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December 02, 2014

Thanks to their successful range of fragrances, the boys of One Direction are certainly making a name for themselves in the beauty world, and their presence only continues to grow with the launch of their own color cosmetics. We asked InStyle.com Assistant Editor Marianne Mychaskiw to try out the makeup palettes and report back on what she thought.

When I heard the boys of One Direction were launching makeup palettes, naturally, I was intrigued. Sure, I could get behind their fragrances, but what did they really know about makeup? Apparently quite a bit, as they have three group palettes out ($30 each; amazon.com), and a limited-edition version with a photo of your favorite boy adorning the front ($25 each; amazon.com).

Now, an avid Directioner, I am not---of course, I think their music is so fun and can't help but sing (read: scream) along to the lyrics whenever "What Makes You Beautiful" comes on the radio, but I can't say I've ever read any One Direction fan fiction, or placed a bid in an eBay auction for something that may or may not have once belonged to Harry Styles. Imagine my surprise when one of the limited edition palettes came across my desk, and the colors were actually pretty stylish. I don't play favorites or anything, but … I went with the Zayn palette.

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At first glance, the palette looked a bit more like the starter makeup kits I used to buy back in the day at Claire's, so I didn't expect to like the shadows, lip colors, and eyeliner as much as I did, though the silver glitter lipgloss gave me a slight flashback to those regrettable late '90s makeup choices I used to rock. I didn't get a chance to take the nail colors on a test-run, but I was able to put together two looks that veered more toward trendy than teenybopper. For journalistic integrity, I only used the tools that were included in the kit---a tiny lip brush, and a double-ended sponge tipped shadow applicator, which I'd usually throw out in favor of a blending brush. Keep reading to see how the products fared, and if you're so inclined, how to recreate the looks on yourself.

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 Sarah Balch for InStyle.com

The first look is a simple cat-eye paired with a bold pink lip. Try your hand at the effect by tracing your upper lash line with the black gel pencil, then add a dramatic wing at the end. I used the sponge-tipped applicator to clean up any smudges, then picked up the lip brush to apply the hot pink gloss. If you prefer your lip on the sheer side, you can swipe the gloss on with your finger, but using the brush delivers a more-opaque finish that is truer to the color in the pan. Not a fan of the neon pink? This step can easily be subsituted with the toned-down berry shade, but I thought it would be prettier repurposed as a cream blush, which is exactly what I did. I stuck my finger into the pan, and blended a touch of the gloss onto the apples of my cheeks.

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 Sarah Balch for InStyle.com

I'm all about a bold eye, so this smoky look and nude lip is a lot closer to what I'd wear in real life---maybe not to work, but definitely for a night out. To start, I took the black eyeliner pencil and smudged it all over my lids as a base. The gel formula gave the shadows a place to adhere, and really made the colors pop. Though the metallic shadows look a bit too metallic at first glance, once you sweep away the glittery top layer, the effect is much more subtle. I applied the grey-silver tone directly on top of the liner base, then sculpted out my crease with the chocolate brown shade. With the sponge-tipped applicator, I dabbed the black shadow into my outer corners, then went back to the grey color to blend it out. To finish, I ran the rose gold–taupe color just above my crease to diffuse the color and blur any harsh lines. No smoky eye is complete without a nude lip, so as a final touch, I stuck the lip brush into the tawny gold gloss and applied a layer.

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