I've tested every product in Selena Gomez's makeup line, and almost every item is worth buying

·12 min read
I've tested every product in Selena Gomez's makeup line, and almost every item is worth buying
rare beauty makeup review
I'm a fan of Rare Beauty, and am impressed with what Selena Gomez has created.Amanda Krause/Insider
  • Selena Gomez launched a cosmetics brand called Rare Beauty in 2020.

  • I've tried every item from the brand's range, and love what Gomez and her team have created.

  • I especially love Rare Beauty's liquid blush, lipsticks, and liquid eyeliner.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Editor's note: Rare Beauty provided Insider with its range of products for review, which usually retail for a combined $559.

The first product I tried from Rare Beauty was the Always An Optimist Illuminating Primer.

rare beauty primer
Even on my hand, the primer looked illuminating.Amanda Krause/Insider

The $26 water-based primer is said to smooth, hydrate, and illuminate skin without being sticky. It's also made without silicones, which can clog pores and cause breakouts.

When I first tested the product on my hand, I could immediately see how it's infused with ultra-fine pearls that give it a glowing finish.

I loved how the product looked on my skin, and would even consider wearing it on its own.

rare_beauty_primer_review
My skin quickly looked less dull after applying the primer.Amanda Krause/Insider

As the Rare Beauty website suggests, I applied two pumps of the primer across my face before using foundation and concealer. The product quickly gave my skin a pearlescent glow, and also created a tacky — yet non-sticky — base for my makeup.

While I typically like to wear foundation to conceal my redness and acne scars, I could easily see myself wearing this primer on its own during a no-makeup day.

Next, I tried the Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation.

rare beauty foundation review
The foundation packaging was made with arthritis in mind.Amanda Krause/Insider

According to the Rare Beauty website, the $29 foundation is meant to feel weightless, breathable, and like your own skin. The product, sold in 48 shades, is also said to provide medium to full coverage, even your skin tone, conceal pores, and last all day.

The product is packaged in a matte, transparent bottle with a round, screw-top lid. And rather than utilizing a pump, the foundation also features a thick, doe-foot applicator.

To apply the product, I used both the Liquid Touch Multi-Tasking Sponge and the Liquid Touch Foundation Brush.

rare beauty sponge brushes review
I tried both Rare Beauty's face sponge and foundation brush.Amanda Krause/Insider

The $14 sponge is diamond-shaped on top, flat on each side, and rounded on the bottom. Rare Beauty recommends that users wet the sponge before using it.

There's also the $28 brush, which is made from "patent-pending vegan-fiber technology." The brush's marquis shape is said to blend foundation without causing streaks, as it "mimics the shape and bounce of your fingertip."

I used shade 130N of the foundation, which felt like a serum on my skin.

rare beauty foundation
I like Rare Beauty's foundation, though it didn't do a great job of covering my acne.Amanda Krause/Insider

Rare Beauty says its foundation is "serum-like," and I agree with that description. Its liquid formula melted into my skin, and overall felt pretty lightweight — albeit a touch greasy and slippery when first applied (I've found that it dries down nicely after a few minutes of wear).

With approximately two layers, I could achieve a shining base across my forehead and cheeks. I did find myself wanting concealer to better cover my acne, and I didn't love how it sat on top of some dry patches. Still, I was impressed.

In terms of tools, I love how the brush applies the foundation — it only takes a minute or so to create a smooth, even base. The sponge is also nice, but not necessarily worth the price, in my opinion.

There's also the Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer.

rare beauty concealer review
Though much smaller, Rare Beauty's concealer looks very similar to its foundation.Amanda Krause/Insider

At $19 per bottle, the concealer is said to hide blemishes, dark circles, redness, and fine lines without creasing or caking. Like Rare Beauty's foundation, its meant to provide medium coverage that's buildable.

Also like the foundation, Rare Beauty's concealer features a doe-foot applicator, and is packaged in a small, matte bottle with a round cap.

I applied the product using Rare Beauty's Liquid Touch Concealer Brush, and enjoyed how it concealed and brightened my skin.

rare beauty concealer
Rare Beauty's concealer is very brightening, though it did crease under my eyes.Amanda Krause/Insider

Rare Beauty's concealer in shade 130N blended nicely into my skin, and did a good job of brightening my under-eye area. It also helped to mask the blemishes across my chin and neck, which were still slightly visible after applying the brand's foundation.

I also liked using Rare Beauty's $16 concealer brush to apply the product, as it's the perfect size and shape. Unfortunately, the concealer did settle into lines underneath my eyes pretty quickly, though it held up well across the rest of my face throughout the day.

I then filled in my eyebrows using Rare Beauty's Brow Harmony Pencil and Gel.

rare beauty brow pencil
Rare Beauty combined two brow products into one.Amanda Krause/Insider

The $22 double-ended product features a triangular-shaped brow pencil on one side, and a tinted brow gel on the other. According to Rare Beauty, the product is meant to be buildable.

The brow product is easy enough to use, though personally I'm not sure it's worth purchasing.

rare beauty brow product
Rare Beauty's eyebrow product is nice, but not memorable.Amanda Krause/Insider

In my experience, the pencil end of this product was extremely soft and melted into the skin, therefore making it difficult to slowly build up its color on my brows. I did, however, enjoy the convenience of having a tinted gel attached on the opposite end.

The product is just fine, but, in my opinion, it could easily be replaced by similar products from the drugstore.

Next, I experimented with Rare Beauty's Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner.

rare beauty eyeliner
Rare Beauty's liquid eyeliner is sold in a matte-black shade.Amanda Krause/Insider

The eyeliner pen retails for $19, and is currently sold in a single shade: matte black. Rather than featuring a felt tip, it's packed with 1,000 vegan bristles that are said to create "easy, precise lines."

The product is also said to last throughout the day without fading, feathering, or flaking.

The liquid eyeliner was extremely precise.

rare beauty eyeliner review
I love how versatile Rare Beauty's liquid eyeliner is.Amanda Krause/Insider

I have hooded, oily eyelids, so I first applied eye-shadow primer and a layer of eye shadow to prepare for the liner.

Overall, I was impressed by how thin a line the bristled tip on this eyeliner could achieve — it applied beautifully in my inner corner, and also flicked nicely into a wing.

Over the course of a day, the liner stayed put across my eyelids, and looked as though I'd just applied it. The only gripe I had with this product is that it's almost too long-lasting, and I had trouble removing it at the end of the day.

From there, I applied the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush.

rare beauty blush swatches
From top to bottom: Bliss (matte), Joy (dewy), Happy (dewy), and Grace (matte).Amanda Krause/Insider

Each blush from Rare Beauty retails for $20. There are currently eight shades available in a mix of matte and dewy finishes, all of which are said to provide pigmented, long-lasting color with just a tiny bit of product.

Over the course of a week, I tried four of the shades. From top to bottom, there's Bliss (matte), Joy (dewy), Happy (dewy), and Grace (matte).

The liquid blushes are definitely my favorite item from Rare Beauty's current product range.

rare beauty blush review
These blushes are easily worth their $20 price tag.Amanda Krause/Insider

Rare Beauty's blushes are extremely pigmented, buildable, and long-lasting. I'm a huge fan of the shade Bliss, though I also really enjoy the three other colors I've tried.

Because the blushes are a liquid formula, I've found that I get the most manageable color by tapping my finger on the doe-foot applicator, and then spreading just a single dot or two of the product — depending on how much color I want — across each cheek.

For some glow, I then applied the Positive Light Liquid Luminizer to each cheek and the tip of my nose.

rare beauty highlighter review
From top to bottom, there's Enlighten, Enchant, Outshine, and Mesmerize.Amanda Krause/Insider

Rare Beauty's liquid highlighters retail for $22 per bottle, and are said to be buildable, long-lasting, and blendable with other makeup. The brand sells eight shades at the time of writing; I tried the four lightest.

From top to bottom, there's Enlighten, Enchant, Outshine, and Mesmerize.

I think Rare Beauty's highlighters are stunning, though I preferred wearing them without the brand's foundation underneath.

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In these photos, I'm applying and wearing the shade Enchant.Amanda Krause/Insider

Rare Beauty's liquid highlighters are perfect for achieving a natural radiance. I've tried applying them with both my fingers and the brand's sponge, and have found that I prefer the latter method to create a brighter shine.

Unfortunately, I'm disappointed in how these highlighters sit atop the brand's foundation and concealer. In my experience, applying the liquid highlighter lifts the base products I apply earlier, creating streaks and smudges that I then have to fix.

Still, I'd highly recommend these highlighters to be worn alone on the skin, or on top of a tackier foundation.

Rare Beauty has lots of lip products to choose from, including the Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Creams.

rare beauty lipstick review
From top to bottom, there's Energize, Inspire, Heroic, Brave, Courage, and Daring.Amanda Krause/Insider

These air-whipped lipsticks are sold in 12 shades, and retail for $20 each. Rare Beauty's website says the products provide "full color," and therefore make lips look "fuller, smoother, and more plump."

I tried the shades Energize, Inspire, Heroic, Brave, Courage, and Daring.

Though I don't love every shade I've tried, I can definitely see myself throwing two or three of these in my makeup bag.

rare beauty lipstick swatches
Left column: Energize, Heroic, and Courage. Right column: Inspire, Brave, Daring.Amanda Krause/Insider

These lipsticks perfectly compliment the rest of Rare Beauty's products. They're less intense — and much more comfortable — than your standard liquid lipstick, though they still provide enough color to make a statement.

I personally enjoyed the cake-like scent of the lipsticks, as well as the whipped texture, which made my lips feel soft and smooth throughout the day. My personal favorite shades are Inspire, Heroic, and Brave.

Courage, Daring, and Energize are also pretty, in my opinion, though they're a bit more sheer than the lipsticks I prefer to wear.

If you prefer glossy lips, Rare Beauty's With Gratitude Dew Lip Balms might be for you.

rare beauty lip balm review
From left to right, there's Thankful, Praise, Blessed, and Honor.Amanda Krause/Insider

The lip balms retail for $16, and are said to moisturize your lips, provide sheer color, and not feel greasy. At the time of writing, there are eight shades available, of which I tried four: Thankful, Praise, Blessed, and Honor.

The lip balms are also packaged in sleek, cream-colored tubes that look high-end. Still, they don't snap shut, so I worry they might open if thrown into a purse or makeup bag.

I personally enjoyed using the lip balms, though I'm not sure I can justify their $16 price tag.

rare beauty lip balm swatches
Left column: Honor and Praise. Right Column: Blessed and Thankful.Amanda Krause/Insider

Like other items from Rare Beauty, these lip balms provide the perfect balance of color, shine, and moisture. They're smooth on the lips, and last much longer than you might expect — they only started to dissipate after eating, in my experience.

And with a bright pigment, they would be perfect to wear in winter when I want to moisturize my chapped lips but also add some color.

Still, they're $16 each, and I personally can't justify spending that much on a lip balm when brands like e.l.f. Cosmetics, Burt's Bees, and Revlon sell similar items for nearly a quarter of the price.

Finally, I tested the Always An Optimist 4-In-1 Mist, and the Blot & Glow Touch-Up Kit.

rare beauty spray review
I personally am not a fan of either item.Amanda Krause/Insider

The $24 spray is said to be multipurpose: It calms the skin, primes the face, and keeps your makeup fresh, according to Rare Beauty. My makeup didn't seem to last longer when I sprayed it on top, though I did enjoy the mist's earthy scent. I also preferred using it on no-makeup days when I wanted to cool down.

And while I was excited to try the $26 touch-up kit, I wasn't all that impressed by its results. Sure, it's blotting sheets remove excess oil, but I don't notice any major difference after using the pre-filled powder puff.

Overall, Rare Beauty will be best for people who prefer natural and glowing makeup looks. Still, I think there's something for everyone.

rare beauty makeup review
I'm a fan of Rare Beauty, and am impressed with what Selena Gomez has created.Amanda Krause/Insider

In all honesty, it's a bit difficult to achieve the full-coverage, glam look you might be used to seeing online with Rare Beauty's current range — but that's OK. After testing each item from the line, it's clear to me that the brand was created to help people enhance their natural features rather than create new ones.

And in my opinion, Rare Beauty offers products that will help you achieve just that. Since first trying the brand in 2020, Rare Beauty's foundation, concealer, blushes, eyeliner, and more have all become staples of my daily routine.

Of course, it's easy to lump Rare Beauty in with every other celebrity-owned makeup line out there, but in my opinion, this brand really does hold its own in an oversaturated industry.

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