The a_b_o_ut mystery has finally been solved, with no help from Halsey, of course. I kinda love how she leaves clues and then fully expects us to find it for ourselves. I also feel like it's her way of letting the most invested in the fandom have a first look into the experience before it gets taken to the wider world. If you want a full rundown of the a_b_o_ut mystery from its inception, check out my blog post I started when when the Instagram account started taking off originally here.
Twitter's had a hunch about was for make-up from the start because the focus of the Instagram seemed to be about faces and skin. There was an artistic edge to everything, and the theories got to be all over the place from a documentary to a punk album. Turns out, original gut feelings pay off. A make-up line makes so much sense for Halsey because her make-up looks are truly iconic, and many of them are created and executed herself. As both a music artist and visual artist, make-up has always been an extension of her talents and a mode of self expression.
Today, the bio on the about instagram account changed confirming a popular recent theory that "about" is a reference to doing an "about face". While this means changing directions, literally, make-up is about the face. This bio change didn't trigger an email to subscribers to the original about website, which was strange, but Twitter sleuths quickly located aboutface.com, which is currently password protected, much like the Badlands website from the fall was (if you want to read more about that mystery, click here). If you click "get exclusive access" and hand over your email or phone number, you get an access code to put in the password box. Fans also widely circulated it on Twitter to help each other get into the new store. Once inside, you get to fall into another one of Halsey's beautiful worlds. Major props to her web designers, because they always deliver such a cool experience. Similar to the Badlands website, there's a message scroll at the top, and the site is full of photos reminiscent of the original Instagram.
Scrolling to the bottom, Halsey also unveiled a new Instagram @aboutfacebeauty and a hashtag to use for the brand, #manyofme, which keeps with Manic's mantra.
Right now, she's offering a limited scope product run, as many beauty brands do in the beginning. She's starting with the pieces that feel most signature to Halsey. In face, she's selling three forms of highlighter (shimmer stick, liquid, and powder). She's also selling a primer/setting spray that also works to unclog your pores (I don't know how, through Halsey magic?). Halsey always has a dewy glow and a shimmer that looks out of this world. For lips, there's a matte liquid lip with matching lip liners in six shades and a line of four lip glosses (that apparently aren't sticky!). Then, for eyes, she has a shadow paint and a shadow stick, which intrigued me. I've never been great with make-up, and I hate dealing with brushes, so eyeshadow sans brush sounds perfect. As for accessories, she's offering a limited run make-up bag and a beauty blender you can slip your fingers into, which seems like a useful touch. Though she hasn't rolled out a ton of products, they all seem well thought through.
Quality over quantity seems to be the name of the game here. Scrolling through the site, it's clear that Halsey is staying true to her ethical bounds. The products are vegan and cruelty free. They also seem to be made without a ton of the scary stuff that tends to go into make-up, and they'll probably be a good match for those with sensitive skin. All products are formulated without gluten, phtalates, parabens, or synthetic fragrances, and there's an easy drop down menu to read the ingredient list. If the quality of her merch is any indication, these will be high quality products. She also notes that many products are meant to be long lasting and wear resistant to stand up to 10+ hour days.
The website is super helpful for make-up novices like me. I know what make-up I like, but I'm always lost on how to use it or put it all together. I just know I like a bold lip and lots of shimmer. Each description clearly states what kind of product it is (with Halsey's signature flare), and then there's a "why you want it section" that's a single sentence sales pitch. She uses beautiful, flowy language to tell you exactly why you need the product. Then, there's a dropdown to see ingredients and a "how to use" section where she explains just how to apply it right. Scrolling further, Halsey has come up with three make-up looks with products from her line to show you how to put together full looks and use each product. Every video has written, step by step instructions with the products used, which is great for following along.
As for price, her $20-$30 range for most products falls in line with other celebrity make-up lines, though these honestly seem higher quality (or Halsey is at least being more forthright about what is and is not in it). I looked quickly through Fenty and Kylie Cosmetics for quick comparison. Fenty is cruelty free, but that's the only label they mention in the description. Kylie Cosmetics doesn't address their vegan, cruelty free status, or use of certain ingredients anywhere I can find on product or FAQ pages. So, it seems like as far as celebrity lines go, it's pretty average on pricing and is still far under designer labels like Channel. And it's pretty clear that you'll be getting an ethically made product with that. Right now, during preorder (it'll ship January 25), you can get a preorder gift of a free shadow stick for purchases over $20 and free shipping on orders over $35 along with free returns.
Even with the limited number of colors and shades, the highlighters come in 3 colors with a broad range between each tone to try to capture most skin colors. It's also a gender neutral line, which I love. Their mission statement seems to be "multidimensional make-up: for every one, every where, every way". I love that she always puts inclusivity at the forefront of these projects. The about page reads in part, "Inspired by and for our diverse and artistic community, we create makeup made with integrity and intention, for all stages of life." It definitely feels like make-up made for artists. The statement gets even better and more Halsey adding, "We are built on the truth that no one is just one thing -- humans are weird, complex, and entirely beautiful because of it. Everyone has their own messy, mad, and personal method to becoming our greater selves. So, we make products that are hard working over hype, designed to celebrate every version of us. The ones we end up being, and all of the experimental versions along the way. We hand over the reins, giving everyone the power to represent themselves and celebrate one another -- because who knows what will happen when you lean into every dimension of you?"
I've never been super invested in make-up, but I've always been drawn to its transformative powers. I picked Halloween costumes around what look promised elaborate make-up. Even putting on lipstick to film a YouTube video feels transformative, and I choose different colors for different versions of myself. I love that Halsey created a line meant to speak to exactly that. I never thought I'd get emotional over the mission statement of a make-up brand.
Of course, I had to indulge in supporting About Face, and I'll probably make a YouTube video when everything comes in to try it out, but here's what I ordered so that you can get a hint at the names too: I got a shadow stick in a silver/light blue color called 2002 from the gift, a matte lipstick called So Long Summer with matching pencil called Paper Romance, and a light lock stick in Please Indulge Me. I love lipstick, so that was my main focus, and I love glitter and shimmer and I've never had any kind of highlighter, so I couldn't resists a shimmer stick. I also grabbed a limited edition make-up bag because it was super cute, and I'm always finding different uses for pouches. My favorite name from the line is a dark purple called Cautionary Tale. I got scared out of going quite that bold on my first try, but if I love the other lipstick, I might have to go out on a limb and order it for my birthday or something. I love purples. She also has a gorgeous red and some more daring brown colors. I'm so excited to dive into the world of cosmetics with Halsey holding my hand. I've never been so excited about make-up. I truly can't wait for them to arrive! They all look beautiful, and knowing the demand Halsey puts on her make-up between touring and press runs and her perfectionism, I think this'll be a great addition to the make-up world. She seems to have set out to fix all the shortfalls she's found in her make-up bag along the way.
Even hours later as I write this, Halsey still hasn't said a word, and it's still in our secret bubble. I'm guessing the site will go live on January 4th, since that seems to be the date that's been hinted at. I can't believe this is only secret 2/5, and they're only getting bigger. I have to wonder if it's really over for a_b_o_ut since about face is hosted on a separate website. I guess I'll be back with a new post the next time clues start rolling in for something new. I'm still in shock at the number of surprises we've gotten this year. 2020 was an awful year, but Halsey really did everything possible to make it better.
I will never get over how much I love Halsey running a fandom of sleuths.
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