My feelings toward celebrity beauty brands can be summed up in one word: "meh." Whether it be skincare or makeup, I find that the releases can be hit or miss, and in most cases, a miss. So when Selena Gomez announced that she would be launching a makeup line of her own, Rare Beauty, my guard and side-eye went up once again.
If anyone was bound to be a harsh critic of the brand, it was me. Keep in mind that I have a pretty extensive knowledge of makeup. I provided makeup services through college for extra spending money (#BeatByBlake was a real thing across Howard University's campus), and my job has given me unlimited access to the best and brightest that the cosmetics industry has to offer. Because of that, I've long had a tried-and-true makeup routine for myself, rarely veering off-track especially, when it comes to the basics.
So would Rare Beauty be able to change my mind about celebrity-led beauty brands? I put it to the test, and this my real, unfiltered opinion.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Rare Beauty: Complexion Products
Generally, I'm not a fan of illuminating primers as many leave me with a silver cast and rarely provide enough blurring. But the Illuminating Primer surprisingly left my skin with a subtle glow, although it did fall short when it came to blurring. As someone with pronounced pores, I didn't feel that this evened out my texture and I was admittedly nervous about how the foundation would appear on my skin. However, you could feel that it did in fact have a strong grip. While it may not have minimized pores the way I wanted, I knew the makeup would stay put.
I followed up the primer with the Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation that the brand describes as breathable and medium to full coverage. While there's no doubt that it's breathable, I felt that the formula boasts more of a light to medium coverage with tons of building capabilities. And while I'm more of a full-coverage girl, I found that this was the perfect consistency for, say, a beach day when you want to look presentable without slapping on tons of makeup, or for that Zoom meeting where you have to appear like you actually put some effort into your appearance. Most important to consider with the foundation, however, is how you apply it. I first tried applying with the Multi-Tasking Sponge and, to be honest, it was a major fail. The sponge wasn't dense enough for the light formula and absorbed most of the product rather than creating an even spread. Instead, I gave it another try with the Liquid Touch Foundation Brush, and the foundation glided across my skin with much more ease, creating a smooth layer.
Then it was on to the concealer. Let me first give kudos to Gomez for making all the complexion products with a doe foot applicator. They ensured that my wasteful tendencies couldn't prosper. Once I applied the concealer to my high points, I knew that that sponge wasn't going to be the way to go. Instead, I decided to try the label's concealer brush. Mind you, I usually apply my concealer with a Beautyblender so I anticipated a learning curve with using a brush, but there wasn't one. The angled brush with soft yet compact bristles is a game-changer and turned me into a believer. It smooths the concealer seamlessly, targets the under-eye perfectly, and works product right into the skin. I felt like a pro using this method, and I daresay that, by the way it turned out, I looked like one, too.
On to the blush. To be clear, I only have one blush that I use: Orgasm by NARS. I'm so devoted to it, in fact, that I don't even deviate on special occasions. But, I had to give Gomez's formula a try. I approached with caution, trying the shade, "Joy," a subtle orange that I figured would complement my skin tone. It did. I applied two dabs, figuring that it would be the perfect amount, but actually, it was too much. The lightweight formula requires a soft hand, and is easily buffed out with fingers. I was not only pleased with the color payoff, but also how much bang for your buck you get with the small vial.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Rare Beauty: Eyes
While Gomez doesn't have eyeshadow offerings in her collection yet, I saw an opportunity to use the Liquid Luminizer as an eye color rather than as a highlighter. I'm so glad I did. The formula has such a light shimmer and bronzed effect, and comes in so many colors — I personally love "Reflect." It dishes out almost a wet eye look and is perfect for beginners who aren't the best at the traditional eye blending or layering. Just place a little on the lid — again, with the doe foot applicator — and watch your eyes transform.
Now onto liner. As great as I claim to be at makeup, liquid liner continues to be an area that I could use some more improvement. However, I was so surprised at how easy this liner makes it. The limber yet firm tip takes away much of the work I usually have to do to maintain a steady hand. It glides on seamlessly, is a true black, and is perfect if you love a good cat eye.
What's really worth raving over is the brow pencil, which is arguably one of my favorites from the line. I'm so used to brow pencils with a dryer consistency that I initially went in a little too heavy-handed with this dual-formula product. This was so smooth, and the color payoff was immediate. I didn't have to prod away at my brows like I usually do to distribute product so the process was shorter and easier. But again, go in with a lighter hand than you're used to. The gel was great, too! Just a light formula that keeps brows standing upright after fill.
Rare Beauty: Lips
Finally, lips. Now, I'm not so crazy about matte formulas — anymore. Like most, I went through a solely matte phase and now, I'm back in love with glosses. However with increased masking, I understand why Gomez would want something that lasts a bit longer. The Lip Soufflé Matte Cream felt like legit butter gliding across my lips, and the applicator made for great precision so I didn't even need a liner. With fall around the corner, I leaned toward "Thrilling," as the sultry, deep brown hue is the type I gravitate toward in the colder months. I loved it so much that it actually made me reconsider wearing matte lips again — almost.
I'll say, I'm pleasantly surprised by just how much I like Rare Beauty. The products are no frills, simple, and so spot-on for the times. Next, I'd love to see an eyeshadow palette and bronzing products from Gomez. That, would complete the makeup kit.