These days, a new beauty brand launches what seems like every month. And while being inundated with yet another brand may feel overwhelming, my personal opinion is every brand brings something different to the table—whether it be an extensive shade range, a multifunctional product, or a new ingredient. To me, celebrity brands are no different. Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian West, Rihanna, and Jessica Alba have all created brands that represent their own unique beauty philosophies, and it's apparent in not just their products, but in their packaging, marketing campaigns, and overall feel during application, too.
For frame of reference, my title as a beauty writer requires me to test out tons of products weekly (I have a tough job, I know). As a result, I've reached a point where I know what works with my features (chalky eyeshadow won't work on my creasy eyelids), my standards elevate with the price tag, and I typically know if I like a product early on (though I'll still give it a fair shot). Below, find my review on the top-rated products from four celebrity makeup lines to see if I find them truly deserving of a high rating.
Kylie Jenner's matte lipstick and liner duos were the first products she launched at her company's inception. And, the Lip Kits still hold the title as Kylie Cosmetics' top-rated product (pretty impressive seeing as how they've launched dozens of collections since). While the Lip Kits are available in three different formulas (matte, velvet, and metal), I find the velvets to be the perfect option for those who want a matte look, but require a formula that's compatible with naturally dry lips (namely, me). I find them significantly more comfortable to wear than their matte counterparts, and they still hold the same amount of high-pigment color.
Across all three formulas, all Lip Kits are composed of a liquid lipstick and matching lip liner duo. Applying the liner underneath the liquid lipstick not only reduces the need to reapply, but it helps with the product's longevity through eating, drinking, and talking as well. (FYI, on its own, the liquid lipstick has impressive staying power—I'm able to get a five-hour wear out of it before it begins to fade). I also find the price point to be spot on for the quality and amount of product you're getting. Overall, I own several shades of the Lip Kits (admittedly, I even have some repeats), and you'd definitely find a shade or two in my purse if you search me.
If there's one celebrity with consistently enviable beauty looks, it's Kim Kardashian West. So, when she came out with KKW Beauty, I was excited to see what she had to offer. As a consumer, I love that the brand takes into account customer feedback (they began selling the contour sticks individually and doubled the amount of product as a response to fan requests). The brand's top-rated product, a '90s-inspired 10-pan Matte Collection Eyeshadow Palette, represents the decade Kardashian West fell in love with makeup. For someone who is extremely particular with matte eyeshadow formulations (thanks to the many wrinkles on my eyelids), I was skeptical.
Color-scheme wise, the Matte Smoke Eyeshadow Palette is suited for those who are looking for a cool-tone, day-to-night palette. It's a mix of neutral taupes, smoky greys, and deep browns. The Matte Cocoa Eyeshadow Palette is more my speed, featuring everyday warm-tone eyeshadows that complement my olive undertones. While a few of the shades seemed repetitive to me, I was thoroughly impressed by their performance. The formula was smooth, had minimal fallout, and was extremely blendable—despite their opacity.
Matte eyeshadows are usually more difficult to formulate than metallic or satins, so when a brand masters their matte formula, they have my stamp of approval. The shadows give a blurring effect to my overall lids—something I've never been able to do on my own (without the help of a makeup artist). I feel confident everyone from makeup newbies to professionals will find these shadows seamless to work with.
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
I've always admired Rihanna's no-fear beauty looks, and when Fenty Beauty launched, I expect nothing short of awe-inspiring products. Clearly, she delivered. She launched 40 shades of her Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation—a power move that caused other brands to follow suit.
According to the brand, their Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer, which boasts a range of 50 soft-matte shades, is a top-rated product. There are over 15,000 reviews of the concealer on Sephora's website and nearly 9,000 of them gave it five stars. Personally, I require a trifecta with my concealer—coverage (to hide my dark circles), blendability (for my dry skin), and staying power (because I loathe reapplying).
Admittedly, the word "matte" in the description of this concealer had me nervous (my dry skin typically can't handle matte anything). The consistency was thicker than I typically use (my go-to is Too Faced's Born This Way Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer), but I don't mind a heavier formula as long as it doesn't cake up. This one was quick-drying, meaning I had to blend one eye at a time to avoid creasing, but my dark circles and veins that would otherwise peek through were instantly neutralized. It also had major staying power; after a 12-hour day, it was the only cream product that had lasted on my skin with minimal fading.
There are some people who just seem to age backwards, and Jessica Alba is one of them. And, as I inch closer to an entirely clean product collection, Honest Beauty is consistently on my radar. Alba's company is one of the trailblazers in the clean beauty space, being among the first to discuss toxic ingredients before it more mainstream to do so. I've tried several products from the line, but, surprisingly, I had yet to try their top-rated product: Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer.
Nearly 70 percent of the Amazon reviews for this product gave it five stars, praising the formula's ability to separate, volumize, and lengthen—all without flaking. Even though I'm well aware of the massive difference lash primers make, I don't typically use them out of laziness. That's why I love this product, I can reap the benefits of two products while only having to pull out one. Through trial and error, I found it's best to wait about 20 seconds between the primer and mascara application (it prevents clumping and helps with separation).
And while I didn't notice a significant difference in the volume department, my lashes were definitely lengthened and noticeably thicker. My only gripe with this product is it doesn't last as long on the lower lashes as it does on top. Still, the fact that it offers length and thickness sans clumpiness (all while being free of parabens, silicones, mineral oil, and synthetic fragrances) is a huge plus for me.