Makeup holds a special place in the lives of countless girls and women worldwide. Some use it to enhance their features or conceal imperfections; for others, makeup is a way to express themselves and boost their confidence. If you’re a makeup enthusiast or a makeup artist, you’d know the significance of choosing the right makeup brands and beauty products. For instance, you can create almost any look and get a flawless finish with the right products. However, with countless brands available in the market, the quest for finding the best makeup brands and products can feel like navigating through a maze of options.
That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to review some of the top brands. Our list includes both high-end makeup brands and drugstore brands offering high-quality products. By high-quality products, we mean reliable, long-lasting makeup products made using the right ingredients to provide a flawless finish without affecting your skin. This guide will also cover the factors you must consider while choosing a makeup brand.
Whether you’re a newbie diving into the world of makeup for the first time, a professional makeup artist, or simply a makeup lover, this guide is all you need to choose the best makeup brands!
Here’s a list of all the best makeup brands that we’ll review in this guide:
Top 8 Makeup Brands for High-Quality Products
Fenty Beauty: Best for a Diverse Range Of Beauty Products
Fenty Beauty Overview
Launched in 2017 by music superstar Rihanna, Fenty Beauty is one of the most trusted brands in the beauty industry. The brand has everything from foundations, concealers, and bronzers to eyeshadow palettes, eyeliners, mascaras, and lipsticks. It even offers skincare products and fragrances.
A highlighted feature of Fenty Beauty is its commitment to offering products for people with different skin tones and types, which has undoubtedly played a significant role in the brand’s popularity. For instance, some of Fenty’s foundations and concealers come in 50+ shades to suit various skin tones, including those that were underrepresented in the makeup industry for a long time.
- Wide range of beauty products made to suit various skin tones, types, and colors
- Fenty is a cruelty-free brand; the brand doesn’t test ingredients or products on animals
- High-quality, long-lasting makeup products, meaning the makeup stays on your skin for a long time
- You only need a small amount of makeup to create your desired look
- Fenty Beauty uses reliable ingredients that offer a great finish
PRO FILT’R SOFT MATTE LONGWEAR FOUNDATION
Available in more than 50 shades, from light and light-medium to medium-deep and deep, this long-wearing foundation has received lots of recognition from makeup lovers. The foundation provides a matte (shine-free) finish and uses climate-adaptive technology, making it humidity and sweat resistant. Moreover, the foundation offers a smooth finish and is buildable, meaning you can apply multiple layers to achieve your desired coverage.
FLYLINER LONGWEAR LIQUID EYELINER
Offering the color intensity of a liquid and pigmentation of a gel, this long-lasting eyeliner is a hot favorite among makeup artists and enthusiasts. The easy-to-hold liner has a felt tip and a triangle shape, making it easy to create your desired look. The liner comes in two shades (black and brown) and features a water-resistant formula that doesn’t smudge and dries quickly.
Fenty Beauty is a high-end makeup brand. For example, its best-seller PRO FILT’R SOFT MATTE LONGWEAR FOUNDATION is priced at $40, which is expensive compared to the foundation prices of drugstore brands like NYX and Maybelline.
Pros & Cons
- Value for money
- Longwear makeup products
- Cruelty-free brand
- Fenty isn’t 100% a vegan makeup brand
Urban Decay: Best For Highly Pigmented, Longwear Eye Shadows
Urban Decay Overview
Urban Decay is a renowned makeup brand with an excellent reputation in the makeup industry. Started in 1996 with just two main product lines, nail polishes and lipsticks, Urban Decay today offers a range of beauty products, including foundations, eyeshadow palettes, eyeliners, mascaras, lipsticks, and more. Known for its unique formulations and long-lasting finishes, the brand has gained an impressive following over the years.
Urban Decay’s Naked eye shadow palettes have gained immense popularity in recent years. The palettes feature a range of neutral shades, and the eye shadows are known to be highly pigmented and long-lasting.
- Offers a variety of cosmetics products, such as eyeshadow palettes, foundations, mascaras, and lipsticks
- High-quality makeup that is easy to apply and blend
- Cruelty-free products
- Offers a range of vegan products
ALL NIGHTER MAKEUP SETTING SPRAY
Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray is an award-winning product that keeps your makeup fresh for as long as 16 hours, so you don’t need any touch ups. The waterproof setting spray keeps makeup on your skin longer and prevents it from fading or smudging. Moreover, the spray is transfer-resistant, vegan, and cruelty-free.
NAKED HEAT EYESHADOW PALETTE
One of the highly famous Urban Decay’s Naked palettes, the Heat Eyeshadow palette features 12 neutral eyeshadows, including shimmers, metallics, and mattes, allowing you to create countless combinations. The highly pigmented and easy-to-blend eyeshadows have a velvety texture and provide a stunning finish. The palette is also paraben-free, sulfate-free, and cruelty-free.
Urban Decay is a high-end brand. The price of its foundation ranges from $33 to $44. However, some of its Naked eyeshadow palettes are priced over $50.
Pros & Cons
- Long-lasting makeup
- Offers several vegan products
- Highly blendable makeup
- Not recommended for those who don’t like warm tones
NARS Cosmetics: Best For High-Quality, Long-Lasting Makeup
NARS Cosmetics Overview
NARS started with just 12 lipsticks back in 1994. Today, the renowned brand offers all types of commonly used makeup products, including foundations, blushes, concealers, lipsticks, eyeshadows, mascaras, and eyeliners. NARS is known for its foundations and concealers, available in various shades. Its catchy product names, such as Orgasm, Taj Mahal, etc., have also gained people’s attention.
From beauty editors and bloggers to professional makeup artists, NARS products are loved by thousands of makeup lovers thanks to their long-lasting formula that delivers a flawless finish.
- NARS products are designed for various skin types and tones
- Easy to apply, long-wearing makeup
- Buildable foundation, eyeshadows, and other products
NARS Blush – Orgasm
Launched in 1999, NARS blush in Orgasm is the best-selling blush in the USA used by pro makeup artists, beauty bloggers, and makeup lovers everywhere. The shimmery, peach-pinkish blush provides a smooth, natural finish and is suitable for all skin tones. The lightweight blush is highly pigmented and easy to blend. Moreover, the blush is available in several other colors, allowing you to create different looks.
LIGHT REFLECTING™ FOUNDATION
Available in 35+ shades, NARS’s widely-used foundation is designed to reflect light and provides a natural-looking finish. The breathable foundation is long-lasting and features an easy-to-blend formula. Moreover, the foundation is buildable, allowing you to achieve your desired coverage.
Some of NARS’s products are reasonably priced, while others are high-end. For example, its mascaras cost only $24-25, whereas its Light Reflecting foundation costs $50.
Pros & Cons
- Buildable products
- Long-lasting makeup
- Foundations and concealers available for various skin tones
- NARS isn’t 100% cruelty-free
Anastasia Beverly Hills: Best For Eyebrows Must-Haves
Anastasia Beverly Hills Overview
Founded by Anastasia Soare, the queen of eyebrows, Anastasia Beverly Hills started with a product line featuring several eyebrows-perfecting products. However, the brand started selling all kinds of makeup products in 2014, and today its products are loved by beauty bloggers, editors, influencers, and makeup enthusiasts. In fact, Anastasia Beverly Hills is one of the best-selling makeup brands on Sephora and Ulta.
- Offers a wide range of best-selling brow products, such as brow gel, brow pomade, brow pencil, and more
- Cruelty-free makeup formulation and testing
- Waterproof products that don’t smudge
Clear Brow Gel
Anastasia’s Clear Brow Gel is one of the most used eyebrow gels thanks to its lightweight, colorless formula that firmly holds brow hairs in place and provides a clean, polished finish. Featuring a precision makeup brush for quick and easy application, the brow gel dries quickly without leaving any residue.
One of Anastasia’s best-selling products, the Dipbrow Pomade, is available in 11 shades. The highly pigmented and waterproof product makes filling and detailing your brows easy. Its buildable, long-lasting formula is easy-to-blend and provides a smooth, matte finish.
Anastasia Beverly Hills offers mid-priced products. Its best-selling Dipbrow Pomade costs $21, and clear brow gel is priced at $22.
Pros & Cons
- Buildable and waterproof eyebrow products
- Long-wearing makeup
- Best-selling brow products
- Some products contain parabens
Maybelline: Best For Quality Drugstore Makeup
Founded way back in 1915 by Thomas Lyle Williams, Maybelline started with an eyelash product. The brand is known for introducing modern eye cosmetics for everyday use and is still famous for its amazing mascaras. However, today, Maybelline is a global cosmetics brand that sells a range of high-quality beauty products in more than 129 countries.
Maybelline is among the best drugstore brands loved by people worldwide. An interesting fact about the brand is that it’s a subsidiary of L’Oréal, a French cosmetics company.
- Offers a wide range of makeup products at affordable prices: mascaras, eyeshadows, eyeliners, foundations, concealers, and lipsticks
- Some Maybelline lipsticks are super long-lasting and don’t come off even when you eat or drink
- Reasonable prices
- Maybelline focuses on introducing innovative products and finishes to meet customers’ evolving demands
SUPER STAY® MATTE INK™ Liquid Lipstick
Maybelline’s super stay lipstick is one of the most long-lasting matte lipsticks we’ve ever tried. The lipstick definitely rivals some of luxury brands’ most expensive long-wearing lipsticks. Available in over 45 pretty shades, the highly pigmented lipstick offers up to 16 hours of saturated matte finish. Moreover, the lipstick is dermatologist tested.
Great Lash Mascara
Great Lash Mascara is one of Maybelline’s best-selling products. The mascara thickens your eyelashes and provides a fuller lash look with its lash-doubling formula. The iconic Great Lash Mascara is now also available in a clear gel for those who don’t want to enhance their eyelashes without using the traditional mascara color. The ophthalmologist-tested mascara impressively separates eyelashes, providing an excellent finish.
Maybelline is a drugstore brand offering products at affordable prices. The price of most products ranges from $9.99 to $12.99.
Pros & Cons
- Quality products at affordable prices
- Uses advanced and innovative formulas
- Offers a wide range of products in numerous countries worldwide
- Some Maybelline products may feel sticky
Huda Beauty: Best For Amazing Eyeshadow Palettes and False Lashes
Huda Beauty Overview
Founded by Huda Kattan in 2014, Huda Beauty instantly became popular among makeup enthusiasts and is considered one of the fastest-growing makeup brands. Huda Beauty offers impressive products in different categories, from amazing eyeshadow palettes and high-quality false lashes to super long-lasting lipsticks and foundations.
The brand’s popularity and success have made Huda Kattan one of the wealthiest self-made business-women and earned her a place in Forbes’s Top Three Beauty Influencers list.
- Huda Beauty offers highly-pigmented and easily blendable eyeshadow palettes
- Offers a range of false lashes for different eye shapes and user preferences
- Great packaging and aesthetics
- Offers long-lasting lipsticks that are available in various shades
Mercury Retrograde Eyeshadow Palette
One of Huda Beauty’s best sellers, the Mercury Retrograde Eyeshadow Palette, features 18 shades, allowing you to create infinite combinations and looks. From buttery mattes to creamy metallics, the palette comes with beautiful colors suitable for all. The eyeshadows have a great texture, are blendable, and are easy to work with.
Liquid Matte Lipstick
Another Huda Beauty’s best-seller, the Liquid Matter Lipstick, is available in 16 beautiful shades for all skin tones. The vegan-friendly lipstick is highly comfortable and features a weightless formula that provides a buttery, suede-matte finish. It’s super long-lasting and transfer-resistant.
Hude Beauty’s prices are higher; some of its eyeshadow palettes cost as much as $69. However, the highly-pigmented and long-lasting palettes are definitely worth the investment.
Pros & Cons
- Good value for your money money
- Strong reputation in the beauty industry
- Huda Beauty isn’t fully vegan
Charlotte Tilbury: Best For High-Quality Formulas and Ingredients
Charlotte Tilbury Overview
The renowned makeup brand was founded in 2013 by a famous British celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury to enable women worldwide to create professional looks with high-quality products. The brand started with a decent product range but now offers all the different types of makeup products worldwide for makeup lovers. Quality ingredients and formulas have significantly influenced Charlotte Tilbury’s popularity and success. Not to mention, the impressive rose gold packaging has been a favorite amongst users.
- High-quality products with amazing formulas
- Great collection of long-lasting lipsticks
- Loyal followers, including celebrities, make bloggers, influencers, and makeup enthusiasts
- Some of Charlotte Tilbury’s products, like Filmstar Bronze and Matte Revolution Lipsticks, are best-selling products
Matte Revolution Lipstick
Featuring an angled square tip that allows for quick and perfect application, the immensely popular Matter Revolution lipstick comes in 16 shades. But the shade SEXY SIENNA is hands down a favorite. This coral shade is also a top pick of many celebrities, influencers, and makeup lovers, as it suits all skin tones. Infused with high-quality oils, waxes, and triglycerides, the lipstick is buildable and super long-lasting.
Hollywood Contour Duo
Charlotte Tilbury’s best-seller Hollywood Contour Duo is considered a contouring essential makeup kit by many celebrities, influencers, professional makeup artists, and makeup lovers. The kit features a Hollywood Contour Wand and a Beauty Light Wand. The Hollywood Contour Wand has a lightweight formula designed to create a well-contoured look. The globally-famous Light Wand provides an instant glow and is available in several colors.
Charlotte Tilbury is a high-end, luxury British brand selling products as expensive as $125. But the price is definitely worth it!
Pros & Cons
- High-quality formulas
- Strong reputation in the cosmetics industry
- Some products are pretty expensive
Too Faced: Best For Glittery Eyeshadows
Too Faced Overview
Too Faced Cosmetics is a US-based brand founded in 1998 by Jerrod Blandino and Jeremy Johnson. The brand is known for creating the world’s first glitter eye shadow, contributing to Too Faced’s popularity. The brand later started selling a wide range of makeup products and launched its skincare line in 2019. Too Faced has also won several awards, which speak of the brand’s strong reputation.
- A wide range of high-quality makeup products in various categories
- Too Faced isn’t fully vegan, but it does offer a few vegan options
- Introduces new exciting products regularly
Born This Way Natural Finish Foundation
Available in 35 shades, from fair to deep, the foundation provides a natural glowy finish and efficiently blurs imperfections on the skin. The foundation is designed to provide undetectable coverage; hence the name Born This Way. The oil-free foundation is infused with coconut water to replenish your skin’s moisture, alpine rose, and hyaluronic acid.
Pumpkin Spice: Second Slice Eyeshadow Palette
The stunning palette is highly-pigmented and offers a one-swipe payoff, featuring 18 warm and spicey shades, including shimmers, metallics, and mattes. Moreover, the creamy, buttery eyeshadows blend flawlessly and provide a smooth finish.
Some Too Faced products are mid-priced while some are pricier. For instance, the Born This Way foundation is priced at $46, while some of its eyeshadow palettes cost as much as $54.
Pros & Cons
- A little goes a long way
- Easy to blend
- Not fully vegan
Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Makeup Brand
Here are the key factors you must consider when deciding whether to purchase from a specific brand or not:
One of the most crucial factors to consider while choosing a makeup brand is the quality of its products. It’s recommended to assess the quality of the products based on their formula, the finishes they provide, and how long-lasting they are. For example, in terms of foundation, assess if it becomes cakey or provides a finish that is too heavy or sheer. When it comes to eyeshadows, consider their pigmentation.
Moreover, you should consider the product’s longevity to ensure it lasts all day. For example, you can check if the foundation is made using a transfer-resistant or humidity-resistant formula, as it improves longevity. You can also check customer reviews to see if a product is long-wearing.
Reputation and Trustworthiness
A brand’s online reputation tells a lot about the quality of its products, brand ethics, etc. So it’s best to consider the brand’s reputation before purchasing products. One good way to assess the brand’s reputation and know whether it’s trustworthy is to check customer and blogger reviews.
Range of Products
Assess the brand’s product lines to see if they offer the products you want, such as types of foundations (liquid, powder, or cream), eyeshadows (matte, creamy or glittery), eyeliners (liquid, gel, or pencil), etc. You should also check if the brand offers the shades you want. However, you can always buy different makeup products from different brands. For example, you can buy a foundation from one brand and eyeshadows from another.
Ingredients and Formulations
It’s also essential to consider which ingredients and formulations the brand uses and choose the products that suit your skin type. For example, for oily skin, choose oil-free products with matte finishes. Similarly, if you have dry skin, choose products that moisturize your skin and contain hydrating ingredients, such as glycerin or hyaluronic acid.
If you have sensitive skin, check whether the products are dermatologist tested. Knowing the ingredients used in a product will help you decide if it’s the right product for your skin if you’re allergic to certain ingredients.
As humans, it’s our moral responsibility to buy from ethical makeup brands. So, it’s best to check if the brand is cruelty-free and doesn’t test on animals. Additionally, check if the brand uses organic ingredients only that aren’t harmful to your skin or environment.
Pricing and Accessibility
Comparing the prices of different products from different brands would help you buy the right product at the best price. Sticking within your budget to find what works best for you.
Exploring Different Makeup Categories and Their Key Considerations
Here are the most important factors you should consider when choosing a product from each category below.
Foundation and Concealer
When it comes to foundation and concealer, the most important factors to consider include:
- Formula and ingredients: Check the formulation and ingredients of the foundation or concealer to see if it suits your skin type. For example, if you have dry skin, check if the foundation consists of hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid.
- Coverage: See whether the foundation or the concealer provides the coverage you want, such as light, medium, or full coverage. Also, assess if these products are buildable.
- Shade range: Evaluate different shades to see which suits your skin tone best.
- Longevity: If you plan to wear makeup throughout the day, it’s essential to consider how long-wearing the products you choose are.
Lipstick and Lipgloss
When buying lipsticks or lip glosses, consider the finishes they provide, such as matte, creamy, tinted, and glossy, and choose the product accordingly. It’s also important to assess the pigmentation of lipsticks, as some lipsticks can make your lips very dry. Since lipsticks tend to come off when we eat or drink, it’s best to consider the product’s longevity.
When it comes to eyeshadow palettes, the key factors to consider are their shade range, texture, and pigmentation. Assess the color payoff and longevity of the eyeshadows before purchasing.
If you’re looking to add volume to your lashes, look for a mascara designed to provide volume. Similarly, assess if the mascara will provide the perfect curl for you. Some mascaras have a perfect formula for length, volume, and curl. You should also consider whether the mascara is easy to apply, long-lasting, and dries quickly without smudging.
Blush and Bronzer
When it comes to blushes and bronzers, selecting shades that complement your skin tone is crucial. Otherwise, the wrong shades can ruin your whole look. For example, vibrant colors like red and coral look stunning on deeper skin tones, whereas shades like peach and pink are great for fairer skin.
FAQs About Choosing the Best Makeup Brands
Which Cosmetic Brand is Best for Makeup?
Some of the best makeup brands include Fenty Beauty, NARS, Too Faced, Urban Decay, Charlotte Tilbury, Maybelline, Huda Beauty, and Anastasia Beverly Hills.
How Can I Find the Best Makeup Brand For My Specific Needs?
When selecting a makeup brand, consider key factors like product quality, reputation, ingredients, formulas used, and price range to find the right makeup products for your needs.
Are High-End Makeup Brands Always Superior to Drugstore Brands?
Not really. Some products by reputable drugstore brands like Maybelline are as good as high-end products.
Can I Mix and Match Products From Different Makeup Brands?
Yes, you can definitely buy different products from different brands to create your desired look.
Are There Any Makeup Brands That Cater Specifically to Mature Skin?
Yes, popular makeup brands like Dior, Laura Mercier, and Benefit Cosmetics offer products designed especially for mature skin.
Conclusion: Empower Your Beauty Routine With the Right Makeup Brands
Makeup is a fun and exciting way to enhance your features and conceal imperfections. For many, it’s a way to boost confidence and express themselves. However, for makeup to look good, it’s essential to choose the right makeup brand that offers high-quality products, providing a perfect finish without causing harm to your skin. When choosing a makeup brand, consider their product quality, the ingredients and formulas they use, price range, brand reputation, and ethics. Exploring different products from different brands is also a good way to find the right products for your needs.