It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or professional, perusing through all the makeup brands on the market to find your absolute favourite, must-have products is no easy task.
And it can especially be hard when it feels like new makeup brands are popping up on the market every other week or so.
So how do you choose the right makeup for you? Reading up on a brand and getting samples when possible is key, according to makeup artist Amy Hanneman.
“Do your research, look at blog posts and reviews when it comes to choosing a product from a particular brand,” she told news.com.au.
It’s also important to make sure the product will “go beyond pretty packaging”.
“Identify what it is you want out of a product and ensure the brand is transparent in what they are claiming to deliver,” Amy, who has been working in the editorial, commercial and bridal makeup industry for the last 10 years, said.
To help your search, we’ve rounded up a list of the very best makeup brands we’ve come across.
Our list includes cult beauty brands that you’ve seen all over social media (think Charlotte Tilbury), affordable Aussie-made picks like MCoBeauty and their TikTok-famous tubing mascara, international designer labels like Dior Beauty, and so much more.
And if you’re stuck on product recommendations, we’ve also included each brand’s hero, best-selling products, so you know exactly what to add to your shopping cart first.
In this article
BEST CULT FAVOURITE MAKEUP BRANDS
Beloved by influencers and everyday makeup users around the world, these are the brands you’ve likely seen splashed all over your Instagram feed.
Charlotte Tilbury is a world renowned makeup artist, so it’s no surprise her beauty brand is just as iconic. Offering high quality, impressive formulations with immense colour pay off, diverse shade ranges and innovative products, the brand is an established cult beauty brand. For context, and to speak to its popularity, the #charlottetilbury hashtag on TikTok has almost three billion views – and it’s currently endorsed by none other than international supermodel Bella Hadid.
The matte nude-pink colour is designed to look good on everyone, no matter your age or skin tone.
The (many) five star reviews describe it as the “perfect nude” that “stays on all day” without drying out your lips.
“Pillow talk is an amazing colour. It’s a colour that goes with everything and you can wear it casually or on a night out,” one reviewer wrote.
They’re creamy, easy to use, easy to blend and play with the light to make your skin glow from within – what’s not to love about the Beauty Light Wands? There’s a bunch of colours to choose from, including the iconic Pillow Talk shade, a gold highlighter shade and this gorgeous pearly pink blush shade.
Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez has taken the beauty world by storm ever since its launch in 2020. There’s a huge focus on empowerment and self-expression, with blendable and easy to use formulations and unique product names like ‘Positive Light’, ‘Always An Optimist’ and ‘Kind Words’. The #rarebeauty hashtag has well over five billion views on TikTok, so you could say it’s very popular among makeup wearers.
Offering long-lasting colour pay-off, this blush blends beautifully into the skin and is available in a wide range of shades, in both matte and dewy finishes.
Described by five-star Sephora reviewers as their “holy grail” mascara, this product promises to do it all – lift, lengthen, curl and volumise your lashes.
YSL Beauty is one of those premium luxury beauty brands that stands the test of time. They’re reliable, with amazing colour pay-off and fantastic formulations. Plus there’s loads of product categories to browse through – take your pick from high-shine lipsticks, illuminating concealer, easy-to-blend eyeshadows and so much more.
Finding a good lipstick is no easy task – so why not try one of YSL Beauty’s bestsellers? The colours are super vibrant, with loads of gorgeous shades to choose from. Plus they’re super shiny and glossy, to make your lips look super luscious.
The most important part? This lipstick feels comfortable all day long. It’s racked up an average customer rating of 4.7 out of five on the YSL Beauty website.
If you’re looking for something to instantly brighten the skin, look no further than the YSL Beauty concealer pen. The formulation is lightweight with a natural, luminous finish – plus we love the addition of the micro-lightening pigments to reflect light off the skin and totally brighten the complexion.
It’s a bestseller and has racked up an average rating of 4.7 out of five on the official retailer’s website.
An icon in the beauty industry for her signature brows, Anastasia Beverly Hills has been offering high performance makeup since 1997. The brand has now expanded into lip and contour products, and (more famously) eyeshadow palettes that have gained cult status in the makeup world – think the Modern Renaissance and the Soft Glam eyeshadow palettes.
This ultra-slim and precise brow pencil is exactly what you need to create those light, fine brow strokes when you’re filling in your brows.
The Brow Freeze is a clear, long-wearing styling wax designed to help give you that laminated brow look, perfect for those unruly brow hairs.
BEST AFFORDABLE MAKEUP BRANDS
If you’re on a budget (and aren’t we all?), these makeup brands offer high quality at affordable price points.
MCoBeauty is all about making their shoppers feel excited about beauty, either through a new product formulation or by creating a dupe for a popular high end product.
It helps that the entire product range is priced under $40 – meaning you can support an Aussie, cruelty-free and vegan beauty brand, all without breaking the bank.
A product that went viral on TikTok, the Xtendlash Tubing Mascara is an innovative tubing mascara that prevents smudging, flaking and that dreaded panda eye look. The glossy formulation binds to your lashes for all-day wear, and is removed effortlessly with warm water and gentle pressure.
This Cheek & Lip Tint is perfect for those looking for buildable, natural-looking colour. Choose from four flattering shades and easily blend the product into your cheeks and lips.
The beauty brand that you can shop just about anywhere: the supermarket, chemist, beauty retailer, you name it. Maybelline is globally regarded as a go-to brand for affordable makeup, covering everything from complexion to eye products to brow products and more. And it helps that the products perform just as good (if not better) as ones that are double the price.
The flexible brush is designed to catch and lift every single lash, giving you long-lasting volume and length.
It’s racked up a whopping 87,000 five-star Google ratings, with happy customers calling it their “go-to product” and a “must have in my daily makeup routine”.
L’Oreal has been around for over 110 years, creating best-selling makeup products since the 1980s. The brand offers impressively accessible price points while still delivering high-quality results. Whether you’re looking for a foundation that looks natural, a mascara that won’t run, or a lipstick in just about any colour, they’ve got the goods.
It delivers volume without making your lashes clumpy, and it lasts all day without smudging.
Any number of beauty influencers will tell you the True Match Foundation performs just as well as its higher-priced counterparts – it looks natural, offers great coverage, and feels lightweight on the skin.
BEST INCLUSIVE MAKEUP BRANDS
All-round icon Rihanna looks perfect 24/7, so it’s no surprise that her beauty brand has cemented itself as an internet favourite. The brand made a clear statement when it released its 40-shade foundation range covering all skin colours and undertones. Now Fenty Beauty offers concealers, contours, highlighters, blushes, eyeshadows, lippies and more – and every product boasts consistently high ratings from reviewers.
The Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Foundation offers a natural flattering finish that instantly smooths the skin for a flawless appearance. It’s racked up close to 15,000 five-star ratings on the Sephora website, with reviewers noting a little goes a long way – making it well worth the price.
With close to 14,000 five star ratings on the Sephora website alone, the Gloss Bomb range is certainly well worth the spend. Not only does it feel incredibly soft and nourishing, it makes your lips looks oh-so-glossy and juicy.
BEST DESIGNER MAKEUP BRANDS
Want to splurge on makeup that feels a little extra luxurious? These are our top picks that are actually worth the cash.
The French luxury brand is synonymous with fashion, fragrances, skincare and of course makeup. If you’re looking to add a touch of luxury to your makeup routine, this is a great place to start, with a wide selection of products for the face, eyes, brows, lips and more.
The nourishing and hydrating lip oil enhances the natural shape of your lips – all you need to do is pick a colour and get it while it’s still in stock (it sells out often).
The multi-use powders are richly pigmented, yet buildable, so you can bronze up the face, add some colour, highlight and more.
BEST AUSTRALIAN MAKEUP BRANDS
Shop these homegrown makeup brands with world-class quality. Premium makeup and support the local economy? Count me in.
Born in Sydney, Nude by Nature began with a capsule of just three mineral foundations, a bronzer, finishing veil and makeup brush, and has since become Australia’s number one mineral makeup brand. Dedicated to offering products that are better for your skin and for the environment, the brand creates minimalist makeup that’s natural, cruelty-free, made with 100 per cent natural ingredients and free from unnecessary chemicals, synthetic ingredients and preservatives.
It’s the perfect lightweight everyday alternative to your usual foundation.
This subtle and blendable cream highlighter works over foundation or on bare skin and contains nourishing jojoba oil and oat extract.
BEST MAKEUP BRANDS FOR MATURE AND/OR SENSITIVE SKIN
Estee Lauder is known in the beauty community for an attention to innovation and push for industry firsts – just take a look at the best-selling Advanced Night Repair line. This further translates into the makeup, with a range of high-performing foundations, concealers, powders, mascaras, lip products and more.
Giving you a “flawless finish in seconds”, the formulation is buildable, long-wearing, oil-free and semi-matte.
One five-star rating customer on the Myer website said they “love this mascara, no panda eyes by the end of the day … great for over 50s”.
BEST CRUELTY-FREE AND VEGAN MAKEUP BRANDS
Born on the beaches of Byron Bay, Eye Of Horus is all about redefining holistic and natural beauty. The brand views makeup as skincare, so you’ll find a range of high-quality, natural ingredients that are organic and free from parabens, gluten, synthetic fragrances and chemicals – oh and they’re vegan, too.
The formulation is smudge-proof, water-resistant and long-wearing (just like any other great mascara) but it’s infused with moringa oil, rice bran and sustainably sourced beeswax.
This award-winning formulation is great for sensitive eyes, promises to never smudge and is 100 per cent cruelty-free.
BEST NATURAL MAKEUP BRANDS
Australian beauty label Ere Perez uses powerful, skin-loving botanic ingredients to formulate a complete makeup range with intense colour-pay off. The products are free from parabens and phthalates, cruelty-free and predominantly vegan – with the exception of a few products.
The Oat Milk Foundation offers a medium, buildable and natural finish and is infused with natural oat milk, peach and vitamin E to nourish the skin.
All about that dewy complexion? The Vanilla Highlighter uses a unique light-reflecting formulation to catch the light and illuminate your skin.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN EVALUATING MAKEUP BRANDS?
It all comes down to whether the brand creates high performance products that actually do as they suggest, Amy said.
The makeup artist also rates brands that have “a wide variety of options in terms of shade choice and skin concerns”.
“Products that withstand an array of conditions, i.e. problematic skin types, weather conditions such as heat and emotionally charged events like weddings, tick the right boxes when it comes to choosing one brand over another,” Amy added.
“Makeup will move throughout the course of the day, however, in creating and providing a product that has longevity is necessary for being a successful brand.”
WHAT ARE THE BEST-SELLING MAKEUP BRANDS?
Lucky for you, we’ve featured a good chunk of the best-selling makeup brands on our list right here.
Top picks include MAC Cosmetics, L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, Maybelline, Revlon and more.
Make sure you get the best deal on every purchase by visiting news.com.au Coupons, where you’ll find discounts on all your favourite online stores.
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Originally published as Best Makeup Brands To Buy In Australia In 2023