Thanks to Sephora Philippines, we have access to international products from popular brands without having to book a ticket (although, of course, we wish Sephora would open a physical store in the country soon!). And guess what? Last year's much-anticipated beauty brand, Rare Beauty, has officially made its Southeast Asian debut, and we have all the deets!
Rare Beauty sets itself differently. It holds a promise that not all beauty brands have, which is to celebrate self-expression and normalize mental well-being. A well-known mental health advocate, founder Selena Gomez created Rare Beauty to break the stigma on mental health and empower individuals to be confident and redefine the meaning of beauty.
"Rare Beauty can be more than a beauty brand—it can make an impact. I want us all to stop comparing ourselves to each other and just start embracing our own uniqueness," Gomez said in the website's bio.
Rare Beauty's Global Director of Education and Events Pearse Renfree, who was at the virtual press launch with Sephora Southeast Asia, called Gomez a "voice of this generation."
"She's an advocate for mental health and self acceptance. And having that messaging, the backing of our brand about positivity and promoting: 'We don't need to look like everyone else to feel beautiful'—that's a little different than the traditional beauty message."
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He also added that by opening up conversations about mental health and making it "more of the norm," others would feel less alone. "There's lots of different people who have probably a similar mindset as you, and having this open conversation is so important," he adds.
But what's makes Rare Beauty... rare?
"For us, it really is about what makes you feel good. And then that's exactly what we'd like for you to use. " Renfree shared. "It's not like we're sitting here like selling you everything that's inside of the line. It's like do whatever makes you feel like your best self. Whether that's using one product or using 10 products, we like celebrate all of that."
Renfree also shared that every product in development "has been a suggestion from our community."
"We really take a lot of feedback into consideration. We always listen to what our community is saying and what people are asking for," he said.
But before you head on to Sephora and check out your cart, read on to learn more about our favorites from Rare Beauty.
Always an Optimist Primer
Primers are usually used to create a smooth base for your makeup and reduce oil and shine. But this one gives a healthy natural shine to the skin.
"She (Selena) doesn't like wearing a foundation every single day, so she wanted a product that she could wear all by itself and it was going to give her that kind of like healthy skin effect without the foundation. That's exactly what this one does," Renfree explained as he was applying the primer to the model's skin.
This primer has a water-based, silica-free formula that absorbs well on the skin, and has a soft, cooling effect, too! "I love that because in the mornings when you're getting ready, it's like really going to just kind of hydrate and nourish your complexion," Renfree shared.
Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation
The Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation is a breathable and buildable, serum-like foundation. Renfree says if you prefer a natural finish, you don't need to set this with powder as it sets on its own.
"As a brand, like when we talk about makeup, it really is celebrating what makes each of us unique and special. We don't want to create like too much coverage on someone's complexion. Because we want like their skin to be like the star—we want it to shine through," he added.
He also shared that their complexion line is consistent when it comes to formulas and textures: airy, weightless, buildable, and easy to apply. They also contain a botanical blend of Gomez's three favorite flowers: Lotus, Gardenia, and whitewater Lily that are made to calm, soothe and nourish the complexion.
The range comes in three undertones: warm, cool, and neutral; and 48 shades.
Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer
The next thing Renfree introduced is his favorite product, the concealer. The Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer has hydrating ingredients to give the skin a flawless, nourished glow. It also features a doe foot applicator and a pin tip applicator for small blemishes. If you're oily, this one's for you because it's sweat-resistant, long-lasting, and doesn't cake!
Blot & Glow Touch Up Kit
Touch-ups have never been more convenient. This 2-in-1 compact features blotting paper and a puff that has built-in powder! Gomez's "baby," her "absolute must-have product," the Blot & Glow Touch Up Kit was born out of the actress' frustration of not finding a compact that can, well, blot and glow.
"She learned from Hung Vanggo, who is our makeup artist, that oftentimes like if you just take powder and you blot it over top of an oily face, it just creates kind of like a texture almost to your face, because you're just pushing that oil back into your skin. So she learned like a long time ago, you have to remove the oil before you apply your powder. So she's like, 'why is there no compact out there where I can do both? I need to do both when I go out.'"
Soft Pinch Liquid Blush
Their best-selling product, and another of Renfree's personal favorite, is a weightless, long-lasting liquid blush. It comes very pigmented, so a little goes a long way! They're available in both matte and dewy finishes and it comes in 8 shades.
Renfree's advice is to usa a dense brush like the Liquid Touch Foundation Brush. "I love using the foundation brush because since this is such a pigmented formula. Having something that's densely packed is going to instantly diffuse your pigment," he said.
Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner
Gomez is known for her signature winged liner, and with this you can achieve that. This easy-glide, waterproof liquid liner has over 1,000 vegan bristles that allows ease of application. "It's great for a novice, but it's also great for someone who already knows how to rock out that liquid liner," Renfree said.
Positive Light Liquid Luminizer
This highlighter can be used in so many ways aside from applying it on your cheek. Renfree says you can "literally mix it into every single product in your kit." Yes, from your primer to your foundation to concealer, to moisturizers and body lotion! It comes in different base tones of yellow, bronze, rose gold, and pearl and features a doe foot applicator.
"The cool thing about this formula—which is super unique...—every single highlighter has a different probe particle inside it. So each one reflects light in a different way to complement that the skin tone," Renfree shared.
Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream
A look is not complete without a lippie. This product was developed by the 29-year-old singer-actress because she wanted a moisturizing liquid lipstick. Redfree shared, "Selena developed this because she really loved the look of a liquid lipstick that would have to apply chapstick like 19 times a day. So she wanted to have that really soft kind of flexible texture. And this one has a moisturizer built inside."
It comes in 12 shades and is priced at P1,350 each.
Photos from Sephora/Rare Beauty