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?

Follow These 14 Makeup Artists on Instagram for the Best Beauty Inspo

We admit it: We spend a lot of time on Instagram. Who among us can say they don’t? After all, it’s a one-stop shop for endless beauty and makeup inspo. From colorful cut crease designs to geometric shadow looks, the jaw-dropping creativity on the ‘gram never ceases to amaze us. We decided that the talented beauty experts and makeup artists behind our most-scrolled feeds deserve a shoutout, so we’re rounding up our favorites to follow right here.

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Aniyah, @aniyah.s

Even if you don’t personally have the patience to commit to elaborate eye makeup looks (and we don’t blame you), you’ll still appreciate Aniyah’s colorful, totally out-of-the-box eyeshadow creations. She often incorporates dreamy celestial elements, like stars and galaxy-Esque swirls.

Maha Alselami, @maha.gram

Maha Alselami is one of the best things to happen to our IG feeds. From funky lip art to neon eyeliner, she can truly do it all. Her work ranges from runway and editorial to everyday beats, so there’s inspo for everyone and every occasion. If you haven’t given her a follow yet, what are you waiting for?

Rowi Singh, @rowisingh

If you ask us, Rowi Singh isn’t just a makeup artist, she’s an icon. She’s constantly exploring the boundaries of makeup with her cool, colorful looks that are literal pieces of art. She’s not an influencer to follow for easy-to-create makeup looks, but rather because her creativity and innovation are inspiring.

Ehlie Luna, @ehlieluna

Not only does Ehlie Luna’s Insta offer top-notch beauty inspo, but it’s also full of informative videos with tips on how to identify your glam type, apply different types of makeup and choose which products are right for you. We’re also obsessed with her “subway series” videos in which she pulls off the seemingly impossible feat of impeccably applying lip liner on a moving train.

Jonet Williamson, @jonetwmakeup

Jonet Williamson is our go-to for easy-to-follow trend tutorials, like these fluffy brows video or this guide to nailing the siren eyes look. Her beauty ethos is all about fresh, glowy skin and bold eye and lip look.

Patrick Ta, @patrickta

Celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta tends towards a classic beauty style — think red lips, defined brows, and winged eyeliner. He’s worth a follow if you want to try to copy some of your favorite stars’ makeup, too.

Pat McGrath, @patmcgrathreal

When it comes to dreaming up runway-ready makeup looks, nobody can beat Pat McGrath. Her work is all about fantasy and sparkle. If you aren’t already a fan of glittery eyeshadow, you will be after following.

Grace Lee, @graceleebeauty

Follow Grace Lee, lead makeup artist at Maybelline New York, for her product recs and try-ons. She posts helpful videos like this one comparing different shades of lipstick, so you can decide which one you want to buy.

Sasha Chudeeva, @chudesasha

We could scroll through Sasha’s dreamy, intricate eyeliner inspiration all day. Between a cat-eye composed of tiny red hearts to a lid look with a cheeky message, each post is more whimsical than the last.

Tatiana Rose, @tatianaroseart

If there’s anything we love stumbling upon in our IG feeds, it’s creative and highly editorial makeup. Tatiana Rose nails it every single time with her magazine-worthy photos and innovative makeup, hair, and skin look. The best part? No two images look the same. Instead, she’s able to reinvent herself with an entirely different look each time she posts.

Shalini Kutti, @urshaynesss

Maybe you’re more into minimalist makeup. In that case, check out Shalini Kutti’s profile. She posts tutorials and photos of her looks, but she also shares handy infographics with beauty tips like how to remove mascara without losing eyelashes.

Shayla Mitchell, @makeupshayla

Shayla Mitchell has racked up an impressive three million followers thanks to her full glam makeup tutorials using tons of different products. She also posts “get ready with me” videos that show off her adorable outfits, too.

Nyma Tang, @nymatang

Nyma Tang’s Insta feed truly has a little bit of everything. There is pretty, shimmy eyeshadow swatches, cute nail art ideas, and fun lippy shades. The South Sudanese influencer is also known for promoting inclusive face makeup ranges, and testing products in darker complexion shades.

Erin Parsons, @erinparsonsmakeup

Erin Parsons shares her take on vintage makeup, testing out beauty looks, and techniques inspired by different eras such as the 1960s. In between her videos, she posts snapshots of iconic beauty moments from old movies and TV shows.

Photo: Aniyah

Youthforia Blush Review: Clean and Fun Makeup

Say what you want about TikTok, but it most certainly gets BeautyLeeBar credit for all of its beauty suggestions. Thanks to the app and our frequent 4 a.m. viewing, we have managed to be kept in the loop with some of beauty’s most viral products before they’ve sold out, including THE ICE FACIAL TOOL That Kourt and Kendall Love and now, the Youthforia BYO Blush.

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The BYO Blush is the world’s first color-changing blush oil that is said to include all skin types and skin tones (you had me at inclusive). Its formulation reacts to the skin’s natural pH to give your cheeks a unique pop of color. It’s supposed to make your cheeks look naturally flushed and works with and without foundation. While it is a blush, it’s technically formulated as a makeup and skincare product, which is a double win. For context, the Founder; Lee has a dry-sensitive skin type which doesn’t cause her too many issues, however certain makeup products, whether powder, water, or oil-based can leave her skin with evident dry patches, or leave her skin break out instantly, particularly on her cheeks and forehead. But there wasn’t a day that she couldn’t go on TikTok to see this infamous blush so she decided it was time put the innovative $36 BYO Blush to the test to see whether it was as good as she hoped.

@thirteenlune

@Youthforia’s BYO Blush gets a 🤌🏾 from a black girl blush entusiast

♬ KU LO SA (Edit) – KV

Youthforia truly created some next-generation blush technology, but does it work as great as it sounds? Keep reading to find out if this blush oil does create an ideal, lasting shade.

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Lee has been using her BYO Blush religiously for almost a week now and each time she is blown away by just how glowy and glass-like her cheeks look. A little certainly goes a long way with the application, and the brand recommends you start by adding two dots to your cheeks, wait a few seconds for the color to change, and then blend it out with a brush, sponge, or your fingers. Lee oscillated between her blush brush and fingers, with the latter being her preferred way as the blush looked extra glowy, and it felt much easier to control the application. However, using a brush is great for applying when out and about and when you don’t feel like coating your fingertips in a product.

The TikTok-worthy packaging includes a vibrant coral cap and transparent bottle, which unveils the green-Ish oil formula (it applies as a sheer oil and then instantaneously reacts to the skin’s pH to unveil a universally flattering shade) and is a nod to Youthforia’s super fun and playful brand message — which is exactly what founder Fiona Co Chan envisioned when creating the brand. Youthforia is a post-Covid company, and Chan tells BeautyLeeBar that she wanted the customer experience to be filled with constant excitement and optimism for all the upcoming occasions customers plan to wear their blush, whether that’s a dinner with friends, or like Lee, a long-overdue mooch around Target.

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In terms of the ingredients inside this little tube of joy, it contains 20 plant-based antioxidant-dense oils that provide targeted treatment for your cheeks, including jojoba oil and Macadamia seed oil. It’s also fragrance-free, silicone-free, vegan, and cruelty-free, making it a great option for anyone prone to sensitive skin. Each Youthforia product is certified by USDA BioPreferred Program to contain 98% biobased content (meaning there’s only 2% of fossil fuels within the formula) which has helped to reduce the brand’s carbon footprint, which is pretty impressive considering the brand is still fairly new.

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The Value: Pricey but a unique, worthwhile find

Youthforia’s BYO Blush is out of this world, and it’s the most unique product—it’s beneficial for the environment as well as your skin. At $36 for 0.22 oz., it’s a little pricey for a blush, but there’s nothing else like it on the market. A little goes a long way, so it will last you quite a while, plus the results are stunning, with a healthy, custom flush that complements any makeup or non-makeup look. The product is quite simple to blend, works wonders on Lee’s dry, sensitive skin, and heralds the beginning of something truly fresh in the makeup industry. BeautyLeeBar thinks it’s worth the investment, especially if you’re having trouble finding the right shade of blush for your skin tone.

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Final Verdict

Overall, Youthforia’s BYO Blush is definitely worth the hype and is Lee’s new go-to blush (Rare Beauty, you still have our heart okay chica). The consistency and formula have impressed us far more than any other powder and liquid blush has before — and that’s coming from a beauties who loves to coat their cheeks in a liquid blush or two.

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Youthforia’s BYO Blush Color Changing Blush Oil is the most unique and creative blush Lee has ever used. It goes on clear but quickly changes to pink on your cheeks. The texture is very smooth on the skin, and the unique technology provides the ideal natural glow appearance for your skin tone and gives your lips that natural rosy color. Youthforia’s BYO Blush works and builds beautifully. It doesn’t feel greasy, just hydrating and smooth. Oh, and the color lasts. Best lazy girl makeup product ever!

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We hope that other brands will follow in the footsteps of Youthforia, which has paved the way for pH color-changing blush oils. If you’re on the lookout for a new beauty staple for the Fall/winter, then look no further than Youthforia’s BYO Blush.

@kali.ledger

Hands down the easiest dewy blush, that actually lasts but stays dewy 🤭✨#greenblush #dewyskin #dewyblush #makeuptutorial #youthforia

♬ original sound – KALI
@nishabalsara

this is not an a d, I am just a chronic oversharer @youthforia also has some great videos on her Tiktok! #youthforiablush #colorchangingblush

♬ Wii Shop Channel – McTweet

Have my beauties tried TikTok Youthforia’s BYO Blush?! If so, what are your thoughts? Is this black/brown girl approved?

#HelloBeauties #BeautyLeeBar

How Working From Home Affected Our Relationship With Beauty

Since the spring of 2020, the BeautyLeeBar.com editors have been primarily working from home. It may not surprise you to learn that, before making these workweek changes, we all had pretty lengthy beauty regimens and loved experimenting with new products and looks on a daily. But as you can imagine, spending the majority of our workdays indoors and away from a traditional office building has inspired some changes, both in routine and mindset. Read on for the beauty lessons we learned during the pandemic

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Sara, Content Director

One of the biggest beauty lessons that I’ve learned during the pandemic (and there have been many!) is to fully lean into makeup that helps me feel most like myself — and whatever that may be is allowed to change day by day, week by week. In other words, I listen to how I’m feeling before I do my makeup every day, which is given me the freedom to have more fun with my look. Recently, I’ve been embracing nail art, bright nail polish shades, and press-on nails. I’ve got my eyes on Essie Risk Takers Only, a bright orange, for my next mani. On the skincare front, I have even more appreciation for my dermatologist’s recommendations. Since following my derm’s suggested routine, my skin has only gotten clearer, smoother, and healthier. 

Chyanne, Editor

The biggest beauty lesson I’ve learned throughout the pandemic is to not be afraid to wear lipstick — mask and all. I’ve gotten a thorough idea of what the ultimate lipstick is for me to get me through long days on Zoom calls or errands with a face mask. The recipe is matte, long-lasting, and transfer-proof. My go-to has been the NYX Professional Makeup XXL Lip Lingerie Matte Liquid Lipstick. This little tube has gotten me through it all over the past few years, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Ariel, Editor

One thing the pandemic taught me was how to master the five-minute face. Pre-pandemic, I used to wake up at least two hours early to apply a full face of makeup, pick out an outfit, and account for my commuting time. During the pandemic, those habits shifted drastically. Anyone who works from home has likely had a morning (or maybe quite a few mornings) when they woke up minutes before a Zoom meeting and had to rush to look polished before logging on. In my case, I usually swipe on mascara ( Lancôme Monsieur Big Volumizing Mascara has been my go-to for years) and a bright lip gloss, like the Benefit Cosmetics Liquid Lip Blush & Cheek Tint. Together, these makeup products pair up to make me look freshly caffeinated and awake in minutes. 

Katharina, Social Media Editor

Being at home through the pandemic has taught me two important lessons when it comes to my beauty routine. First, being utterly bare faced is completely fine. Second, when I do choose to wear makeup, there’s nothing wrong with getting a little bit bold and experimental with it. I probably wouldn’t have shown up to work without an ounce of makeup on before the pandemic but being virtual has shifted my mindset to a point where I can be fully confident in a meeting with nothing on my face but some light, natural mascara (I swear by the Maybelline Green Edition Mega Mousse for a no-makeup makeup look). I also have the freedom to play with my makeup a little bit more; if I want a bold lip in the morning and a subtle gloss in the afternoon, I have my entire makeup kit at my fingertips and can play around with my look.

Crystal Lee, Founder

Pre-pandemic, you could find me wearing only full-coverage foundations and concealers to hide any skin imperfection. You would never catch me with a bare face, especially if I was walking into the office or going out to eat with friends. After countless social distancing parameters and countless Zoom meetings, I’ve found myself becoming more comfortable with embracing my skin’s natural texture and opting for products that have a “your skin but better” feel. I’ve started leaning on buildable, lightweight foundations like the Valentino Beauty Very Valentino 24-Hour Wear Liquid Foundation on the days I decide to wear makeup. It leaves my skin with a natural look without the heavy feel of foundation.