Is Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty Worth Trying?
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When Selena Gomez announced she was launching a beauty brand back in February, no doubt everyone had the same collective thought, do we need another celeb beauty brand? Although TBH, we’ve seen some pretty fire formulas come through from celebs, so we had high hopes for Selena’s offering! So, six months later she’s finally launching and we have our hands on Rare Beauty, and we have to say, Selena did not hold back. The first collection is a huge range that offers everything from blush and liquid highlighter, to a primer, setting spray, liner, tools, and a massive 48-shade foundation range!
Compared to some other celeb beauty brands, it’s slightly more affordable than Gaga’s Haus Labs, and it’s also cheaper than Fenty – we’d say it’s on par with KKW Beauty in terms of pricing. But what’s new? According to Selena, “Rare Beauty is breaking down unrealistic standards of perfection.” She says the range is meant to celebrate what is rare about you, not cover you up or turn you into anyone else, which is definitely an ethos worth celebrating.
We put everything to the test to see how it stood up on different skin tones and skin types.
What it is: A weightless liquid foundation with concentrated pigments that give medium coverage with a natural-looking finish. The formula is ideal for all skin types and comes in 48 shades.
What we thought: A warning to you before you open this foundation, be careful! The formula is very runny so it can be a bit messy. Despite the thin formula, it is pigmented, although we would say it gives light to medium coverage depending on how much you use. The formula sets really nicely without powder and doesn’t move, but we do recommend powdering your T-zone if you’re prone to midday shine and any areas that you tend to crease, as this did settle into fine lines slightly as the day went on. We also found that the foundation wore better when we used less product, so if you prefer fuller coverage, then by layering this up (which isn’t easy) you do run the risk of compromising the wear.
Our tip: Shake well before you open to combine and then be extra careful opening. We recommend using fingers to blend and then finishing by bouncing a damp makeup sponge for a flawless finish, as it takes a bit of work to get a streak-free finish with a brush. If you have combo or oily skin, set all over with a light dusting of loose powder.
Overall we recommend this formula for people who love a no-makeup makeup look.
What it is: A lightweight, medium coverage concealer with a natural finish. The formula comes in 48 shades to match each foundation shade.
What we thought: Overall, we like this concealer and it also has an interesting square-shaped doe-foot applicator that works nicely to apply the product. It blends out easily and gives good coverage without any cake. It sets in place and stays in place, but we do recommend setting with powder under eyes or on any areas that tend to crease. This covers pimples and imperfections easily and is great for natural makeup lovers, but if you want very high coverage, you may want to try a different concealer.
What it is: A silicone-free gel primer enriched with ultra-fine pearls.
What we thought: This is pretty and very shimmery – we were actually shocked at how pearlescent the formula was. It looked beautiful on light and medium skin tones, but the white pearl base wasn’t flattering and looked a little too sparkly on rich skin tones. It makes a nice base for makeup and definitely helps to create an overall luminous finish, and it wore well with the foundation.
Our tip: For medium to rich skin tones, combine one pump of primer with one pump of moisturizer for a luminous base.
What it is: A long-lasting, highly pigmented liquid blush in 8 shades – 4 with a radiant finish and 4 matte finish.
What we thought: The blush colors are really pretty and we love the spectrum of colors that includes pinks, reds, purples and tangy orange tones. The formula is creamy and incredibly pigmented, which means a little goes a very long way. After blending – which takes a little work – the result is a pretty, healthy flush. For richer skin tones, steer towards the brighter and deeper shades, as the pink-toned blushes have a white base that can look unnatural.
Our tip: Blend it out quickly and apply immediately after foundation or your base for seamless blending, and be sure to work quickly. A brush can help to distribute the color more easily, but finish with a damp makeup sponge to ensure it’s well blended. Less is more with this product.
What it is: A silky, rich liquid highlighter in 8 shades.
What we thought: We were expecting a natural-looking highlighter from this collection, and so we were surprised to see how rich these pearl-packed liquid highlighters are – you really only need a little to get that pop! The formula is a little tricky to blend, so if applying without makeup, make sure your skin is damp from your moisturizer to ensure it blends well. If applying on top of a base or foundation, apply immediately while the base is still ‘wet’, and use a damp blender.
Our tip: Shake well before use, as the formula tends to separate a little due to the high pearl concentrate. Try swirling the formula directly on the back of your hand and then dip your makeup sponge into this, and then apply to cheekbones and the high points of your face for a natural glow.
What it is: A refillable compact for touching-up on the go. It contains blotting papers and a radiant powder-filled puff.
What we thought: Love the concept, but the pack is actually a little chunkier than we thought it would be – much bigger than a phone – so it’s not ideal for smaller purses. On the plus side, the blotting papers are removable, so you can easily stash these in a small purse. The blotting paper works well to absorb oil, and while the powder-filled puff also has a similar mattifying effect, we’re not a fan of the fact it can’t be washed between uses.
What it is: An ultrafine water-like mist that hydrates, primes and sets. The formula is suitable for all skin types and is packed with brightening niacinamide, hydrating sodium hyaluronate and a blend of nourishing botanicals.
What we thought: We tried this before and after the foundation and you only need to mist a few times to get a decent covering. It almost has a wet-look finish, but it does dry down. If you have oily or combo skin, we suggest using only as a priming mist otherwise it could make you more prone to shine.
What it is: A light, whipped lip cream that gives rich color and a boost of hydration. The matte-finish formula comes in 12 shades that range from a universally-flattering bright red shade called Inspire – that’s the one you’ve seen Selena wearing in all the ads – to a true brown called Thrilling, and bright coral pink named Energize.
What we thought: This has a very comfortable, creamy texture that feels really nice to apply with the flat, triangular-shaped doe-foot applicator, and it gives good pigment payoff from the first swipe. It doesn’t really set, but the creaminess almost wears off over time and leaves more of a stained finish. It’s definitely a formula that you’ll want to reapply throughout the day as opposed to setting and forgetting. We also think the color selection is really cute and we love that there’s some bold and neutral colors to choose from.
If you like long-wearing formulas this probably isn’t for you, but if you like something creamy then give it a try!
What it is: A hydrating lip balm packed with shea butter and a botanical blend to nourish lips. Choose from a clear balm or seven tinted shades.
What we thought: This is a really nice rich, creamy formula that feels very hydrating on the lips. We were also surprised at how pigment-packed the tinted shades were, and we love that these glide on, nourish and add a really pretty color in one. We’ll definitely be keeping one of these in our bag for daytime top-ups.
What it is: A longwearing, waterproof, matte liquid eyeliner formulated with ultra-black pigments and over 1,000 vegan bristles that create a fine tip.
What we thought: This is a really nice formula and works very well with the flexible brush tip. It made applying our wing incredibly easy, as the formula glides on smoothly without feathering and allows you to get really precise application. It dries down to a matte, bold black shade and it lasts all day without smudging. The design also made it easy to use and looks sleek.
What it is: A dual-ended brow tool. At one end is a triangular-shaped, retractable gel pencil and at the other, a tinted brow gel. The formula comes in 8 shades, from a cool-toned Soft Blonde shade to a rich Soft Black shade.
What we thought: First of all, we love a double-ended brow product, and this tool has a great combo. The gel-like pencil is much softer than your average brow pencil, which means it glides on very easily with high pigment payoff from the first swipe. We liked the idea of the triangle-shaped tip, which meant we could use the pointed end to create hair-like strokes and the thicker side to fill in. However, as it’s so soft, the point did blunt after both brows were finished, which meant creating defined hair-like strokes became more difficult.
The brow gel gives immediate coverage and adds instant volume to sparse brows, and we love the mini applicator that made it easy to precisely shape and brush our brows. When the formula dries down, it doesn’t feel stiff or crispy, and just feels really natural. Both formulas wore really well without fading or smudging.
Overall we really like this brow product and we’ll definitely continue to use it. It’s also perfect for keeping in your purse because it’s so small and compact.
Overall we’re really excited that Selena has joined the beauty sphere, and from this collection of products, we can tell that she’s tried to do something different. Whether that’s uniquely shaped applicators – all of which we thought worked well – or unique packaging, everything from the colors to the shade-rich offering is definitely a great entrance into the beauty space. Some of the products, like the Brow Pencil & Gel and the Liquid Liner, will definitely make it into our beauty bags, but we did find some of the pigment-rich formulas a little more complicated to work with, and we probably would pass on the tools.
We’re definitely intrigued to see the formulas and products Selena brings out next, and we recommend testing in stores to find your perfect shade and to play with the formulas. The collection is available in Sephora stores and online now.
Let us know if you’re excited to try out this new collection in the comments below.