Full disclosure: I’m a Zayn girl.
So I’ve been friends with Larry fanfic luminary Jess– that’s figgingharry on Tumblr– since high school. We met at the most awesome nerd camp on the continental United States, and then we did undergrad together. Those were the pre-One Direction days. Now undergrad’s over, which is sad. But it does mean that I now have disposable income– enough to go visit Jess when they were doing research in Istanbul! (Paid for it out of my stipend by eating a lot of ramen and putting a moratorium on trolling for second-hand designer eBay finds– never let ’em tell you that you can’t live a glamorous jet-set lifestyle on a humanities grad school stipend, folks!)
TLDR; I now listen almost exclusively to One Direction. (And Taylor Swift. I hear the two fandoms don’t like each other, which is a species of tragedy.) So as a beauty junkie, I think I was morally obligated to buy one of their makeup kts. Our favorite boyband, already renowned for their ventures into the profitable realm of fruity–floral perfumery, has released three such makeup kits so far. There’s a lot of product in each. You get an eyeshadow palette, a tube of mascara, a chubby eye pencil, a pair of lip products, a nail polish, and a set of body stencils. The last thing’s basically useless, but still– I’d say it’s a pretty good value for less than the cost of one NARS blush.
The kits are cleverly named after the band’s three albums. Take Me Home seems to be mostly neutrals, for that “effortlessly gorgeous, girl-next-door look”– definitely not me. Midnight Memories, on the other hand, features bombshell staples– red lip, smoky eye– for the “rock n’ roll girl”. I already have way too many of those shades, despite not being particularly rock n’ roll. So I went for option three:
Quantity: 0.20 oz eyeshadow, 0.13 oz lipstick, 0.23 fl oz lipgloss, 0.27 oz nail polish, 0.22 fl oz mascara
The Up All Night Kit, designed for the “fun party girl”, purports to help you “show off your fun, flirty, and girlie side”. Now, I’d almost always rather be in pajamas than be at a party (or be in pajamas at a party, sort of the worst of both worlds….) But if fun and flirty means lots of teal makeup, I will give it the proverbial old college try. (What does that expression even mean? It always makes me think of a cappella.) The case itself features three diagrams of eye looks you can replicate using the products inside. I’ll do a followup post soon wherein I attempt to adapt them for my Asian monolids. The products are all named after 1D songs! I have mixed feelings about this, since Nonindicative Names mean I have no idea what the color is based on nomenclature alone. Still, as I review each product, I’ll link to the corresponding track.
First up, nail varnish in Na Na Na! The Lord and Taylor website describes this as a “aqua-blue metallic chrome”, which seems accurate to me. It’s on the greener side of turquoise, it’s got a foil finish, and it wears really well! I had way less chipping than I always get with my absurdly expensive Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Bitter Bitch (which I will nevertheless continue to love forever because of the name). Overall, a gorgeous, mermaidy color– if rather dupable– and it performs, like, smashingly. Or whatever a teen idol Brit would say.
Stand Up is a “dark denim eye and body crayon”, in the vein of Nyx’s Jumbo Eye Pencils. It’s a dark turquoise with a satin finish, less inflected with green than the nail polish. On the eyes, the pencil applied easily and was very pigmented– I actually saw less clumping than I get with my beloved Nyx. I also very cleverly deduced that they mean for you to use it with the stencils provided in the kit, so I gave it a try. Turns out, the surface of my forearm probably wasn’t the best for that. It was too cylindrical; I literally had to tape the stencil down. You can see the texture of the stenciled design in the picture above– the pencil deposited a lot of product that sort of built up in creamy, hill-like configurations rather than laying flat as pigment on the skin.
Here’s a comparison with the other blues in my eyeliner stash. As you can see, Stand Up is darker than all but Ink, and it’s closer tonally to the true-blue Abyss and Cute Robot than to the green-leaning Junkie and Spark of Envy.
Here’s the eye palette– four powder shadows arrayed around a cream pigment in the center, with a little brush of the type I generally prefer to ignore. In general, the shades that came in powder form were sheer but buildable; I felt like they performed better on the lid than when swatched. In any case, you can wear them with a white base like Nyx Milk for more emphatic pigmentation– although if you try that with the pigment in the center, the white cream will sort of mix with the blue, yielding a lighter shade. Now for the colors themselves! Lord and Taylor’s website describes the lightest shade, More Than This, as a “soft blushing pink”. I’d actually call it a cream or very pale peach, with a matte finish. Gotta Be You is described as a “silvered taupe shimmer”, which seems accurate to me– it’s a kind of pewtery tan. There’s something kind of chameleon-like about the finish; I have trouble deciding whether it’s a satin or a soft metallic. I like this one a lot– it’s got a subtleness and a depth that makes it more interesting than your run-of-the-mill neutral. Next, Save You Tonight, a “shimmering turquoise blue”, is a bright aquamarine with white microshimmer– a summery swimming pool shade. It’s watery-hued cousin, Another World, makes me think of the Little Mermaid in this context– oh wait, that’s “Part of Your World”! It’s a pretty mid-tone navy, with subtle blue microshimmer suspended in a matte base. Lord and Taylor calls it a “royal blue shimmer”, although it’s a little more understated than that descriptor might imply. Finally, we’ve got Up All Night, a “sapphire glitter creme”. It’s a bright, jewel-toned blue shot through with silver shimmer. Have to admit I had some performance issues with this one– the pigment sort of clumped up, making it very difficult to deposit color evenly. I think this would work best over a matte cream or even powder shadow in a similar shade, so you could get the dramatic glitter without patches of bare skin peeking through. A quick note on Little Black Dress, the “volumizing mascara in perfectly [sic] black”– I didn’t bother photographing it since it’s a pretty nondescript black mascara tube. Yeah, it’s fine. It works well, holds a curl no worse than most of the drugstore and mid-range formulae I’ve tried. It’s not Diorshow, but I’ll happily use it till it runs out. You’ll get to see it in action in the FOTD photos below.
Now, the lip stuff! The lipstick included in this kit is called I Should Have Kissed You. It’s described as a “bubblegum pink creme” which seems wholly accurate to me. It wore pretty comfortably on me, despite the matte finish. The gloss, Taken, is a “glitter pink” rumored to “glow neon orange under UV light”– sad that I didn’t have the equipment to check that out, for science. It’s a fairly pigmented fuchsia, and I think it pairs well with the lipstick, which it warms and darkens. The result is a luminous hot pink that somehow pairs really nicely with the teals in the eye palette, though one might think that would be a lot of look, i.e. too much look. (Is there such a thing? Debatable.)
Here are my attempts to dupe I Should Have Kissed You. It’s actually quite similar to Less Than Three— that one’s purpler, but they’re basically the same in luminosity. Obsessed is warmer, and Whimsy is warmer and darker. Finally, here are some shots of the look I created using the eye pencil, mascara, lip stuff, and as much of the eye palette as I could manage (e.g. everything except Up All Night). I’m wearing headphones because I was probably listening to “Fireproof“. You should too. Full Face: Eyes: Too Faced Brow Envy, Benefit High Brow Glow, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Tube Face: Nyx Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer, Skin79 Oriental Gold BB Cream Plus, CoverGirl and Olay Simply Ageless Eye Concealer, Benefit Lollitint, Smashbox Photo Set Pressed Powder in Light, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette in Dim Light Lips: MAC Lip Pencil in Nightmoth, Nyx Simply Vamp Lip Cream in She Devil