Product Review: H&M Cream Lipstick in “Penny Red”

I’ll admit that I don’t normally shop at H&M – I’m not a huge fan of fast-fashion, nor do I usually have spare time to wander into a mall for a day of shopping. But I was recently in Las Vegas, and had a couple of hours to walk through the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace. H&M was one of the few stores that I actually felt like wandering through, as I wasn’t in the mood for high-pressure sales tactics. Having been in the retail industry for years, I knew that H&M had launched their own version of cosmetics back in 2015 – in the race for capturing impulse buys and becoming a one-stop-shop destination, it made sense that they would directly compete in this space. Old Navy fought back in their own way by launching e.l.f. Cosmetics in stores to directly compete against H&M, but they never really made that much noise about it. I’m an avid e.l.f. consumer myself (per my love of their $3 Mineral Mascara and blushes), so I was curious enough to see what H&M was bringing to the table to directly compete with one of the more respected, inexpensive makeup brands on the market today.


Before I talk about the actual product that I bought (H&M Cream Lipstick in “Penny Red”), I do want to talk about the merchandise presentation, and how it varies from what I’ve experienced in Old Navy stores, or even Target. Within H&M there is a designated beauty section, which is near the checkout counters (similarly to Old Navy’s set-up). But the shelving, packaging and self-service / try on stations are elevated in their appearance and functionality. As a customer, you’re free to test, try and take your time – not interrupt or shuffle through the line at checkout. I’ll admit that I was a bit surprised with the display presentation – it did not look or feel like most of the products within the shelves were roughly $15 and under. During the time I was at the H&M store’s beauty section, I sort of forgot that I was actually in an H&M! The gold / black / cream colored packaging is pretty and elegant, the displays were well-lit, and the textures of the products were true to color and vibrant. When I researched more about the product resourcing on H&M’s website, it does list several cosmetic manufacturers in Europe (Germany especially) that are designated suppliers. H&M is a European brand itself, so this made sense after researching a bit more. The presentation of product, and the products themselves, do not feel like an inexpensive brand.

And now for the product! I love lipstick, and I was impressed by the large range of shades and finishes available to test. I love cream lipsticks most, as I’m not a fan of glitter or sparkles – I want more of a moisturizing, glossy look with the opacity of a true lipstick. I also wanted a shade that was closer to a soft wine color for winter – and I found it! I have a true cherry red lipstick from Clinique, but I definitely wanted something a bit tamer for every day. “Penny Red” is a beautiful cross between red, light plum, and a deep rosy pink. The formula is silky, easy to apply, and hydrating. I also found that it wears well during the day – it doesn’t dry out or get cakey. This is also a total beauty-geek thing for me to say, but I love that the cap clicks shut – I hate packaging that can’t stand up to the day-to-day stress of riding around in my handbag, and there have been a few other lipsticks that I’ve had to toss after caps fell off and made a mess. After wearing this shade for the past few weeks, I’m really liking it, and I am impressed with the quality of the $9.99 formula. I also appreciate that it looks chic and yet is a very wearable color, even during the day. A side benefit of red lipsticks is that they make your teeth look whiter, and this one definitely delivers that!

I’ll keep this shade in mind for the future, as well as potentially testing out other H&M cosmetics. If you happen to love shopping there, give their beauty line a try – I’ll give them credit and say that they definitely put thought and quality into their product line, as well as a great variety of options in formulas and finishes.

© 2017 28daysbeauty

My favorite picks for National Lipstick Day 2017!

I absolutely adore lipstick. In fact, it's the first makeup product that I can remember trying as a kid, when I got into my mom's Color Me Beautiful stash in the lower drawer of our bathroom vanity. The transformation that lipstick has is amazing, and even though lip gloss is awesome, I always will have preference for using a great lipstick. Case in point, here are two brands that over the past couple of years have always delivered for me – Lipstick Queen and LORAC. Both are great indie brands, which I think makes lipstick even more fun – it's one of the ultimate "rebel" tools a woman has in her arsenal to look as innocent or vampy as she wants. Even within a matter of minutes. My top pick for Lipstick Queen is 'Hello Sailor' – I first reviewed this lipstick last year in September, and I found that I still reached for it constantly. In fact, I bought a new tube of it today, since I realized that I was going through withdrawal after not having it for the past month! What I love most is that the shade flexes on every skin tone to the perfect shade of berry and feels cushiony, like a gloss/lipstick hybrid. I think I reached for this as my most-worn shade in the past year or so, as it always looks good and I can apply it without looking in a mirror.

Up next, I had to treat myself to a new shade for National Lipstick Day, and I immediately thought of LORAC. Their lipsticks are highly pigmented, but skin-caring and comfortable to wear. Plus, I didn't just get one new lipstick, but a kit that features 5 gorgeous shades, from their recent collaboration for 'Beauty & The Beast' – for $36, you get a variety of neutral shades and one vibrant red in their new MOD Cream formula. OMG – ladies, grab this kit before it's gone! I got both of these at ULTA, and they are so worth it.

The shades (clockwise, starting from the top) are: Red Rose, Savoir Faire, True Beauty, Tres Chic, and Belle-ieve. Red Rose is a perfect, neutral red, while True Beauty is a beautifully pale pink. But it doesn't look chalky or too washed out. The Tres Chic is also an awesome throw-back to the 90's brown lipstick trend. The MOD Cream formula is also a more satin finish than LORAC's Alter Ego formula, which I feel is easier to wear than matte finishes. I love that there isn't much shimmer at all, just a lovely, smooth formula that is comfortable to wear. I usually carry a lighter neutral and a bright shade with me in my bag, and I'm so excited to have these for the next several months.

If you don't normally wear lipstick, it may be fun time to try out a kit – it gives you variety to experiment with, and also determine what comfort zone you have with shade ranges. And if you don't wear makeup regularly, lipstick is one of the easiest products to use and feel a bit more polished.

Enjoy National Lipstick Day!

© 28daysbeauty 2017

Beauty Tip: New Year’s Eve go-to lip color

Now that the holidays are over, the next big event is New Year’s Eve! Even if you don’t have big plans, it’s a great time to take inventory on things you want to change, improve or do differently in life. While some of you may laugh at this, there’s actually a very easy way to give yourself a little emotional or confidence boost, and that’s by changing up your lipstick or lipgloss color. There’s a phenomenon known as the “lipstick effect”, and it’s basically when times get tough, lipstick sales go up. Google it – it’s fascinating to read about how many different times in the ups and downs of this country there’s been peaks of lipstick sales! So, as you do some soul searching on things you want to do in 2017, have a little fun and change up your look with a fresh color to make a new start. Some of the smallest changes can have a large effect, and boost one’s outlook.

One of my favorites, especially for this time of the year, is switching to a rich berry lip color shade. It complements just about every skin tone out there, and is much easier to wear than red. Plus, it makes you look really polished yet natural, and a bit sassy, even if you aren’t wearing much makeup at all. Berry lip color can take you from day to night easily! Here’s some of my go-to brands and picks for that perfect berry shade:


Clockwise, from top:

  1. LORAC’s Alter Ego Lip Gloss in Dominatrix – simply put, this is just a really kickass formula and color! The lipgloss has just the right amount of pigment to cover like a lipstick, but keeps lips hydrated and shines for hours. While I know the intense color in the tube may look a little scary, it’s beautiful on even the lightest skin tones. This trends on the cooler shade range, but is really wearable on most.
  2. butterLONDON’s Plush Rush Lipstick in FAB – this is a beautiful combo of deep rose and berry, and has a more matte finish, but keeps lips moisturized and is long-wearing. butterLONDON’s lipstick is probably one of my favorite little splurges and has a hint of mint in the formula. This shade trends more to the warmer side, but again, looks fantastic on most skin tones. This is definitely a more sophisticated shade, but looks great dressed up or down.
  3. PUR Cosmetics’s Lip Gloss Stick in Rum Raisin – The sheerest of the 3 formulas featured, this lip gloss is in a super-handy crayon style for quick and easy application. PUR’s gloss is never sticky, and gives a beautiful wash of a neutral berry color, and gives a soft, moisturizing glossy sheen on the lips – with zero glitter! LOVE to wear this shade daily in winter, but it’s just a great for a night out or date night!


Not pictured, but also highly recommended, are Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (one of the first-ever lipstick+gloss hybrids!) and Lipstick Queen’s Hello Sailor. Both of these formulas offer a neutral berry shade, with a glossy sheen that hydrates lips.

As I’m writing this blog, listening to “Ladies & Gentlemen, the best of George Michael”, I agree that 2016 has been one of the most challenging years that I can remember, along with many heartbreaking and shocking moments. But I’m looking forward to starting anew next year. For those who read this, I’m hoping that you had a wonderful holiday season, and enjoy making some small changes that lead to bigger, positive impact. Cheers to the New Year!

©2016 28daysbeauty

Beauty Topic: Derby Day Makeup

The ladies of the Derby are known for their hats and dresses. But what kind of makeup goes best with elaborate outfits? A pop of color on the lips, with neutral eyes and cheeks, is your best bet. Why? Well, if you are wearing a dramatic hat, chances are it will be covering most of your forehead, and partly your brow / eye area. So what’s left to see? Your lips. Make the most of them with a bright coral, pink, or a bold red. Plus, they will make your teeth look whiter. Here are some of my favorites that look great on most skin tones:

Lipstick: Palm Beach by Cargo (a bright coral peach)

Lip gloss: ZAAP! by theBalm (hot pink)

Lip crayon: Ring of Fire by LAQA & Co. (a very wearable neutral red)

Tips for wearing a bright lipstick:

1) keep eye shades next to nothing, and if only, wear mascara

2) exfoliate lips with warm water and a wash cloth – you don’t want any dry flakes clinging to the color

3) apply a little lip balm underneath, so the color goes on smoothly

Your local department store, or corner drugstores, will have very similar options available. Remember, it’s a day of extravagance – have some fun with a color you can easily wear into summer!

©2015 28daysbeauty