5 Cosmetic Lines You Should Know

by Clutch

Although MAC is a mainstay in cosmetic bags across the globe, sometimes it seems we forget that other beauty brands exist. In fact, I recently overheard a woman carelessly toss an Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics lip tar back in its bin while saying “$16 and it’s not even MAC, no thank you!”

Sigh. If she only knew…

Now, this is no shade toward MAC (Ruby Woo lipstick gives me everlasting life and their concealer makes my toes curl) but it’s easy to get stuck in the routine of using the same products time after time for no reason other than the fact that you’ve used it before.

Of course we’ll always have that favorite product/brand that’s embedded in our hearts, but it’s also important to search for richer colors and creamier textures to fill our needs from time to time. Sephora, Ulta and some drugstores allow you to return used makeup if you’re not satisfied. In Sephora and Ulta you can try on makeup in the store or ask for a sample of a product you’re curious about. On a budget? Iman, Milani and The Sephora Collection are quality cosmetics without the hefty price.

Click through for 5 brands you should become (and may already be) acquainted with, but don’t stop here!

  • Bosslady

    Although 70% of my make-up is MAC (with touches of L’oreal, Maybelline, Black Opal and a couple of other miscellaneous brands) Iman pressed powder is the ISH!!! I’ve been a using it for at least 10 years, nothing compares – NOTHING! I don’t wear foundation personally, but I know Iman has great foundations also. I used an IMAN powder foundation/compact foundation many years ago and loved it, and I know many people who use her liquid foundation. MAC’s foundations and powders are meant for the stage, they look so heavy and unnatural.

  • Shawnte

    i love too faced shadow insurance eyeshadow primer! going to have to try OCC’s lip tar

  • Melissa

    Yes Bosslady you are right about IMAN’s powder. I like their tinted moisterizers too. I know some people don’t like Fashion Fair (recommend chocolate rasberry lipstick for all skintones) but their mineral makeup foundation is great on my skin. I am NW50 in MAC. I like it because it’s light and sheer but it is buildable for ladies who want more coverage.

  • preciouspeace

    I LOVE Iman’s products. I only use her foundation because for me I found the it is cheaper and less cakey than MAC foundation. I would definitely recommend trying some products in the line if you have not already.

  • Steppa

    Iman has great lip colours and blushes. Silk Naturals is another good brand. Their marketing/packaging is terrible but the products are great and natural!

  • Nicole

    I love Nars!

  • DasaniFRESH

    Clutch! You forgot about some of the older cosmetic lines that have revamped their products to cater to changing times and the working woman.Think Fashion Fair and Flori Roberts.

    Also, newer brands like BH cosmetics are pretty good too! I like the concealer palette and their new foundations which are actually 45% off now.

    The ones clutch mentioned are pretty much the ones all the beauty gurus are raving about right now: Two Faced, MAC, Laura Mercier, Ben Nye…

    I was hoping that there would be a little more from this list…

  • makeupjunkie

    oc lip tars are the truth! one tube might last you for the rest of your life! try it, you’ll see. love many of Iman’s products but trying to find them is like trying to find the holy grail. and when you do find a store that carries her stuff, it is ALWAYS understocked. Bad merchandising – she could make so much more money. Laura Mercier has a great eyebrow pencil in brunette, a perfect shade of dark brown for “us.” MAC still has my undying loyalty for Ruby Woo, Carnal, Lame etc.lipsticks.

  • SCarter

    I too am a Ruby Woo girl all day long. It gives me a extra boost of something special. Like the article mentioned they’re so many other makeup lines besides MAC. MAC is popular because of how they market to the consumer. When you go into department’s cosmetic section, whose music is blaring? MAC…they get your attention and wheel you in. BH Cosmetics are great. NYX, stila cosmetics, INGLOT, Sugar Pill, Makeup Forever are excellent lines as well. BH Cosmetics are reasonably priced as well as Coastal Scents especially when you catch their sales.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mshenry70 Kathy Henry

    Don’t forget Urban Decay!

  • Starla

    And for the el cheapos, or those on a tight budget there is NYX, WetnWild, and NYC. NYX has some great eye shadows and NYC is good for cheap nail polishes.

  • leah

    Becca Cosmetics as well as Black Up cosmetics are worth a try.

  • LaTigresse

    One of the commenters mentionned INGLOT! I looove their products! It’s a Polish brand and usually you wouldn’t think that they’d have colors that would suit our skin tones but they really adapted to the North american market! I’m in love with their eyeshadows, they are very pigmented and creamy!

    80% of my makeup bag has MAC products as I’m from Canada and we have tons of their stores around. And I must have about a dozen of their lipsticks! I’ve noticed people are saying its foundation is too heavy… but personnally I find it pretty light and natural! I just put 2 daps of liquid foundations on my brush, lay it on and im good to go!

  • Treece

    I’m a Bare Escentuals /Bare Minerals fanatic! Love everything…concealer, foundation, eye shadow. I also like MAC lip glass and Dior mascara

  • LeLe

    IMAN’s facial powder & bronzers are the best! Too face primers are really good. Sleek (UK Brand) eyeshadow palette is worth the money as well.

  • Marseeuh

    Nars is great too, a bit pricey but their Pro primer is EXCELLENT, also their blush :)

  • http://gravatar.com/janschild janschild

    +1
    I always get more compliments on the $1 lipstick that I get at the drugstore than the more expensive brands. Go figure.

  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/POCBeauty/ kissofdanger

    Ok, when I hear that a woman only uses MAC I judge her. I especially judge women who look at a $16 dollar compact from Iman all cross-eyed, but are quick to shell out $20 for MAC. We act like MAC is the only ones catering to us which is a lie. There are soo many brands that are unlisted here. How can you forget about Sleek Makeup? Inglot? Black Radiance? Who can forget BECCA? There are alot of brands that we haven’t even heard of. Like Nacara cosmetics for our Canadian ladies. Theres Kiko and ViVi for our European ladies, True Colours for our French Ladies, and SACHA for our Caribbean ladies. Whut! What about Interface cosmetics, and Flori Roberts who still sell the oldies but goodies? I can’t wait t get my hands on some Flori Roberts lipstick. Don’t sleep on AVON becuase they and their sister brand MARK have added alot of newer darker shades. Loreal has done the same with their True Match line. We really have been given a variety to choose from, but these companies are awful at getting the message out there that they are catering to us. Some cheaper brands that have always catered towards women of color like Tropez, Posner, Kiss New York, and Zuri Cosmetics haven’t even tried to re-vamp their line. Don’t even get me started on their lack of social media presence. I can go on all day, but If you’re curious you can click the link by my profile. I have quite the collection.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    ok on the opposite end of MAC, what about E.L.F??

    now me personally, i’m not one to spend a whole lot of money when i don’t even know what i’m doing. E.L.F is perfect for me because i have learned so many amazing things about how makeup works, how to make it look natural, and how not to look like a drag queen (like with MAC products) and i’ve probably only spend about $80 MAX for like 60 products. $80 is one damn powder and MAYBE a lip gloss from other makeup places and i simply have no time for that, especially since most of MAC workers think they’re the ISH because they work there and are SUPER uppity with people who have never used makeup.

    plus COME ON! i got a whole set of 12 brushes for $12 when most brushes are $16 each. i have no time for that! (S/N everybody who comes on clutch isn’t a lawyer or any other high paying occupation that people claim to be on here, so of course makeup at $30 a pop would be nothing for them)

    products that i absolutely swear by from E.L.F are the eyebrow wax/powder (i don’t use the powder though),cream eyeliner,bronzer powder (i bought a more expensive bronzer and it doesn’t give my face as much life as E.L.F), and their matte lipstick. i use these 4 products every single day for a flawless basic natural look. the foundation and powders are pretty cool too but i don’t wear those everyday.

  • Bren

    Clinique for foundation and press powder. Anything else for eyeshadow, lipstick, blush and eyeliner.

  • Pink Lipstick

    Yes! Talk about pigmentation. I am a die hard Nars junkie.

  • TinaRegina

    I only wear natural makeup so I don’t buy MAC at all. I like the natural line you mentioned! Thanks! I also love Korres products and some bare escentuals. Zuzu luxe is a nice brand of natural and vegan lipstick with great colors.

  • wowgirlwow

    I gave up MACNE several years when my estetian looked at my pores and commented on how clogged they were. Makeup Forever is my fav, Georgio Armani amazing and BlackUp some of the best gloss ever. Don’t sleep on Sam Fine’s new line with Fashion Fair- I am waiting on that to launch.

  • Monie

    MAC gave me acne like no other and also it made me look too yellow, not natural at all. MAC reigns when it comes to lip color though.

    I have both yellow and red undertones so I need a balance, and Makeup Forever HD foundation and primer in 4,has proven to be excellent, it is expensive but worth it ($42) and it lasts a long time if you apply it with a stippling brush.

    Lip Tar is the bomb.com nice and bold when I play with color.
    Coastal Scents has nice deals with eye makeup
    Iman’s blush gets me compliments but I have a dupe from Avon whenever I run out. Im scared to play around with her foundation colors they seem a little bland….

  • Melissa

    There’s a brand called black up cosmetics and illamasqua.

  • Bronze

    Love Love Love OCC!!! This is an exciting brand with bold colors that last and last. I love their liptars…..tooo cool!

  • Ms.Monique

    I love OCC as well!!! I highly recommend CoverFX. It is great for ALL skin types, excellent & buildable coverage, and an outstanding color range.

  • http://prettypracticalonline.wordpress.com psquaredla

    You guys may have a point with Mac and acne. I have tiny blackheads all over my cheeks. Does Makeup Forever have foundation for darker skin tones?

  • http://lolalovelivelife.blogspot.com/ Lola

    Yes, Makeup forever does. I’ve been using it for almost three years and no problems. Better HD coverage too.

  • http://lolalovelivelife.blogspot.com/ Lola

    You should check out Sleek Makeup
    Affordable, pigmented blushes and eye shadows, and their BB cream are great!!

  • ImenaDream

    URBAN DECAY has amazing mascara and eyeshadows and also this shimmering lotion that has you looking amazing in the summer

  • RenJennM

    You all gave some great suggestions!

    The brands/products I swear by are:

    1) Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (Oil-Free / SPF 20). It’s the best tinted moisturizer for a reason: it’s light, it blends well, it moisturizes, it feels AMAZING on the skin, it’s great for dry skin like mine, and it has a great variety of shades.

    2) Wet N Wild eyeliner pencils. They perform well AND they’re super cheap at like $1 a pop!

    3) Maybelline mascaras. Maybelline, IMO, still makes some of the best mascaras in the business. From the classic Great Lash mascara to the new Volum’ Express Mega Plush, they’re just dope.

    4) BH Cosmetics eyeshadow palettes. Super affordable, highly-pigmented eyeshadows that come in a mind-blowing variety of shades per palette! If you don’t own a palette already, you’re LOSING! lol

    5) Bare Minerals. I don’t use it (yet!), but my mom and cousin SWEARS by it. Plus the the proof is in the pudding from how stunning they look with it on. My mom has dark circles that she struggled with covering her whole life, and then she found Bare Minerals. You’d never even knew she had dark circles. Plus, the line is NATURAL and GOOD for your skin. You can’t beat that!

  • RenJennM

    Here are some other brands/products:

    1) Think natural or organic makeup is expensive? Nah.

    - Bare Escentuals (which is almost always having sales or promotions) http://www.bareescentuals.com/

    - Alima Pure http://www.alimapure.com/

    With brands like those, you’re getting makeup that’s both affordable AND good for you. Still not cheap enough? MODE Cosmetics http://www.modecosmetics.com/ is not only SUPER cheap but it’s also natural.

    2) If you wear (or would like to try) bright or uniquely-colored lipsticks like I do, check out:

    - Keyshia Ka’oir. They’re a teeny-bit pricey at $15 a lipstick, but you get quality, highly-pigmented colors that smooth onto lips fully without the need for lip liner. With Keyshia being a Black woman herself, her line is meant for women of ALL shades. And her variety of colors is STILL unmatched: from black to white to green to blue to purple to yellow to nude to pink to silver. http://kaoir.com/

    - Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics lip tar (already mentioned by the article) http://www.occmakeup.com/

    - Inglot. They have some beautiful blue shades. http://www.inglotusa.com/Lipstick-Pacific_Blue_Collection_of_Lipstick.html

    - Barry M lip paint (for women in the U.K.). http://www.barrym.com/products/lips/paint/lip-paint.html

    - Fantastic Faces by Ms. Stephanie. Another cosmetic line run by a Black woman (support our own!), she offers homemade lip colors she calls “lip jelly” in a great variety of shades. http://www.stephsfantastic.com/apps/webstore/products/category/698231?page=1

    - Bitch Slap! Cosmetics. A more *ahem* alternative line, but still an amazing variety of unique and rare lip colors.

    - The Lip Bar. They offer lipsticks they call “lip shots”, which come in colors that they change each season. Also a line ran by a Black woman, they’re the most expensive option I’ve mentioned at $20 a tube.

    - Sweetpea & Fay liquid lipsticks. Available in a variety of pretty rare colors at only $7.99 a tube. http://www.sweetpeaandfay.com/#!j'adores

    - Violent Lips. These “temporary lip tattoos”, created by a young lady and her aunt (also women of color!), are one-of-a-kind in innovation and color variety. They cover the lips fully, imitating lipstick, and come off only when you remove it. Great to wear at parties, huge events, and even football and basketball games for the older women who want to have fun… or any other day, for the younger women like me.

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