It feels like I get a press release for a new celebrity-founded beauty brand every single day. And most of the time, I'm forced to ask of said brand: Why? What the hell does this person know about hair or makeup or skin care as compared to their own professional glam team? These types of makeup brands are usually backed by celebrities that wear beautiful beats but rarely inspire me to try something new with mine. So, in an age where just about anyone can launch a new makeup or skin-care or hair-care company with the right resources, the market can feel oversaturated with products that, sure, are of great quality — but mostly look the same, just with different actors', singers', models', and influencers' names and images stamped across them.
When I read the announcement for Halsey's About-Face, however, I knew things would be different. I'm certainly not what you would call a Halsey stan, but I've been aware of her since the start of her music career (in other words: I was on Tumblr). I might not be the biggest fan of her music, but I've always respected the unashamed love of makeup she's carried throughout the years. What she wears in her music videos, on red carpets, and on her album covers is more often than not bold, colorful, and abstract. She constantly makes me question what I'm doing with my own face, and that is what I consider a qualified candidate for a makeup brand founder.
To no one's surprise, About-Face's product selection is rife with in-your-face colors and textures that could be likened more to finger paints than traditional makeup. That alone impressed me at first glance, but then I tried the entire range and found that the product quality lived up to the hype, too (other Allure editors will back me up on this; we've been Slacking about it for weeks now). It's hard to pick a standout product among my many favorites, but the one I can tell I'll be using the most is undoubtedly the Shadowstick.
Nicola wears About-Face Shadowstick in Acidic.
These creamy and easy-to-use eye shadow sticks come in eight different shades you could call classic, bold, straight-up weird, and everything in-between. You might have encountered metallic-gold or baby-pink eye shadows (like the shades Inferno or Baroque) elsewhere, but this range also comes with colors you'll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Take the neon yellow-green shade Acidic, for example; I knew it hit different after I wore it in an Instagram post and my DMs immediately flooded with folks demanding to know what it was and where they could buy it.
Whether you prefer to stick to the more classic hues or want something out-there, About-Face Shadowsticks make the process of applying them wildly approachable. Each stick has a slippery glide that allows for maximum control. While the matte shades have one-swipe pigment, the metallic ones are slightly sheer yet buildable. Makeup lovers who prefer messy imperfection will enjoy slathering it all over their lids, otherwise, the sticks' built-in sharpeners are perfect for creating a crisp point that can make clean lines.
Nicola wears About-Face Shadowstick in Baroque.
You only really need one shade at a time to make a statement, but you can pair basically any of these shades at random and they'll play well off of each other. After you've settled on the perfect application for you, they dry down quickly and don't budge for hours on end. However you like to apply them, you can bet you'll have a ton of fun while putting them on — what more can you really ask for?
If this trend of celebrity beauty brand launches is going to continue, I hope other potential founders look to Halsey and About-Face as a template for how to do it right. Her products aren't just high-quality as hell; they also reflect all the most interesting aspects of her look and present fresh takes on already-existing products. I can only hope that some of Hollywood's more unique and beauty-savvy figures will be next to follow (Hunter Schafer… if you're open to the idea, I'm listening).
About-Face Shadowsticks, $21 each, are available now from aboutface.com.
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