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?

Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Collection Review

Last year around 2020 BeautyLeeBar reviewed the original Rare Beauty collection, and today I am sharing my thoughts on the Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Collection!

I’ll be reviewing the Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush, the product I am most excited about, and the Stay Vulnerable Glossy Lip Balm.

If you haven’t heard of Rare Beauty before, it was launched in September 2020 by Selena Gomez. It is her first beauty line and proceeds go towards mental health initiatives. Built on an ethos of self-love and confidence, Rare Beauty effortlessly exudes Selena’s down-to-earth, unpretentious relatability. The company also aims to de-stigmatize mental illness, a cause close to Gomez’s heart. A portion of proceeds from each sale goes to the Rare Impact Fund, which supports organizations dedicated to promoting mental health, particularly in marginalized communities. The brand’s philanthropic strategy is informed with the help of the Rare Beauty Mental Health Council, comprised of psychiatrists and activists.

I love the Rare Beauty debut collection, especially the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush which I reviewed here.

What intrigued me the most about the Stay Vulnerable collection was the new blush formula. Rare Beauty is known for its natural, easy-to-apply products, so I couldn’t wait to see how the blushes compare to each other. 

Keep reading for my review of the Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush and the Stay Vulnerable Glossy Lip Balm!

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The Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable collection includes:

Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush in five shades $21

Stay Vulnerable Liquid Eyeshadow in five shades $20

Stay Vulnerable Glossy Lip Balm in five shades $18

Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush Review

Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Collection Review

Blush is one of the best ways to bring light and color into the face, and the Rare Beauty blushes do that in the best way possible. Some blushes are hard to apply or they make you look like a clown, but that is not the case with these products. 

The Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush is a cream blush, an in-between of liquid and powder. Cream blushes are amazing because they give you more control than liquid blushes do yet they are more pigmented than powder blushes.

I bought the shade Nearly Berry – deep berry, which is a beautiful color that compliments the deeper skin tone. This liquid-like cream blush melts into a second skin for the most natural-looking wash of soft-focus color. It’s long-lasting which I love, and you can layer it for more pigmentation. 

The best way to apply it is by using your fingers to dab onto your cheeks then blending with a brush. You can also apply it directly with a brush. Either way works which I like because sometimes it’s just easier to use your fingers. Each blush also looks great on the lips and can be worn under the collection’s gloss.

I find the Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush easier to apply compared to the original Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush. If you apply too much of the liquid blush you risk looking like a clown. The melting blush is something you need to build up for lots of pigment so it’s way more beginner-friendly. 

I tend to grab the Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush more than the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush for its convenience. Overall, I would highly recommend this blush if you’re looking for something soft and neutral! Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush is the first-of-its-kind water-resistant blush that combines pigments with a non-greasy blend of weightless oils and spherical powders for a natural flush you can’t mess up. The ultralightweight, liquid-like cream melts on contact and blends to a smooth, satin finish that won’t cake, crease, or clog pores.

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Stay Vulnerable Glossy Lip Balm

Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Collection Review

I also picked up the Stay Vulnerable Glossy Balm because a girl can never have too many lip products! I was intrigued by it as it’s a lip gloss, but also a lip balm which is a fantastic idea, but not common. 

I got the shade Nearly Berry – soft berry which is a beautiful soft reddish. It applies smoothly and isn’t sticky like most glosses. The gloss itself is neutral and light coverage. It adds just enough color to the lips where you can wear it on top of another product or alone! This has been my go-to lip product so far this summer.

If you’re looking for a gloss that is powerful and pigmented, this probably isn’t for you. But, it is great if you’re looking for an everyday lip gloss. 

The best part about the Stay Vulnerable Glossy Lip Balm is how soft it makes your lips feel. It noticeably nourishes and hydrates your lips. Like a lip mask in a gloss, this ultra-cushiony, comfortable formula hugs lips with nourishing hydration while visibly plumping them with buildable color and shine. Made with a botanical blend of lotus, gardenia, and white waterlily, it also helps soothe, calm, and nourish lips.

I would highly recommend Stay Vulnerable beauty products to anyone who’s looking for a new go-to! 

Question: Have you tried any Rare Beauty products? What are your favorites?

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Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty | Dark Skin Honest Review

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!

MORE RARE BEAUTY REVIEW FROM OTHER BEAUTIES:

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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. You can move it around; Gomez wanted every single person to be able to find their perfect shade.” You don’t have to be a makeup artist to use these products or to identify your perfect shade; you can just focus on being you.

And while the price point is fair, you can feel good about every purchase knowing that it’s going towards the $100 million that Gomez has pledged to raise for mental health services over the next 10 years via Rare Beauty’s Rare Impact Fund. “I have struggled very openly about anxiety and depression and mental health,” Gomez said. “[But] the time that I’ve taken for myself has actually just reflected in everything that I’ve been releasing. I don’t know if anyone can tell or cares but you can just see the amount of happiness that I have with what I’m given and what I’m blessed with.” If anything is reflected in Rare Beauty, it’s Gomez’s care and intentionality—her way of identifying a gap and filling it with something rare and luminous.

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We put everything to the test to see how it stood up on different skin tones and skin types.

Complexion:

Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation, $29

Liquid-Touch-Weightless-Foundation

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.

Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer, $19

What we thought: Overall, we really enjoyed using 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. However, the concealer does build up nicely and is giving you what makeup vibes, this is all skin babe! PERIOD.

Always An Optimist Illuminating Primer, $26

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.

Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, $20

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.

Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlight, $22

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.Some of the shades looked a little sparkly on rich skin tones due to the white pearl base in most of them. We recommend shades Flaunt, a pretty bronzey-gold shade, Captivate, a pinkish-orangey copper, and Reflect, a deep bronze.

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.

Blot & Glow Touch-Up Kit, $26

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.

Our Tip: Even with the puff and blotting sheets inside, this case is large enough to carry a spare mask. If you’ve been experiencing mask-related breakouts, it doesn’t hurt to carry a fresh one if you’re going to be wearing a mask for an extended period of time (like on walks or grocery shopping).

Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Prime & Set Mist, $24

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.

Lips:

Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream, $20

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!

With Gratitude Dewy Lip Balm, $16

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.

Eyes:

Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner, $19

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.

Brow Harmony Pencil & Gel, $22

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.

Brow-Harmony-Pencil-&-Gel

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.

Our Verdict:

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 Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer, and With Gratitude Dewy Lip Balm, will definitely make it into our beauty bags, but we probably would pass on the tools.

You can credit the brand’s smash success to the founder’s star power or the aesthetic packaging, but we are in the camp that these intuitive products are making a splash in the makeup space for the simplest of reasons: they do what they say they will, and more.

We’re definitely intrigued to see the formulas and products Selena brings out next. Hopefully, Selena Gomez make the Concealer bigger because this was our fave! We know Sephora isn’t allowing any testing but try to find someone there that can really help you. Sephora employees do advice that if the product isn’t your shade or up to your liking, you can always return the product(s) back. Rare Beauty 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.

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