I love makeup. I find it to be such a fun way to express yourself. I love to do bold eye looks, trying to find the most shiny and popping highlighter, and am always experimenting with different colors and looks. Almost six years later and I own so much makeup, I'm almost a VIB Rogue at Sephora and it's a problem.
If you know me, then you know that the two things I cannot live without is my knee high boots and my winged eyeliner. Those two things alone always have me feeling incredibly confident and ready to take on whatever the day has in store.
I always get questions from people though about what brands I use and how I do my eye looks, so while I'm not a beauty or makeup blogger, I figured I would share some of my favorite makeup brands I've discovered over the years that make quality products that will last you a long time and produce good results. Plus, with the holidays coming up, you might want some ideas on what makeup brands to look for good makeup to get your friends, family member, or partner.
So What Makes a Good Makeup Brand?
How Inclusive Are They?
What I mean by inclusive is do they have products for every skin tone? Every skin type? Every undertone? etc. It's only been recently that the makeup industry has really started making sure their products are inclusive to people of all color (thank you Rihanna), but it's also 2020, makeup brands have no excuse anymore to not create products for anyone and everyone.
How Is The Quality and Do They Deliver On Their Promises.
Are their full coverage products really full coverage? Are their matte products matte? Do you have to reapply a lot throughout the day? Are their eyeshadows pigmented? Are their highlighters popping? Do their lipsticks bleed? Are their powders too dry and crumble easily? I don't know about you, but I hating buying a product and realizing that the product has terrible quality and doesn't do what I bought it to do.
Makeup can be really expensive, but not all products are worth what their brands price them at. The quality of the product needs to match the price that it is set at. I have a number for each makeup product that I refuse to go over. For example, I personally refuse to spend more than $50 on an eyeshadow palette. In my opinion, there is nothing you can do to eyeshadow that will make it worth spending that much. I've bought so many good products from brands that I feel like should be charging more that I know that there are some brands that are literally only out for your money.
What Are The Brands Values?
What do they stand for? What charities and organizations do they donate to? Are they cruelty free? Vegan? How involved in their communities are they? I try to always do my research on a brand before I buy from them because I would prefer to give my money to an organization that I feel is doing what they can to make the world a better place.
Now you know what I feel like makes a good makeup brand, but what makeup brands do I actually use and recommend? Everything on the list below checks off all of the reasons above, and I own at least one product from that brand.
This is first on the list because they has been my go to brand for literally everything for years. Back when I first discovered good makeup, tarte was the first brand that I bought from. Even now, probably about 60% of the makeup I own in from tarte. They have a wide variety of eyeshadow palettes that are super pigmented and easy to blend. Their matte lipsticks are amazing and I rarely ever have a problem with smudging. Their Double Take liner is my go to eyeliner and their Shape Tape concealer is literally a holy grail.
Plus, they're completely vegan and cruelty free, are super eco friendly, and do a lot of campaigns to clean up the ocean and donate to wildlife reserves. They are also LGBTQ+ friendly, support Black Lives Matter, and are apart of a movement to end cyber bullying.
To start with, I love Rihanna. She's an icon. Not only did she revolution the makeup industry by creating the first inclusive makeup brand with the first line of foundation to have over 40 shades, it's an amazing foundation. It wasn't like she created a super inclusive line that sucks. No, she put out a great foundation that has buildable coverage and has a flawless finish. It's the only foundation I'll buy now. I just need her to release a powder foundation now for those days I'm too lazy to put on a full face.
She created quality products that works on every skin tone imaginable. Her Stunna red lipstick? Still one of the best reds I've ever bought, and I'm extremely pale so I've always felt like red washes me out and makes me look like Snow White. Her highlighters are some of the best I've bought because they're so pigmented and pop so well on your skin. Plus they're all sorts of fun colors; my favorite one is Wattabrat, her pink highlighter. I also really love her eyeliner and mascara. They do wonders for my eye looks.
Not only that, but Rihanna has a charity that she founded in honor of her grandparents that focuses on helping children, especially young girls, get an education and also helps create and fund health and emergency response programs around the world.
I really love my Too Faced Melted Matte Lipstick, like it's one of the best lipsticks I own. It doesn't smudge, it's creamy, it lasts a really long time -even when eating or smooching up on my husband- and looks amazing. If I'm being really honest, thats the only product I personally own by them, but my friend Jordan owns a bunch of their stuff and I've gotten to play around with it and look at it when I hang out with her and I need. The highlighters are so creamy and pigmented and look amazing on your skin, and the eyeshadows are great colors.
They are also cruelty free, but there isn't a lot of information out there about what social initiatives they're apart of or what charities they donate to, but their Instagram is full of photos from makeup artists of color or from the LGBT community so they are inclusive.
Anastasia Beverly Hills
I've never been disappointed with any product I've gotten from Anastasia. I currently own have two eyeshadow palettes and a highlighter palette. The colors are amazing and so creamy and pigmented, and they last all day even without primer or setting spray.
They are cruelty free. They also support the LGBT community and the idea that makeup is for everyone regardless of gender, race, sexuality, etc. They also pledged to donate 1 million dollars total this year to be split between black owned business, organizations like the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, The Innocence Project, Black Visions Collective, The Marshall Project, and Black Lives Matter, and things like community restoration, enrichment programs, and youth oriented organizations. You can read more about it here.
I put this last on the list because I feel like they so often get overlooked because they're not as expensive, but I love everything I've ever bought that is Sephora brand. Most specifically, I love the $8 #Lipstories collection. They are some of the creamiest and longest lasting lipsticks I've bought and they're by far the cheapest. I also use them as my go to for stick eyeliner and color correctors.
Sephora has also always been super open about their support for the LGBTQ+ community, Black Lives Matter, the environment, helping abuse victims, and other super important issues like world education. They have a website called Sephora Stands where you can find all of the information about what they stand for, what charities they donate to, and how they are trying to make this world a better place.
There you have it! My top five makeup brands that you should buy from because they have good products, they're inclusive, they have great values, and they aren't insanely expensive in the process!
Just remember, you don't need makeup to be pretty, but there's nothing wrong with having fun and adding a little sparkle and glam to your life. If you have any more questions about makeup or just want someone to ooo and aaahh over pretty sparkly palettes with you, hit me up! I love that stuff.
Take a shot for all of the money I've spent on makeup over the last couple years and toast to makeup brands that are actually worth giving my money to.