beauty

'I tried Selena Gomez's new makeup range Rare Beauty. Here are my honest thoughts.'

Since it was announced in early 2020, it’s been a long and much anticipated wait for the launch of Rare Beauty in Australia. 

Whilst you may not be entirely familiar with the brand, you definitely will know its superstar founder Selena Gomez. As of August 5, the range is available to shop in store and online at Sephora Australia.

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Rare Beauty is clearly a passion project for Gomez and has established from day one that it will be about more than just great beauty products. 

The Rare Impact Fund goes hand in hand with the brand and allocates one per cent of all sales to support local, national and global organisations supporting mental health education and services. 

When asked why that name was chosen Gomez said in an Instagram story, "Rare is such a special word for me. It’s all about eliminating the need for perfection and there is so much beauty in imperfection and my hope is that all of you can see that."

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The hype for this launch has been huge, probably the biggest since Fenty Beauty launched. From what I’ve seen online, reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, particularly around the quality and performance across the range. 

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Everything in the range retails for under $49 AUD and centres around the brand's philosophy of embracing imperfections and uniqueness. 

Alright, let’s get into the product reviews!  

Rare Beauty reviewed.

The range has over 130 products with 48-shades each of foundation and concealer, multiple lip and cheek formulas, eyeshadows and tools. 

Overall, the products all fall under the umbrella of being light and easy to apply, with the ability to go from barely there to a bolder look. 

If you’re familiar with Selena’s beauty looks – particularly those created with make-up artist Hung Vanngo – then this range definitely fits that vibe and makes a lot of sense.  

Here’s a look at everything I’ve purchased from the range and how I felt about it.

Image: Supplied 

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The Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation, $49 and Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer, $33, are both very lightweight and truly medium coverage products. 

They give a natural, skin-like finish with a subtle glow and can definitely be pushed dewier or matte depending on your preference. Whilst they’re both very buildable and layer well over each other, they aren’t going to give you full coverage. 

Using my usual skin prep this gave me great longevity over a 10-hour workday that involved mask-wearing, very impressive given how serum-like they both feel. 

Worth noting that whilst I chose the same shade in both products, the concealer is already a tiny bit lighter than the foundation, which results in a truly brightening effect. 

A little goes a long way with both these products and I’d recommend starting out with less than you think you need, as they’re both very buildable.  

Tools aren’t typically something I purchase on launch of a new brand, but something about the Liquid Touch Foundation Brush $49, and Liquid Touch Concealer Brush, $28, stood out to me and boy am I glad I picked these up. This is probably the most I’ve ever spent on brushes and now it’s all I want to apply my foundation with. 

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What most impressed me was how easily they help blend your base and don’t leave brushstrokes. This is absolutely my new go-to foundation applicator. 

Setting mists as a whole don’t really interest me, but I’d seen the Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Mist, $42, going a bit viral on TikTok so I thought it was worth a try. 

The mister on it is really fine, and it applies well but I didn’t see a massive benefit from this one. The scent is really strong and whilst it’s pleasant enough, it mostly comes from oils, which is a big no for me in a setting mist. 

Whilst I will continue to use it and test it in different environments, overall, this one is a pass for me and I’d save your dollars. 

The Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush, $36, is one of three products in their Stay Vulnerable collection, which also features the Liquid Eyeshadow, $34, and Glossy Lip Balm, $30, in the same five shades. 

This is a true cream formula that provides a more sheer wash of colour compared to the liquid blushes. Melting is a very accurate description, as this product basically blends itself into the skin. The overall result is a very soft finish, giving a glowy finish without being tacky (passes the hair stick test). 

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I’m the definition of lazy when it comes to eye make-up, so a one and done liquid formula is perfect for me. The shade I chose, Nearly Neutral, is fantastic by itself or I can definitely see this being a great base for a more glam look. 

It applies as a liquid but does transform to a powder texture quickly, which you can then blend out. It wears well enough by itself, but even better when you use an eyelid primer underneath. 

I would really love to see more shades, especially deeper neutrals or even some fun pastel colours in this formula. 

The Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, $34, is everything I want from a liquid blush, available in 8 shades with either a matte or dewy finish. 

It is a beautiful formula that creates a long-lasting flush, but be warned it is very pigmented and may take a few attempts to work out how best to use it. It’s highly pigmented, which I do love and blends out to a really seamless finish. 

You can see me wearing the shade Joy, which has a dewy finish in the image below. 

Image: Supplied 

I have tried many brow pencils in the last year so my bar is set pretty high. The Brow Harmony Pencil and Gel, $34, comes with the pencil on one end and tinted gel on the other, which is quite cool and useful. 

I tried the shade Warm Brown, which was not a good match for me and I did notice the shade range doesn’t have many options for lighter or blonde shades. 

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The texture of the pencil was quite soft and blended into the brows nicely, whilst the gel had a decent amount of tint but not a great deal of hold. I would probably try this again in a better shade, but it’s not a top three brow product for me. 

Of the liquid luminisers I’ve tried, the Positive Light Liquid Luminiser, $38, feels like a unique gel-like formula to me. I used the shade Enlighten, which is a super light, cool tone pearl shade. 

I tried this out under and over my base and I think the formula really lends itself to a softer, dewy finish but can also be built up to really pop. 

What really impresses me with this formula is that it didn’t impact the wear of my foundation and doesn’t look like an oil slick on my face.  

Image: Supplied 

Matte lip formulas very rarely interest me enough to purchase, but a friend of mine told me that the Lip Souffle Matte Lip Cream, $34, was worth a try - and they were absolutely right. It is very much matte finish, but definitely not drying. 

The texture and lip feel are quite light and cushiony, but without compromising on pigment or wear time. I would say it fades away to more of a tint or stain after a while – especially after eating – but compared to similar matte lip products I’ve tried, I’d rather that than the drying effect most other formulas have. 

The final product I got to test was the Stay Vulnerable Glossy Lip Balm, $30, and I opted for the shade Nearly Rose. If you know anything about me, it’s that I love a glossy tinted balm and therefore I had high expectations for this formula. 

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It’s more sheer than I was expecting, but the feel of it on the lips ticked all the boxes for me. Lightweight, hydrating and glossy without being tacky or so slippery that you end up eating it. It had decent wear-time for a gloss and left my lips feeling better than before I applied it, which is always a bonus. 

Overall, the range really does live up to how it’s described: very natural finish, lightweight feeling and buildable products. They’re all the sort of products where a little goes a long way, but the formulas blend and perform beautifully. 

The cheek and lip products particularly impressed me and I can see myself reaching for these regularly (and maybe expanding the shades I own). Also, special shout out to how lovely and luxe all the packaging feels. 

Considering the price points across the range, I’m very impressed with almost everything I tried and cannot wait to see what Rare Beauty does next.     

For the more clued-up beauty lover, yes the Australian launch was missing a few products – Sephora has said that the eyeshadow palettes and dewy lip balms will be available to shop in Australia later in the year. 

Have you tried Rare Beauty products yet? What's your thoughts? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Supplied/ Morgan Rohan

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