Thursday, 15 October 2015

Overview | H&M Beauty.

I have always seen a few nail polishes and lip glosses pop up in H&M but up until recently it was never something I would call a "beauty collection"... That is, until I wandered into a H&M in city centre Strasbourg and was amazed at the massive section dedicated to all things makeup, skincare, hair care and beauty. I decided to pick up a few bits from across the collection to see what they had to offer. I'm not sure how readily available all this stuff is across H&M stores worldwide, but I heard tales of their beauty section popping up in Dublin so it might be worth having a goo if anything here interests you!
Although I only picked up a handful of things from the makeup section; don't be fooled. The H&M Beauty Collection has foundations, concealers, an array of powders and blushes (cream formula, too), eyeshadows, cream eyeshadows, glitters, lipsticks, lipliners... you name it! It also has plenty of palettes, makeup brushes and bags, body creams and hair products.

I'll get the hair stuff out of the way; their heat protector and the sea salt spray, both around the €8 mark. I'll be honest, the heat protector (cleverly named 'Knot a Problem') didn't wow me and I feel like you could easily get a better one for the same price in Boots or Superdrug. I'll definitely use it up, it doesn't make my hair feel sticky or crunchy, but it doesn't leave it super shiny and silky, either. The sea salt spray, however, is brilliant. I'd always liked the idea of a sea salt spray but never really found they made a difference. I've used the two Bumble and Bumble salt sprays countless times and found they did nothing for my hair - and they are essspensive. This product isn't something I'd use daily on my hair (it is definitely drying, that's the only con about all sea salt sprays) but if you are having a lazy/limp hair day and want to scrunch it up and make it "messy cute" then this is your guy. I've really been enjoying this on second or third (or fifth in my greaseball case...) hair days and would recommend picking it up if you were eyeing up a more expensive option.

I generally think most setting powders work the same (with a few stand out exceptions) but I thought I'd pick up H&M's offering of the Mattifying Powder (€10). The packaging feels quite light and "cheap" in my hand but looks really simplistic yet pretty so for ten euro I'm definitely not complaining. The powder is nice, it feels really lightweight and doesn't kick up a pile of dust when you put your brush in the pan. It's definitely made me want to try more of their complexion/base products.
The powder blushes come in the same simplistic (yet pretty) packaging as the face powders but in a cute hexagon shape. I'm not overly impressed with the shade that I picked up (Cameo Pink) because the pigmentation just isn't fantastic, but it could be worth swatching a few of the other shades and seeing if the pigmentation varies because I've seen other bloggers say they really enjoyed their blushes. I also picked up a Too Faced blush on the same day which is absolutely stunning, so poor aul Cameo Pink never really stood a chance.

Their eyeshadow section is mahoooosive. The compacts are cute and cost €5. They have a massive range of mattes, shimmers, satins and glitter shades in neutrals, brights and everything in between. The shade I picked up is pretty much an exact dupe for MAC's Blackberry but half the price. I swatched quite a few of the eyeshadows and I found them to be really lovely overall. However, being in France and being surrounded by Kiko eyeshadows for €3 has actually kind of spoiled me when it comes to paying any more for a "drug store" or affordable brand. I liked the shade so I picked it up, and if you don't a Kiko around you then I'm sure you'll still enjoy it all the same. Maybe it isn't fair to pit the H&M shadow against a Kiko one, when it's still great quality and only costs a couple of euro more, but it's something I thought I'd mention! Overall, nice quality and I'd definitely recommend picking one up if you absolutely can't find it in a cheaper brand or it's a super bright colour you won't get lots of use out of.
I bought a shorter handle version of their Large Fluffy Brush from H&M years ago and absolutely loved it, and I'm happy to say that the love carries on for its big sister. This is the only eyeshadow brush I've been using lately to sweep on a brow bone colour, something in the crease and a shimmer shade on the lid. It's big, it's fluffy, it feels pretty sturdy and I think it's worth picking up if you don't have many brushes in your collection, or, if you're like me, can never have enough.

I even shocked myself that I didn't leave H&M with a tradition bullet lipstick. There were so many colours to choose from that I honestly had a bit of a headache trying to pick one, so I left it. First world problems, I know I know... but in the words of the Terminator, I'll be back. That doesn't mean I left without any lip products, though... PAH! What kind of person would I be without buying two of their liquid lipsticks? I can't exactly remember how many were in the range, but I decided to pick up the two darkest shades because well, Autumn/Winter basic bitch problems, am I right? These were €8 and I have to say they're not my favourite liquid lipstick formula in the world. They remind me of a more liquidy version of the MUA Lip Lacquers. Maybe somewhere in between a Lime Crime Velvetine and the MUA offering. Dare Me is a true plum burgundy and Screen Siren is a deep, deep red. I picked these two up because I don't really have similar shades among my current liquid lipstick collection (Sleek, Sephora, MUA don't have many similar offerings) and I thought Screen Siren would be an excellent dupe for Lime Crime's Wicked (I was right, it is!). My gripe with these? They're useable, workable, don't get me wrong. They apply nicely in a thin, relatively opaque coat and definitely dry down to a matte velvet finish that doesn't stay tacky. They're just not overly pleasant or easy to wear, making them my "not so favourite formula". The colours I love, and if it's a gorgeous colour like Screen Siren then by all means whack a load of lipbalm and  lipliner underneath and you'll be okay. Just be careful of some cracking or crumbling if you're planning on wearing this during a night out/a meal/a nuclear war. I'm happy with the particular colours I picked up, but if you were only looking for a bright pink, a pin up red or something dupeable in this range then I'd opt for a Sleek one instead.

Left: Dare Me, Right: Screen Siren.
All in all, there's a total mix of some really nice products and some "meh" products, which is bound to happen with more affordable brands. Although not everything wow'd me here, and I won't be rushing out in the morning to add to my collection, some of these bits are definitely still worth picking up to try. I'd recommend the sea salt spray (and will definitely be trying more of their hair care), an eyeshadow or two and Screen Siren liquid lipstick purely for the colour. Pick up a fluffy blender brush, too - you can never have too many of those and it's pretty cheap and cheerful. Have you tried anything from the H&M range that I absolutely need to get my hands on? Let me know below!