Byredo’s makeup line could not have come at a better time. Thanks to—gestures wildly—the state of 2020, I’ve been in a bit of a slump. While I would usually glam myself out of this mood, my usual lipsticks and glitter haven’t been making much of a dent. So know that when I say that trying the cool-girl fragrance brand’s new makeup line is the first time I’ve felt a jolt of inspiration in months, it’s not hyperbole.
But the line isn’t exciting to just me personally. It’s a big deal for many reasons. The first being that, while we’ve seen color brands go on to release a fragrance, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it happening the other way around. It’s an especially big deal when the fragrance house is as unique as Byredo. The Swedish brand’s unusual fragrances are worn by just about any cool person you can think of, and it’s not afraid to do the unexpected, like its recent sneaker drop or its Unnamed fragrance that allows you to customize the label.
What really got me excited, though, was the fact that the line is a collaboration with Isamaya Ffrench, one of my all-time favorite makeup artists. She’s never one to shy away from the weird or “ugly,” and can just as easily pull off a fresh-faced runway look as she can masterfully apply prosthetics or face paint. Luckily for me, the campaign images—an alien-like nymph somewhat resembling Ffrench and close-up shots of the makeup on her face—totally matched her aesthetic, so I knew I was in for something unlike anything out there.
Before I even knew what the products were, I was instantly obsessed and captivated by the packaging. They’re clearly meant to be items you collect and covet, not just something you use to paint your face. Each slightly curved tube or pallet feels like a little work of art—almost like what’s actually inside doesn’t matter.
Of course, that’s not actually the case. The line, which launches today, October 1, includes a range of lipsticks in satin and matte finishes, multiuse Colour Sticks, a mascara, a lip balm, and five-pan shadow palettes (which will be launching at a later date). The emphasis here is on creativity—everything is gender neutral and made to be worn multiple ways, and the colors range from soft nudes to out-there chromatic chartreuse.
After weeks of coveting the line from afar, I got my hands on a few of the products before launch. Here’s my honest review of Byredo’s new makeup line.
Although I love a cat eye, to me, the eyeliner is probably the least exciting product in the collection. It worked great; the tip is tiny, the liner goes on smoothly and inky black, and it stays on all day. It’s just a little plain compared with everything else. The baby green packaging is stunning, and if you’re in the market for a liquid liner, I would say go for it, but if you can buy only one thing, I would pick something else.
The lipstick is where I would suggest stocking up, as I think they’re going to be the first thing to sell out. Simply put, these are gorgeous. The packaging is weighty and luxe, and looks amazing being pulled out of a handbag or displayed on a vanity. The formula is almost waxy—not in a bad way. It sort of melts into your lips while managing to stay put, and even the matte shades feel nice and nourishing.