Singer Halsey has introduced a new affordable makeup line at Walmart today. Called af94, the line is filled with products designed to sell for less than $10 each.
AF94 will be a diffusion line of About-Face, Halsey’s first brand, which launched in January 2021. AF94 products include face stickers, cream blush sticks, volume mascara, eyeshadow crayons and biodegradable makeup remover wipes, all for $10 or under.
Halsey is launching this venture with full knowledge of how packed the celebrity beauty space is. They have seen the fierce competition About-Face is up against: In June, the brand slashed its prices in order to differentiate.
Halsey believes beauty shoppers are still looking to explore new labels. The 27-year-old musician, who hit it big with songs like “Bad at Love” and “Without Me” before finding global audiences by working with BTS and the Chainsmokers, recently developed a younger audience after taking a role in the animated film “Sing 2.”
Halsey referred to About-Face as “artistry makeup,” and said AF94 is meant for more entry-level shoppers. (The two brands were developed and are operated by the same team, which includes Jeanne Chavez and Dineh Mohajer, the co-founders of 1990s beauty favorite Hard Candy.) The new line is rooted in the “beige-y, brown, mahogany grunge world,” although it includes colorful items like hot pink lip gloss and teal gel eyeliner — a nod to the neon trend that’s dominating beauty right now.
AF94 was developed with Gen-Z in mind, and takes inspiration from late 90s and Y2K beauty.
While beauty consumers have plenty of options for mauve eyeshadows and pink lip glosses, Halsey said the About-Face team developed AF94 to be fun and accessible, making some products multi-use, like the label’s cheek stick, which doubles as a lipstick.
Walmart is betting the label will take off with young shoppers, said vice president of beauty merchandising Creighton Kiper. The company is rolling out special AF94-branded shelving units for its beauty aisle, and will also place promotional signage in other parts of its stores.
Halsey said that positioning About-Face as direct-to-consumer made them realise the limits of the model, so with AF94, they pushed their team to work with Walmart. It’s a shifting attitude that’s appearing all across retail, where even the most popular DTC brands are now experimenting with wholesale. In beauty, many labels are gunning for partnerships with the likes of Walmart, Target or Ulta.