H&M already has a lock on providing shoppers with trendy fashion quickly and affordably. Now the company is coming after your makeup bag. On Thursday, the retailer unveiled its new Beauty Department, featuring a mind-boggling array of products.
The collection boasts 700 pieces in every single beauty category except skin care. There's a full hair range, a body care range, 83 eye shadows, 200 nail polish shades, two different types of foundation (powder and liquid), an assortment of palettes, and even beauty tools and makeup bags. You'll be able to shop beauty in 90 U.S. stores, 900 stores worldwide and online. In addition to the permanent collection, seasonal products will also be introduced regularly.
Nothing costs over $14.99, and it seemed like most of the items I picked up at the collection's launch event Thursday were $6.99. The packaging is killer, too. A lot of it is black and white with small gold print, and the hair and body range features a few colorful, abstract designs. I played with a lot of products, and found that the powder, three-color concealer and highlighter were comparable to higher end brands. The Gossamer Lip Stain is also well-done — it uses a doe foot applicator to deposit the liquid-y color, which dries and lasts. It is also totally buildable. While there's a fairly wide range of foundation shades, there is also notably a four-shade foundation palette specifically for darker skin tones, which allows you to mix pigment to get a perfect match.
It's not surprising that H&M launched this range, and, indeed, it seems long overdue. The retailer has offered a small selection of beauty products over the years, but never anything this complete and cohesive. As stores like Urban Outfitters up their beauty game to offer shoppers the full lifestyle package, fast fashion retailers need to keep up. (I, for one, would like to see what a Zara beauty collection looks like!) And ICYMI, this H&M beauty collection comes a few weeks after & Other Stories (also part of the H&M Group) launched its color cosmetics range, so the category is clearly a priority for the company.
& Other Stories already had a huge collection of bath/body and fragrance products that seem much higher end than the price suggests. The color collection is smaller and more tightly edited that H&M's, and reflects the minimal-yet-quirky vibe of its slightly more expensive sister brand. The standout & Other Stories products to me are the eye shadow quads with unexpected color combinations, the lip/cheek tints, the stick skin tints and colored eyebrow cream.
Department stores have historically offered beauty so that shoppers can theoretically grab a complete look all in one place, so it makes sense that fast fashion retailers are doing the same. It's definitely blurring retail lines, and consumers are the winners.