The 13 Best Makeup Brands at Sephora, Plus Editor-Loved Deals to Shop From Each |

The 13 Best Makeup Brands at Sephora, Plus Editor-Loved Deals to Shop From Each

Few words spark a genuine heart-racing excitement among beauty lovers like that of “Sephora”.  The beloved retailer is like a candy store full of beauty magic, inviting shoppers to give into their temptations, and dab, swatch, and play with some of the best brands in the game. While you’ll always find tried-and-true OG beauty brands, the last few years have brought a surge of exceptional new beauty brands to grace the Sephora shelves. 

As beauty editors, we are constantly testing the newest products to launch at Sephora to help you find the brands and products that are actually worth the hype. From skincare-makeup hybrids to celebrity-backed professional brands, there’s no shortage of buzz-worthy makeup innovation taking over Sephora today. In an effort to help you navigate the over-crowded makeup options available, we are breaking down the Sephora brands worth your hard-earned dollars. Whether you’re looking for beauty gifts for a friend or shopping for yourself, we’re making your search easier by sharing our favorite hero products from each brand.

Sephora Spring Savings Event

If you were in the mood to restock your vanity soon, you’re in luck this week. The Sephora Spring Savings Event is currently underway, with deals for all Beauty Insiders until April 15th. Those with Rouge status get 20% off, VIB status members get 15% off, and Insider status members get 10% off with code YAYSAVE.

Best Sustainable: Caliray



The brains behind this buzz-worthy product lineup is founder, Wende Zomnir, and while her name might not ring a bell, her products certainly will. Zomnir was previously the co-founder of Urban Decay, so yes, it’s safe to say she knows a thing or two (or a zillion) about awesome cosmetics and game-changing formulas. The Caliray brand is rooted in clean formulations with a laid back, California-glam vibe that beautifully bottles up that golden hour, ray-of-sunshine glow. It’s a brand that prioritizes all the good-for-you stuff like quality ingredients spiked with skincare boosters like niacinamide, bottled up in sustainably sourced recyclable packaging. The product lineup may be compact (with less than 15 different products in the range), but each of the thoughtfully designed products are easy to fall in love with, like a long-wearing lip and cheek stain, a blurring skin tint, and a volumizing mascara that will give your sworn-by favorite a run for its money. 

Byrdie Verified Product: Caliray Come Hell or High Water Volumizing Tubing Mascara

Sephora Caliray Come Hell or High Water Volumizing Tubing Mascara


We love how the teddy bear brush and stubby bristles catch, comb, and coat lashes—even the teeniest, tiniest little lash hairs. The formula glides on, lifting and curling each lash for a naturally fuller flutter that will rinse clean with soap and water—sans the aggressive rubbing. 

Best Glam: HAUS LABS by Lady Gaga

Haus Labs Foundation


Lady Gaga is no stranger to statement styles, and her Haus Labs beauty brand is no exception. It helps you achieve exactly that. In true Gaga fashion, every element of the brand is thoughtful and intentional with formulations free of over 2700 questionable ingredients, saturated pigments for eyes, lips, and face that deliver intense color payoff, and extensive shade ranges and color palettes that prioritize inclusivity across the complete spectrum of skin tones, sexes, and ages. The gorgeous packaging is both sustainable and practical—hello mirrored compacts—and feels every bit luxurious, making your daily makeup application feel extra glamorous.

Byrdie Verified Product: Haus Labs Color Fuse Blush

Haus Labs Blush


A small dab of this velvety smooth powder gives cheeks a healthy, natural flush that is hard not to love. It layers beautifully over foundation and stays put without getting smudge-y or cakey, and we love the large mirrored-compact, which makes for easy on-the-go touch-ups. 

Best Innovative: Milk Makeup

Milk Makeup blushes


Leave it to the creative minds behind  one of New York City’s most notable creative hubs, Milk Studios, to introduce a beauty line that re-imagined beauty as part of an individual’s artistic journey. Milk introduced a refreshingly genuine approach to makeup that paired clever and clean formulas with an extensive, and all-inclusive color palette that encouraged discovery and experimentation. They even reconsidered product packaging through their clever stick applicators that make it exceptionally easy for fuss-free, anywhere applications without the need for brushes or tools. The playful assortment of performance products for eyes, lips, and face, arm you with an array of options that invite you to experiment with textures and styles as a means of self-expression. 

Byrdie Verified Product: Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Hydrating Makeup Primer

Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Hydrating Makeup Primer


Don’t let the greenish tint in the bottle fool you—this gel goes on completely clear and instantly smooths skin thanks to trifecta of hydrating ingredients like blue agave, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide. The formula creates a beautifully even and remarkably hydrated base that will help your makeup apply evenly and stay in place until you wash it off. We gave it top honors in our best face primers ranking—we love that it smooths the look of skin and grips your foundation for all day wear.

Best Shade Range: Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

Fenty Beauty


The Barbadian superstar behind this celebrated beauty collection is no stranger to success. From chart-topping music, to trend-setting fashion styles, Rihanna’s work is some of the most influential of its time and her beauty collection is no exception. Fenty Beauty changed the face of the industry in September 2017, when the foundation lineup debuted a whopping 40 shades (and now 56 shades!), bringing the conversation of inclusivity to the center of the beauty conversation. While she was hardly the first to think outside a once-limiting shade range spectrum, her celebrity status and exceptional formulas certainly sparked a cataclysmic shift in inclusive thinking that permeated across the entire industry today. With an ever-expanding product assortment, Fenty now includes a rainbow of ultra-pigmented hues for eyes, lips, and cheeks, and even a skincare collection

Byrdie Verified Product: Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Contour Skinstick

Sephora Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Match Stix Matte Contour Skinstick


The silky smooth formula simplifies contouring into a few fool-proof swipes that blend seamlessly skin for natural definition in seconds. The creamy stick can also be buffed and blended for an all-over bronze too, and there’s a shade to match just about any skin-tone across the spectrum.

Best Vegan: Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez

array of rare beauty products lined up against beige background


This gorgeous brand bottles up the heart and soul of Selena Gomez, which makes it hard not to love. Despite her superstar status, Selena is refreshingly relatable with an authenticity that is hard to come by and a transparency on mental health that is commendable. The Rare Beauty collection encapsulates and celebrates those same pillars, inspiring users to embrace and celebrate their individuality with vegan and cruelty-free formulas you can feel good about dabbing all over your face. The brand features inclusive shade ranges and flexible formulas that make it easy to build your desired look. Our favorite part: a portion of all sales goes towards her pledge to raise $100 million for mental health over the next 10 years, adding a completely new feel-good factor to her already gorgeous products. 

Byrdie Verified Product: Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush

Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Soft Pinch Liquid Blush


As the name suggests, this blush gives you that grandma-pinched-your-cheeks kind of flush that instantly brightens your complexion—and honestly even boosts your mood a little too. It’s silky smooth, blends like butter, and comes in a color range of red, pink, and peach hues that play well with a wide range of complexions. And they’re super pigmented to boot.

Best Black-Owned: Pat McGrath Labs

Pat McGrath Labs blushes


Pat McGrath is to beauty what Michael Jordan is to sports: game-changing. And her namesake beauty brand is every bit as iconic as the esteemed icon behind it. Her legacy spans over three decades, and thanks to Pat McGrath Labs, all that incredible-ness is bottled up for use at home across a lavish beauty lineup fit for a queen.  Everything about the line feels rich and luxurious, from the gold-adorned packaging, to the creamy long-wear formulas, and supersaturated pigments. The shades and colors cover the spectrum, and combine versatile everyday hues with striking unexpected ones—like metallic gold pigment that looks even more glamorous than liquid gold itself. The products feel fancy and instantly elevate the makeup application experience, making it feel like a treat with each and every swipe or dust. 

Byrdie Verified Product: Pat McGrath Labs Mothership V Eyeshadow Palette

Sephora Pat McGrath Labs Mothership V Eyeshadow Palette


If the price is any indication, this is not your average eye shadow palette. But that’s precisely what we love about it. The colors and textures are so richly pigmented, they’re unlike anything you’ve ever swiped on before. From glittering bronze to iridescent opal and matte midnight violet, the combination of metallic and matte finishes are almost too pretty to touch. We’re big fans of the palette (as if you couldn’t tell), giving it almost a perfect rating in our review.


One/Size Setting Powders stacked on top of each other


Patrick Starr is no stranger to top-performing beauty products. While he got his start selling MAC Cosmetics behind the beauty counter, the Filipino-American influencer-turned entrepreneur became the superstar subject of five limited edition MAC Cosmetics collections, each one sending the beautysphere into full frenzy mode. He now has his own namesake beauty brand that celebrates all makeup lovers, with Cupid-approved red and pink-themed packaging symbolizing love. And love we do! The high-performance products include a range of base and complexion perfectors, alongside eye, lip, and cheek products that layer seamlessly and last long. Just like the multi-dimensional logo stamped on the front of all his products, the brand stands for the many faces of beauty, pointing to the drag and LGBTQ+ communities as inspiration to amplify this one size fits all makeup approach. 

Byrdie Verified Product: One/Size by Patrick Starrr On ‘Til Dawn Mattifying Waterproof Setting Spray

One/Size by Patrick Starr On Till Dawn Mattifying Waterproof Setting Spray


We love how quick this setting spray works. One quick spray over the face is enough to secure makeup in place and create a soft blurred effect that leaves makeup looking smooth and crease-free all day and night.  It gives the skin a matte finish, we found in our best setting spray testing, cutting shine so you can have a glow only on the areas you want it.

Best Hybrid: ILIA Beauty

Ilia Beauty products


Ilia dances the fine line between skincare and makeup with an elegance and ease that so many other brands have fallen short on. Their formulas feel as conditioning as your favorite skincare products—because spoiler alert, they are packed with active levels of skincare ingredients that protect and pamper. However, they also deliver on color payoff, long-wear performance, and a natural glam-factor that makes you feel beautiful and confident in the products you’re putting all over your face. Their products cover all the bases for eyes, lips, and face, and while the colored pigments steer more neutral, it’s the beauty lineup that will enhance your natural glow leaving your radiant complexion in the spotlight—with a rosy flush and power lip to top it off. 

Byrdie Verified Product: Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint With SPF 40

ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint With SPF 40


This foundation-suncare hybrid is an overachieving do-it-all that delivers on all its promises. The coverage is light but buildable, with a hydrated, dewy finish that leaves skin supple (as if you used a moisturizer, not a foundation). It also has ample SPF 40 protection making it perfect for everyday wear.

Best Splurge: Patrick Ta

Patrick Ta lip glosses


If the faces of Gigi Hadid, Kourtney Kardashian, and Lucy Hale top your beauty inspiration board, then Patrick Ta’s eponymous makeup line is made for you. The performance products arm you with everything you need to master a glow-y, even base, bold graphic eye, and statement lip with ease. The cream and powder blush, bronzer, and foundation duo compacts are equals parts gorgeous and easy to use for building natural (or dramatic) definition. While the prices are high, the stunning rose gold packaging is enough to make daily makeup application feel like a treat. 

Byrdie Verified Product: Patrick Ta Major Volume Plumping Lip Gloss

Sephora Patrick Ta Major Volume Plumping Lip Gloss


We don’t know what we love more—the look or the feel of this beautiful gloss. It has an immediate tingling sensation, thanks to cinnamon and ginger extract, but it dissipates in seconds and settles into smoother, fuller lips with a glam gloss finish.  

Best Minimalist: Merit

Lineup of Merit products


This minimalist beauty brand stays true to its DNA. With a refreshingly simple 11-product lineup, Merit is a breath of fresh air that stands out, even alongside the extensive product ranges that clutter the shelves around it. But don’t be fooled by its minimalist approach: the only thing simple about this product line – apart from being easy to navigate—is the impossible to mess-up products. There are chubby sticks and crayons that make for easy face defining, and a collection of tinted lip oils you don’t need a mirror to apply. The formulas may be easy to apply, but simple they are not. Each one is spiked with plant-based boosters, like squalene and antioxidants, that add extra conditioning benefit to the area you apply them. They are deliciously creamy, blending seamlessly with skin to highlight and amplify your natural glowiness. Added bonus: the formulas are vegan and cruelty-free.    

Byrdie Verified Product: Merit Beauty Flush Balm Cheek Color

Merit Flush Balm Cheek Color


This stubby stick simplifies makeup application into a few simple swipes. The creamy balm is infused with vitamin E and a splash of color for a natural, dewy finish or one you can layer and build for a more dramatic rosy flush. 

Best Tools: Makeup by Mario

Makeup by Mario brushes


It’s hard to talk makeup artistry without mentioning Mario Dedivanovic. While we first admired his artful face-chiseling on Kim Kardashian, he then let us in on his expert secrets with educational master classes that helped us contour like a pro—or at least try to. In an attempt to get you one step closer to mastering his techniques at home, he gifted us his namesake Makeup by Mario product line. The range of easy-to-use products for eyes, lips, and face combine fool-proof formulas and multi-purpose tools to simplify makeup artistry altogether. Education remains at the heart of the brand, and the product lineup features a range of face-defining powders and creams, alongside an extensive collection of tools to help you achieve any look.

Byrdie Verified Product: Makeup by Mario F1 Makeup Brush

Sephora Makeup by Mario F1 Makeup Brush


We love this dual sided makeup brush because it pairs a larger and smaller angled brush head that make it versatile for multi-use application all over the face. The larger fluffier side is great for applying and blending cream or powder blush, bronzer, and highlight, while the smaller head is great for blending contour and concealer.

Best Base: Saie

Saie products in a row


Saie is hardly the first beauty brand to jump into the minimalist beauty game but we can promise it’s one to pay attention to. Their products and packaging prioritize the good-for-you ingredients and sustainable materials as much as any high-quality beauty brand, but where they really stand out from the pack, is in their complexion lineup. Their multi-tasking face products—like dewy highlightersunscreen, and serum foundation—pair lightweight, comfortable textures, gorgeous dewy finishes, and hydrating ingredients that leave skin feeling supple and looking more even and glow-y. Their lip products are creamier than most and leave lips impeccably conditioned thanks to hyaluronic acid. While the product assortment is on the smaller side, every product in the lineup is purposeful and memorable—the kind you will continue to turn to for everyday wear.   

Byrdie Verified Product: Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter

Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter


We love how this skin illuminator is mixed with skin-loving ingredients like vitamin C (to brighten) and papaya seed oil (to calm). The results are noticeably glow-y, instead of shimmery or shiny and it also mixes well when added to foundation for natural lit-from-within radiance. 

Best Cruelty-Free: Lawless

Lawless lip products on a pink background


This brand is proof that a good-for-you beauty lineup isn’t limited to a boring neutral color palette. When founder, Annie Lawless, was diagnosed with Celiac disease, she dove deep into the ingredients she was putting in and on her body. The result: Lawless Beauty. The product line combines high-performance pigments and exceptionally gentle formulas that you can feel good about applying all over your face. The juicy color pigments are bold, flirty, and fun, while also spiked with hydrating ingredients that make each product feel conditioning and comfortable. 

Byrdie Verified Product: Lawless Forget the Filler Lip-Plumping Line-Smoothing Tinted Lip Balm

Sephora Lawless Forget the Filler Lip-Plumping Line-Smoothing Tinted Lip Balm


The lofty name comes with high expectations, but this stick doesn’t default on its promises. The silky balm is exceptionally hydrating thanks to shea butter and jojoba oil, and is spiked with a natural peptide that boosts collagen production for a subtle plumping effect. We love how our lips look fuller, poutier, and cushiony soft. 


  • What is Sephora’s return policy?Sephora accepts new or gently used products for a full refund to your original method of payment, if returned within 30 days of purchase. Returns made between 31-60 days after purchase are eligible for online or store credit. All Sephora returns must be accompanied by proof of purchase. 
  • Do Sephora points expire?Unredeemed points expire after 12 months or more of inactivity associated with your account—meaning you haven’t made a purchase or redeemed points or a birthday gift in over a year. Additionally if your membership is canceled or revoked, your points will expire immediately. 

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