I’m going to be honest here: when the new Forever 21 Premium Cosmetics line crossed my desk, I had my doubts. Yes, the store is my not-at-all-secret go-to when it comes to crop tops and um…some professional wear (grocery bill first, clothes later), and their low free shipping threshold practically demands I go online shopping during exam season a.k.a. now. Their beauty offerings, on the other hand, have never really piqued my interest. And if you’ve ever tried Love & Beauty, Forever 21 Premium’s little sister line, you know what I’m talking about. So the good news, F21 Premium is definitely a step up where quality is concerned.
The range, newly launched this spring, consists of 23 offerings in a variety of shades—72 products total. I know that number sounds high, but for a first-time launch, it means the brand has chosen to focus on a core collection that leans toward everyday options. There are all your basics here: base products, lip stains, gel liners, cream shadows—essentially, everything you would need for a full face. The packaging echoes that same idea of practicality: sleek, clean and functional.
Out of the 72 brand-new offerings, I’ve been road-testing two lip products and a blush. The Creamy Lipstick in Girl Next Door ($8.80) is my favorite of the trio, a creamy, dusty pink that glides on smoothly and evenly. It has a faint scent slightly reminiscent of Sweet Tarts, and stays on for about three hours before I need to reapply.
The Shimmering Lip Gloss in Adobe Rose ($7.80) is much more flattering on the lips than it is swatched on skin, giving a sort of warm iridescence to my mouth. The scent, however, is a little too strong for my tastes, and you all know how picky I can be when it comes to lipgloss.
Finally, there’s the Classic Blush in Coral Glow ($9.80). The formula itself is finely milled and has the right amount of sheen, but I can’t recommend this shade unless you are very fair of face—on me, it falls somewhere between blush and highlighter, which unfortunately means I can’t wear it as either one of those things.
swatched left to right: Creamy Lipstick in Girl Next Door, Classic Blush in Coral Glow, Shimmering Lipgloss in Adobe Rose
While I do enjoy a good bargain buy, I highly doubt it’s escaped anyone’s notice that I’ve been leaning more toward luxury brands lately. There’s a marked improvement in Forever 21’s new line (always a pleasant surprise), but for me it’s not quite all the way there yet. Additional color options and finishes are two things I hope to see the brand incorporate in the future. For now? Give those lipsticks a try next time you’re shopping around.
Full disclosure: The products in this post were submitted by PR for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own. Additional information on my review policy can be found under my disclaimer page.