• Anastasia Pentias

ΤΒΝ: Affordable Beauty Edition- H&M Beauty Highlights

I've been a loyal customer of H&M since my early teens, that's almost 30 years now. Something about the timelessness and versatility of their clothes keeps bringing me back, although the high quality of those early years is not evident anymore. In any case, it's as comfortable and useful as fast fashion can be. In recent years, H&M has also developed a very comprehensive beauty line. Having tested a large part of their range, I've found some products to be very good performers and others less so. Here's a lowdown of my impressions overall, which range from hot, to cold, then back to hot and then back again:

My favourite product is their eyeshadow sticks. These rival the Caviar Sticks by Laura Mercier and I am not joking. My personal best is Plummy Accent, a brownish purple that brings out my hazel eyes. Just this and mascara and I'm good to go. You can create a smoky eye, or just warm up your eyes with a hint of colour. This gives you ample room to create and work it on the lid. When it sets, it stays on for hours. Excellent value for money.

On to concealers: they have two kinds. A see-through tube that is a more lightweight formula and a black tube, a heavier-duty version. I was happy with neither: one was too thin, while the other was too thick. However, this is one you must try yourself because a concealer is the most subjective beauty product. It's worth trying out for 6 euros.

I love their cream lipsticks, at 9 euros. I'm a matte fanatic but these look and feel so good that I occasionally switch teams. My favourites are Redwood and Brunette Ambition, but the colour options are endless. Their matte lipsticks do not work for me, they are too dry.

Their eyelining and eyebrow pencils didn't work for me. They remind me of formulas from ten years ago. That's not to say they are not good at all, they are just not as sophisticated in their performance as other brands currently available. I keep nagging about the rising prices of drugstore brands but I have to admit their formulas have recently made leaps forward.

On the other hand, I highly recommend their lip liners. They are creamy and non-drying, long-lasting and stable. My favourite shade is Raconteur but there are many shades that just work. A great shade range.

Their eyeshadow palettes are very well curated, good value for money. They blend well, even the notoriously difficult mattes, and last the workday. They slightly crease and loose their vibrancy throughout the day. However, their price point allows me to look the other way. The shimmers and glitters do fall out upon application but once applied, they stay on the lid.

Their powders are ok but nothing I would buy again. Tati raved about their blushes; I am so used to the absolute perfection that is a Charlotte Tilbury blush, that I simply cannot like them. And at 10 euros for just 5 grams, they are not cheap. The highlighters, finishing powders and bronzers are also not special. They are not bad but they don't disappear into the skin, they always sit on top. I would prefer L’Oréal and Maybelline powders every time.

Be sure to check out their makeup bags: the transparent makeup bags are brilliant. They come in different sizes and they replaced every storage bag I had, because they are cheap, durable and, most importantly, you can see all the contents and save time. Their regular, coloured make up bags are also very well designed but lack the time-saving advantage of the see-through ones.

On to nail polishes: great colours with mediocre shine and durability. If you want to experiment with different colours without breaking the bank, go for it. If longevity is your priority, stick with your favourite Essie Gel Couture.

I have not tried their foundation nor their mascara, so I can't help with those. Their body care leaves a lot to be desired, however. Their body lotions and shower gels are just ok. I find them overpriced for what they offer, because they smell lovely but are a little harsh on my skin. Just to note, my skin is not particularly sensitive.

Their makeup removers are very harsh. I wouldn't recommend them. They are inefffective because they remove makeup after a lot of effort, they sensitise my eyes and they flare my skin up.

Last but not least: their perfumes are beautiful! Alas, they disappear from the skin in no-time. They are so affordable, though, that you can always buy their purse-spray version to refresh.

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photos via https://bit.ly/2JL2AXe