Being once the most followed person on Instagram and now ranking at number 5 with her 243 million followers, Selena Gomez has quite the influence in the world. So it was no surprise that when the singer and actress announced she has been working on her very own makeup brand for the past two years called Rare Beauty, launching in September 2020, it was the talk of the town and the launch was eagerly awaited. Chances are that, even if you don’t follow Selena Gomez, you would have somehow heard about Rare Beauty on social media anyway. The range, sold exclusively through the brand’s website and Sephora in the US, Canada and Mexico, was an immediate hit and everyone was talking about it. The collection has since expanded from the original offering of mainly skin products including a primer, concealer, foundation, highlighters, liquid blushes and additional matte liquid lipsticks, the Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream.

But as with most celebrity beauty launches, it can be difficult to distinguish whether the products’ popularity is down their celebrity status or whether they are actually any good. So today, we are going to have a close look at the products on offer, as well as the brand philosophy and some customer reviews to see whether they are truly worth your money. Read on!

About Rare Beauty

Rare Beauty is a makeup brand created with the intention for its wearer to feel good and themselves without hiding what makes them unique but rather embrace it. Rare Beauty wants to celebrate’s people’s individuality, uniqueness and “imperfections” and break down traditional standards of beauty and perfection which are ultimately unrealistic. A quote from the brand’s founder, Selena Gomez herself, reads, “Being rare is about being comfortable with yourself. I’ve stopped trying to be perfect. I just want to be me.”

Rare Beauty is vegan and cruelty free, certified by PETA, and is formulated with sensitive skin in mind. Its price point sits in the mid-range, being not overly expensive but also not exactly affordable, with products ranging from $16 to $29. The company focuses heavily on inclusivity, as reflected in the wide range of 48 shades of its Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation and Brightening Concealer available. The brand’s website offers a helping hand in choosing the right shade for your skin tone in the form of a shade finding tool or the shade match live chat if you are still unsure. The initial launch focused mainly on skin makeup products, the building foundation of any makeup look. Since then, Rare Beauty has expanded its range, adding several eyeshadow palettes, liquid eyeshadows and tinted glossy lip balms among others.

About Us

Rare Impact

Selena has made it clear from the beginning that she doesn’t want Rare Beauty to just be another beauty brand or just another celebrity line. Instead, she wants to the brand to have a positive impact in the world. The focus of the brand is mental health and making mental health services and help more accessible to young people in educational settings.

As someone who has herself struggled with mental health issues and felt relieved once she got the help she needed and understood why she sometimes feels the way she does, this cause is close to the founder’s heart as she herself wasn’t really aware of mental health in her younger years as it wasn’t widely talked about. That’s why the starlet wants to use her platform to raise awareness and connect people to the resources and the services that they need. When clicking on the Rare Impact tab on the company website, resources like help lines and helpful articles on the topic of mental health appear, with titles such as, ‘Know the Warning Signs of a Mental Health Condition’ or ‘What is Self-Love?’.

Rare Impact

The Rare Impact Fund is then Rare Beauty’s commitment to uphold that mission, donating 1% of all sales and raising additional funds to increase access to mental health services in educational settings for young people. The Rare Impact Fund page shares some alarming (and referenced) statistics such as suicide being the second leading cause of death in the Gen Z community and only 16% of all children in the US receiving mental health assistance in school environments where they spend the majority of their time.

Pros
  • Wide range of shades
  • Elegant and original packaging
  • Supports good cause by donating 1% of sales to fund accessibility to mental health services
  • Vegan and cruelty free - certified by PETA
  • Committed to environmental sustainability - recyclable packaging
  • Formulated for sensitive skin
  • Dermatologist tested
  • 30-day return policy
  • Available in Sephora worldwide in selected countries
  • Free shipping on domestic orders over $50
Cons
  • Very limited worldwide availability and accessibility with many major countries not able to buy Rare Beauty
  • Brand's own site doesn't ship internationally
  • Some products are more pricey than most other brands

Rare Beauty Face Products Review

Always an Optimist Pore Diffusing Primer

Always an Optimist Pore Diffusing Primer is one of the new additions to the range. Rare Beauty originally launched with the Always an Optimist Illuminating Primer which gives the skin a natural looking dewy glow. On the other hand, the new primer is more mattifying, smoothing the appearance of pores and skin’s texture. Both primers retail at $26 for a 0.94 fl. oz. bottle or $14 for the mini 0.50 fl. oz. version which for a primer is pricey, however, a little goes a long way and it is a lot of product to begin with so it will last you a long time.

According to the brand, it can be worn on its own if you don’t want to wear any heavy makeup and foundation, just to even out the skin’s texture and give it a blurring effect. But it works particularly well under foundation as it gives the face the perfect smoothed-out base and it grips onto the foundation and makes it last longer.

The Pore Diffusing Primer is also hydrating due to the presence of hyaluronic acid which is often used in a serum form in skincare but is also naturally produced by our skin as it attracts and holds onto moisture in the skin.

The texture of the product is that of a gel which glides onto the skin and when blending almost feels silky or silicone-like before it sets into the skin, leaving it looking smoother than before.

The brand philosophy of supporting mental health, as well as encouraging customers to feel good when using and wearing the makeup, is also reflected in the very positive names of the products, as with the Always an Optimist primers or in eyeshadow, blush and lipstick shades like Inspire, Faith and Grateful.

Always an Optimist Pore Diffusing Primer

Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation

The Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation is a liquid foundation available in 48 shades. The formula is designed to be very liquid, almost like a serum. This foundation is very buildable which means you can achieve both a very natural look with less product and a full coverage finish by adding more of the foundation. But again, as with the primer, a little goes a long way.

If you’re unsure about what shade would match your skin tone best, the brand’s website offers a tool called the Shade Finder to help you by:

  • asking you to choose the shade group that best matches your skin, presenting 6 different pictures within one group
  • then asking you to pick your undertone from warm (covering yellow, peach and golden), neutral (not too pink, not too yellow) and cool options (with pink, red and blue)
  • then choose the skin tone that’s closest to yours

The Shade Finder will then determine the best match for you. If you are still unsure, you can utilize the Shade Match Live Chat where a Rare Beauty expert will do a one-on-one shade matching based on your current foundation, a photo of you and a series of questions about your skin.

Sold in a 1 fl. oz. bottle, the foundation retails at $29 which is a standard price for this type of product. It comes with a doe foot applicator instead of a pump which is more common for concealers or lip glosses and liquid lipsticks. Before use, the bottle needs shaking for the metal ball inside to mix the formula. The packaging is very elegant with the clear bottle topped by a white lid with a sphere.

While the doe foot brush is good for applying, it is best to use either a makeup brush or a sponge to distribute and blend the foundation into your skin. Rare Beauty sells its own foundation brush with a pretty powder pink handle for $28 and a sponge with a diamond-shaped tip for $7. You can also easily use your fingers which is also encouraged as the warmth from your skin will help the pigments melt into skin.

Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation

Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush

Another one of the more recent additions, the Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush is a cream-based blush, part of the Stay Vulnerable collection, which also includes a liquid eyeshadow and a glossy lip balm. Launched in January 2021, this collection is everyday wear kind of makeup, especially perfect for summer when you don’t want to wear any heavy makeup, only a little hint of color that looks very natural. The inspiration behind the collection, and the blush in particular, is vulnerability being our strength and the flush of color we get in our cheeks when we blush, when we become vulnerable.

Available in 5 colorways, the blush doesn’t feel greasy, sticky or heavy, has a satin finish and a blurring effect. It comes in a powdery pink compact case with a mirror and with 0.17 oz of product retails for $21.

If you’re after a more pigmented blush that is also more buildable, the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush that was released with the initial launch is just that and is available in 8 shades, both in matte and glossy finishes.

Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush

Rare Beauty Eye Products Review

Discovery Eyeshadow Palette

Eye products were notably missing when Rare Beauty first came out and were only later added to the range. One of the most recent releases by the brand is the Discovery Eyeshadow Palette with three neutral matte shades, three shimmery shadows and one glitter shade, selling for $29. The palette gives a good range of textures, as well as colors for building a complete eye look. The colors are very pigmented and don’t crease which you can also make sure of by adding the brand’s new eyeshadow primer. The shades are:

  • Undeniable – matte purple taupe
  • Genuine – matte peach
  • Passionate – duo-chrome magenta gold
  • Accepting – 3D glitter in rose to bronze shades with a slightly tacky texture which helps it to adhere to the eyelid without having to use glitter glue
  • Loyal – matte warm brown
  • Positive – metallic pink champagne
  • Pure – metallic true gold

The packaging is again very striking with a minimalistic nude compact case with a mirror and the logo in raised gold lettering. Inside, the eyeshadows are each shaped as a moon crest with the glittery shadow in a circle in the middle, reminiscent of the moon phases.

Discovery Eyeshadow Palette

Always an Optimist Weightless Eye Primer

The Always an Optimist Weightless Eye Primer is a slightly tinted eyeshadow primer with a creamy texture that smooths your eyelids, prepares them for your eyeshadow which it holds onto to, preventing your makeup look from creasing, smudging or fading throughout the day. It has a blurring effect, doesn’t feel sticky and its tint makes the color of any eyeshadow pop even more.

The primer comes with a doe foot applicator but can easily be blended with your fingers.  A 0.10 fl. oz. bottle costs $18 which is not the cheapest, considering that some of the eye products don’t even really need to be worn with this product. For example, the Stay Vulnerable Liquid Eyeshadow doesn’t crease and stays put for the whole day without applying the brand’s eye primer.

Always an Optimist Weightless Eye Primer

Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner

Inspired by Selena’s go-to winged eyeliner makeup look, the Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner is available only in classic black. The formula is waterproof and the pen design with a flexible tip makes precision more achievable even for cat eye beginners. The formula allows for a long-lasting wear without flaking or fading. It is recommended to shake the product before applying to allow the brush to get soaked up.

When closed with the lid on, the liner’s light pink case looks like a chic ink pen, making it a joy to use. The liner retails for $19.

Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner

Rare Beauty Lip Products Review  

Stay Vulnerable Glossy Lip Balm

Much like the Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush, the Glossy Lip Balm brings a wash of color to your lips in the matching 5 shades to the blush, which looks like it could be your own with an added sheen of the glossy finish. Perfect for everyday wear and a natural makeup look.

The formula, applied with a doe foot brush, is moisturising and comfortable as it acts as both a lip balm and a lip gloss, without feeling sticky. The balm retails for $18 and comes in a 0.12 fl. oz size.

Stay Vulnerable Glossy Lip Balm

Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream

If only a hint of color is not what you’re looking for, then steer your attention to the Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream providing the lips with lots of pigment and some bright pops of color in its 12 available shades, from a signature red shade with an orange undertone called Inspire to a fuchsia named Ascend. Both of which happen to be Selena’s favorite shades to wear.

Despite the matte finish and thanks to the creamy texture, the Lip Soufflé (a name that sounds super delicious) doesn’t feel at all dry, not even later in the day, but rather hydrates the lips. It feels lightweight and almost airy and the small and precise applicator makes the cream easy to apply. Considering the rather innovative formula, a price point of $20 we believe is reasonable.

Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream

Customer Reviews

To find any negative feedback for Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez is a challenge as most people have only good things to say about it. Both when it comes to customer and influencer reviews. On the brand’s website, most products have a rating of around 4.7/5. On Sephora’s website, the reviews are a little bit more mixed but still earning the brand’s foundation for example a rating of 4.2/5 based on over 4200 reviews, with 82% that would recommend this product to others. Here is an example of some of the customer feedback:

“I was afraid it might not work with my very oily skin but it´s actually very blendable, it feels really good for the skin, I do use a pore diffusing primer first though just to be safe. It does tend to hold onto some patches but other than that it has a very nice lightweight and smooth finish.”

“Pleasantly surprised with this foundation. Lightweight, lasts all day, gives me a dewy look. Wasn’t sure about the dispenser, given how you touch your face with the applicator and put it back in the product…but so far, no issues. I just finished a bottle – I’m buying another one!!”

Customer Reviews

Where to Buy Rare Beauty

Rare Beauty was initially only available through the company’s website which only ships domestically to the US and through Sephora in the US, Canada and Mexico. But as of July 1st 2021, Rare Beauty is available in Sephora worldwide, in countries including France, Spain, Germany, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait, with selected countries in Asia and the Pacific region getting the brand later this summer.

Rare Beauty Shipping and Return Policy

Shipping

Rare Beauty ships only within US territories and doesn’t offer international shipping at present. The shipping fee is $6 or for order over $50, it’s free.

Returns

The brand has a 30-day return policy in place, offering a full refund. However, shipping fees won’t be refunded and return fees won’t be covered by the brand.

Rare Beauty Promotions & Discounts

Rare Beauty offers customers $5 off their next order over $30, if they sign up for the brand’s newsletter.

Contact Rare Beauty

If you have any other questions that were not answered in this extensive Rare Beauty review, feel free to get in touch with the brand directly through:

  • Live chat on the company’s website
  • Email at [email protected]
  • Call 1-888-892-RARE (7273) from Monday to Friday between 7am–4pm PT
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • TikTok
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest

Rare Beauty: Editors Verdict

Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez is essentially a celebrity line by a singer and actress that has no background in makeup. And yet, that’s not at all what it feels like. From the beautiful packaging, innovative formulas, the natural finishes and rich pigments to the fact it is vegan and cruelty free and its commitment to do good in the world – we cannot get enough of this brand and for one, we can’t wait for it to be available in more countries worldwide. So to put it plainly and answer the million dollar question – is Rare Beauty worth it? The answer is a big yes.