When I first saw the campaign images for Asos’ new makeup collection, I immediately had high hopes. With an array of women of color, male models, and plus-size men and women, the images said: “This is makeup you should care about.”
“At Asos, we want to empower 20-somethings to confidently be themselves, however they choose to do so,” the company wrote in a press release. “We believe your face and body are a canvas, an adventure in individual self-expression, an opportunity to experiment and play.”
But will the makeup itself live up to these stunning campaign images? That’s a question I thought about for weeks, as I waited for the Asos’ makeup collection to be released. Well, now it’s here, and I got to try it myself.
Here is what I thought.
For my review, I was given eight of the new Asos lipsticks, which either had a satin or a matte finish.
The shades themselves are highly pigmented, with a color range that started at light pinkie beige and went to a deep red and even a dark brown, and I have to say I like the names, too. They’re not named things like “Sex Temptress” but stronger, more powerful words like “Uncompromising” and “Unbridled.”
The formulas themselves seemed to be very smooth as well, and the matte lipsticks didn’t dry out my lips or flake off.
For $11.50, they’re good lipsticks. Same goes for the lip pencils, which for $8 a pop seem to be well-priced as well, with a super-fine tip for precise application. There’s just three shades of the pencils now though: light brown, a dusty pink and a bright red.
The liquid lipsticks
Now I didn’t really have high hopes for these liquid lipsticks given that they tend to leave a shiny finish. But these Asos liquid lipsticks are pretty great.
The finish is matte, and it dries almost immediately on the lips, which makes it feel like it’ll stay secure for a while. (I ate and drank, and it did indeed stay put.) I did find them a touch dry though, so I’d suggest putting a layer of chapstick balm or something similar underneath. The bright red shade — “Prove It” — was my immediate favorite.
They go for $11.50 a tube.
Blush and bronzer
For both blush and bronzer, subtlety is key. You don’t necessarily want everyone to know that flush on your cheeks is really pigment or that glowing tan is all because of makeup. Their effects are supposed to look natural, and that’s what I think they achieve.
Both the blush ($13) and bronzer ($13.50) currently come in two shades. The blush shades are a dark pink and a bright peach, with the bronzer shades in what we’d describe as a dark sandy shade and a clay shade. Both seem to be buildable, too, going on light at first and allowing you to build up to the shade you want on your skin tone.
Looking at these highlighter tubes, all I could think was one thing: Fenty Beauty. And that’s a compliment! The shape of the highlighter itself — in a stick, with a molded round top — is similar to the Fenty “shimmer skinsticks” which you can use as highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones and wherever else you want shimmer.
The Asos version reminds me of chubby glue stick, but rather than glue you can twist up and get some shine. They go for $14.50, which is reasonable given how you need just a tiny bit to get some visible sheen.
Eyeshadow and eyeliner
For its first four eyeshadow palettes, Asos didn’t mess around. There’s metallics and mattes and shades of blue, green, burgundy, brown and even gold. Every eyeshadow color that’s “in” right now, and ideal for fall, is in these palettes.
They go for $19, which is steep, but if you’re an eyeshadow obsessive, you do get a ton of options with each set. I was impressed by the eyeliner as well, which has a super-thin edge but draws on very smoothly, like a marker. Available in just two shades right now — dark brown and black — these are going for $8, which feels like a bargain, too.
All in all, I’m incredibly impressed by this Asos collection. I’ve often struggled with makeup from stores like H&M or Forever21, suspicious of their quality. But in this case, it seems as though the online retailer has taken immense time not only formulating an incredibly extensive initial makeup collection, but also thinking about its diverse customers. There’s no makeup item available in one shade or a shade that wouldn’t appear on darker skin.
So yet again, it seems as though Asos is changing the game.