If there's one thing I love doing more than pestering innocent dermatologists with my , it's playing with makeup.
And while I have the skills of an absolute squid (THE. WHY ARE THEY SO DIFFICULT?), as a beauty editor I get to test a lotta stuff before it hits shelves - mascaras, foundations, eyeshadow palettes, lipsticks - you name it.
It's fun! Exciting! Pervy!
Watch: I tried the lube makeup trick. And the results kinda surprised me. Post continues below.
But it also makes you really aware of the brands that just always get it right. You know, the ones that tick all the boxes and never let you down.
So, with that being said, I'm going to let you in on some JUICY beauty intel about the brands I've tried and loved again and again.
Here are seven of the best makeup brands you can always rely on, plus our top product picks from each.
The brand: has been killing it since its launch back in 2017. After releasing 40 shades of foundation, Rihanna's brand set a new standard for diversity in makeup (it's been coined the 'Fenty Effect'). The buzz was huge. And it was far more than just another celebrity beauty brand.
Not only did Fenty Beauty completely change the game - and the standards - of the beauty industry, but the products are just Really. Bloody. Good.
1. , $46.
Fenty dropped this complexion-boosting product this year - and it's 100 per cent worth the hype. I've just finished my second bottle of the stuff, and I'm genuinely sad (you can read my here).
As the name suggests, it has the most brilliant blurring effect, while still managing to let your skin look like skin. Full marks.
2. , $32.
Can confirm: This is the lip gloss you’ve been looking for, since forever. I have it in, like, four different shades, but this particular shade is beautifully peachy and shimmery and isn't the slightest bit sticky.
3. , $39.
This foolproof cream-to-powder contour stick is one of the best there is. The formula is easy to blend, the shades are perfect and it won't end up looking all streaky and gross.
The brand: Ask any beauty lover to rattle off their all-time favourite products, and we guarantee will top their list.
Up until recently, the only way you could get your mitts on these products was through their UK website, which was just... annoying. But, now the band is officially in Australia and New Zealand - which is just a dream, really.
1. , $35.
As someone who isn't big on lipstick (too lazy), this is the perfect formula to wear under a gloss. The formula is creamy, blendable and instantly makes your lips look plump and dreamy. Big fan.
2. , $49.
Imagine if we were to rank the top Charlotte Tilbury products and NOT include the ? HA! As if. Available in all different shades, this velvety formula is always a stellar choice.
3. , $65.
Have you tried it? No? Ooft! You're missing out, friend. It's kind of like a foundation and highlighter in one and it's the easiest way to make your skin look healthier/glowier/like you actually drink water.
The brand: Milk Makeup is not only full of do-good ingredients (the brand is 100 per cent vegan, cruelty-free and paraben-free), but the products are effective as hell, and everything is just really easy to use. From sticks to click pens, the makeup is all multi-use, durable and perfect for on-the-go.
1. , $39.
is one of their cult products - and for good reason. It's a really great mascara. It gives extra length and volume, without clumpiness, fallout and all that other s**t. And the wand! Goodness, the wand. It's weighty, thick and manages to coat every single lash. So good.
2. , $64.
Have you tried it? You most definitely should. This skin tint/face oil/sunscreen hybrid gives off a beautiful light wash of colour with added skincare benefits (just obvs remember to slap on SPF, too). It's PERFECT for those with dry skin (ME).
3. , $52.
Speaking of dry, b**chy skin - this is one of my firm favourites when it comes to primers. is hydrating, smoothing, brightening and just an all-rounder. You can wear it under foundation and it genuinely won't budge until you want to take it off. You can also wear it alone for plump, fresh-looking skin.
The brand: If you're a lass with a face, chances are you've tried . It's almost a rite of passage. The cult classic brand just ticks all the right boxes, and we guarantee your makeup kit is made up of a few faithful MAC products.
1. , $55.
This long-wear foundation is an absolute OG, and you 100 per cent have a bottle kicking around your beauty cupboard, don't you? Knew it! With medium-to-full blendable coverage, the formula is non-cakey, breathable and perfect for every face.
2. , $30.
Image: Adore Beauty
M.A.C Cosmetics Matte Lipsticks are famous for a reason. Offering a rich and creamy texture, this comfortable formula gives off a bold, lasting colour. You can never go wrong.
3. , $30.
Right up there with Charlotte Tilbury's Lip Cheat Lipliner, the is perfect for shaping, defining and enhancing your lips. I love to use it alone with a gloss straight over the top.
The brand: She's certainly not the most affordable thing getting around the beauty block, but gosh she's good. Founded by makeup artist Gucci Westman, Westman Atelier products are absolute HEAVEN. From stick blushes to contour sticks, the creamy, easy-to-use formulas are iconic.
1. , $68.
Adding a pop of colour to your cheeks is hands-down the easiest way to look (and feel) more alive - and you can't beat Westman Atelier's cream blushes. Creamy and effortless to apply, the shades are incredibly beautiful, and the ingredients - even more impressive. Made with a hint of China clay to absorb excess moisture, along with nourishing oils to keep skin fresh, healthy and hydrated, the formulations are the gold standard.
2. , $54.
At $54 a pop, it's one pricey lip balm, but we gotta say - it's just so incredibly luxe. The formula glides on smoothly, is ultra-hydrating and gives a beautiful non-sticky finish. While the colour is pretty sheer, it's perfect for those who aren't big on lipsticks.
Loaded with hydration-boosting ingredients like vegetable-derived squalane and berry flux vita, Westman Atelier's Vital Skin Foundation Stick is beautifully lightweight for a second-skin, natural finish. Plus, the fact that it comes in stick form is just an excellent time for all involved.
The brand: From the uber-luxe, minimalist packaging right down to the creamy, blendable formulas, Hourglass was one of the first fully vegan luxury beauty brands on the market - and it's can seriously do no wrong. With so many amazing makeup products to choose from, it's hard to pick a favourite.
But we're gonna try!
The best-selling Veil Mineral Primer is a serious multi-tasker - claiming redness and inflammation while minimising the look of pores and fine lines. Worn alone or under makeup, it's just the ticket for that your-skin-but-better look.
Honestly, everyone needs this in their life. The buttery formula just glides on like a dream, giving your skin a perfectly luminescent, lit-from-within look. Plus, the packaging feels bougie AF.
This cult-favourite tubing mascara is another staple in many makeup bags because it's just so. damn. good. It gives your lashes the most unreal lift, length and definition, without smudging and clumping. Plus, it'll stick around until you decide to take it off.
The brand: While buzzy beauty products come and go, heritage brand Lancôme is one of the OG beauty houses that absolutely *owns* the game. Offering some of the biggest cult products, the brand delivers top-notch results in everything it does.
This full-coverage foundation is one of those products you always go back to, you know? But just to give you an idea of how popular it is, a Teint Idole Liquid Foundation flies off the shelf every 20 seconds and is one of the brand's best-selling products. And it's no wonder why - the formula is impressive as hell. It feels like *actual* velvet on your skin and gives the smoothest, most natural and radiant finish, every time.
Featuring an iconic swan neck brush (genius), this cult mascara effortlessly coats each lash to lengthen, lift and volumise for bigger, brighter peepers. A true.
I've had this palette for yonks, and find it so versatile and easy to use. I'm not great with eyeshadow (can't do a smokey eye to save my life), but I feel like this palette has everything I need to create a simple look that still packs a real punch.
At Mamamia, we independently choose and write about products our writer's genuinely recommend. We have affiliate partnerships so if you use these links to buy something, Mamamia may earn a small commission.
Have you tried any of the above beauty brands? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
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