Picking The Winners From H&M Beauty

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Somebody with less-than-average patience might tell you that shopping at H&M is more of a chore than any sort of retail therapy. The size of the store alone can be intimidating, which is why it's easier to just pass through absent-mindedly than to actually browsethoughtfully. When approaching an H&M, it's advised you pre-write a grocery list of exactly what you need—the adult version of a fracket, drapey blouses that mysteriously never wrinkle, socks. If you know what you're looking for, it can be a gold mine. You just have to find it first.

Unsurprisingly, H&M's new beauty line is huge. Like, a couple hundred SKUs huge. Ain't nobody got time for that. Besides beauty editors—hello, at your service. So consider this speed reading: just the chapter titles, topic sentences, and relevant quotes. Or in this case, the products actually worth spending some time on:

The blushes are standouts—the Pure Velvet Cream Blusher in particular, which adds a healthy winter flush with minimal fuss. Best of all, it's pretty creamy, so it can be applied with a light hand (finger).

For eyes, shadows rule. The High Impact Eye Colour powders go on easy and light, the perfect low-commitment color for those who are eyeshadow wary. Take Over The Moon, the perfect shade of snowy blue—wear it on its own or dust it over a more dramatic color. Honorable mention: the Colour Essence Pencil Liners, which are a reliable alternative to your more expensive eyeliner pencils. The color selection here too is robust and they've got major staying power. Come In Third is a stellar understated bronze and won't come off until you ask it to.

H&M also goes heavy on hair products. At times, this can be frustrating (Do I need a hair primer? What is a glossing finishing spray?) but the Get It Straight Smoothing Balm is the MVP. It's a leave-in product applied post-shower and pre-blow dry, and though it isn't a substitute for a good flatiron, it does offer hair pliability. Good for those with curlier hair who want more options.

But the best thing about any of the current lineup is that, just like that rave dress you picked up on a whim, they're affordable enough to love it so much you destroy them—or to forget about them entirely. No harm, no foul.

Photographed by Tom Newton.

Cutting through the noise, one beauty product at a time: check out ITG's round-ups of the best skin and body care from Trader Joe's, here.

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