You’d think H&M could rest on its laurels a little. What with an expansive empire of mens- and womenswear, kidswear, a burgeoning home line, and those infamous designer collaborations (just two months to go till Balmain, people), it’s hard to imagine what else its far-reaching devotees might need. But since when was personal style defined by threads alone? Cue the company’s shelf-splitting, 700-piece makeup, fragrance, hair, and bodycare collection launching online this month, which, in keeping in sync with its democratically priced clothing, you can pick up for a song.
“We think of it as ‘fashion for the face’—it’s a fun part of shaping your look,” says H&M Beauty’s concept designer, Sara Wallander, in her thickly staccatoed Swedish accent. She, along with a dedicated team of experts, has been quietly working away on the behemoth project for more than three years.
But rather than make claims that the all-encompassing selfie craze has held sway in the decision-making process, Wallander cites a simple desire to reach the company’s diverse and global fan base as playing a key role in development: “We wanted it to be for everyone; that’s been super important from Day One.” Enter twenty different foundation shades—from alabaster to ebony—and a mix-your-own color wheel, which allows shoppers to match the right foundation and concealer to their skin tone.
“Much like with their clothes, people put high demands on their makeup,” Wallander continues. Hence primers, loose powder, brushes, and an extensive range of nail polish shades, lip colors, and eyeshadows that will take you from Fashion Week to Halloween (in the mood for a deep green Witching Hour manicure, anyone?). “You have your basics, your favorite products that you use every day, and then there are the more experimental colors,” she explains. Of those, her aim is clear: “If you usually do a smoky eye, why not do it in eggplant or inky blue? You can keep your ordinary look, but just mix it up with new hues.”
The hair and skincare products, meanwhile, tend to speak for themselves: Take the Beachy Keen Salt Water Cream (a hair texturizer for offshore surfer waves) or Clean Canvas Lip Scrub (a simple, and necessary, exfoliator), for instance. But it’s worth pointing out that each of the ethereally titled fragrances—Cashmere Haze! Midnight Muse!—partners with a sleek, smoothing body polish. Our favorite Rose Reverie lotion happens to come playfully contained in eye-popping neon packaging. Time for a larger bathroom cabinet? We think so.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Brockway