Only Some Luxury Makeup Brands Are Worth the Splurge—19 You Won't Regret


(Image credit: @cocoweekend)

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 worthwhile.

Luxury makeup, like luxury skincare, seems like a beast, but if you know what to look for, it's very much worth the investment. Don't get me wrong, there are so many amazing affordable makeup brands out there, but once you add a Chanel lipstick or an Armani foundation to your lineup, you'll understand why sometimes, luxury makeup can be a real treat.

I like mixing high-end and high street, 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 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.

19 of the Best Luxury Makeup Brands:

1. Chanel

Believe it or not, the iconic fashion house's makeup line is just as luxurious as its 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 revolutionised 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.

3. Lancôme

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.

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.

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 colours and high-performing formulas.

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.

8. Byredo

When Swedish perfumer Byredo launched its 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.

9. Dior

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 any you've ever encountered before. Surratt "puts artistry at everyone's fingertips," which is a philosophy I 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.

13. Givenchy

Givenchy's beauty products come in a range of classic colours and the luxe formulas are not to be missed.

14. Giorgio Armani

Armani beauty is all about bringing elegance to your everyday life. These products enhance the skin's natural beauty.

15. Guerlain

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 products made with top-tier ingredients that help perfect skin.

17. Valentino

One of the most recent luxury brands to enter the beauty world, Valentino came in swinging. The Italian brand's makeup formulas are high-performing and offer an inclusive shade range.

18. Hermès

I'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 I think that's pretty great.

19. Prada

Prada only launched its beauty line late last year, but it's already gaining popularity thanks to the chic packaging and impressive formulas.

This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

Associate Beauty Editor

Katie Berohn is the associate beauty editor at Who What Wear. Previously, she worked as the beauty assistant for Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and Prevention magazines, all part of the Hearst Lifestyle Group. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a major in journalism and minor in technology, arts, and media, and earned her master's degree at NYU's graduate program for magazine journalism. In addition, Katie has held editorial internships at Denver Life magazine, Yoga Journal, and Cosmopolitan; a digital editorial internship at New York magazine's The Cut; a social good fellowship at Mashable; and a freelance role at HelloGiggles. When she's not obsessing over the latest skincare launch or continuing her journey to smell every perfume on the planet, Katie can be found taking a hot yoga class, trying everything on the menu at New York's newest restaurant, or hanging out at a trendy wine bar with her friends.