I first met Selena Gomez after one of her concerts in 2015. Backstage, I asked her to sign an autograph for a friend of mine, and I'll never forget what she said to me in response: "You're getting this for your friend instead of yourself? That's so thoughtful, you're a rare kind of friend." While getting an autograph isn't exactly my definition of moving mountains for someone, I've always tried to carry that philosophy along the way—be rare in kindness, in what you're willing to do for someone else, and what you're willing to do for yourself. It seems like this mantra is lifeblood for SG, too.
This week, Gomez officially launches her beauty brand, Rare Beauty. And after that 2015 encounter, it only seems fitting that I should get to sit down with her to hear how the brand came to fruition (it's certainly a full-circle moment for me as a journalist). Since Rare Beauty was announced in February of this year, Gomez and her team have teased very little about the brand and its products (on Instagram, we've mostly just seen macro texture shots and close-ups of little corners of products). But over Zoom, I finally got the first look at everything that Rare Beauty is made of.
Meet Rare Beauty:
- Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation, $29 (48 shades)
- Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer, $19 (48 shades)
- Always an Optimist Illuminating Primer, $26
- Always an Optimist 4-in-1 Mist, $24
- Blot & Glow Touch-Up Kit, $26
- Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner, $29
- Brow Harmony Pencil & Gel, $22
- With Gratitude Dewy Lip Balm, $16
- Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, $20
- Positive Light Liquid Luminizer $22
- Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream, $20
- Liquid Touch Foundation Brush, $28
- Liquid Touch Multi-Tasking Sponge, $14
- Liquid Touch Concealer Brush, $16
Beyond the products, I also got to hear a little bit about what makes Rare Beauty tick, from its initial conceptualization to the brand's philanthropic efforts—straight from the founder herself. Ahead, everything I learned about Rare Beauty (and beyond) from a Zoom session with Selena Gomez.
Sometimes You Feel Most Beautiful Around the People (and Pets) You Love
When asked when she feels her most beautiful, Gomez got candid about how much her friends and family mean to her. "I feel most beautiful when I'm with the people I love," she said. "I think that's when your guard can be completely let down and it doesn't matter how I look."
Red Lipstick Will Never Go Out of Style
When asked which product she's the most excited about, Gomez couldn't choose just one, but she did muse about her Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream, noting that she always reaches for the red (which she's wearing as we speak on this call). "It's my color, it just is!" she said, laughing. Lip Soufflé is essentially an ultra-vivid liquid lipstick that goes on slippery, but dries down to a a beautiful velvety finish. It comes in 12 different shades, including Gomez's iconic red, Inspire. I wore the product on my way to dinner over the weekend and was pleased to find that there was zero transfer onto my face mask or wine glass—a big win in my book.
Your Beauty Philosophy Will Change With Time—Don't Fight It.
As we grow up, our beauty philosophies change. Sometimes that means you make the decision to make more ethical purchases, and sometimes that means feeding your inner beauty by taking care of your mental health. For Gomez, she says the moment her beauty philosophy began to change (for the better) was when she started attending therapy. "I have struggled very openly about anxiety and depression and mental health," she said. "I would say therapy. The time that I've taken for myself has actually just reflected in everything that I've been releasing. I don't know if anyone can tell or cares but you can just see the amount of happiness that I do have with what I'm given and what I'm blessed with."
Don't Be Afraid to Get Your Hands Dirty
When it came time to start formulating the initial batch of Rare Beauty products, Gomez knew she wanted everything from her complexion products to her liquid lippies to be multitasking, simplified, and very easy to work with (whether you're new to wearing makeup or a pro on the go). To Gomez, this means making everything spreadable, so you can seamlessly blend foundation, blush, and highlight using just the warmth from your fingers. "The texture of my entire line is very flexible, you can move it around," she said during our call. As such, you'll see that almost all of her products—everything except the powder in the Blot & Go Touch-Up Kit—features a liquid or balmy texture.
There's No Excuse For Non-Inclusive Shade Ranges
Gomez's foundation and concealer both feature 48 shades, from 100W (light) to 570N (deep). Of the decision, Gomez said she wanted it to be easy for every single person to find their perfect shade without having to mix and match pigments. At 48 shades, Gomez has one of the most diverse foundation and concealer shade ranges on the market (typically brands launch with fewer concealer shades than foundation shades), trailing behind Morphe with 60 shades of foundation and Pur with 100 shades. Just remember that it isn't always about the magic number of shades—it's about whether or not the chosen shades actually suit a wide variety of skin tones. Gomez's shade library definitely appears to be up to the task, but the reviews have yet to roll in.
Mental Health Matters—Always.
Gomez has never been shy about her mental health, and she's also never been afraid to advocate for others' mental health. As part of Rare Beauty's debut, Gomez is also launching the Rare Impact Fund, which "envisions a world where every person has access to the mental health resources they need." Gomez and the Rare Impact Fund have set a goal to raise $100 million over the next 10 years "in order to help increase access to mental health services, with a focus on underserved communities." Rare Beauty has a number of philanthropic partners to help them reach their goal, and will also be donating one percent of annual sales to the Rare Impact Fund each year.
Moms are Beauty Icons
Never underestimate the beauty influence of the women in your life. "My mom growing up....she was such an icon," Gomez said. "She had the whole '90s Drew Barrymore cut. I'd go in her room and sit next to her in the mirror and do the makeup, she'd have a glass of wine and give me a little glass of apple juice. That memory is something I'll never forget. I still remember it. That's when I got the grip for it and got more and more interested as I got older."
Shop Rare Beauty starting September 3, exclusively at Sephora.