While H&M might be every easy fashion followers best friend, I doubt many of us were aware of its newer but arguably more grown up sister '& Other Stories.' The idea behind this latest offering from our beloved Swedish company Hennes & Mauritz is that the store provides a one stop solution for style. Clothing, accessories, footwear and beauty all grouped together in their own 'stories'. Click on any one item on the website and you're greeted with all the usual info, but a little scroll down reveals a series of thumbnails entitled 'Part of this Story', where you'll find everything else you need to complete your outfit.
Now I know this is nothing new, most online retailers have a 'you might also like this' type vibe happening somewhere, and Lord only knows how many suggestive emails I get from amazon a day telling me that I'm going to love some product or other based on my past buying choices, but &OS have really given this some thought. 'Story' may just be an slightly more whimsical word for 'collection', but the careful consideration that's gone into the clothing line / accessory combinations is clearly evident.
The price range is definitely higher than H&M lovers might be used to, but then again this isn't just the same store by another name. The chic lines, simple shapes and minimalist branding of &OS all indicate a much more mature brand. Think a slightly modernised scandinavian Audrey Hepburn look.
Unfortunately due to a vastly over stuffed wardrobe and the current weather induced necessity to cover even the most fashion forward outfit with about 4 jumpers and a ginormous figure engulfing coat, I glossed over most of the clothing in favour of an easier purchase...
The brands identity is gorgeous and lends itself beautifully to some very understated and simple packaging. I know when your dusting cheek bones, lining lips or caressing eye lids with a loose pigment the packaging means diddly squit if the product itself is rubbish, but my love of graphic design means I'm a sucker for a well put together brand. Thankfully &OS isn't just a pretty face.
I've got a seriously big night out coming up and I've been looking for little extras to compliment my rather dark and broody leather studded outfit for a while, this Voile Pink blush might as well have run up and kicked me in the shin with its attention grabbing gloriousness. I'm not one for romantic quotes really (Billy Shakespeare on no Billy Shakespeare) but stamp a gorgeous serif typeface into a vibrant pink blush and I'm yours.
This shade might not look wearable, and yes as you'd expect it is highly pigmented, but applied lightly across the cheeks and blended out well it's the perfect spring blush. Go a little heavier handed with it for a night out and, if you want to be extremely daring, a statement diagonal sweep wouldn't be out of place in an East London Club.
My second and third purchases were determined by the ongoing battle I seem to participate in with my eyebrows. I've got the shape and size down now, but with regular home dye jobs on my barnet that mean my tresses vary from sunkissed gold to platinum blonde with bright pink and blue streaks it can be a struggle to find an eyebrow pencil or powder that works.
Darker brows are fine for my midnight debacles but I'd recently taken to dusting a combination of three MUA pallet eyeshadows onto my face framers for day time looks. Not only have I hit pan (actually I've positively made friends with it) on all three, but seriously, 'Ain't nobody got time for that! '
I've only been using & Other Stories Eyebrow Pencil (Shade - Worcester Taupe) teamed with their Eyebrow Powder (Shade - "1") for a few days but I can tell it's going to be my new go to combo. You don't have to team them up, either / or works fine if your in a hurry, but I like to start with the pencil and set with the powder. The colouring is excellent, avoiding too warmer undertone without becoming overly 'ashy'. At £6 for the pencil and £7 for the powder, they may be a little more expensive than a drugstore brand, but in my opinion definitely worth it.
Mini mention goes out to the Brow and Lash Groomer. I happened to need one so plonked it in my basket. Only £4 and a thumbs up on the satisfaction scale.
|"Viole Pink" Blush & Eyebrow Powder "1"|
Overall I'm excited about the beauty range from &OS. The quality of the products seems pretty high, the packaging is highly appealing and there's a lot on offer. My only quibble is that the website is a bit of a trawl. It looks beautiful but if you're hunting for a product in a hurry there's a lot of scrolling involved. My advice is get a cuppa and give yourself a good ten minutes to have a browse. Ooo and there's a free sample (which you have some choice over) with most purchases! Bonus.
What do you think of the & Other Stories look? Has anyone tried their Skincare?
Any other gems you know of with a happy ending?
A BIG Thank You:
In all honestly I didn't have a clue this brand even existed until the ever lovely Meg author of Lips So Facto mentioned it on twitter. It was after reading her post and instantly falling in love with the Voile Pink blush that I made my over to the website and proceeded to spend about an hour perusing eveything on offer. See her post here for a further look into a couple of the products above along with a rather fetching pistachio nail varnish and what sounds to be a glorious smelling hand soap.Follow my blog with Bloglovin