I've fangirled over celebrity makeup artist Nikki DeRoest for as long as I can remember. (Ever since I realized she's the friend and makeup artist of one of my beauty idols, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.) I've spent more time than I'll admit to you stalking (and emulating) the gorgeous looks she's created on all of her regulars like Hailey Bieber, Bella Hadid, Shanina Shaik, and Emma Roberts.
Therefore, when I found out she had a magical makeup project of her own up her sleeve, Róen Beauty, I pretty much started counting down the seconds until its release (a soft launch happened about a month ago). According to DeRoest, there's much more to come for Róen (apparently more products are being tested and created), but as of now, the brand's made up of four all-star MVPs: two eye shadows palettes with four shades each (one palette is warmer while the other veers cooler), a single shadow that's reminiscent of disco balls and Studio 54, and a do-it-all double-ended eye brush.
"As a makeup artist and lover of all things beauty, Róen is something I've obsessed over this last year, working hand in hand with my chemist in L.A.," DeRoest shared in the line's official press release. "Creating my own formulas and line has been a dream of mine since getting into the beauty industry over 15 years ago.
"As a beauty expert, it's important to me that Róen is made with original, clean formulas that are able to pair well with all the other incredible beauty brands that fill my artistry kit. I've been fortunate enough to use my products on some of the most stunning faces and red carpets in the industry, and I can confidently say it's always a WOW moment."
DeRoest also disclosed that her model and celebrity set aside, she regularly works with us mere mortals, and it's these women who served as the true muses for Róen and its first glistening delivery of products.
Curious to put Róen to the test, I recruited my fellow beauty editor Amanda Montell to test-drive all of the products with me. Keep scrolling for a deep dive into the collection and our honest reviews of the products we tried—photos included.
For $42 a pop (a worthy investment, we promise!), you get DeRoest's four-shade eye shadow quads—two sisters, one warmer, one cooler. According to DeRoest, the shades and tones were perfected for months with all skin tones in mind.
Another fun fact? In addition to being insanely pretty, the shadows feature what the brand calls a "first-of-its-kind proprietary eye shadow formula that's nor a powder not a cream, but an intensely dreamy combo of the two. Plus, they're clean, vegan, and free of talc, gluten, and parabens.
Meet DeRoest's favorite child within her glitzy brood. Aptly called Disco Eye, it's the same user-friendly hybrid that meets somewhere in the middle between cream and powder—"right in the sweet spot," as DeRoest describes in the brand's official press release. Ultra-pigmented and dusted with chunks of mega-watt glitter, it's good on its own or layered on top of other shadows. (We love dabbing a thumbprint of it right in the middle of the eye and in the inner corners for extra sparkle and highlight.)
Even though all of the Róen shadows can be effortlessly applied with your fingers, everyone (especially a makeup artist) knows that the perfect brush can play a crucial accomplice when it comes to blending, smudging, or lining your shadows. Therefore, DeRoest wanted to create the ultimate double-ended brush that can be used for every need when it comes to decorating the lids. It's made from the most superior quality of vegan bristles (they're synthetic but feel as soft and lush as real hair) and is conveniently double-ended with two different sizes and shapes to cater to every need.
The first time I saw Róen Beauty in all of it's shimmering, mystical glory on social media, it was pretty much love at first sight. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it, but I was a tad bit worried about one little thing. I absolutely suck at applying eye shadow. And because of that, I hardly ever wear it.
However, Amanda (my fellow beauty editor, and my friend and roomie) is kind of the eye shadow queen—she loves cream formulas in particular—and over the year or so we've lived together, her makeup habits have started to wear off on me. I've become less intimidated by shadows, and since I hate fallout and intense dark shades, I've started to gravitate toward creamy formulas in shimmering metallics or sparkling nudes in lieu of my signature bare lid and liquid liner.
As expected, opening Róen's chicly packaged eye shadows didn't disappoint in real life. The colors and finishes were just as mesmerizing up close and personal as they had been on my iPhone's screen, and I was instantly worried I wouldn't be able to do the pretty formulas justice considering my eye shadow novice.
Although the shadows look like powders, when you work your fingers into them, you realize they're actually more of a cream, which, truth be told, I couldn't have been more thrilled about. Although both the 75˚ and 52˚ palettes are gorgeous, I immediately glommed onto the former, which is more earthy and warm.
The first time I applied the shadows I used the brush, and while the shape and size of both ends are perfect for application purposes (the bristles are also insanely soft!), I felt like I wasn't able to deposit as much color and pigment onto my lid as I would have liked. I was in a hurry, so I did what I could, tapped on some of the Disco Eye in my inner corners, and headed off for an appointment.
The next morning, I did a little more research and saw a few videos of the product being applied with fingers. Since that's my natural inclination when it comes to eye shadow anyway, I ditched the brush and went full steam ahead with my fingers. And it was amazing. The colors came to life on my lids in all their saturated high-shine glory, and then after I had patted and dabbed everything where I wanted it, I then went in with the brush and blended everything out to soften the overall look. I also used the other end with the smaller-sized brush to go in with the darker shades called Nikki Dust and J'adore to line my eyes. To take it further, I capped it all off once again with the Disco Eye, concentrating my finger application in the middle of my lid and the inner corners of my lids.
Even though Amanda said she did notice some creasing with the 52˚palette, I didn't have any problems during the day, and I applied my shadow around 6:30 a.m. (yep, it stays put!!). Perhaps this is because we prepped our faces differently? Not sure. All in all, I'm obsessed with these shadows. They're fool-proof, easy to customize and layer, and they're super versatile depending on your makeup or shadow M.O. Oh, and they also make you about 150 times more photogenic.
I'll start off by saying I'm a bit of an eye shadow fiend. That said, I almost exclusively use cream formulas because I like to create simple looks, and I like to be able to apply my favorite products quickly and on the go. The offerings from Róen seemed kind of perfect in regard to my typical eye shadow aesthetic.
Erin gave me the cooler-toned 52˚palette to test out, a quad of cream-powder hybrids that I could apply with my fingers and blend really easily. I love that all the shades coordinate, and you can easily use all four to create a look that has more dimension, or you can just use one or two for something simpler.
At first blush, I was impressed with how pigmented the colors are but not in a way where they become intimidating or difficult to apply. The formula is effortless to blend, and this palette really flattered my hazel eye color. No complaints there!
My only qualm is that over the course of the day, the pigment seemed to fade a little bit, and I definitely noticed some creasing, which called for a few touch-ups and reapplications. Does the staying power stand up to my holy grail Tom Ford Cream Shadows? No. Do I think the colors are really pretty, the texture clever, and the quad convenient? Yes.
Overall, I can definitely see myself keeping these shadows in my car for those days when I resort to doing my makeup at a red light and still want a pretty, and put-together payoff, but I can't say I see myself replacing my normal eye shadows with this for everyday use. I will say though that I did receive an insane number of compliments on my makeup the day I took this picture, which definitely counts for something.
Want even more makeup inspiration courtesy of Róen? Keep scrolling for some of our other favorite looks from Instagram!