I’ve loved makeup ever since I was a 12-year-old watching makeup tutorials on Youtube. My first splurge was for Urban Decay’s now discontinued Naked Palette (at the advice of a beauty YouTuber), and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve continued to spend time hunting for products I think are worth my while.
Luxury makeup, like luxury skincare, seems like a beast, but if you know what to look for, it’s very much worth the splurge. Once you add a Chanel lipstick or a Georgio Armani foundation to your lineup, you’ll understand why sometimes, luxury makeup is really worth the sticker shock.
I like mixing highbrow and lowbrow, and luckily, my job allows me to play around with tons of different formulas at different price points. After testing many luxury brands, I know which ones are actually worth your money—and more importantly, which hero products to buy from each if you want to (strategically) amp up your makeup game.
Believe it or not, the iconic fashion house's makeup line is just as luxurious as the brand's clothing. Chanel's foray into beauty began with Chanel No. 5, its most well-known (and arguably the most well-known) perfume. Chanel No. 5 revolutionized the perfume industry and the brand has been making waves in beauty ever since.
2. Tom Ford
Tom Ford set out to make a modern luxury brand, and everyone can agree that he did just that. Tom Ford's makeup line is a true staple for anyone who wants high-quality luxury beauty that goes above and beyond.
Lancôme came to fruition in the 1930s and has stood the test of time. Today, the brand's vision is "beauty for all," which it achieves with high-quality products that are worth every penny.
4. Gucci Beauty
When Gucci's makeup line was revived in 2019, it was met with plenty of fanfare—and for good reason. Gucci's makeup products are meant for makeup lovers and people who appreciate their playful, vintage-inspired packaging.
Gucci's signature lipstick is inspired by Jean Harlow's titular role in Goldie, and it's the most classic, sophisticated red you can imagine.
5. Clé de Peau Beauté
This Japanese brand is backed by cutting-edge science that aims to make skin look as radiant as possible, and that translates into all of their covetable makeup products.
Yes, I know $130 is a lot for a foundation, but I would never recommend something at that price point that wasn't worth every penny. This innovative formula illuminates skin, minimizes pores, and imparts a radiant glow. Plus, it's infused with SPF, so you get a little extra protection from the sun.
6. Pat McGrath Labs
Anna Wintour once dubbed Pat McGrath "the most influential makeup artist in the world." Her eponymous makeup line proves that even further, with rich, bold colors and high-performing formulas.
Highly pigmented rosy shades make this one of the best pink-toned makeup palettes on the market.
7. Charlotte Tilbury
Like Pat McGrath, Charlotte Tilbury is another makeup artist that has reached superstar status. Tilbury doesn't miss—everything in her makeup line is worth adding to your collection.
Is there a more iconic lip color than Pillow Talk? According to the brand, four Pillow Talk products are sold every minute. The universal nude looks good on everyone—it enhances your natural lip color and makes lips look flawless. Use the liner to create a natural-looking lip lift.
When Swedish perfumer Byredo launched their makeup line in 2020, everyone in the beauty industry lost it. This makeup is made for makeup lovers and people who like to play around with makeup.
Dior makeup is the height of luxury—just like the brand itself.
10. Westman Atelier
Renowned editorial makeup artist Gucci Westman founded Westman Atelier, a clean makeup brand that has taken the beauty world by storm. These products are all good for your skin and highly efficacious.
11. Surratt Beauty
This brand merges New York ideals with Japanese innovation for products unlike anything you've ever encountered before. Surratt "puts artistry at everyone's fingertips," which is a philosophy we can get behind.
12. Yves Saint Laurent
YSL Beauty makes the kind of products you might expect a makeup artist to have in their kit backstage at fashion week. The legendary fashion house's beauty products are elegant and practical.
Behold, my favorite under-eye concealer of all time. This concealer flawlessly covers dark circles, all while color-correcting and brightening. It doesn't even look like you're wearing any makeup.
Givenchy's beauty products are all about celebrating femininity, with classic colors and luxe formulas leading the charge.
14. Giorgio Armani
Armani beauty is all about bringing elegance to your everyday life. These products enhance the skin's natural beauty.
You'll find this foundation on just about every list of the best foundations. It goes on effortlessly and leaves you with radiant, even-toned skin.
Founded in 1828, Guerlain is one of the oldest brands on this list. Guerlain makeup products are timeless and infused with Parisian sophistication.
16. Sisley Paris
This French luxury brand makes plant-based products made with top-tier ingredients that help perfect skin.
The most recent luxury brand to enter the beauty world, Valentino came in swinging. The Italian brand's makeup formulas are high-performing and offer an inclusive shade range.
It's a primer, moisturizer, and highlighter all in one. If you wear this alone or under makeup, it gives you a diffused, all-over glow, and if you use it on the high points of the face, you'll have a highlight that simply looks like you found the good light—in any situation.
We'd be remiss not to include Hermès, the endlessly coveted French luxury brand. You may not be able to get your hands on a Birkin, but you can put the designer's luxe makeup on your face, and we think that's pretty great.