Have Yourself A Holo Little Christmas With Huda Beauty!

Published on November 24, 2017 by   ·   No Comments

I finally did it.  I broke.  I gave in to the hype and the hoopla, and I finally purchased something from the Huda Beauty line.

First let’s talk about why I was not buying this brand, and then we’ll talk about what finally caught my eye.  Huda Beauty was founded by a Middle Eastern woman who was working in finance “on the Wall Street of Dubai” but was also very active on Instagram as an influencer before training in makeup under Joe Blasco.  I love that an entrepreneur from the Arab world is starting her own beauty line and being successful; what I wasn’t loving was the products I was seeing.  The first big thing that I remember seeing from Huda Beauty (except for maybe some false lashes) was the Rose Gold palette.  Why, oh why, does it feel like every eyeshadow palette from the last couple of years is trying to recreate the look of the ABH Modern Renaissance palette?!  We had finally burst free from the shackles of tyranny from the Naked 3 palette that left the world awash in rose gold nudes for the better part of 3 years, and now everything was cranberry and brown.  If it wasn’t trying to look like the ABH palette, then it was going slightly lighter and attempting to recreate the Sweet Peach palette.  Either way, everything was warm, mostly matte, and boring AF.  Urban Decay Naked Heat.  The Sweet Peach Palette and Just Peachy Mattes from Too Faced.  Laura Lee’s Cats Pajamas palette.  These are just a few of the worst offenders.  That’s how I felt about the Rose Gold palette: it just seemed like a new interpretation of the ABH palette with a few of those flaky metallic formula shadows that I’ve already seen from a bunch of different brands, and I wasn’t about to shell out 65 of my hard-earned dollars on this rerun palette, no ma’am!

Then, I heard that she was releasing the Desert Dusk palette, and everyone was all atwitter because it was going to be a purple palette!  I thought this might be a chance for me to try the brand; with the exception of the Kat Von D Inner Stellar palette, I don’t have a ton of purple toned shadows let alone palettes organized around that color.

And then she released it.

I swear, it’s the same damn palette with slightly darker warm mattes and like 3 purple shades thrown in.  And she still wanted 65 of my shiny dollars.  Girl, bye!

I was ready to just be done with Huda Beauty and these uninspired releases.  But nothing sucks me in like a good holographic – enter the Winter Solstice collection!

I am obsessed with highlighters, and the first thing I saw was the Winter Solstice Highlighter Quad.  Four gorgeous holographic shades, nothing revolutionary if you have the ABH Moon Child Glow Kit or the Kat Von D Alchemist palette, but I love that sort of duochrome look and it reawakened my desire to try out this brand and see what the quality was like.  Sephora, always very helpful in recommending additional items for me to spend my money on, showed me that there was also a Winter Solstice Mini Lib Strobes collection: 4 glosses with holographic duochromes that matched the 4 shades in the highlighter quad.  At $45 and $33, the prices still felt a little bit high to me, but the 20% VIB Rouge sale was on so I decided to just bite the bullet and get myself in the holiday spirit!  Merry Christmas to me!


The packaging is gorgeous – I love the holographic flash on the palette and the lip minis come in simple, elegant components.  I don’t really love the packaging on either of the two eyeshadow palettes, with the closeup on her eyes, but this profile shot is absolutely gorgeous.  Both items came in plastic sleeves to protect them during shipping.  Here are my swatches:

Because I was doing a lot of swatches all on the same night and my arm was a little red from all of the applying and removing, I did put down a base of Kat Von D’s High Voltage Eye Primer to help the colors lay down and to even out the skin underneath.  I applied the 4 highlight shades and then the 4 coordinating Lip Strobe shades.  I also put a small dollop of the matching Lip Strobe at the top of each highlight swatch to show how they compared.

HUDA 01Frosted Kiss is the only cream-based shade in the highlight palette, and I just have to ask, “Why?!”  The powder shades in this palette are lovely and I would have been perfectly satisfied with 4 powder shades.  This cream shade is not very pigmented; I had to go over the swatch 3 or 4 times to get the amount of color that I did, and you can clearly see that it’s the least pigmented of the group (the powders are all one swipe swatches).  And it’s a shame too, because it’s a lovely warm pink duochrome with maybe a hint of peachy-gold that could have easily been my favorite of the quad if the formula wasn’t so terrible.  The matching Lip Strobe, Charmed, is really pretty and matches almost perfectly, so I’m excited to give that shade some wear.

Arctic Glow is my favorite shade in the palette, with a lovely lavendar blue duochrome effect; again, the matching Lip Strobe, Bewitched, is a perfect match.  I love blue shades, and I bet this will look stunning over a medium to dark blue liquid lip.  I looked over the ingredients list, and though I’m no expert I didn’t see anything that jumped out at me as an oil so I’m hoping that means that this formula will wear nicely over liquid to matte lipsticks.  These would give a nice sheen on their own, but I think they’re really going to shine over another lip color, and I think the perfect match would be a liquid to matte.

Northern Lights is a lovely yellow shade that has some white gold feel to it but but doesn’t cross all the way over into becoming a metallic.  The Lip Strobe, Starcrossed, is another spot on match.  This one is the most like others that I have in multiple collections or singles, but again I just love these holo/duochrome shades so I don’t mind having dupes in my own collection.  I would have loved maybe even a hint of green in this one, but I’m not mad about it.

Winter Rose is another gorgeous shade, and this one has the most difference from the coordinating Lip Strobe shade, Hypnotic.  Whereas Hypnotic is a blue-toned fuchsia, almost a purple undertone, Winter Rose is a warmer rosy pink that looks like a slightly deeper version of Frosted Kiss.  I’m glad they have it, because the cream shade is so disappointing, but I would have preferred them to have made Frosted Kiss a powder shade and make Winter Rose a closer match to Hypnotic – that sort of pink/purple tone would be pretty unique in the highlighters I’ve seen, so it’s unfortunate they didn’t take advantage of that.

So did the Winter Solstice collection win me over to the pleasures of Huda Beauty?  Sorry bout it, but…not so much.  I love that a minority-owned makeup brand is finding mainstream success and think that with as much attention as was given to the Black-Owned Makeup Brand (BOMB) challenge, we don’t hear enough about companies founded and run by women and men of other ethnicities.  I would love to be a fan of this brand, but it just feels like stuff that I’ve seen before.  I haven’t seen them release anything really unique yet.  As I mentioned above, the two eyeshadow palettes feel like things I’ve seen before (and better…and cheaper…), and while these are colors that I love it’s nothing I don’t already have in my collection.  It’s right on trend with all of the holographic and glittery holiday collections coming out this season, but I don’t want it to just be one of the pack.  I want it to stand out.

The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year.  Let’s hope that the days get longer and brighter, and that Huda Beauty will start showing us some interesting, creative, and unique products.  That would be the best holiday present she could give makeup lovers everywhere.

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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