• Karen Lee

Rare Beauty Review + Swatches | Plus notes on smell, ingredients, and wear-time | Holiday Mini Sets

Updated: Nov 5


Left to right: Blushes: Bliss, Joy, Love; Lip souffles: Transform, Inspire, Fearless; Lip balms: Thankful, Support


So, when Rare Beauty dropped, I was pretty excited because the brand's philosophy around makeup really resonated with me. Everything seemed super approachable and easy to use. However, there wasn't anything compelling enough for me to want to buy right away, so I waited for minis to be released. There was also a lack of good swatches so that I could see what the product might look like on.


In a COVID world, there's no way to try products out at the store, so you kind of have to go with what reviewers are saying. I thought I'd toss in my two cents as well. Mostly because swatching products is fun.


If you want to learn more or watch me swatch these items, check out this video:



Here are my swatches and brief thoughts on all the products.


Dewy Lip Balms:

Thankful, left. Support, right.



Tbh... I can't really tell which is which when swatched. Even in person when I swatch them, they are VERY similar. I think thankful is the top one?


Thankful is a nude mauve, and Support is a plum brown. These are not very accurate color descriptions. Thankful is cooler-toned and support is warmer toned.


They both read more coraly/deep salmon rose/sheer burgundy. Mauve or brown??? I don't really see it... Regardless, these are the two colors I would have bought full-size versions of anyway, but I would have been quite disappointed if I bought both. Support is probably the one I would repurchase a full-size version of.


Of all the products, these are the ones I reach for most. They aren't particularly good at being hydrating (what I would expect from a lip balm), but I like them a lot as sheer lipsticks. They have a lot more color payoff than I would expect a tinted lip balm to have.


In terms of longevity... it is not long at all. The more I wear it, the less I love this product because it just doesn't deliver on the hydration front. I love the color payoff, but when I have matte lip products that are more hydrating than a supposedly dewy one... Houston, we have a problem.


Also, they smell like skittles.


Liquid blushes:

Left to right: Joy, Love, Bliss


I loved these for a couple days, but then I realized that it's really hard to blend them out because once they set, they're SET. But also, they are SO pigmented, it's hard to control how much (little) to use. I can use the smallest dot of all time, like the equivalent of a seed bead size, and that's enough for one cheek.


I love all three colors, but I find bliss the easiest to work with on my fair skin - I can get away with applying it with my fingers. The other two shades, I need to use a Beautyblender to sheer things out so I look less clown-like. I've tried using a brush, but I didn't love the results.


In terms of longevity, I do find these to last all day. I had to do the lip souffle swatches further down on my arm because these did stain my skin.


The matte formula definitely feels more powdery than the dewy one. If you don't like the slip of silicones in your products, I'd opt for the dewy formula. Or you know, you want to prevent the bioaccumulation of silicones in our environment. That's valid too. (Personally, I limit my use of silicones for this reason).


These smell like makeup. The matte formula has a distinct siliconey smell.


Lip Souffles:



Top to bottom: Inspire, Transform, Fearless


If you're thinking that these don't look anything like the swatches on Sephora's site... they really don't. What kinda throws me off as well, is the opaque packaging, so the colour of the tube doesn't hold true to the product inside the tube.


Fearless is a mauve that translates to a more dusty rose when sheered out. (Checks out with the descriptor as deep mauve rose. Although I would just call it a mauve rose.)


Inspire is a bright orangey-red. It's described as a bright red, but it's not a true red.


Transform is a berry-red. It's described as a deep wine, but just "wine" is more like it. When sheered out it just reads as more of a true red than Inspire.


They smell a little bit like marachino cherries.


I think that calling these a lip cream is a bit of a misnomer. They aren't hydrating like you would expect a liquid lip cream would be. They aren't drying like most popular matte liquid lippies, so it won't make your skin pucker like a zombie, but they don't keep my lips as hydrated as my favorite matte liquid lip from Charlotte Tilbury.


I find this product feels like the moussey, whipped texture of Charlotte Tilbury's liquid matte lip at the start, but then becomes more of a dryer stain like YSL's matte tatouage.


The formulas aren't exactly groundbreaking, but definitely something different. They may not be great overall, but they do have a great price point and great package design.the number one ingredient, followed by at least four more kinds of silicones). I'm not anti-silicones, but it does form a barrier that prevents the product from sinking in and becoming one with your skin. (That's why it's in so many primers). On the other hand, these silicones do not prevent it from being effective stains. It's been a few hours and I still have faint red bands of lipstick down my arm. They are more staining than the liquid lip blushes, whose stains you can see between these lip swatches and my wrist (below).




Overall:


These are fun makeup products, but not my everyday go-to's due to how they wear overtime on me.


The formulas aren't exactly groundbreaking, but definitely something different. They may not be great overall, but they do have a great price point, and great package design.


For more long-wearing version of the sheer lip balms, I would recommend Nudestix's gel lip+cheek balm. And for a more comfortable, opaque, long-wearing liquid lip, I will be reaching for my Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips. For a long-wearing, sheer, matte lip, I'll be reaching for my Westman Atelier lip pallette (that stuff is seriously hydrating)..would have been impossible to maintain the price point.


For more long-wearing version of the sheer lipbalms, I would recommend the Nudestix's gel lip+cheek balm. And for a more comfortable, opaque, long-wearing liquid lip, I will be reaching for my Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips. For a long-wearing, sheer, matte lip, I'll be reaching for my Westman Atelier lip pallette (that stuff truly delivers on hydrating and weightless).

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