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15 high-end makeup products worth the hype, according to reviews

15 high-end makeup products worth the hype, according to reviews

15 high-end makeup products worth the hype, according to reviews

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

When you walk through the aisles at Ulta or peruse the shelves at Sephora, you’ll see hundreds of makeup brands and thousands of products for enhancing eyes, smoothing complexions, and intensifying lips. Amidst all of the choices are classic picks from brands like Clinique or Lancôme, which offer long-reigning must-haves with thousands of reviews to back them up. When you’re not sure what to add into your vanity, go with these tried-and-trues.

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1. This Tarte concealer for full coverage

Brighten your under-eyes with the Tarte Cosmetics Shape Tape Concealer.

Reviews: 22,114

Average rating: 4.8 stars

One swipe of this full coverage concealer instantly brightens up the under eyes or banishes that pesky pimple. At Reviewed, we named the Tarte Shape Tape the best concealer because it lasts all day on the skin, a little bit goes a long way and it comes in 30 shades ranging from “very fair with pink undertones” to “very deep with peach undertones.”

Tarte reviewers agree with us. One writes: “This product is absolutely amazing. I’m in love with it! Just purchased two of them so I don’t run out. A little goes a long way and it is just amazing coverage!”

Get the Tarte Cosmetics Shape Tape Concealer from Ulta for $29

2. This Urban Decay setting spray for long-lasting makeup

Set and refresh your makeup with the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray.

Reviews: 20,406

Average rating: 4.7 stars

When you take the time to apply makeup, you want it to last all day. To help with this endeavor, turn to the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray, which claims to set your makeup and keep it in place for 16 hours. The brand says it has a “microfine” mist and contains “temperature control technology” to keep your makeup from smudging or settling into fine lines. 

One Ulta reviewer raves: “I’ve tried a lot of setting sprays but I keep coming back to this one. My makeup actually stays on with this during hot summer Texas days.”

Get the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray from Ulta for $33

3. This Anastasia Beverly Hills eyebrow pencil for filling in your brows

Define your eyebrows with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz.

Reviews: 19,288

Average rating: 4.7 stars

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz is a must-try, whether you like to sculpt your brows for a fuller effect or fill in sparse areas with hair-like strokes. The pencil has a fine tip and easy-to-apply waxy formula that allows you to precisely define the eyebrows without overdoing it. It comes in 12 shades ranging from blond to black, with warm- and cool-toned hues throughout. 

One Ulta has strong feelings on it: “I was hit by a car while out on a run. I walked away with multiple broken bones, a broken nose, blood everywhere—and perfect eyebrows. if you are considering getting this product, buy it.

Get the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz from Ulta for $23

4. This Nars blush for a flush of color on the cheeks

Add a flush to your cheeks with the Nars Blush.

Reviews: 17,916

Average rating: 4.7 stars

This Nars blush—particularly in the peachy-pink shade “Orgasm”—is a long-reigning fan favorite. The powder comes in matte, shimmer and satin finishes and a range of colors, including a light peach, bright red or muted mauve. The blush claims to use “superfine micronized powder pigments” to create a smooth application and a flattering flush to the cheeks. 

One Sephora reviewer won’t go without it: “Have loved this blush for as long as I can remember and still unable to replace it… I’m running out of this now, so [I’m] going to get the jumbo size this time!”

Get the Nars Blush from Sephora for $30

5. This Benefit eyebrow gel for holding hairs in place

Keep your eyebrows in place all day with the Benefit Gimme Brow+ Tinted Volumizing Eyebrow Gel.

Reviews: 15,953

Average rating: 4.7 stars

Though a pencil is great for filling in the eyebrows, a gel is the ticket for brushing through and keeping the hairs in place throughout the day. The Benefit Gimme Brow+ Tinted Volumizing Eyebrow Gel is beloved for its ability to add a natural-looking tint and fullness to the eyebrows while holding their shape all day long. It comes in 10 hues, ranging from light blond to cool black.

One Ulta reviewer writes: “I usually do not do reviews but I’m writing one on this amazing product. I was looking for something that could fill in my eyebrows and an Ulta employee recommended this. I love it! It lasts all day long, it’s easy to do, it matches my eyebrow color perfectly—I couldn’t be happier.”

Get the Benefit Gimme Brow+ Tinted Volumizing Eyebrow Gel from Ulta for $24

6. This BareMinerals powder foundation for buildable coverage

Add coverage to your complexion with the BareMinerals Original Foundation.

Reviews: 14,023

Average rating: 4.6 stars

The BareMinerals Original Foundation is a great option to keep in your cosmetic bag if you have oily skin or you like to set down liquid or cream makeup products with powder. Unlike a translucent loose powder, this product adds opaque coverage to the skin, which is why it comes in 30 shades ranging from fair to deep. As a powder foundation, it claims to be buildable, meaning you can add a light dusting for sheer coverage or layer it for full coverage. The brand recommends tapping powder into the jar’s cap, swirling the Beautiful Finish Brush (or another flat-topped one) into the formula until it disappears into the brush, tapping off the excess and then buffing it into the skin in circular motions.

One Ulta reviewer writes: “My favorite product I own. I’ve been using it for a decade. It’s true that your skin looks even better throughout the day while wearing this foundation. I love that it gives me some subtle coverage and a glow, without covering my freckles or looking cakey. Worth the $32 and it lasts forever!”

Get the BareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 from Ulta for $32

7. This Laura Mercier setting powder for a shine-free face

Set down your makeup with the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder.

Reviews: 13,331

Average rating: 4.7 stars

Love your liquid foundation? No sweat—stick with a translucent loose powder to set your makeup down instead of a powder foundation. This setting powder from Laura Mercier is a longstanding favorite of many, as it soaks up oil, creates a matte finish and keeps makeup in place. Though translucent, the powder comes in three flesh-toned hues to ensure it blends into the skin and does not cause a flashback reflection in photos.

One Ulta reviewer raves: This is everything and more! This sets my face for 24 hours and I’m a sweaty person and this does not make anything move. I use it to set the tinted moisturizer (black tube) and I love it. Worth every penny!”

Get the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder from Ulta for $39

8. This Stila liquid eyeliner for a precise wing

Get a precise line and wing with the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner.

Reviews: 11,023

Average rating: 4.4

If you feel like your makeup look isn’t complete without eyeliner, you may already know the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner. Our reviewer named it our favorite liquid eyeliner because it has a felt tip that’s easy to apply and a water- and smudge-proof formula that won’t budge from your eyelids. Its black shade offers a crisp, dramatic line or wing on the eyes, but if that’s not to your liking, you can find it in five other colors from Sephora.

One Sephora reviewer writes: “I gave birth to our son and after 12+ hours of labor and an emergency C-section, my eyeliner was still fire. When my doctor walked into the delivery room to tell us that C-section was the best option [and after we agreed and were waiting on the operating room], her next comment was, ‘Let’s talk about that eyeliner—you look fantastic!’”

Get the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner from Sephora for $22

9. This Estée Lauder foundation for full coverage

Make your look full coverage with the Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation.

Reviews: 8,866

Average rating: 4.6 stars

If you’re seeking a liquid foundation that’ll last all day, this Estée Lauder foundation is the way to go. It boasts a full coverage, natural-matte finish that claims to even out the complexion and control oil for up to 24 hours. It comes in 56 shades with cool, neutral and warm undertones to suit most skin tones. Best of all? We found that this foundation won’t budge or transfer onto a face mask.

One Ulta reviewer swears by it: “I have a hard skin tone to match [and] I have always struggled with finding a good makeup for my oily-combination skin. After trying many brands and creams, I was told to try this product. I went in to get a tone match and found the perfect one. This stuff stays on all day and I hardly have to touch up anymore. It is really good for my uneven skin tone as well. Definitely recommend for anyone looking for a good coverage foundation!”

Get the Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation from Ulta for $43

10. This Smashbox primer for a smooth pre-makeup canvas

Create a smooth base for makeup with the Smashbox The Original Photo Finish Smooth & Blur Oil-Free Primer.

Reviews: 7,405

Average rating: 4.3 stars

Though you can apply your foundation on top of moisturizer or sunscreen, a makeup primer can help it blend better into the skin and last longer. This one from Smashbox claims to blur the appearance of pores and smooth over fine lines and wrinkles with its base that contains dimethicone, a form of silicone. It contains skincare ingredients like vitamins A and E claim to protect the skin from environmental damage, too.

One Sephora reviewer writes: “I’m very lazy when it comes to makeup (mostly due to inexperience) and I like to keep very simple/minimalist routines. Because of this, I never used a primer. I thought it would add more hassle and I didn’t ever really know enough about primers and why they’re used to ever even try one. I was wrong. Primers are essential for flawless makeup application and this one is amazing!”

Get the Smashbox The Original Photo Finish Smooth & Blur Oil-Free Primer from Sephora for $38

11. This Lancôme mascara for dramatic eyelashes

Fan out your lashes with the Lancôme Monsieur Big Volumizing Mascara.

Reviews: 4,419

Average rating: 4.4 stars

Even a single coat of mascara can make your eyes look bigger and brighter. The Lancôme Monsieur Big Volumizing Mascara claims to give clump-free volume, add length to the lashes and remain smudge-free. Reviewed’s mascara tester found it to give a dramatic effect in only one coat, though she recommends applying it slowly with a steady hand to avoid getting formula on your eyelids.

One Ulta reviewer won’t go without it: “I don’t remember when I first bought this mascara, but I keep trying others and continually go back to this one. I wish it wasn’t so great and I could find one a little bit cheaper, but it is so worth every penny. I’m never disappointed when I put it on. I even get asked if I have lash extensions when I wear it.”

Get the Lancôme Monsieur Big Volumizing Mascara from Ulta for $26

12. This Nars bronzer for warming up the face

Warm up your skin with the Nars Bronzer Powder.

Reviews: 3,577

Average rating: 4.7 stars

Adding bronzer to your makeup routine can warm up the face and enhance your bone structure. The Nars Bronzer Powder comes in four shades, from light bronze to rich mahogany, each of which has golden shimmer flecks in it to add a glow to the skin. Apply the long-wearing powder to the perimeter of your face and in the hollows of your cheekbones to add depth to your complexion.

One Sephora reviewer raves about the fan-favorite “Laguna” shade: “I remember when I first tried this bronzer. The sales rep at Sephora said everyone was wearing it so I should try it (I was looking for bronzer). This was nine years ago and I have been through four! Do you know how long it takes to hit pan on these? That’s how awesome it is!”

Get the Nars Bronzer Powder from Sephora for $38

13. This Clinique foundation for medium coverage

Even your complexion with the Clinique Even Better Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Foundation.

Reviews: 3,501

Average rating: 4.5 stars

The Clinique Even Better Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Foundation is ideal if you want to even out your skin without adding too much coverage. The cream formula offers medium coverage and a natural-looking finish for normal, dry, oily or combination skin. It even claims to reduce dark spots from acne, age and sun damage while camouflaging them (though you should still wear additional SPF if you’ll be outside).

One Ulta reviewer writes: “I love this foundation and will always go back to it. I have a tricky skin tone to match that changes based on the seasons, and the shade Cream Whip is one of the best matches for my skin tone that I’ve ever found. It lasts well throughout the day, it doesn’t crease super badly, it’s got great buildable coverage and it provides that slightly dewy skin-like texture that I find so hard to achieve with my textured skin. A+ foundation in my book!”

Get the Clinique Even Better Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Foundation from Ulta for $31

14. This Clinique tinted lip balm for a pop of color 

Add a pop of color to your lips with the Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm.

Reviews: 2,958

Average rating: 4.6 stars

Tinted balms add moisture and color to the lips without looking blotchy as they fade, as some lipsticks might. The Clinique Chubby Sticks contain ingredients, like jojoba and castor oils, to moisturize the lips and the range includes 15 sheer shades, from a pink to plum-brown to red. They’re a no-fuss way to brighten your lip look.

One Ulta reviewer raves: “I love this product! I’m not a fan of lipstick, so this is the perfect alternative. It adds so much moisture to your lips with enough color to dress up or down.”

Get the Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm from Ulta for $19

15. This Tom Ford eyeshadow quad for an easy eye look

Enhance your eyes with the Tom Ford Eye Color Quad Eyeshadow Palette.

Reviews: 1,993

Average rating: 4.4 stars

For a complete eyeshadow look, you’ll want a few shades to enhance your eyes. Each Tom Ford Eye Color Quad Eyeshadow Palette comes with four colors that work together to create a seamless cool-toned, warm-toned or colorful gradient on the eyelids. There are 20 palettes to choose from and each contains a combination of sheer sparkle, shimmer, satin or matte shades. If you prefer neutral pinks, go with Body Heat. If brown hues are your speed, choose Suspicion. 

One Sephora reviewer writes: “I own several Tom Ford quads and I really love them. You need to know what you’re getting with this formula—it’s not like other brands. I love eyeshadow and I have tons of expensive palettes and when I wear these, I get asked what I’m wearing. By nurses, by hairstylists, by the cashier. It’s perfect for real life.”

Get the Tom Ford Eye Color Quad Eyeshadow Palette from Sephora for $88

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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