Is Rare Beauty Worth the Hype? Our Editors Weigh-In on Their Favorite Products

A badass founder with a powerful mission is enough to make us fans of a brand, but when the products perform, have a broad shade range, are vegan and cruelty-free, and are affordable, you’ll be hard-pressed to get us to stop talking about them. Since its launch, Selena Gomez’s makeup brand, Rare Beauty, has had its fair share of waitlisted products, and for a good reason—everyone (including all of TikTok and our editors) is obsessed with them.

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We try a lot of products around here, so when the Founder Crystal Lee, calls a product “God-tier,” you know we mean business. From the bronzing stick that melts into the skin, our Founder is sharing her favorite Rare Beauty products so you know which ones you need to get your hands on ASAP:

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Our favorites from Rare Beauty

Soft Pinch Liquid Blush

If you scroll on TikTok for a mere five minutes, there’s a pretty high chance you’ll come across this blush more than once. And while I hate to be preaching to the choir, this stuff is popular for a reason. When I say that a little bit of this formula goes a long way, I mean it. It takes one singular dot of this blush on each cheek to warm up my entire face, it blends so seamlessly and will last a long time. For me, that makes it worth every penny.

Warm Wishes Effortless Bronzer Sticks

I have dabbled with bronzing and contour sticks in the past but, earlier this summer, I wanted to find one that blended easily and warmed up my face. A lot of sticks I’ve used in the past were tough to blend (eating up way too much time of my morning routine) and, at times, would leave me feeling like I just smeared dirt on my face. I picked up this Rare Beauty bronzing stick and let me tell you—this stuff puts in work. It’s super creamy without feeling too liquid-like and melts into my skin like butter. When it comes to warming up my face fast, this formula gets the job done and is one of my favorite parts of my makeup routine.

Kind Words Lip Liner

My lips are extremely sensitive, with most lip products I use causing reactions (plump lips are in, swollen ones? Not so much). The Rare Beauty Kind Words lipliner is truly a godsend. It glides on so smoothly and leaves my lips feeling nourished rather than dry. I use a shade close to my natural lip color for everyday wear and I couldn’t recommend it more.

Positive Light Luminizer Highlight

The second Rare Beauty launched I knew I’d need to get my hands on this highlighter, and it has not disappointed me. It gives a beautiful glow without being in your face about it. On days I want to wear a little less makeup, I mix a drop of this with my blush and blend the two. It’s a holy grail kind of combo.

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Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush

Everyone always talks about Rare Beauty’s liquid blushes (which for the record, I love) but nobody ever talks about how incredible their cream blushes are. If you’re someone who loves a natural flush, you’re going to adore these. They blend out to give the prettiest, flushed cheek, and unlike the liquid blushes, they’re hard to overdo. I have two different shades that I love for day-to-day wear.

Positive Light Tinted Moisturizer

As a tinted moisturizer fanatic, this is one of my favorites of all time. Unlike many tinted moisturizers, this one gives me a bit of coverage and leaves me with a blurred, poreless, healthy-looking complexion. I love this for daily wear, but it’s also significant enough that I wear it to the office all the time, too.

Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara

This mascara has some mixed reviews on Sephora, but it still has a 4-star rating. Its eye-hugging brush is meant to lift, lengthen, curl, and volumize the lashes, and reviewers say that it does—as long as you wipe excess product off of the brush first to prevent clumping.

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Stay Vulnerable Liquid Eyeshadow

Liquid eyeshadows are a God-send because they make applying eyeshadow seamless and quick. This one in particular is a weightless, liquid-to-powder formula that remains creaseless and because of that, reviewers are loving it.

Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Prime & Set Mist

This 4-in-1 primer hydrates, primes, sets, and refreshes skin with ingredients like niacinamide to improve the appearance of skin and lotus, gardenia, and white waterlily to soothe and nourish. While oily-skin gals say it makes them look like a “grease ball,” dry-skin gals are loving the glow.

Primp Tip: This is for black and brown people aka POC, don’t apply too much because too much product will leave your face sparkly ghostly unless that’s your thing.

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Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation

Serum-like, weightless, and buildable foundations always sound too good to be true, and reviewers are torn on this one. Some say that it is the “best skin-like foundation on the market” and others are claiming that it is “patchy and cakey with REALLY bad separation.” This is one you’re going to have to test out for yourself to see if this foundation is for you.

Always an Optimist Soft Radiance Setting Powder

This talc-free, loose-setting powder visibly smooths, blurs, and controls shine on all skin types. Five shade options deliver a natural, comfortable finish. One reviewer says “it leaves your skin blurred and smooth, without mattifying,” so you can still get your glow on without looking greasy.

Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer

This lightweight, hydrating concealer offers medium-to-full coverage in 49 shades. With 1,500+ reviews on Sephora and a 4-star rating, this has been tested by the masses and the resounding verdict is that it’s a must-have.

Pore Diffusing Primer

This gel primer claims to blur the look of pores and fine lines, boost and extend makeup wear, and help fight shine. As confirmed in the reviews, it is suitable for all skin types and worth a try if you are on the hunt for a new primer.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RARE BEAUTY ESSENTIAL?

These Beauty Products Might Not Be Instagram-Worthy, But Our Editors Can’t Live Without Them

As much as our editors fill their shelves with beautiful things, not all the best beauty products are in packaging that we’d want to display on a bookshelf. Not every good product is cased and spun with gold. Some beauty products are just straight-up ugly—and sometimes, they’re the best products in our arsenals.  

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You know, all the stuff you probably wouldn’t take a cute flat lay of but are God-tier? We’re talking those. Keep scrolling for our editors’ necessary but boring favorites.

VASELINE

Healing Jelly Original

Recently, while I was home for a week, I discovered my parents didn’t have Vaseline in their arsenal, which honestly made me spiral for a few days until my mom went to the store and I begged her to pick some up. The thought of going a mere few days, let alone a week, without Vaseline was giving me hives.


I use Vaseline daily in a myriad of ways: slugging, moisturizing dry patches on my skin and face, as a lip balm, a highlighter on my cheekbones, and mixing in with moisturizers to make them a bit thicker. If you walk into my bathroom and don’t see Vaseline, check on me. —Beth, Beauty Content Manager

NEUTROGENA

T-Sal Therapeutic Shampoo

Gross, I know, but I get breakouts all over my scalp—tiny little bumps that won’t go away for anything except when I use this once a week. This salicylic acid shampoo isn’t glamorous, but it rids my scalp of flakes and bumps for less than $10 —Beth, Beauty Content Manager

DOVE

Beauty Bar Gentle Skin Cleanser

TikTok has convinced me to let go of any other cleansers, and I haven’t looked back since. My skin has never looked and felt better (when I stick to my routine, LOL). This is something I was skeptical about at first, but it has been the best TikTok-based decision I have made to date. —Stacey, Editorial Assistant

JERGENS

Ultra-Healing Lotion

Do you know that TikTok trend going around where everyone is showing what they would smell like if you hugged them? I would smell like Jergens, but I guess that would mean I would just smell like unscented lotion (it has a subtle scent in my opinion!). I’ve used this lotion my whole life, and I’ve never experienced better absorption or hydration from anything else. It’s perfect for my sensitive skin, and I’m never straying. —Jasmine, Editorial Intern

AQUAPHOR

Healing Ointment

Mark my words: I will have a tub of Aquaphor in my bathroom drawer or bedside table until the day I die. Besides just being the most satisfying fix to my lip balm addiction (I need something on my lips at all times or else I’ll perish), I use it as a facial treatment when my skin is inflamed or extra dry (curse you, winter weather) and rub it into extra dry parts of my body (it helps with my keratosis pilaris). I also use it on cuticles or dab it on “wrinkle spots” like crow’s feet or laugh lines.

Also, don’t quote me on this (this is by no means medical advice), but I always put it on blisters or small cuts, and I swear it heals faster. Consider this my miracle cure-all that will always belong in my drawer but never be featured on my Instagram. —Josie, Wellness Editor

CERAVE

Healing Ointment

If we haven’t convinced you yet that you need some kind of healing petrolatum (see Vaseline and Aquaphor), let this be the one that sells you on it! I’ve recently added slugging (a Korean skincare practice that I found on TikTok) to my winter skincare routine because it keeps my skin hydrated, dewy, and protected from the Florida temps. Adding a tiny bit of this healing ointment at the end of my skincare routine seals in all of the moisture and benefits from my skincare products.

It is also amazing for cracked hands, lips, or any other part of you that touches winter air. Hands down, this is the top product purchase of this past year. —Krystal, Social Media Editor

AVEENO

Daily Moisturizing Lotion

I would classify my skin type as chronically dry. It doesn’t matter how much water I drink—nothing will cure my itchy skin unless it’s a daily moisturizer. This daily Aveeno moisturizer is something I have to have with me almost everywhere I go. This product has saved my chapped hands from bleeding more times than I can even count.

But my favorite part of this product is that it is made with soothing oats and other amazing ingredients. —Kirra, Graphic Designer

CERAVE

Hydrating Facial Cleanser

As we know, I have dry skin. Horribly! It’s so dry that I don’t think it’s produced a drop of oil since my pubescent years. I’m frequently at the dermatologist, and mine has always maintained that this is the best cleanser for me, and I’ve stuck to it for years. She always says that since the cleanser is on your face for such a brief time, it isn’t worth spending a lot of money on unless you need a medicated one. This is the only cleanser I’ve found that doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight or dry afterward. I can’t count the number of bottles of this I’ve gone through, and for me, it’s a lifelong love. — Kelsie, Fashion Editor

MEDLINE

Remedy Phytoplex Lip Balm

I have tried just about every lip balm under the sun and let me promise you that this is the absolute best money can buy. I don’t know what kind of magic is in it, but it’s the only thing that I feel heals my lips—and they come in a pack of three for $7.


I have one of these in every purse and drawer and crevice I can stick one in, and they’ve saved my lips, especially in the wintertime. —Kelsie, Fashion Editor

LA ROCHE-POSAY

Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

I started using this cleanser three years ago and have never looked back. When I switched to an IUD, my skin just about had a conniption, and I was at a complete loss for what to do. I loved my new birth control but not if the cost was unrelenting breakouts. At the recommendation of my dermatologist, I dropped my entire skincare routine and went super minimal: hydrating products and sunscreen in the morning and hydrating products and Retin-A at night.


This cleanser has been an absolute godsend in this area. It leaves my skin feeling hydrated and squeaky clean (makeup and all) rather than stripped and dry. Everyone needs a good gentle cleanser, and this is the best of the best. —Carrie, Managing Editor

STRIDEX

Strength Medicated Pads, Maximum

Ready for an extremely hot take? This is the only BHA product you need, and it only costs $4. Shoutout to the SkincareAddiction subreddit for this holy grail product recommendation.

Whenever I see the mere hint of a breakout coming my way, the Stridex pads come to my rescue. It stops pimples in their tracks and speeds up the healing process better than any acne product I’ve ever used. Ditch the expensive toners, give your wallet a break, and pick these up. —Carrie, Managing Editor

ECO STYLE

Professional Olive Styling Gel

No product has ever been able to get my thick curls in a sleek, neat bun like this styling gel. This tub lasts me months, and it’s the best $5 I’ve ever spent. Not only is the consistency not sticky and gooey, but it’s also super easy to wash out without your hair feeling tangled and loaded with product. I’ve tried all sorts of gels, and I find that I always go back to this one because it dries so quickly and with no residue.

When it comes to my natural hair, sometimes it just cannot be tamed, and this gel has been my secret weapon for years for combating frizz while still keeping my hair moisturized. —Madison, Social Media Coordinator

CERAVE

Moisturizing Cream with Salicylic Acid

I’ve talked about this product a million times, but I truly don’t think I’ll ever stop. It is the only product that has ever made a significant difference in the keratosis pilaris on my arms. I use it on KP problem areas after I shower, and it leaves my skin feeling much smoother and less irritated. You also really get a good bang for your buck, as this one tub lasts a very long time. —Jessie, Associate Editor

METHOD

Simply Nourish Body Wash

I’ve been a big fan of Method body washes for a while now, but I recently discovered this Simply Nourish scent—and let me tell you, it changed my life. It’s infused with coconut, rice milk, and shea butter, so it smells and feels ridiculously luxurious for its low price. It leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized, which is especially great in the cold and dry months. Plus, it’s clean, cruelty-free, and has no parabens or phthalates. It’s also pretty popular on TikTok—so best to get it before it’s gone. —Jessie, Associate Editor

L’OREAL

Double Extend Lash Extension Effect Mascara

I am shocked that this hasn’t resurfaced or blown up on TikTok over the last few years, but this product (that I’ve replaced maybe 20 times since college days) is the holy grail mascara that I can’t live without. My lashes are super long and healthy, and I fully credit this stuff.

It’s not considered waterproof, but it stays all day and through occasional tears—what can I say? I’m an emotional baddie. The reason why I love this stuff so much is that when it is time to take it off, it slides right off of my lashes with ease—no lash tugging, rubbing, or mascara bleeding down my face involved. I selfishly want to keep this one to myself, but I’m feeling generous, so do with this information what you will. —Grecia, Branded Content Editor