If I see one more celebrity launch a beauty brand, I just might lose it. The beauty market is notoriously saturated, and another brand launched by a celebrity that has no beauty know-how is simply not what an already-confused consumer needs. But while the market is severely saturated, it is equally lucrative, making it an absolute cash cow for celebrities who want to diversify their entrepreneurial offerings and make some quick, easy money in the form of a skincare, makeup or haircare line.
For the most part, celebrity beauty brands prove to be a bit of a flop. Of course, when they are first announced, they generate a huge buzz, but when the consumer gets to grips with the (typically) white-labelled goods and realises it’s not the magic product they thought it would be, sales start to drop. There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule, and they mainly sit within the makeup space. Fenty Beauty, for instance, is one of the best-selling makeup brands in the world and is applauded for its quality, while Victoria Beckham Beauty remains a favourite amongst beauty editors.
One celebrity makeup brand that has been a hot topic of conversation recently is Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty. It launched in the U.S. back in 2020, and since then, it has quickly climbed the ranks to be regarded as not just one of the best celebrity beauty brands out there but one of the best makeup brands full stop.
It champions a low-maintenance, fresh-faced approach to makeup (something that is very much up my street) with a streamlined offering of makeup basics. The shade ranges are also welcomingly impressive and diverse, with a selection that puts the majority of heritage brands to shame.
Shannon with a full face of Rare Beauty.
So when I caught news that Rare Beauty was launching in the UK, it's needless to say I was the first one in line waiting to try it. And now that I have had a couple of weeks to really give it a go and get to grips with the products, I feel confident enough to say that, as a brand, Rare Beauty is truly wonderful.
In fact, if I were going to recommend a makeup brand to anyone right now, it would be Rare Beauty. The products are wearable, easy to use and look surprisingly natural on the skin. Having said that, it's worth noting that some products are better than others. If you're intrigued to know whether Rare Beauty is worth the hype, keep scrolling to find out which products I really rate.
1. Rare Beauty Always an Optimist Illuminating Primer
I am not a primer person. Having said that, this has quickly become one of my most reached-for products, and that speaks volumes. It delivers a dewy, hydrating base for any products that you apply over the top, giving skin a lit-from-within look without a hint of tackiness.
2. Rare Beauty Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation
I'll admit this foundation is totally not what I was expecting. Typically, the word weightless implies that a foundation is hydrating, glowing and dewy, but this isn't really any of that. It is, quite literally, weightless, veiling the skin in a thin layer of medium-coverage pigment. It doesn't dull the skin in any way but has a second-skin, matte finish. When used with the illuminating primer, it's a match made in heaven.
3. Rare Beauty Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer
The first thing that's worth noting about this concealer is the precise doe-foot applicator. It is truly unlike anything I have ever used or come across before with a sharply angled applicator, ideal for getting into the corners of the eye. The formula is creamy and easily blended, has a similar finish to the foundation, just with an extra radiance boost, and refuses to settle in fine lines and creases at any point throughout the day.
4. Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush
This is without a doubt my favourite product in the Rare Beauty offering. The creamy blush literally melts into fingers to create a subtle, watercolour-like tint that leaves cheeks with a subtle, dewy flush. This could just take the trophy for the best cream blusher ever created.
5. Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush
This liquid blush couldn't be further apart from the aforementioned Melting Blush. This stuff is seriously pigmented—like an inky stain. A little goes a very long way, and it fuses with skin to leave a matte-finish, natural-looking colour on the cheeks.
6. Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara
If subtle, understated lashes are your thing, this mascara is sure to be a hit. Don't expect any sort of majorly impressive lengthening or volumising results, though. A few coats make lashes appear slightly thicker and more fluttery, making it a great option for everyday wear.
7. Rare Beauty Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream
I feel like I can't give this product the credit it likely deserves. You see, I'm not a massive fan of matte lip products, because my lips are naturally very dry. However, in comparison to other lip creams that I have tried, this one was surprisingly lightweight and nourishing. It is neither comfortable nor uncomfortable, but the colour offering is beautiful.
8. Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner
The main reason I don't find myself reaching for liquid eyeliner very often is that I simply do not possess the adequate skills to execute a great winged-liner look. This pen, however, blew me away. After just a couple of attempts, I had managed to create the perfect wing (on both eyes)! The nib is fine and precise, while the pigment pay-off is potentially the best I've come across in years.
9. Rare Beauty Always an Optimist Soft Radiance Setting Powder
As an oily gal, I often find myself reaching for powder to take down oiliness around my T-zone. Weirdly, because the Rare Beauty Foundation is so great at mattifying, I didn't feel as though I needed to apply a powder afterwards. However, I wanted to give this stuff a real run for its money, so tried it with a different, dewy foundation. All in all, I'm impressed. It certainly takes down shine and doesn't make the skin look cakey. However, I do like my powders to leave some trace of glow behind, and this stuff takes it all away.