Which Makeup Brand is Right for Me? {Part A}

Which makeup brand is right for you?


“There are so many makeup brands and products! How am I ever going to choose which one to buy? Should I just buy them all?”

This is one of the top questions I receive from clients as a makeup artist. And you know what? I totally get where the confusion and struggle comes from. About eight years ago I took my first step into Sephora and literally have lost my mind since then. I have bought countless and countless USELESS products simply because I liked what the package promised.

If I could get back the money I spent on products that didn’t work for me… I’d be rich!


Which makeup brand is right for you?


I have no doubt every legit makeup product on the market has some sort of merit. However, the question you need to ask yourself is, “is this going to work for ME and my needs?” 

Once you figure out your needs then the makeup selection can be narrowed down. It’s a bad, bad thing to walk into Sephora or Ulta without an idea/mission. This type of makeup shopping will burn a hole in your pocket real quick!

Makeup needs to consider: aging, sensitivity, vegan, bold statements, illuminating, soft looking makeup, etc.

After you have figured out your makeup need the next crucial question to ask yourself is, “what am I going to support in a makeup brand?”

Working with makeup and makeup brands has taught me something that I have never considered before: each makeup brand has their own mission statement and moral “guidelines” that they follow.

What is important to you? What will you support and stand for? What are your needs?

Here’s the thing, there are multiple brands with amazing but similar products. I am very much in love with NARS Sheer Glow Foundation but the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk is seriously just as amazing (and the formula is very similar). Both high end foundations with very similar results; how do I choose? I choose the NARS foundation because it’s easy for me to get — in Montana we only have Ulta (no Sephora). Ulta does not carry Giorgio Armani cosmetics so that made my makeup choice fairly simple. Although this may change now that I am officially moved to Washington state.

My Kylie K lipkits are another example. I love them so much but they cost a pretty penny! But, Colourpop Cosmetics carry lipsticks that are VERY similar and have an amazing lasting power for a fraction of the cost.

Because we tend to find our “favorites” in the makeup world and continue to buy those particular products for years, I truly believe it’s crucial to know where our money is going and what it stands for. Some makeup brands donate money to world hunger while others are dedicated to cruelty-free.

So, in light of the makeup branding confusion and the push of YouTube makeup gurus, I decided to help clear up the mess with naming popular makeup brands and their main mission statement! Of course, please keep in mind that mission statements are ever-changing  but maybe this will provide you with some sort of guidance.

In no particular order except alphebetical.


how to know what makeup brand is best for you!


“Inspired by this age-old ratio, Anastasia created a unique and breakthrough method of shaping brows. By following these principles, she could create a set of arches that perfectly framed and suited any face shape. This patented Golden Ratio® method remains at the heart of Anastasia Beverly Hills. Each product launch is inspired by makeup’s unique ability to create the illusion of facial balance, symmetry, and proportion.

On cruelty-free list and licensed for bunny logo

My thoughts: high-quality makeup aimed towards makeup artists and perfecting facial features. (Eyebrow products are AMAZING)


which makeup brand is right for me?


“We’re from San Francisco, surrounded by artists and innovators who inspire us to think differently, follow our gut instincts and to pour our heart and soul into everything we do.We create products like no other brand, and we connect with women in ways that no other brand would dare. For over 35 years, we’ve built a community of strong, passionate women who have become customers—but more importantly—lifelong friends. We create innovative products that are powered by nourishing, skin-loving minerals. We formulate our products with purity in mind, so you can feel good about everything we make. We connect with women in deep meaningful ways because we’ve never been content with just making them look pretty, we want to make them feel beautiful. WE EXIST TO MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN WOMEN’S LIVES.”

On cruelty-free list

My thoughts: bareMinerals offers gentle, lightweight mineral makeup that encourages a beautiful but natural look. Many of their foundations include SPF that will help protect our skin from further damage!


how to know what makeup brand is best for you!


“We believe in whistling while you work it…and faking it ‘til you make it.We believe in fast & fabulous beauty solutions…and that glamour is grabbing life by the giggles and not letting go. We believe if at first you don’t succeed, apply more lipstick…that sexy gets you everywhere…and if you can’t be good, be gorgeous. We believe laughter is the best cosmetic!”

Not currently on cruelty-free list

My thoughts: fun and effective makeup products for beautiful women (inside and out). Packaging is vintage inspired and features strong women.



how to find the right makeup brand for you


“Today Clinique’s mission is to be the most trusted Prestige beauty brand in the world, with market leadership and authority in Dermatological Skincare and Foundation. From the very beginning we want our clients to recognise us as the smart choice, always innovating to deliver high quality, effective, safe, Allergy Tested, Fragrance Free products that are designed for living and enhance her natural beauty, every day. Clinique will offer a High Touch experience through the highest standards of service, coupling simplicity with the most advanced diagnostic expertise and knowledge of the skin. This combination will inspire lasting engagement with consumers of different ages and ethnicities.”

Not currently on cruelty-free list

My thoughts: Highly effective skincare products with a wide variety of needs. The foundations are formulated to blend with many different skin types!


how to find the right makeup brand for you


“It’s time to rock your beautiful and connect with other COVERGIRLs just like you! easy breezy beautiful COVERGIRL®For fifty years, COVERGIRL has created must-have beauty products that bring out the best in women. We understand the transformative effect makeup can have not just on the outside, but the inside as well and have always been an advocate of women rocking their unique kind of beautiful. Since 1961, COVERGIRL has made it easy, breezy, and beautiful to be yourself.”

Not currently on cruelty-free list

My thoughts: Although not always recommended by some makeup artists, products feature a fun flair and perfect for those on a budget. They were the first to feature a male makeup brand rep.


finding the right makeup brands for you


“Developed with leading plastic surgeons, IT Cosmetics® creates clinically proven, innovative, problem-solving color cosmetics and skin care products that harness cutting-edge, Anti-Aging technologies and high performance, skin-loving ingredients to provide you with serious beauty solutions designed to give you the power to look and feel your most beautiful! IT’s truly your beauty, but better!TM”‘

On cruelty-free list and licensed for bunny logo

My thoughts: Fantastic makeup designed specifically for aging and common skin issues. The makeup is gentle but extremely effective in protecting skin from further damage and disguising “flaws”. Many of their products offer SPF to help protect our skin!


how to find the right makeup brand for you


“Provide women around the world with the highest quality products and services that fulfill their quest and enthusiasm for beauty. The cornerstones of the brand are its four key values: caring, innovation, expertise and the “French touch.”

Not currently on cruelty-free list

My thoughts: Lancome features high-end products with a luxuries feel. They are a well respected, classy brand that has stood against the age of time.


how to find the right makeup brand for you


“For more than a century, we have devoted our energy and our competencies solely to one business: beauty. It is a business rich in meaning, as it enables all individuals to express their personalities, gain self-confidence and open up to others.
Beauty is a language. L’Oréal has set itself the mission of offering all women and men worldwide the best of cosmetics innovation in terms of quality, efficacy and safety. By meeting the infinite diversity of beauty needs and desires all over the world.
Beauty is universal. Providing access to products that enhance well-being, mobilizing its innovative strength to preserve the beauty of the planet and supporting local communities. These are exacting challenges, which are a source of inspiration and creativity for L’Oréal.
Beauty is a commitment.”

Not currently on cruelty-free list

My thoughts: They feature amazing products at an even better price. L’OReal is currently holding my #1 spot for drugstore foundations and mascaras.

Part B will be posted at a later date and contain the continuation of this list from brands between the letters of L-Z. Let me know what your favorite brand is!

This information and much more will be available in the “Mommy Makeup Course” which will be launching soon!

Tenesha's signature for The Beauty Within 31






* *cruelty-free data is taken from Peta.org

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  1. I’m trying to make healthier, lasting changes in my selection of hair and makeup products. But, I too get sucked into the wonderful Ulta vortex and end up buying great makeup that is probably no better than the others in terms of harmful chemicals. I am looking for makeup that is affordable, easy to obtain, does its job, but is not loaded with nasty ingredients.

    • You and me both! Not until recently did I truly realize how certain chemicals in makeup can really wreck havoc on skin so now I’m trying to make conscious makeup decisions. Since you’re looking for affordable I would try Physicians Formula — they use less chemicals and their products are amazing for drugstore quality!
      Tenesha recently posted…Which Makeup Brand is Right for Me? {Part A}My Profile

  2. Great info! Some of my tried and true makeup choices are just not cutting it anymore. I’m definitely paying the price for poor choices in my youth. Looking forward to reading Part B.

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