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From JLo's glowy skincare collection to Ariana Grande's intergalactic-inspired r.e.m. beauty, the market is booming with celebrity beauty labels, and Gwen Stefani's GXVE Beauty (pronounced "give") is the latest to join the ranks.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, the "Let Me Reintroduce Myself" vocalist revealed the idea for GXVE Beauty came about seven years ago and, according to a press release obtained by Insider, its products have been in development for four years. Each of the eight items in the first collection is inspired by Stefani's signature look, but is also intended to encourage makeup lovers to experiment and establish an aesthetic all their own.
Unfortunately, celebrity beauty brands have a reputation for being hit or miss. This is largely due to the fact that when a beloved actress or musical talent backs a brand, products get hyped up before they're released to the public and rarely meet consumers' expectations. It's also often unclear how hands-on they actually are in the product development of their namesake brand.
To find out where on the spectrum Stefani's makeup collection falls, I tested every product to get an accurate feel for their quality and performance. Overall, I'd rate Stefani's beauty label as above average, but with some room to improve. Read on to find out which items were a hit, and, if any, were flops.
Given that a bold red lip is Gwen Stefani's signature, I had high hopes for GXVE's Original Me lipstick. For the most part, it delivered.
The shade is a slightly darker red with blue undertones, which I prefer as someone who doesn't have blindingly pearly whites. However, while a gorgeous hue, the lipstick's matte formula was extremely drying and didn't glide across my lips like I'd hoped. The first time I applied it, I felt like I was using a crayon, but the second time around was much easier. That said, the bold shade's staying power is impressive and didn't transfer onto my coffee mug or water cups. It's even kiss-proof.
I really liked GXVE Beauty's Original red lip, but I loved its Anaheim Shine satin lip color. The formula is creamy, applies like a dream, and boasts the same staying power as Stefani's matte lipstick. Admittedly, I was wary of the brighter hue, but it didn't make my teeth look nearly as yellow as I was expecting.
If I were to rank GXVE Beauty's lip products, its liquid lip would sit pretty in third place. The shade is most similar to the Anaheim stick. It's pretty and bright but the formula is highly transferable (the proof is on my coffee mug and my husband's cheek) and feels a bit tacky on the lips. Bottom line: It's an average liquid lipstick. There are better options out there and for cheaper.
Aside from Stefani's iconic red lipsticks, I'd say the GXVE Beauty All Time Prime Clean Hydrating Prep & Smooth Face Oil is the best product in the singer's collection. The face oil is essentially a skincare-meets-makeup-primer cocktail loaded with complexion-loving ingredients like soothing meadowfoam sea oil, safflower oil, and aloe extract. Just a few drops go a long way in making skin feel hydrated and smooth. It creates the perfect canvas for foundation and concealer, but I also enjoy wearing it solo.
Note: This product is currently out of stock.
As a self-proclaimed eyeshadow connoisseur, I'm admittedly picky about palettes, especially quads. If you're only getting four shades, you want them to be comprised of versatile colors you'll actually use on a regular basis and that can create a multitude of looks. As far as I'm concerned, GXVE Beauty understood the assignment. The palettes are all named after some of Stefani's greatest hits and come in four color themes (matte neutral, golden bronze, rose gold, and matte smoky). The highly pigmented powders are easily blendable and buildable, making them perfect for day-to-night transitions.
Stefani's dramatic winged eyeliner is almost if not just as iconic as her bold red lip, so when I heard the singer's makeup collection would include eyeliner, I was anticipating a super-luxe liquid liner, not a gel pencil. In my experience, the Line It Up waterproof eyeliner doesn't apply cleanly over powder eyeshadow. It does, however, have a color payoff that's a 10/10. When it dries, it stays put all day long, which is great until it's time to wash your face at night. It does come off with makeup remover but makes a mess in the process.
The Hella On Point Ultra Fine Brow Pencil is a two-in-one product. On one end of the wand is a micro-fine-tipped pencil. On the other is a thin spoolie brush. On its own, I found the pencil to be underwhelming and not "highly" pigmented as its product description suggests, but I enjoyed the combination of the pencil and spoolie when used together. In my experience, the brow pencil offers users a soft, natural, no-makeup-makeup brow look. However, credit is due to GXVE for its shade range, which includes seven colors from neutral blonde to cool black.
To me, the GXVE Most Def Instant Definition Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil was the more impressive brow product in Stefani's collection. Available in the same shade range as GXVE's ultra-fine pencil, I found the brand's sculpting counterpart to be very pigmented, and it offered more of a statement-making brow on its own. It's also chisel-tipped, making filling in the brows just as easy as outlining them to your preferred shape.
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