As exciting and innovation-led as the beauty industry has become in the last couple of decades, choosing from the wealth of products available in the marketplace has become overwhelming.
According to Fortune Business Insights, “The global makeup market size was valued at $39.58 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from $41.49 billion in 2023 to $58.15 billion by 2030.” With numbers like these, it will undoubtedly become more difficult to separate the good from the great.
When you’re in doubt due to the myriad of offerings out there, simply turn to these cult favorites .
But pay no heed. There are well-loved products that have stood the test of time in spite of the influx of popular new makeup products and brands. These so-called cult products have become household names, mostly through word of mouth, are repeatedly purchased and consistently deliver on their promises—be it a healthy glow, thick, long lashes or natural brows that are always on point.
We did some research, as well as asked beauty experts and enthusiasts to share their all-time favorite makeup products that have proven effective and superior to the vast majority of choices out there. Here are the clear winners that deserve a place in your beauty arsenal.
Cle de Peau Concealer
The name “Clé de Peau” is actually French and translates to “key to beautiful skin.” As such, the Japanese brand’s philosophy is centered around the pursuit of radiant and flawless skin through both skincare and makeup. In keeping with its promise, Clé de Peau concealer provides the perfect, natural-looking custom coverage to camouflage imperfections, dark circles or discoloration without appearing cakey or thick. Possibly THE holy grail of all makeup products, it has a creamy texture that blends seamlessly and provides long-lasting coverage.
Jeweler Janina Dizon shared, “I’ve had dark circles recently from lack of sleep and changing hormones. The concealer is full to medium coverage and I was pleasantly surprised that the coverage is creamy and non-drying and it performs really well. Worth the price for a concealer addict like me.”
You can also opt to blend and apply the concealer with Clé de Peau’s Correcting Cream Veil for easier application and a brightening effect.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
Your skin but smoother and better! This must-have product provides lightweight and sheer coverage that’s perfect for humid weather. More importantly, this combination of skincare and makeup offers a new and improved formula that’s infused with skincare benefits. It improves the appearance of visibly dry skin over time with its hydrating complex, and protects skin from the sun’s harmful rays through its Broad Spectrum SPF UVB/UVA sunscreen.
Makeup artist to Anne Curtis Smith and other notable celebrities, John Pagaduan said it is also longwearing and buildable, “You just need to spot conceal or apply more to some areas where you want more coverage or attention.”
The eyes have it
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz
Perfectly groomed eyebrows can frame your face and create a more polished look. And if there’s one product that can help you do these, it’s Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. Popular among beauty experts, it features an ultra-fine, retractable pencil that allows for precise application, helping you create defined but natural-looking brows effortlessly.
“Its’ perfect pigmentation and consistency can help create a natural look. And it’s easy to use,” said makeup artist and fashion model Baba Parma.
Created by Anastasia Soare, a renowned eyebrow artist and entrepreneur, Anastasia Beverly Hills was launched in 1997 with focus on eyebrow shaping and products.
Urban Decay Naked Palette
Released in 2010, The Urban Decay Naked Palette revolutionized the eyeshadow game and became an instant favorite. According to Allure magazine, there was one sold every six seconds in 2015. To date, there are more than ten different Naked Palettes, from Naked 3 to Heat to Smoky and more, most of which have acquired cult status.
Featuring a versatile range of neutral and highly pigmented shades, this iconic palette offers an array of possibilities for creating both everyday and more dramatic looks. With a blendable formula and a mix of matte, shimmer, and satin finishes, the Naked Palette has become a beauty staple for makeup artists and beauty aficionados.
Maybelline Great Lash
In the market since 1971, Great Lash is one of the oldest and most enduring mascaras in the industry. Its consistent presence and popularity over the years have contributed to its cult status.Considered a “drugstore brand,” it’s a high-quality mascara that’s available at a budget-friendly price point.
Its lash-doubling formula and lash-building brush provide lengthening and volumizing effects. The best part is that it doesn’t clump, smudge or flake! Aside from winning Allure Readers’ Choice Award and Best of Beauty Award, Maybelline Great Lash has gained a significant following through word-of-mouth recommendations. Many loyal users (friends, family and beauty Influencers) have expressed their love for the product through positive reviews.
That healthy flush
Nars Blush in Orgasm
Wildly successful since it came out in 1999, Nars Orgasm is a universally flattering shade that creates a natural flush plus a youthful and radiant glow. Offering a delicate balance of peachy-pink tones and subtle golden shimmer, its audacious moniker and the fact that it simply looks good on anyone and everyone have elevated Nars Orgasm to legendary status.
Influencer and tablescape queen Pinky Tobiano shared, “The ultimate authority in blush, I love Nars’ weightless texture and flattering pigment. Nars Orgasm is, in a word, sexy!”
Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Pillow Talk
Given the hundreds upon hundreds of lipstick shades out there, you’d think it would be impossible to identify the most iconic lipstick brands and shades. And although there are all-time greats like Dior 999 or Mac’s Ruby Woo, the ones that made this list are lippies in natural colors that can create that polished “no makeup makeup look.”
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk comes in as the number one pick for lipsticks! The nude shade flatters most skin tones and the matte-satin finish glides perfectly. In a recent Tiktok video, celebrity Hailey Bieber featured the lipstick, which she loves because it perfectly matches her lip color. It also comes in Medium and Intense for those who prefer a darker, deeper hue.
Dior Addict Lip Glow
“I can rotate lipsticks and blushes, but this is my make up bag staple! Really buttery formulation that gives a flattering, sophisticated healthy glow for your lips,” says marketer and self-confessed beauty junkie Raiza Revilla.
Equal parts lip balm and lip tint, Dior Addict Lip Glow provides hydration and a subtle hint of color, be it pink, coral or berry, for example. It enhances one’s overall look without appearing overly made-up, which makes it a popular choice for everyday wear.
There you have it. Choosing your makeup staples need not be a difficult task. When you’re in doubt due to the myriad of offerings out there, simply turn to these cult favorites for tried and tested makeup products that are really all you need.