with H&M overall. Some of their clothing is meh, some are great, but everything is usually very good quality especially when you consider the price, and the cosmetics are no different. The packaging for everything is quite sleek and minimalist, even though all items are housed in plastic cases, you never get the feeling that you’re using cheap products.

 

Eyeshadow Palette – Aubergine Dream $9.99

One of the first things that I picked up was one of shadow palettes. I tried to choose the most colourful one, kinda hard since they were all pretty neutral. The Aubergine Dream came close enough with a mix of purples, mauves, cranberry and browns.

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The colour scheme for the palette packaging like everything else, is black and white. There are nine shadows in each palette and are set in coordinating rows and columns. There’s a huge mirror that takes up the entire lid, but there’s no snap or magnetic closure. Instead the palette stays closed via a weighted mechanism in the lid, this worries me that eventually it will weaken and just flop open at the most inconvenient of times. Like most low cost shadow palettes the shades aren’t named, so there’s nothing printed either in the palette nor on the packaging.

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I wasn’t expecting much, but the shadows did prove to be very pigmented and long lasting. They have more depth than my swatches would lead you to believe, and trust me when I say I was not prepared for that black shadow since it looks looks more like a slate grey than an actual black.

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These are mostly matte shadows with a few satins and one high shimmer shade. Even with that high shimmer, I didn’t experience a whole lot of fallout, in fact there’s almost none even though the shadows kick up a fair bit of powder. While they’re not the most buttery, they do apply smoothly, build and blend really very well. I completely spaced on taking pictures of the looks when I did them, but in the picture below you can just see the application of some of the shadows and how pigmented they are.

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Liquid Foundation – Chestnut $12.99.

Of course no proper haul is complete without the purchase of a foundation and blushes and so I’ve got both for you. It was very difficult choosing a shade from the website as the colours aren’t accurate and there are no descriptions that indicate shade or undertone. Also, the shades aren’t arranged in any logical fashion on the site because you have Ebony right next to the shade Ivory  in the line-up. It’s like someone was having a Stevie Wonder/Paul McCartney moment and wanted it arranged just so. I basically guessed at my shade and wound up being correct (mostly).

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Chestnut is a medium deep, with very yellow undertones that will fit someone from I want to say an NC40-43. If you’re in that shade range this may work for you, though you may have to apply a bit of adjustment. You get one full ounce that’s housed in a plastic bottle with cap and an airless pump.

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Now, this is a matte foundation. I’ll say it again, it is matte and I do mean very matte. It will not budge or transfer after it sets. Even though it’s super matte, you don’t feel it on the skin, and it’s initially quite easy to blend. It does dry quickly, but not as soon as it hits your face, so you still have a little time to work it in. I’m slow as molasses when I apply my foundation, so I typically work this in sections. The coverage is light to medium, but it is buildable so you may be able to go full, this isn’t something I care to test so…

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It’s also quite thick and has something of a sticky texture that doesn’t transfer when you’re trying to blend it in, but it bears noting here so that there are no surprises if you get this. Full face using it and the Perfectionist Powder below. I managed to tone the matte down by using the Caudalie Beauty Elixir.

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It’s one of those foundations that if you have any dry skin or flakiness it will show, so if you have drier skin I wouldn’t recommend it. While I like this foundation well enough, I have to force myself to reach for it because I keep forgetting that I have it. I have nothing against it, I just have much better so it gets forgotten.

 

Perfectionist Finishing Powder – $9.99

This was another guess, I figured since I has already chosen Chestnut in the foundation I would just expand on the theme. This is lot more forgiving in any case being mostly translucent.

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According to the website, its supposed to be a silky finishing powder that even though buildable, leaves a very natural looking finish. I can attest to all that. Swatches below.

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This powder is friggin bae! It literally leaves you looking poreless. The website also claims that this is good for dry to combination skin. No. Just nope. Like the foundation, this powder is very matte. I think that it would be very uncomfortable for someone with dry skin and would probably exacerbate dry patches.

 

Pressed Powder & Cream Blushes – $9.99.

Because I lack control, I picked up three blushes. I’d initially meant to get only cream blushes and only one, but I’m actively trying to be more explorative in my cosmetic choices so I picked up only one cream and two powders. The blush compacts are the cutest things ever. They’re octagonal…sorta, if an octagonal shape can have only six sides. The powders are housed in black compacts while the creams are in white, both are two toned and sport gold bottoms. They’re quite small and thin, making my man hands look even larger.

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What these babies lack in size, they make up for in punch. I powders in Hot Pink and Coral. I couldn’t resist with the cream blush and went in for one of my usual nude colours in Autumn Rust.

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They’re very silky and go on lightly but are very buildable so they can look very natural or as bright as you’d like them to be. Hot pink is a true hot pink even though it looks cool and pale in the pan and swatch, while coral is a warm orange coral. Autumn Rust is an orange brown shade with flecks of gold, both of the powder blushes have a satin finish.

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Below I’m wearing Hot Pink and Coral, although coral is such a natural looking blush on me that it doesn’t show up well in pictures.

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Solar Flair Bronzing Powder – Universal Mocha $.9.99

This is one of those products that’s meh, but kinda not really? I mean, as a bronzer it fails me, but mostly because once again I was unable to properly determine which shade would best suit me because no shade descriptions or logical organisation. I just picked a name that sounded like it would be dark enough.

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This is housed in the same sort of compact as the finishing powder except that it’s black instead of white. The reason this is universal? It’s neutral. Theoretically this could have still worked great for me because it was dark enough, but because it’s so neutral, it ended up looking too dark and thus muddy, couple that with the fact that it’s super brassy? And it was a no go.

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The upside is that it’s brassy enough that with some layering, it makes a pretty good highlighter. Speaking of highlighters…

 

Halo Illuminiser – $12.99

I picked up two of the three colours available, Delicate Pearl and Frosted Rose. First off, they are large for the price, you get one full ounce. They come in white squeeze tubes with gold lettering and caps.

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Delicate Pearl is a pure white highlighter, but Frosted Rose is the most beautiful highlighter that I’ve ever seen and the colour is sort of hard to explain, but I’ll try because the pictures don’t pick up the beauty of it. It’s a silvered dark rose that has a bit of a purple undertone.

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Unfortunately these are really thick, stiff and dry. They’re very hard to work in and if you have any acne scars or pits on your skin, it will sink into them. I tried every sort of brush imaginable and it would just get stuck in the brush. When I did put it on my face it refused to blend and was super bright and unnatural looking. However, I’m so in love with Frosted Rose that I went on a mad hunt to find a way to make it work. And I did. What I do now is put a small amount on the back of my hand and mixing it with a dry oil like Rosehip or Sweet Almond. The result is a much more liquid form that’s incredibly blendable and doesn’t loose anything in terms of colour and has the added benefit of being good for you because it has oils in it.

 

Radiance Concealer Pen – Chestnut $9.99

I also got a click pen concealer. It’s your typical concealer, housed in a white container. Unfortunately it’s only available in three shades, Chestnut being the darkest.

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Funnily enough, this ten dollar concealer works much better than the Laura Mercier one that I just bought. This one is not as dark as the name would suggest, it is a highlighting concealer after all. It has that peachy undertone to it that’s necessary to truly combat dark circles and discolouration. It’s also thicker with better coverage and more emollient so it spreads and blends better, and doesn’t sink into or exacerbate the lines you may or may not have under your eyes. Does it have radiance? Ehhh…I didn’t notice as much. It is slightly brightening, but not in a very noticeable way.

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Mattifying Face Primer – $12.99

This is, unlikely as it is, the highlight of my haul. This prime will make oily girls so very very happy. If you haven’t figured it out yet, when H&M says that something is matte, take them at their word. One of the best high end mattifying primers on the market is Becca’s. This is exactly like the Becca. Exactly. It comes in a black squeeze tube.

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This is formulated specifically for combination oily skin, and while the formula for the most part is identical to the Becca primer, I like it better for a few reasons. With the Becca primer I had an issue getting it to spread evenly. When I finally get it to spread, it would interfere with my thinner foundations, and it made my skin feel very tight and dried my skin out badly. Although this formula mimics it, I don’t have any issue applying it evenly. The only foundation that I had issue putting over it was ironically the H&M one. It also doesn’t leave my skin dried out or tight. So yet another Becca dupe for a fraction of the price. You’re welcome.

 

Final Thoughts.

I like H&M cosmetics quite a lot. I think the quality that you get for the price is kinda something special. What I don’t care for is their return policy, especially since the entirety of the line is only available on line and in flagship stores like the one in Manhattan. If you want to have such a strict return policy then the complete line needs to be in all stores.

There are no real duds in the line, everything is either really great or passable. I think that it’s a good line to take a gander at, just be sure that you know your colours because you can’t return or exchange anything even if it is unopened.

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