Top Cosmetic Brands: With so many makeup brands on the market, not to mention so many new ones launch every day, it can make even the most seasoned beauty editor dizzy. As a result, more products and dosage forms are available than ever before. We guarantee that no matter what type of makeup you’re looking for, there’s a brand that has it. To make your search easier, we’ve rounded up some of the best makeup brands we’ve come across, from OG classics to impressive newcomers.
Read on to learn more about our top cosmetic brands for your makeup.
The international fashion house is also a major player in the luxury beauty world, as it has been since it was first launched in 2000. The makeup draws inspiration from fashion with the same timeless classic vibe, not to mention an incredibly high-performance formula. Yes, ICYW, Mr. Armani himself was a part.
Hourglass has been a fierce brand since around 2004, long before it became the “it” thing. (They’ve even gone a step further and donated a portion of their profits to an organization that works to protect basic animal rights.) They have a long list of celebrity fans and beauty editors, and they’ve been out in the world. Luxury, high-performance products in every category. It’s no surprise that new releases often sell out, sometimes within 24 hours.
We now think of Rihanna as a great beauty person, maybe even more than a music superstar. Inspired by the lack of inclusivity in the industry, she launched Fenty Beauty in 2017. Unsurprisingly, skin-toned products are a staple of the brand and come in a variety of shades. The foundation made big news by launching the product in 40 different shades. (PS: Her latest Fenty Skin is just as impressive.)
Forget the beauty industry, it’s one of the biggest brands in the world, a global giant with hair care, skin care, and cosmetic lines. The cosmetics collections are full of cult classics as well as all kinds of popular newcomers, always at affordable prices.
Pat McGrath Labs
There are no doubts about it – Pat McGrath is a legend and probably one of the most prolific makeup artists of all time. Showcasing around the world, she collaborated with several brands, culminating in 2015 with her eponymous collection. It’s a brand for girls who love makeup and want the same trendy, editorial look that McGrath is famous for, think holographic shadows and gilded lips.
This relatively young brand has done a lot of different things, and they’ve all been very good. The brand is all about quick, easy and simple beauty. Boasting skin-loving ingredients and blurring the lines between skincare and cosmetics, their blended formulas are an option for those who like to keep their routines simple and streamlined. These products also have a unique, comfortable texture, unlike anything we’ve ever seen in tinted face oils and liquid shadows. Best of all, they’re also a clean brand, banning over 2,700 ingredients.
Exa by Credo Beauty
The beginner became the great beauty news because Credo was the first Credo private line, which was an undeniable leader in a clean beauty room. Therefore, there are no more than 2,700 chemicals and also attach great importance to sustainable packaging. Although there are only two products at the moment (with more expected soon), they are so good that we think this small but possible brand deserves a place on this list.
What started as a small collection of 12 lipsticks at Barney’s quickly became a true beauty brand giant. Known for its iconic black and white packaging and cheeky product names (Climax Mascara, Orgasm Blush), NARS has been a staple in the celebrity beauty world for decades, yet remains fresh and innovative.
British makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury is a red carpet sensation famous for her glamorous, feminine looks for A-list clients. She launched her eponymous collection in 2012 to bring the same glamor to real women around the world. The packaging is of course smart.
But the recipe never disappoints and each release makes us more excited than the last.
Urban Decay was an anomaly when it first hit the market in 1996. It’s the exact opposite of many more decent, feminine makeup lines.
That edgy vibe still underpins the brand today (their tagline is “beauty with an edge”) along with a focus on innovative formulas and bold colors and textures.
Usually, professional makeup artists tend to keep their kits in high-end luxury collections. This drugstore brand is an exception. It makes sense, since the brand is rooted in professional-quality formulas, colors, and products, and there’s no shortage of them. In addition to a wide range of color options, there is a seemingly incredible number of options in all categories. Let’s not forget to mention the affordable price, which is a boon for those who like to experiment with makeup.
This Californian brand (interestingly named after the lifeguard tower in Santa Monica) brings a sunny West Coast vibe to all of its products with fun colors and formulas.
Tower 28 is not only a great cleansing option but also for people with sensitive skin; the founder created the line when she couldn’t find a product for her irritated skin.
As one of the first brands to truly put clean beauty on the map, it’s the ingredients – what they use and what they don’t – that matter most to this brand. Most of their product line is filled with skincare ingredients, truly embracing the makeup skincare line, and they also emphasize sustainable packaging.
The makeup industry has come a long way when it comes to incorporating shadows (although there’s still a long way to go).
But that wasn’t the case when supermodel Iman launched her eponymous line in 1994.
Tired of having to bring her foundation to photo shoots… she started the brand to offer women with darker skin a wide range of shades.
If you’re like us, this was probably one of the first “real” makeup brands you used A department store that’s been around since 1991.
At the time, it was one of the few brands that used ‘natural’ makeup nude. lipsticks, neutral shadows, and light foundations.
This natural simplicity is still in fashion today.
They are a beautiful brand success story. Glossier was once an online-only indie brand, but it made it big and is now one of the most recognizable and stylish brands for girls. What started as a makeup line quickly expanded into skincare, body, and even fragrance offerings—who knows what’s next for this juggernaut?
Talk about a classic. Maybelline was born in 1915, wait for it, when founder Thomas Lyle Williams created a mascara-like product. (Which makes sense, since they’re still famous for their amazing line of mascaras.) Fast forward to today, and it’s one of the best-selling makeup brands in the country, constantly introducing innovative new products and what they’ve been trying to deliver. were surprised – and it is a real staple product.
As beauty industry veterans, we’re always skeptical of celebs—are they legit or just looking for a quick way to make a buck? Take Rare Beauty, which Selena Gomez created, curated, and even finished, it’s a first. It’s all about easy-to-use products with play-with-me textures, in extremely inclusive shades. Not to mention that part of the profits also go toward the $100 million Gomez has pledged to donate to mental health services.
Rituel De Fille
With a tagline of ‘exciting natural colors’ and product names such as Devil’s Claw and Love Spell, the brand has a uniquely mysterious, magical feel, yet remains somewhat unknown. It’s a favorite of Byrdie editorial director Faith Xue, who calls it a “magical makeup look” and a great cleanser; all products are made from 99% natural ingredients. Unique colors and textures are also a mainstay.
Many brands tout the use of skincare ingredients in their formulas (and many do), but this is the only cosmetic line we’ve seen in collaboration with plastic surgeons. Result? The high-tech formula is enriched with skin-friendly active ingredients that truly bring immediate and long-term changes to your complexion. Unsurprisingly, they’re known for their complexion-enhancing products, which are a popular choice for many women, especially those with issues like rosacea (including founder Jamie Kern Lima) and acne.
Many brands tout the use of skincare ingredients in their formulas (and many do), but this is the only cosmetic line we’ve seen created in collaboration with plastic surgeons. Result? The high-tech formula is enriched with skin-friendly active ingredients that truly bring immediate and long-term changes to your complexion. Unsurprisingly, they’re known for their complexion-enhancing products, which are a popular choice for many women, especially those with issues like rosacea (including founder Jamie Kern Lima) and acne.
Coco Chanel once famously said, “If you’re sad, if you’re disappointed in love, put on makeup, get a beauty treatment, put on lipstick, and attack.” While her beauty line may be known for its iconic No5 signature fragrance, it’s also a stunning collection of products that are just as luxurious and luxury-worthy as the classic Chanel quilted bag.
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Anastasia Soare is the undisputed queen of brows, responsible for the perfect arches of Hollywood’s elite (we’re talking Madonna, folks). Her first product line – an eyebrow must-have – apparently hit store shelves 20 years ago and has since grown into an entire empire. Of course, there are plenty of eyebrow enhancement options, as well as a full makeup line, impressive eye shadow palettes, and lip products.
Do you love spending less than $10 on any beauty product? This is the brand for you. It’s a convenience store, prized for its extremely affordable price and high-quality formula that can easily compete with its more expensive counterparts. They also launch products quickly, both to set and keep up with various trends in the industry.
Like the stories behind many other collections, French-born makeup artist Laura Mercier’s eponymous line was born out of an unsatisfied need for facial care products that would leave skin looking naturally flawless. Fun fact: She even created the first base primer.
What to look for in a cosmetic brand
When looking for a makeup cosmetic brand, a good place to start is to choose one that is known for its high-performance products. It’s wise to read reviews and listen to trusted makeup artists, beauty editors, or beauty sites like Byrdie to find out which brands make the best products for them. Brands on this list like Armani, L’Oreal, Hourglass, and Fenty are high-performance brands that you can trust to deliver effective products.
If cruelty-free or clean beauty products are important to you, look for makeup cosmetic brands that follow these rules. Many brands have focused on developing cruelty-free products, eliminating less-than-pure ingredients. Some cosmetic brands also promise to offset their carbon footprint and use environmentally friendly packaging. Shading included
Makeup and cosmetic brands have long limited shades to lighter shades, with zero or minimal options for darker skin tones. If you care about the inclusion of shades, find the right makeup brand for you. More and more brands are becoming more conscious and developing more comprehensive makeup collections for everything from foundation to eyeshadow to lipstick.
When choosing a cosmetic brand, you should always consider the price. The best makeup brands can be expensive and are often worth the money. However, many high-quality, affordable makeup brands work well and are loved by makeup artists and consumers alike. Consider your budget when choosing the best / top cosmetic brand for you.