All of us know Selena Gomez – the well-known musician, actress and now beauty founder who launched her cosmetic company Rare Beauty in early September. I don’t typically endorse, or support celebrity beauty brand launches simply because I am a stronger advocate of grass roots startup efforts which are born out of somebody’s ingenious ideas, risk of losing it all and good ole’ hard work to build a brand without name recognition. Let’s face it, celebrity beauty brand fatigue is real. But the “Rare Beauty” review was “rare” for me – no pun intended. I was impressed with their mission statement; their goal is to raise $100 million over the next 10 years to help “increase access to mental-health services”– for that alone, I am grateful! To this end, on the surface, the Rare Beauty brand appears to be the “real-deal”. I also cannot resist they’re aesthetically pleasing and feminine packaging style which can be likened to a retro look with a modern twist. A big shoutout for the rounded applicators which are designed to be easy for people with arthritis (for example) to use. Her packaging doesn’t necessarily feel luxurious, considering the use of mostly plastic and not glass, however it does remain simple and attractive.
What about her beauty products?
Rare Beauty’s first launch is a big one. According to her interviews, it took her over two years of hard work of creation of her color makeup products. Rare Beauty launched what seems like anarsenal of products, especially for a start-up with a full collection of makeup, including 48 shades of foundation, concealer, blush, highlighter, liquid liner and two different kinds of lipsticks, brushes, face mist, primer, and makeup sponge. All her products cost less than $30, which puts Selena’s brand smackdab in the mid-price range for Sephora products. Truth be told, I purchased 15 Rare Beauty products from Sephora (I hope my husband doesn’t read this review – lol). I would love to share my honest and unbiased opinion (unbiased because I almost never endorse, or review celebrity beauty launches or brands) and initial impressions of Rare Beauty products. First, full disclosure – I have combination skin, so my review is based on my skin-type, however I am going to recommend what my thoughts are on the viability and effectiveness of these products on other skin types based on formulation.
Personally, for me, I prefer more of a minimalist look when it comes to my makeup, so I tend to be a big fan of products that are liquid, and cream based. I like to advocate for the “less is more”, especially when it comes to makeup – so my endgame in beauty is always striving for that “dewy, glowing and healthy” looking face. Rare Beauty shares similarities with Glossier’s “effortless and natural look”- If this is what you wish to achieve, then this is the right brand for you! It is worth mentioning that all Rare Beauty products are clean with safe ingredients and free of sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban.
In order to minimize the chances of my husband being crushed by an avalanche of Rare Beauty products when he opens our medicine cabinet, I admittedly did not purchase ALL of Selena’s products such as Blot & Glow Touch-Up Kit because I think it is too gimmicky for me personally and I am simply not going to use it. I also passed on Brow Harmony Pencil & Gel, because the eyebrow pencil is wax based, and the applicator is frankly too thick for my personal preferences. I also skipped the Liquid Touch Multi-Tasking Makeup Sponge, because it has large pores that tends to pick up too much product, which can then go to waste. Otherwise, I purchased most of her other products which I have been using for the past couple of weeks with the goal of not rushing in for a “quick review” like so many that publish reviews the same day the brand is launched.
Always an Optimist Illuminating Primer (Price: $14 – $26.00) is a lightweight primer that radiates with ultra-fine spec of pearls for a dewy and glowing look. It applies very well and evenly throughout your face without making it look greasy. All Rare Beauty products that I have tried embody the phrase “a little goes a long way”. All you need is one or two pumps, then gently apply the primer to your face and “voila”, ya got da dewy look. “How does it feel?” you ask – well, it feels pleasant on your face without having a specific fragrance – which is something I personally prefer. You can wear the primer with or without makeup foundation, it all depends on the look you are trying to achieve. Having options is always a must on my checklist, so it’s worth noting that you have the option to buy a mini size or a full-size product. If you want to test the product and you really want to ensure that it is the right choice for your needs, then I recommend buying the mini size. I genuinely love the product and I am going to continue using it for that dewy look that I love so much.
Liquid Touch Concealer Brush (Price: $16.00) So what can you really say about a concealer brush that mimics the shape of fingertips for fast and easy blending – “cool” for one thing. The densely packed, vegan bristles build coverage and buff away streaks for seamless results. I love the brush because it has a precision tip to aid in hitting those “hard-to-reach” spots, whether it is under the eyes, around the nose or along the corners of the mouth. This brush is soft, easy to apply your concealer, and it was worth my investment and I am going to continue using it. You nailed this one Rare Beauty! I love the concealer brush!
Liquid Touch Foundation Brush (Price: $28.00) A cruelty-free foundation brush packed with super soft, silky bristles that puts down da 3B’s; it builds, it blends, and drumroll please…. it buffs liquids, builds powders, and blends creams all in a fluid motion – my kinda brush ‘yall. This brush pairs perfectly with the “Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation”. The foundation glides on so effortlessly with easy, even blending and streak-free-finish. Truth be told, I am “pro” foundation brush and I love the way this one picks up the product. The brush is well constructed with an angle that can be applied easily around various areas on the face, especially around the nose and jaw areas. I will admit that I am enjoying the way the brush feels on my skin – super soft and relaxing. If you are looking for a good foundation, I strongly recommend purchasing this brush, I have a sneaking suspicion you will not be disappointed.
Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer (Price: $19.00) This concealer is a moisturizing with a creamy texture consist of botanical blend. I purchased a concealer 230N and while I was applying the product with the concealer brush, it fused evenly into my skin. I then applied a few dots under my eyes and around my nose for more of the medium coverage I was trying to achieve. Look, that’s what works for me, but you can certainly apply more because it is a buildable concealer for medium to full coverage. Additionally, I would like to mention that I have some dark circles under my eyes (think; “racoon-eyes” on some days) which is a hereditary condition that I have. So, “what happened after eight hours?” you ask… Well, I am pleased to say that I have genuinely noticed a marked improvement which has been a nice bonus worth giving props for. Finally, It claims to “hide blemishes and redness”, of which, to date, I can neither confirm, nor deny, since I do not have these skin conditions.
Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation ($29.00) Just as the name implies, this foundation is “weightless” guys. It’s “serum-like base runs off its doe-foot applicator. Applying a few dots on each cheek and on your forehead is typically enough to cover your whole face with light to medium coverage. While I am a light-coverage girl, this product does have some impressive building capabilities. I also like that it is not too thick or greasy and that it glides smoothly with a “smooth as satin” finish – all this without any noticeable creasing while applying. You know what it reminds me of? If you have ever used or tried Kosas Foundation oil, then I think you will like this. The bonus: you get more coverage and more bang for your buck. The claim is that it “nourishes your skin” and also comes in 48 shades. It undoubtedly feels weightless, breathable and comfortable throughout the day. However (yup, there is always an “however”) based on the “few” times that I tried it, I get the impression that if you have some “creasing” on your face, lets say for arguments sake, around your mouth – well, it may enhance those areas as well, which is certainly a drawback with this formulation. For some women that are bacteria freaks like moi, I love the doe-foot applicator. However (there it goes again) – you need to be careful! Throw a little alcohol on it to kill some bacteria and try to only use it after washing and moisturizing your face. I would give this one four out of five stars.
Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner (Price: $19.00) A long-wearing, waterproof, matte-liquid eyeliner formulated with ultra-black pigments for dramatic definition forthat day or night look. It reminds me of an elegant pen which has a flexible tip to create thin or thick lines with precision. Something to remember; make sure to shake the pen before using it, in order to activate the color pigments (think; shaking your V8 drink to get all the juices interacting with one-another – you get the point). It has a smooth matte finish, which I love! I tried quite a few eye-liners, but this is my new “go-to” eyeliner that I am going to continue buying. It claims to be waterproof, however after using it only under dry conditions, the only thing I can assure you of is that it will remain fresh as new all day. Please do note one drawback, this sucker is tough to get off. Therefore, you will need to use eye makeup remover to remove the eye liner application (or a power-washer).
Soft Pinch Liquid Blush (Price: $20.00) Another weightless, long-lasting liquid blush that blends and builds beautifully for a soft, healthy flush appearance. Available in both matte and dewy finishes. I purchased HAPPY in a matte finish and BLISS in a dewy finish for my review. For starters, I would say that I love them both for two different kind of looks. Warning! A little goes a long way here for sure! I dabbed a single, teeny-weeny dot on my cheek, rubbed it in with two fingers (you are welcome to use a blender-brush or cosmetics sponge – whatever floats your boat) and almost instantly you can see the color blending beautifully with both the dewy and matt finishes. Note however that both liquid blushes are very pigmented which means the product can last for a long time. It really provides that healthy flush that looks great for all of us. I would say this one another winner for me, if you buy it, I think you will really enjoy it!
With Gratitude Dewy Lip Balm ($16.00) Rare Beauty offers 8 different shades of this product and it comes packaged as a beautiful compact with a flatbottom. I bought the clear lip balm, named Honor. It has a sheer color and soft shine to it which can look quite sexy. It claims that it lasts all day, but if your mouth is actively moving (that didn’t sound good), meaning eating or drinking or talking a lot (for example), well then, you need to re-apply, just like any other lip balms. I personally think it is too pricey for what you get. I am asking myself if maybe I should have bought the color Lip Balm, would my review be different? Stay tuned!
Lip Souffle Matte Cream Lipstick ($20.00) Having 12 stunning shades, this product uses a whipped formula to create a lighter feel on the lips. It claims to offer a “slight blurring effect” to make the lips look “fuller and smoother”. Despite being a moisturizer, it is supposed to stay put all day. I usually walk past anything that resembles a matte liquid lipstick, as they dry out and emphasize the lines in my lips and any flakiness I have, but these lip-creams are the exception. When you apply it, it has a velvety-smooth texture that glides over the lips to create an even, pigmented layer of color. All three colors I tried (Energize, Heroic and Motivate) were stunning and equal in application and performance. I rarely use matte lipsticks, but I am warming up to using more of her matte lipsticks in the future.
Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Prime & Set Mist ($24.00)
Glow-boosting mist 4-in-1 functions; primes, sets, refreshes, and hydrates for all skin types with a light fragrance like spa like scent. You can apply before your makeup and / or after makeup routine for a dewier look. I am enjoying using this mist spray as it makes me feel like I am having a spa treatment (at least a low-budget spa treatment – lol) – it simply feels amazing and having a 4-in-1 product is always plus for me.