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Brand Makeup Products: My Top 5 “Musts” Reviewed

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

When I first started practicing makeup, I did not know which products worked well with my skin or which products would help me make a flawless base. With normal-to-dry skin, I began to lean more on hydrating products that gave me more of a glowy look without my skin looking oily. I soon found the products that made my skin feel great and helped me achieve a seamless base. Though there are drugstore brands that I love and continue to reach for in my makeup bag, much of my base makeup relies on brand products. Here are my top five brand makeup products, rated and reviewed:

Prisme Libre Loose Setting and Finishing Powder in the color Voile Rosé from Givenchy

Despite how expensive it is, my number one product is Givenchy’s setting powder. The product has four compartments, each with a different powder color, that release into the powder puff together to create the perfect shade of powder. The Voile Rosé palette of powder gives a soft pink finish that works well for my lighter skin tone with some pink undertones. 

I noticed the difference as soon as I patted the powder under my eyes. There was a flawless, seamless look, brushing away any insecurities or flaws in the cream product application. Because of its pink tones, the product also helped make a seamless transition from the concealer to the blush. Any noticeable pores seemed to disappear. When paired with my number two pick on this list, especially, the matte look was not overbearing. Instead, the matte powder helped create a flawless under-eye look. 

As I said, the biggest downfall to this product is that it is priced at $59. However, since it comes with a powder puff, four different powder colors to provide the perfect shade for your skin tone, and has lots of product in the container where it won’t run out in an unreasonable amount of time, I believe it is worth spending money on this designer makeup product. I do not find myself finding another finishing powder to top this one. 

Rating: 10/10

Airbrush Flawless Filter Setting Spray by Charlotte Tilbury

When I started focusing more on the base of my makeup, I knew I needed a good setting spray to complete the look. Charlotte Tilbury’s setting spray was perfect for my skin as it was both hydrated and not sticky. 

Even spraying it on my beauty blender to dampen the sponge and press my cream products into my face was a game-changer. If I feel like I need to set my face in between steps or right before powder products, this setting spray is my go-to rather than relying on a powder which can sometimes leave the face cakey. After powder products, the face can often look too matte or lifeless. So after finishing my last step, spritzing the spray a couple of times brought back that glow.

Though $38, this setting spray comes in a very large bottle, 100ml for the full size, and will last a very long time. Since having this product, I have only needed to repurchase it once. 

Rating: 10/10

Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in the shade $weetmouth by Fenty Beauty

Fenty Beauty’s Gloss Bomb first caught my eye because of the shade of this gloss. They have many shades of this lip product, but $weetmouth was the perfect light pink shade to match my skin and lip tones. Before buying this shade, I had the original gloss bomb, Fenty Glow, which was a bit too dark for me. 

gloss bomb

This gloss is the perfect texture with an ideal balance between creamy and sticky. Sometimes glosses can be too sticky that the product either needs to be reapplied way too many times, wasting product or can dry out your lips. Fenty Beauty’s Gloss Bomb, though, has the perfect formula to gloss your lips and keep them hydrated. It provides that full, plump look, and for $21 there is enough product in the packaging to last you a long time. 

The only reason I cannot give this product a solid 10/10 is that I only reach for this product when doing a full-glam look. I’ve tried to apply the gloss with just a regular, daily makeup look, and it seemed a bit too out of place/a bit too much. However, for a full-glam look, this is my number one lip product even without a lip liner. 

Rating: 9.5/10

Benetint Liquid Lip Blush & Cheek Tint from Benefit Cosmetics 

The Benetint blush and cheek tint is one of the first makeup products I ever received as a gift before I even started getting into makeup. 

When first trying the product, I certainly applied too much. The tint is dark enough that the product shows up even with just a few dabs on each cheek, but blends into the skin very nicely. I also enjoyed how this is fully liquid, not a cream product. It allows me more room to make a mistake and fix it because the product is so light and watery. Since this is a tint instead of a cream product, the blush lasts longer throughout the day. With this product, a little goes a long way. Though $21-$30 depending on which size you buy, my Benetint has been in my makeup bag for a very long time without me needing to repurchase it even with the smaller-sized bottle.

I noticed that my best application of the product is dabbing a few dots on my cheeks wherever I want the blush to be most noticeable and blending it immediately with my fingers, patting it into the skin. With a beauty blender, because the product is watery, the sponge can soak up too much of the product.

My one downside to this product is that because I have a lighter skin tone, using the tint on my lips makes them appear too dark and it is often too difficult to wipe away even with makeup remover. However, just as a cheek tint, this product is my go-to and the first blush product I use on my face every day. 

Rating: 9/10


When I first noticed my skin was drier around my eyes, it took me some time to find a concealer that worked well and did not pill/separate or crack. I even tried concealers that specifically had “hydrating” in the name, and those were above average at best. 

I first found the Kosas brand through TikTok and decided to give it a try. At first use, the creamy consistency of this concealer gave the right amount of hydration while providing excellent coverage. I am someone that does not use foundation, either, and this concealer works very well for spot coverage and mimicking a full face without having that layer of foundation. For more of a full-glam look, this concealer is perfect for cleaning up harsh contour lines and giving more of that snatched look. I noticed the concealer works best if you apply the concealer on your hand first to let it oxidize and warm up a bit before applying it under your eyes, then continuing to blend it out with a brush when on the face. This concealer also has a decent shade range as well.

Another reason why I lean towards this brand is that their formulas are plant-based, don’t use fragrances, and have not clogged my pores. 

There is a downside to this concealer, however. The first is the price. This Kosa’s concealer is $30 before tax, which is not ideal for the amount of product one might typically go through. However, for a fully plant-based formula, I can understand why this is a pricier product. 

Rating: 8/10

Overall, though these products are on the more expensive end because they are brand-name makeup products, I believe these are worth the money. Many of these products on the list will last longer than expected. There are also many drugstore brands that have “dupes” of many brand products, including some on this list.

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Sydney Ciano

U Mass Amherst '25

Sydney is a student at UMass Amherst studying English and Sports Journalism looking to pursue a career in sideline sportscasting reporting. She has a strong interest in poetry writing, having published her first poetry book prior to college, and pop culture. Aside from writing, she enjoys sunsets, makeup, reading, and listening to a variety of music.