When Halsey announced their first foray into beauty, about-face, in 2021, I for one couldn’t wait to try the products out. Between the pigmented eye paints, Technicolor pencils, and scintillating highlighter sticks, the assortment was basically an open invitation to make up your own makeup rules — and I was here for all of it. Earlier this week, the artist announced a sophomore makeup endeavor, af94 — but don’t be too quick to write it off as just another celebrity beauty brand.
Featuring 67 SKUs of “made-to-play” makeup, af94 (a nod to the singer’s initials and the year they were born) is bringing the same ethos and energy of about-face, but at a wildly affordable price point of $10 and under. “After listening to feedback received from fans and friends, I wanted to create another self-expressive line that was lower-priced with a wide reach,” said Halsey via press release. “We are so excited to be launching this new collection with Walmart. I hope wearing this makeup, however that looks for you, inspires you to break beauty rules and color outside of the lines.”
Ahead of the brand’s launch, R29’s beauty editors test-drove the entire range and dutifully reported back on what products left a lasting impression. Keep reading to scope out the af94 standouts we’ll be wearing on repeat this summer and beyond.
Playdate Multi-Use Cheek + Lip Color in Bite Back looked super bright and potentially clown-y, but the strawberry red shade wears super sheer. A little dab-dab on either cheek looks more like a pinch of color, and I can imagine it might not read as much of anything on a darker skin tone. Give ‘Em Lip High Shine Lip Gloss in Underneath It All was my favorite, hands down. This gloss is shiny and not sticky and this cotton-candy pink color feels nostalgic and I feel kind of flirty wearing it, which is the biggest compliment I can give any makeup. I have small eyes and eyelids, so I rarely wear eyeshadow, but if I do, I like a chubby crayon like Shadowboxer Eye Crayon in Gilded Gaze. I chose the most neutral color, a hazy gold; it’s nice, but like the cheek stick, it’s not super pigmented on my skin. The texture is nice though, soft and creamy. I tried to step out of my comfort zone to try the purple version of the Push To Start Volumizing Mascara, and didn’t notice a difference in my lash color, sadly. But the classic black is a good formula, both lengthening and volumizing, good for everyday. – Megan Decker, Beauty Editor
Similar to about-face, af94 brings joy back to makeup. I was immediately transported back to middle school as I was playing with all of the different samples — Color! Gems! Gloss! But this is not the same formulas from my 7th grade makeup caboodle. I was so impressed by the color payoff of these lippies and shadow sticks, how blendable and smooth the multi-use cheek and lip color sticks went on, and how precise the liquid eyeliner is. I’m wearing Major Matte Matte Liquid Lip in Here & Now (which screams Barbiecore), Playdate Multi-Use Cheek + Lip Color in Soft Smile, and Backline Liquid Eyeliner in Shipwreck. I am obsessed and can’t wait to continue experimenting with more fun makeup looks (at such an affordable price point at that). — Sara Tan, Beauty Director
I love about-face, so I was super excited to try af94. Right off the bat, I appreciated that there was a mix of neutral and on-trend shades, so there’s really something for everyone, and at such an affordable price point. My everyday makeup look is pretty simple, so I reached for the Shadowboxer Eye Crayon in Long Goodbye, a metallic champagne beige, which I loved for a wash of tint all over the lid. On bare lips, I applied a touch of Give ’em Lip High-Shine Lip Gloss in Honey, I’m Home, a beautiful caramel nude that felt really hydrating and non-sticky on my lips. For later the day, I was actually super into the Scribble Stick Glossy Lip Crayon in French Disko. Not only was it a gorgeous muted red reminiscent of the iconic Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick, but I loved that I didn’t need a mirror to apply it. It was super hydrating and balm-like, with a juicy kiss of color. For a separate night out, I also tried the Backline Liquid Eyeliner in Sum1 New, a vivid sapphire for a pop of color. It lasted all night, even with lots of dancing (and sweating).
— Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty & Wellness Market Writer
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy or click on something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
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