Even beauty editors get industry fatigue, and while the ever-evolving influx of new brands, technology, and products is most certainly exciting, it can be easy to become jaded and overstimulated. (We'd guess even the most die-hard beauty junkies feel the same.) Every week, month, season, and year, there's a new It label, a new hero product, a new beauty anomaly everyone is saying is the absolute "best." While it's not our intention to throw shade at our favorite new beauty brands, there's something inherently relaxing about the classic and dependable formulas that are so good that they've been (and likely will remain) en vogue for years. Enter, designer makeup brands.
Just like a quilted Chanel handbag or printed Gucci scarf will never fall out of style, neither will Dior's beloved Diorshow Volume Mascara or YSL's Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Pen. Suffice to say, we love mixing new, ultra-buzzy staples into our makeup routine, but they'll always, always intermingle with certain designer makeup products that have, slowly but surely, gained a certain degree of icon status. To celebrate said icons, we've rounded up 11 top designer makeup brands and the two must-try products from each—the first being a holy-grail Hall of Famer and the second being a favorite we also highly recommend. Keep scrolling! A treasure trove of well-vetted designer makeup gems awaits just below.
Consider this cult-favorite mascara your ultimate desert-island mascara. It's especially brilliant for adding thick volume and major density to your lash line, but thanks to the microfiber-enriched formula, you're going to get an extended, fanned-out effect rivaling your go-to set of falsies.
Creamy, blendable, and lightweight, you'll find this beloved cream-gel bronzing formula from Chanel tucked inside practically every professional makeup artist's kit. It's surprisingly versatile and is the most natural-looking way to add subtle definition anywhere on your face or décolletage.
#3: Giorgio Armani Beauty
Does a more iconic foundation even exist? (No, the answer is no.) If you've been on the hunt for the perfect foundation, you've finally found your soul mate in this makeup artist– and celebrity-approved designer pick. It boasts a flattering, semi-luminous finish that won't clog pores, it can be easily layered depending on the kind of coverage you want, and it has remarkable staying power.
#4: Tom Ford
We love everything about Tom Ford beauty—from its damn fantastic perfumes to its obsession-forming makeup products. That said, if we had to choose a favorite child, it would have to be this super-effective sculpting cream and highlighter compact.
Whenever someone tells me they can't stand powder, I tell them to try this holy-grail option from Givenchy. Not only does it keep makeup perfectly set with a velvety matte finish, but it also kicks excess shine to the curb and helps even out your skin tone thanks to it's multi-hued color-correcting composition. There are three different options to suit dark, medium, and fair complexions perfectly.
#6: Marc Jacobs Beauty
I used to only wear liquid liner until I discovered how game-changing this best-selling gel eyeliner crayon is. It's creamy, it's blendable, the colors are seriously on point (so many options and finishes!), and it won't budge until you actually want it to.
Iconic designer Gucci doesn't have an overwhelming number of beauty offerings, but that doesn't mean the current collection isn't covetable. (Its perfumes are especially divine.) However, strictly speaking of makeup, we'd have to recommend this stunning range of sheer lipsticks.
#8: YSL Beauty
Half highlighter, half concealer, this pen has been around for years, but it has magically retained its hold over the beauty industry. (In fact, plenty of other beauty brands have tried to copy its magic to no avail.) Looking for the perfect dose of coverage and brightening? You've met your match.
Truth be told, beauty and fashion devotees everywhere kind of flipped out early last year when Hermès made its venture into beauty (beyond fragrance, that is) with the launch of these be-all, end-all lippies. Yes, each tube is an investment, but the formulas and color options are beyond beautiful, and the packaging itself is practically a work of art. Twist our arm and we'll say the hydrating matte finish is our fave, but the satin is also lovely.
#11: Christian Louboutin
No roundup of designer makeup brands could ever be complete without a little bit of Christian Louboutin. The packaging is so bold and chic and is practically collectible in its own right, but the brand's dark-horse options regarding mascara, nail polish, lippies, and more are obsession forming in their own right, too. This particular tube of sheer-washing color is a must if you're new to the brand and are dipping your toe in.