UOMA Beauty burst onto the scene earlier this year, the excitement was real. Beauty editors touted the makeup brand as the "new Fenty " thanks to its inclusive foundation shade range (51 to be exact) and makeup obsessives thought the velvet matte lipsticks and glitter-splashed glosses on par with Instagram-famous Pat McGrath Labs.
UOMA Beauty is so much more than simply aesthetic. The brand's ethos is about heritage and fierce modernity, with individuality and difference at the forefront. "I have been very frustrated with beauty for a while so it was very important to me to usher a new era in beauty," brand founder Sharon Chuter told Refinery29, "not just for its lack of diversity when it comes to catering for a broader demographic, but also the lack of creativity and strong identity." To Chuter, it's incredibly important that brands launch with the freedom to have many options. "People, especially industry experts, thought I was out of my mind launching with so many options out of the gate: 108 items in total. For me it was important to stay true to what I believe in. I wanted everyone to find something so that they identified with us now, not in two years' time. No one is an afterthought."
UOMA Beauty's interpretation of inclusivity is unique and this is mirrored in every product, which has launched straight into
Selfridges in the UK. Aside from foundation and Instagram-worthy mattes, there is also an abundance of metallic lip products, glosses, eyeshadow palettes and concealers. Just like Fenty and Pat McGrath Labs, UOMA makes a case for cool colours and bold pigments, something Chuter thinks will be huge this summer. "After a decade plus of barely there makeup leading beauty trends, things are changing. People are now transitioning from the minimalist Nordic vibe and embracing their rebellious side. Expect bold lips and eyes and a return to a pseudo-maximalist existence."
Ahead, nine R29 staffers gave UOMA Beauty a trial. Here's what we thought.
Eni Subair, Editorial Assistant
Product tried: UOMA Beauty Boss Gloss in No Stoppin, £19.50, available at Selfridges
Verdict: This was the first vibrant, tinted gloss I’ve tried that shows up well against my skin. The colour that was presented in the bottle was exactly how it looked on my lips, which has never really been the case. Ordinarily I find it quite hit and miss with bold hues, but this magenta pink pretty much stayed put all day.
As I like to have either a bold lip or eye and normally a fairly natural base, with just a slick of black eyeliner, this gloss made an impact and felt moisturising without being too sticky, a big pet peeve of mine when using glosses.
Lydia Raghavan, Creative
Product tried: UOMA Beauty Afro.Dis.Iac Liquid Eyeliner, £16, and Say What?! Luminous Matte Foundation in Honey Honey, £29.50, available at Selfridges
Verdict: I’m a foundation wearer, but it’s a struggle. I had low expectations that Uoma’s Say What?! Foundation in Honey Honey would be right for my troubled skin, but it’s actually pretty decent. It gives you really good coverage which you can build up because the formula is so hydrating and light. I can’t wait to beat my face with the contour stick that comes in the range too. I’ve never contoured before, but the double-ended stick makes it look well easy.
The Afro.dis.iac eyeliner is incred.ible. I would happily be a door-to-door saleswoman for this product, it’s that good. The levels of precision are so on point and the jet black liquid effortlessly paints onto the eye. No going over the same line over and over again until your subtle flick turns into a black eye. That’s my experience with every pen and pencil liner I’ve ever tried, anyway. UOMA's eyeliner, in contrast, is a seriously good bit of kit.
Esther Newman, Editorial Intern
Product tried: UOMA Beauty Black Magic Hypnotic Impact Metallic Lipstick in Poise, £23.50, and Boss Gloss in Rose, £19.50, available at Selfridges
Verdict: The quality of the Hypnotic Impact lipstick is insane. It almost looks like actual velvet and it applies like a dream. I was a little scared of the dark, mulled wine colour and sparkle, so I reckon I’ll save wearing it on lips for Halloween or a Christmas party. Instead, I smudged a little on my cheeks for a more subtle blush look. It took a little work to blend it in, but it gave me a natural-looking flush.
I love the colour of UOMA’s Boss Gloss. It’s the perfect true pink and I wore it on a date to test it properly. It takes a few coats to get a true, bold pink but I was complimented on the colour by a drunk girl in the toilets (the highest compliment). Is it smudge-proof? After half a bottle of white, most of the 'shine' was on the glass but the colour stayed put pretty well. Is it kiss-proof? Unfortunately not...
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Jacqueline Kilikita, Beauty Editor
Product tried: UOMA Beauty Black Magic Hypnotic Impact Metallic Lipstick in Savage and Lady of Gold, £23.50, and Stay Woke Luminous Brightening Concealer, £21, available at Selfridges
Verdict: UOMA’s metallic lipstick collection is nothing short of mesmerising. At first glance, the colour is so highly pigmented and the shimmer so vivid that the bullet looks a bit like velvet fabric, if that makes sense. I chickened out of using the gold hue on my lips so I swiped it onto my eyelids instead, and I probably won’t go back to actual eyeshadow. It caught the light at every opportunity and lent my lids a cool foil effect.
When it comes to lipstick, I’m usually a matte kinda girl, opting for just a slick of lip pencil at best, so this metallic version shoved me out of my comfort zone. That said, the hue complemented my light olive skin well and it didn’t smudge one bit, despite the formula being so moisturising. My only gripe? After a drink, I could feel some stray flecks of glitter between my teeth. If that doesn’t bother you, though, this is probably the easiest way to do an on-trend glitter lip with minimal fallout.
The concealer's consistency is very similar to Urban Decay's Weightless, but a little more dewy and easy to blend. It matched my skin tone perfectly and is now a staple in my kit. It blankets everything from blemishes to dark circles without ending up chalky or separating from the rest of my makeup.
Laurene Mpia, Associate Production Manager
Product tried: UOMA Beauty Boss Gloss Pure Colour Lip Gloss in Class, £19.50, available at Selfridges Verdict: I am a big red lipstick wearer, day and night, at work and on a night out. For that reason, I invest in finding a good, long-lasting red lipstick. I was looking forward to trying what UOMA had to offer, based on all the good things I'd heard, but I found this a bit too glossy and not pigmented enough in my opinion. I like my lips to pop and I had to apply more than usual. When I first applied it, it had quite an intense smell but this then changed to something fruity. The flashy blue packaging didn't feel as grown-up as my other makeup products but on a positive note, I found that the formula was very long-lasting on the lips compared to other lip glosses. More
Sadhbh O'Sullivan, Social Media Assistant
Product tried: UOMA Beauty Badass Icon Matte Lipstick in Nina, £21.50, available at Selfridges
Verdict: The texture of the lipstick is really interesting – when first opened it almost looks spongy as it's dappled with tiny, popped bubbles. These were wiped away with a first swatch, but the textural oddities didn’t stop on application. When I went to apply, it was disarmingly soft. It wasn’t melting or falling apart, but it was pliable in a way I was confused by. Kind of like chocolate that had been left in the sun for 15 minutes on a warm day.
While I love the colour, this softness made it hard to apply accurately and I struggled to get an even-looking lip line. Unfortunately it had very little staying power for me. My lips were a mixture of patchy and bitty only a few hours after application so I went for a complete do-over as topping up just added more texture to my lips.
Ellen Miles, Strategy & Client Services Manager
Product tried: UOMA Beauty Badass Icon Matte Lipstick in Coretta, £19.50, available at Selfridges
Verdict: The lipstick tube tells me "A badass does not talk about being a badass". True that. Like 'classy' or 'charismatic', if you have to say you’re badass, you’re probably not. When I lift the lid though, I’m hit with the scrawled declaration: BADASS. Hmmm... But you know what, in this case, the tube is wrong – this lipstick is badass. First, the texture. It was so soft and creamy for a matte lipstick. This silkiness came with the payoff that it didn’t totally dry down and it stayed a little slick, so the edges blurred. I forgot I was even wearing it. If you’re after a sharper line, it may not be for you. If you’re into a softer finish à la MAC's Powder Kiss (which I am), it’s great.
Aside from the softened edges, it didn’t budge. I won’t go into how much I scoffed and swigged but suffice to say, I’m impressed with its staying power. While the bluish-pink shade isn’t my typical go-to (I usually opt towards the orange side of the spectrum), I won’t hold that against it. Because that’s the kind of classy, charismatic gal I am.
Jazmin Kopotsha, Entertainment Editor
Product tried: UOMA Beauty Say What?! Matte Hydrating Foundation in Brown Sugar, £29.50, Stay Woke Brightening Concealer in Black Pearl, £21, and Badass Icon Matte Lipstick in Sade, £21.50, available at Selfridges
Verdict: The foundation is "specifically formulated for brown skin" (melanated skin) and says it's good for adjustable coverage. This shade was probably a smidge darker than I would normally use so I applied about a pump and a half on my entire face and the coverage was fuller than I expected. The concealer was an absolute dream to apply and the texture blended perfectly with my skin and the light layer of foundation I'd applied, even though I was disarmed by the size of the application wand. It's very chunky. I was also impressed that my face survived a day of running around London for interviews and video shoots in 21 degree heat without an unfamiliar level of blotting needed.
The lipstick looked edible. Almost like a tube-shaped red velvet cake. It was super smooth to apply, if a little too soft maybe, which made me nervous about how long it would last. To my surprise it survived a can of Coke, a ham and cheese sandwich and some chocolate chip cookies without desperate need for reapplication. I also noticed that it made my lips look
way fuller than usual, which is a bonus if that's the vibe you're looking for. More
Serena Brown, Photography Intern
Product tried: UOMA Beauty Black Magic Colour Palette, £43, available at Selfridges Verdict: When I opened up the UOMA Beauty Black Magic palette, I was so excited to test out the incredible glitters and bold block colours. I was immediately drawn to the golden divine and sparkly Allure, as these tones compliment my skin colour well. My first reaction was that it did drop off quite a bit during application, so I had to keep a steady hand, but overall I was so happy with the results that left a subtle shimmer on my eyelids. A couple of hours later this had turned into an intense shimmer all over my face as it had fallen and smudged. I probably won’t wear this day to day but I could probably get away with in on a night out where stray glitter isn’t as strange... More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? We Tried The UK's First Online Dermatologist Service. Here Are The Results Kim Kardashian Filed A Trademark For Psalm West's Future Beauty Line We Tried All Of Kylie Jenner's Skin-Care Products — Here's What We Thought