I’ve loved makeup ever since I was a 12-year-old watching makeup tutorials on Youtube. My first splurge was for Urban Decay’s now discontinued Naked Palette (at the advice of a beauty YouTuber), and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve continued to spend time hunting for products I think are worth my while.
Luxury makeup, like luxury skincare, seems like a beast, but if you know what to look for, it’s very much worth the splurge. Once you add a Chanel lipstick or a Georgio Armani foundation to your lineup, you’ll understand why sometimes, luxury makeup is really worth the sticker shock.
I like mixing highbrow and lowbrow, and luckily, my job allows me to play around with tons of different formulas at different price points. After testing many luxury brands, I know which ones are actually worth your money—and more importantly, which hero products to buy from each if you want to (strategically) amp up your makeup game.
Believe it or not, the iconic fashion house’s makeup line is just as luxurious as the brand’s clothing. Chanel’s foray into beauty began with Chanel No. 5, its most well-known (and arguably the most well-known) perfume. Chanel No. 5 revolutionized the perfume industry and the brand has been making waves in beauty ever since.
It’s my personal opinion that it is a rite of passage to own a Chanel lipstick—that’s how good they are. This one has the dreamiest matte finish and lasts for hours.
This foundation mimics your skin, and after applying it, it looks like you have a filter on.
2. Tom Ford
Tom Ford set out to make a modern luxury brand, and everyone can agree that he did just that. Tom Ford’s makeup line is a true staple for anyone who wants high-quality luxury beauty that goes above and beyond.
A good lip gloss is hard to come by. This gloss does it all: it delivers intense shine, high-impact color, and a hit of moisture. Plus, it’s not sticky.
One matte cheek color and one frosty cheek color ensure that you can always create the most flawless, sun-kissed look.
Lancôme came to fruition in the 1930s and has stood the test of time. Today, the brand’s vision is “beauty for all,” which it achieves with high-quality products that are worth every penny.
This perfectly pointed eyeliner will give you the sharpest cat eye (every time).
Lash Idôle has to be one of the best mascaras I’ve ever tried. It gives lashes more length, volume, and separation than I previously thought possible.
4. Gucci Beauty
When Gucci’s makeup line was revived in 2019, it was met with plenty of fanfare—and for good reason. Gucci’s makeup products are meant for makeup lovers and people who appreciate their playful, vintage-inspired packaging.
Gucci’s signature lipstick is inspired by Jean Harlow’s titular role in Goldie, and it’s the most classic, sophisticated red you can imagine.
This multiuse face gloss is often sold out. You can use it anywhere on your face to illuminate features or place it on top of makeup to add a glassy, luminous finish.
5. Clé de Peau Beauté
This Japanese brand is backed by cutting-edge science that aims to make skin look as radiant as possible, and that translates into all of their covetable makeup products.
Yes, I know $130 is a lot for a foundation, but I would never recommend something at that price point that wasn’t worth every penny. This innovative formula illuminates skin, minimizes pores, and imparts a radiant glow. Plus, it’s infused with SPF, so you get a little extra protection from the sun.
Like the foundation, Clé de Peau’s concealer works overtime to perfect your skin. This full-coverage formula can help camouflage everything from dark circles to blemishes.
6. Pat McGrath Labs
Anna Wintour once dubbed Pat McGrath “the most influential makeup artist in the world.” Her eponymous makeup line proves that even further, with rich, bold colors and high-performing formulas.
Highly pigmented rosy shades make this one of the best pink-toned makeup palettes on the market.
Just one swipe of this blush leaves you with an incredible flush like you just walked inside from the cold. The color payoff is intense, and it’s highly blendable, so you can truly customize this blush to your own preferences.
7. Charlotte Tilbury
Like Pat McGrath, Charlotte Tilbury is another makeup artist that has reached superstar status. Tilbury doesn’t miss—everything in her makeup line is worth adding to your collection.
This illuminating wand has gone viral on TikTok. Use it as a highlighter or as a blush. It will make you look effortlessly glowy and fresh-faced.
Is there a more iconic lip color than Pillow Talk? According to the brand, four Pillow Talk products are sold every minute. The universal nude looks good on everyone—it enhances your natural lip color and makes lips look flawless. Use the liner to create a natural-looking lip lift.
When Swedish perfumer Byredo launched their makeup line in 2020, everyone in the beauty industry lost it. This makeup is made for makeup lovers and people who like to play around with makeup.
This palette is versatile and will quickly become your most reached-for eye shadow.
Swipe this color stick anywhere—seriously. This can be used as a highlight, an eye shadow, or even a lip color if you’re feeling bold.
Dior makeup is the height of luxury—just like the brand itself.
This lip plumper is a cult-favorite, and anyone who has tried it knows exactly why. It looks good on every skin tone, and leaves lips moisturized and pillowy.
This TikTok sensation is consistently sold out. It makes sense, too—as far as blush goes, this one delivers an other-worldly glow to cheeks, leaving you looking lit-from-within.
10. Westman Atelier
Renowned editorial makeup artist Gucci Westman founded Westman Atelier, a clean makeup brand that has taken the beauty world by storm. These products are all good for your skin and highly efficacious.
This highlight stick couldn’t be easier to use, and it gives you a radiant glow that looks like an enhanced version of your natural skin.
Consider this compact the height of customizable beauty. This innovative lip palette can be blended, or each color can be used on its own. You can even swipe across the cheeks—the possibilities are endless.
11. Surratt Beauty
This brand merges New York ideals with Japanese innovation for products unlike anything you’ve ever encountered before. Surratt “puts artistry at everyone’s fingertips,” which is a philosophy we can get behind.
I’ll wager you’ve never seen a mascara with a brush like this before, and that’s what makes it so unique and singular. This metal “brush” allows you to coat every last lash and doesn’t give you any clumps or flakes.
Like the lash tint, this brow pomade is unique-looking (it almost looks like a toothbrush, no?). It’s the bristles that help make sure brows are evenly brushed through—they distribute the ideal amount of product.
12. Yves Saint Laurent
YSL Beauty makes the kind of products you might expect a makeup artist to have in their kit backstage at fashion week. The legendary fashion house’s beauty products are elegant and practical.
Behold, my favorite under-eye concealer of all time. This concealer flawlessly covers dark circles, all while color-correcting and brightening. It doesn’t even look like you’re wearing any makeup.
Somewhere at the intersection of a lip oil and a lipstick, you’ll find this lipstick balm. It gives lips radiant shine, highly pigmented color, and tons of moisture.
Givenchy’s beauty products are all about celebrating femininity, with classic colors and luxe formulas leading the charge.
This color-correcting, four-in-one finishing powder is a favorite among makeup artists. It gives a flawless, filtered finish, and never looks cakey.
For effortless, just-been-kissed lips that the French are known for.
14. Giorgio Armani
Armani beauty is all about bringing elegance to your everyday life. These products enhance the skin’s natural beauty.
You’ll find this foundation on just about every list of the best foundations. It goes on effortlessly and leaves you with radiant, even-toned skin.
With just one swipe (and no primer needed), you can create a runway-worthy eye look that lasts all day. Use it as an eye shadow or as an eyeliner.
Founded in 1828, Guerlain is one of the oldest brands on this list. Guerlain makeup products are timeless and infused with Parisian sophistication.
These novel illuminating powder pearls can be used all over your face to color correct and add luminosity to the skin. Use them to set makeup and watch your complexion transform.
Guerlain’s bronzer doesn’t just contour—it also adds moisture and nourishment to the skin with argan oil. It’s easily blendable and makes you look instantly sun-kissed.
16. Sisley Paris
This French luxury brand makes plant-based products made with top-tier ingredients that help perfect skin.
Use this to sculpt your face by creating a subtle, glowing flush that looks natural, thanks to light-diffusing pigments that impart radiance.
A unique gel-powder texture looks heavenly once applied to the skin, as it illuminates and evens texture. Infused with gardenia, wood mallow, and linden blossom, it also helps nourish and soften.
The most recent luxury brand to enter the beauty world, Valentino came in swinging. The Italian brand’s makeup formulas are high-performing and offer an inclusive shade range.
It’s a primer, moisturizer, and highlighter all in one. If you wear this alone or under makeup, it gives you a diffused, all-over glow, and if you use it on the high points of the face, you’ll have a highlight that simply looks like you found the good light—in any situation.
Refillable beauty is the name of the game these days, and a lipstick this luxe being endlessly refillable is music to any beauty lover’s ears. This lipstick comes in 50—yes, 50—high-impact shades.
We’d be remiss not to include Hermès, the endlessly coveted French luxury brand. You may not be able to get your hands on a Birkin, but you can put the designer’s luxe makeup on your face, and we think that’s pretty great.
This blush will look just as good on your vanity as it will on your face. It’s endlessly blendable and customizable, so you can have as pigmented color as you want.
An Hermès lipstick is the height of sophistication and cool—full stop.
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