There aren’t enough music/makeup crossover collections in the world, and if anybody ever tells you otherwise, they are liars you need to cut out of your life.
Because we’re professionals here (with an important history of reviewing makeup tied to artists we like), we’re going to look at the collection and discuss it accordingly. Although I should issue a spoiler alert: Gold eyeliner makes me look like I don’t have eyelashes, and I apologize to those (my cat) who had to see it.
Tinashe, Eye Shadow x 9 ("Tinashe")
These nine colors (which came out on March 17) are all wearable, interesting, and in line with the season’s metallic obsession and 1990s browns. The black eye shadow is a dream for anybody who’s given up on eyeliner proper and is questing for a substitute. (Hi!)
Plus, MAC used a Tinashe song to name each color, which makes sense considering there’s no way of confining the singer to a single shade or tone. Lest we forget, she got her start in a girl group back in the ‘00s before evolving into the solo pop star we now know her as. So any makeup collaboration has to reflect who she was, who she is, and who she might end up becoming. (Especially eye shadow, since you can cram about a million tones into a palette to reflect the multidimensionality of a muse.)
Not to mention, these colors work in a universal sense. They can be worn as light or dramatically as you want, and have enough shimmer that they won’t look flat. And while you may have to email asking me to please stop using so much black (because it’s not 2003 and I’m not Avril Lavigne), you can sleep soundly tonight knowing that the shades differ so much based on application technique that one woman’s Avril throwback is another’s "worn normally to work."
Halsey, Matte Lipstick ("Halsey")
When discussing this lipstick (which came out March 31), my editor and I debated the wearability of what we’ll define as — for the purpose of scientific research — "gray."
I believe in my body, heart, and mind that any person can wear any color of anything, provided they wear it with the confidence of a rich, famous, and eccentric celebrity. But she didn’t think it would look good on anybody. And believe it or not, we were both right. (Cue moving and heartwarming music.)
The thing about gray lipstick is that it absolutely runs the risk of making you look like a corpse. If the rest of your makeup is too matte or your eye shadow is too cool, you will look dead, and you will then go on to subsequently haunt the dreams and waking nightmares of those who see you, possibly scarring them for life. But if I’ve learned anything from wearing "Stone" -- a matte MAC lipstick nearly identical to this one -- it's that you can still make it work. Enough highlighter and gold/warm eye shadow will result in a beautiful contrast, and make you feel like the bad bitch you are.
All that being said, I’m surprised that Halsey chose gray. Over the last year, we’ve watched her rise in the wake of "Americana," all while applauding her bright hair, her bright lips, and all the aesthetic risks she’s chosen to take. (Because they’ve been great.) And while gray is risky in its own way, it’s still a contrast to the bright blue of the lipstick’s packaging, as well as Halsey's hair in the campaign shots. Which makes me think that for this summer -- especially one defined by DGAF beauty -- a blue the same color as Halsey’s hair would’ve been a little more exciting. I’ll wear and defend "Halsey" (the color) all summer long, but how cool would it have been to waltz into a family BBQ with bright blue Halsey lips? (Answer: very. So deal with that, Uncle Wayne.)
Dej Loaf, Lipglass ("Brillant")
Out April 14, Dej Loaf’s rosy-brown gloss (a new color description I’m coining right now, so get on board) was the rapper/singer’s first foray into cosmetics, although she has exciting plans to start more eventually.
And thank goodness. Not only is this particular gloss on point with the season’s obsession with nude and neutral lips, it’s a break from the matte landscape we’ve seen defining the beauty code of 2016. Which makes sense, considering Dej Loaf’s music also caters to music trends while simultaneously maintaining a very strong and independent voice. (See 2014’s "Try Me" and the way she blends vivid lyrics with a very smooth and understated melody.)
For her to fall in line with the MAC equivalent of a Kylie Lip Kit would have been disappointing and weird. Instead, she gave us her own take on a seasonal color staple, then made it summer-appropriate by making it glossy enough to wear with anything. (Literally anything. Imagine your favorite shirt from 2004: This seriously goes with that, too.)
Lion Babe, Liquidlast Liner ("Lion Babe")
File this under "my heart has broken and I am dead to the world now, goodbye."
I wanted it to work. I needed it to work. But I am bad at eyeliner, and I am worse at creating clean, contrasting lines. I tried. In fact, I tried so hard to make "Lion Babe" work atop my go-to metallic eye shadow, I used too much and the whole thing went to hell in a handbasket. (And then I wept it all off anyway.)
But I blame only myself. Lion Babe's Jillian Hervey created a beautiful product. This Liquidlast Liner (in gold, goddamn you) is a blessing my shaky hands simply aren’t worthy of. It's a tone and product so true to Hervey’s impeccably cool, rich, vintage style that I have never wanted a particular kind of makeup to work as badly as I wanted this one to. It just blends so well that it blended right into the rest of my eye makeup and disappeared forever, since after giving eyeliner up two years ago I’m incapable of creating a cat’s eye. Plus, I am now very bad at applying eyeliner without blinking, so we lost a lot to my eyelashes. (Please bow your heads.)
The color? And the product? Gold, Jerry, gold. It’s all so ‘70s, so glam, and a perfect reflection of Lion Babe’s soulful sound. Not to mention it’s MAC, so – assuming you can physically apply it – it doesn’t go anywhere. Although it will probably go quickly when it’s out on April 28.