Within a few hours of Rare Beauty's launch in India mid-June, most of the brand's beauty products were sold out, both online and offline. It wasn't surprising though, given that the company, founded by singer-actor Selena Gomez, has a huge following across the world.
After close to two months, I finally managed to try 12 products from the brand, which first became available on 15 June in India at Sephora stores. Before talking about the review, I would like mention that I have combination skin that tends to get oilier during the monsoons, and have dark spots and some fine lines.
I did a wear test during the day when it was more hot and humid, and at night with intermittent rains. I also tried the products with and without the Rare Beauty primer to test how the products work on their own.
To start, post the usual skin prep, I used the Always an Optimist Pore Diffusing Primer ( ₹3,600). I usually prefer creamy, illuminating primers and don’t always like the silicone-y texture of pore minimisers. But Rare Beauty, or RB, gets the texture right—it's almost gel-like and glides on to the skin. I could instantly feel the difference, as the number of bumps on the skin felt lesser and the pores less visible. I topped this with the Positive Light Tinted moisturizer ( ₹3,900), which is also available in deeper skin tones. This comes with SPF 20 and has a liquidy consistency, which also glides on effortlessly.
I dotted the face with it and then dabbed it with my fingers, and the product was easy to use and brightened the face while hiding the blemishes. It did transfer though, and the skin became slightly oily after a few hours.
If you are looking for something that lasts longer, I suggest you try RB's foundation and concealer instead. I topped the tinted moisturiser with their popular Soft Pinch Dewy Liquid Blush ( ₹2,900). The blush gave a lot of colour with a single dot and offered the perfect natural flush to the cheeks, adding to the natural glow from the moisturiser.
The blush lasted for about two hours, even with the primer on and its high colour payout, so I suggest that you set it with a powder blush to get a few more hours of use. It’s an excellent blush for younger skin, especially if you don't have too many blemishes.
Once I tried the highlighter, I realised what Gomez is going for: approachable make up, that’s easy-going, natural and cool, just like her character Mabel Mora in Only Murders in the Building.
Though not long-lasting, the products work seamlessly together to give a natural finish that looks good in natural as well as fluorescent light—one of the best I have experienced so far.
I used the Warm Wishes Effortless Bronzer Stick to contour the nose gently. This is a must-try product that will make contouring a breeze even for first-time users. For lips, I used the Kind Words lipstick ( ₹2,400) and lip liner ( ₹1,900). They gave the lips a line-free appearance despite being in a nude tone. They are not long-lasting though, and you will have to reapply them after having a coffee or snack.
I tried the viral lip oil ( ₹2,400) on its own. It has a cooling sensation and gently fills and plumps the lips. You can use it as a tinted balm gloss on its own, and it leaves a soft stain for a couple of hours. You will have to reapply the oil after an hour, if you want a glossy finish.
The other items I tried are the liner ( ₹2,700) and the mascara ( ₹2,400). The liner has a brush to ease application and helps create a winged eye easily. It’s highly pigmented and has a beautiful matte finish. But it starts to budge as the lids get oilier. The mascara coats lashes easily, but does not elongate, and the brush gives more doll-like lashes than fanned-out one. You will find cheaper options in India for it.
So much has been said about Rare Beauty online, and the love for the finish is justified. The make up is easy to use, luxurious and made my skin look much better rather than made-up. My skin hasn’t broken out yet so that’s another big plus. It doesn’t stay long in Indian weather, though.
The packaging for all products is minimal, ergonomic and beautiful—things that will look great and luxurious on your shelf, especially the liner and the highlighter.
Rare Beauty delivers on the finishes it promises and how. But if you are looking for long-lasting make up, there are many cheaper alternatives available in the market.
Dhara Vora Sabhnani is a Mumbai-based journalist.