Aesthetic AF

An Honest Review Of 2023’s Biggest Celeb Beauty Product Releases

Here’s what to add to cart and put in your to-go bag in the new year.

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The best beauty trends of 2023 were all about creating an aesthetic. TikTok’s viral strawberry girl and latte makeup turned foods and drinks into lewks, while Barbiecore fashion and beauty fearlessly embraced bright (predominantly pink) color. Like I said, *aesthetic*.

Ahead of what’s sure to be another year of glam trends, I tested a bunch of this year’s most talked about launches from the biggest celeb beauty brands to see which ones actually delivered on the hype and are worthy of incorporating into your aesthetics in 2024.

2023’s Biggest Celeb Beauty Brands, Unpacked

With companies like Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics coming out with their very first mascara formulas and Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty and Halsey’s about-face dropping new eyeshadow sticks this year, there was sooo much to shop. But, since even girl math can’t justify splurging on every single product from every single line, I put the biggest drops to the test and pulled out a few standout products that you’ll want to bring into the new year.

Over the course of a few weeks, I tried eyeshadow sticks from Fenty Beauty, Rare Beauty, and about-face, makeup staples like concealer and foundation from Kylie Cosmetics and r.e.m. beauty, and of course, the TikTok-viral products you saw all over your FYP: Fenty Beauty’s color-adapting cheek and lip stick and rhode’s doughnut-glazed tinted lip glosses.

Below, you’ll find the celeb beauty brands and products that stood out this year:

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Fenty Beauty’s Most Popular 2023 Releases Kept Fans Fed

Rihanna delivered all year long with buzzy new Fenty Beauty drops, including new shades of Gloss Bombs and Cream Blushes, the Hella Thicc Volumizing Mascara, and the December release of Glitty Lid Shimmer Liquid Eyeliners, which can high-key take your NYE makeup lewk up a notch. (The Amethyst shade is *so* gorgeous IRL.)

I loved the TikTok-viral Match Stix Color-Adaptive Cheek & Lip Stick (which basically adapts to the perfect shade for your skin tone), but in general, my personal standouts this year were more understated. The Eaze Drop Stick Blur + Smooth Tint Stick Foundation (basically a stick version of RiRi’s cult-fave foundation) instantly smoothed out any texture and pores, and was easy to put in my on-the-go bag.

I also found myself recommending the Fenty Beauty Shadowstix Longwear Eyeshadow Stick to my friends. As someone with hooded eyelids, I liked that both the matte and shimmer options were matched to Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r shade ranges, adding subtle definition to my eyes without looking too done up.

Overall review: All. The. Yeses. In particular, TikTok beauty stans looking for GNO-worthy statement makeup products should consider springing for the Match Stix Color Adaptive Cheek & Lip Stick or the Glitty Lid Shimmer Liquid Eyeliners. If you’re more into understated makeup, give the stick foundation a try.

Rhode's Most Viral 2023 Releases Were All About Color

Rhode packed this year with new peptide lip products, starting off with a strawberry glaze flavor of the brand’s fan-favorite Peptide Lip Treatment in August. However, Hailey Bieber’s most game-changing drop was the launch of the now-sold-out Rhode Peptide Lip Tints, which basically combines your makeup and lip treatment into one product.

I was a big fan of the monochromatic latte-esque Toast color, but my absolute favorite was the limited-edition Peptide Lip Tint in Jelly Bean, a light pink color which has a hint of shimmer and major Y2K vibes with its candy-inspired flavor.

Overall review: I didn’t find the lip tints quite as hydrating and long-lasting as the OG lip treatment formula, but as far as color cosmetics go, these are seriously moisturizing and add a subtle plumping effect.

R.e.m. Beauty’s 2023 Releases Made Getting Perfect Skin Even “Sweetener”

Ariana Grande’s r.e.m. beauty kicked off 2023 with multiple “Thank U, Next” collection drops starting in January, including themed lip glosses and eyeshadow palettes.

However, the brand’s most highly anticipated release, the Sweetener Foundation, was my standout product from this year. Leaning into the skin care-foundation hybrid trend, the hyaluronic acid-infused formula provided very light coverage with a weightless texture and a natural-looking finish. I liked the broad range of shades and that the product makes your skin look like, well, skin, but someone with large pores or other skin imperfections might not like how light the coverage is.

The holiday Holiglitch collections were also a moment; they really played into the viral frosty angel makeup trend from TikTok. It pairs Ari’s fan-loved liquid eyeliner, At the Borderline Liquid Eyeliner, with a brand new lavender chrome cream eyeshadow in Frostbyte. It’s lightweight but very shimmery, and I used it for all of my holiday party makeup looks.

Overall review: Surprising. I was honestly amazed by how much I loved the Sweetener Foundation. If you only buy one r.e.m. beauty product, this is a great bet.

Kylie Cosmetics Revamped Classic Makeup Essentials In 2023

Kylie Jenner is the undisputed queen of lip products, and her cosmetics company delivered this year with the release of TikTok-loved Tinted Butter Balms and matte lipsticks. The reality star also took it back to the basics for 2023 by dropping a new and improved concealer, Matte Liquid Eyeshadow, and the brand’s very first mascara.

The buzzy Kylash Volume Mascara, which comes in an aesthetic light pink tube, was on the more expensive side at $24, but I appreciated that it’s lightweight, has lash-strengthening ingredients like grapeseed oil, and was non-clumpy as I applied multiple layers to build volume. While volumizing mascaras typically leave deposits of black residue on my eyelids, I was pleased that I didn’t have that problem after using Kylash — although I would have liked a slightly smaller wand and more length on my lashes.

IMO, Kylie Cosmetics’ biggest hit of 2023 was definitely the viral Power Plush Concealer, which I surprisingly really loved. It was creamy, buildable, and had great coverage while being non-cakey when I used it to hide dark circles and pimples. I wish the formula was slightly dewier, but it gave my skin an airbrushed glow and looked great in pictures.

Overall review: Kylie Cosmetics ate this year with a bunch of great new products, but the Power Plush Concealer and Kylash Volume Mascara are the standouts that are worth buying.

About-Face’s 2023 Releases Were All About Statement Beauty

Halsey’s vegan makeup line went bold this year, dropping a line of high-shine Cherry Pick Lip Color Butters and eyeshadow Smokesticks. I tend to stay away from bright colored lipsticks because of the maintenance, but the lip butters had a consistency that was part lip oil, part lip lip balm while delivering on the shine and bright pigment of a lipstick. It lasted for hours after I put it on, and the fruity flavor was an added plus.

My favorite about-face makeup release this year were the dual-ended Smokesticks, which helped me seamlessly create the perfect smoky eye. The crease-proof formula features a creamy crayon on one end, and powder eyeshadow applicator on the other, helping you seamlessly blend and smoke out your eyes. Right now, I’m loving the orange-hued Stoke the Flames one, but I’m excited to try bolder options like the bright blue Dawn To Dusk hue for New Year’s Eve.

Overall review: If you have yet to perfect the perfect smokey eye, you need some of these Smokesticks in your makeup collection.

My Top 2023 Pick From About-Face

Haus Labs’ Buzzy Concealer Release Was One Of My 2023 Faves

I had high expectations for Lady Gaga’s Haus Labs 2023 releases after previously trying the Triclone Skin Tech Foundation. This year, the “Bad Romance” singer dropped an updated medium coverage version with fermented arnica, as well as a matching Triclone Skin Tech Hydrating + De-puffing Concealer with Fermented Arnica.

After trying the concealer, I’m hooked, and it’s now taken up residency as my go-to product in my purse. The lightweight formula gives your skin a beautiful glow with zero caking or creasing, and it blurred fine lines and patches of dryness I get during the colder months. It’s also the GOAT at covering up pimples to the point that I forget that they’re there.

Another Haus Labs standout was the Sunstone color of the pressed Bio-Radiant Gel-Powder Highlighter with Fermented Arnica. I tried it along with a few friends, and I swear this champagne gold highlighter looks good on everyone, and I love that the formula is infused with skin care.

Overall review: Run, don’t walk, to get your hands on this concealer. You’re welcome.

Rare Beauty’s 2023 Releases Turned BrowGate On Its Head

Selena Gomez was booked and busy planning Rare Beauty launches this year, including the viral Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Creams and a brand new body care line. Gomez tends to dominate with illuminating skin and cheek products, and the new Positive Light Under Eye Brightener — a more natural and lightweight alternative to concealer — was no exception, blurring dryness and fine lines while still looking fresh.

As someone who hordes the brand’s liquid highlighters and blushes, my favorite Rare Beauty 2023 releases were unpredictably all about the eyes and brows. The Perfect Strokes Longwear & Waterproof Gel Eyeliner didn’t budge from my waterline even after I (accidentally) slept in my makeup, and I was also a big fan of the All Of The Above Weightless Eyeshadow Sticks. Each of the sticks, which come with their own pencil sharpeners, looked as pigmented and creamy as a liquid formula, and I liked how non-bulky they were for traveling.

Another fave was the Brow Harmony Precision Eyebrow Pencil, which Gomez dropped in the fall. The pencil looks more expensive than its $19 price point, and I thought the product was easy to use while delivering pigmented but natural results. For any girlies who are worried about overly bold eyebrows, this product is for you.

Overall review: The brow pencil is underrated and pretty inexpensive, so definitely try it if you’re in the market for a new eyebrow product.