When Selena Gomez first set out to create Rare Beauty two years ago, she dreamed of launching a line of cosmetics that truly bridged the gap between the worlds of beauty and mental health, something she felt was lacking from the makeup aisle. Now, that vision is a reality — and it’s so much more than just foundation and highlighter (but there is foundation and highlighter, too).
Gomez, sitting in a pale-pink powder room — to match her new packaging — with a voluminous blow-dry and wearing her signature red lipstick in the shade Inspire, called in over Zoom to give me the rundown on Rare Beauty, which launches today. “I wanted this line to feel like everything fits together, and that you could trust it,” Gomez says.
The newly-minted beauty entrepreneur used her personal style and eye for elevated makeup to create a multi-category collection of cosmetics with 150 SKUs, including 48 shades of foundation, matte lip creams, brow definers, liquid blush, lip balms, and more. The complete lineup also boasts buttery lipstick, silky shimmer highlighters, and complexion products that practically melt into your skin. But more important than the vast range of impressive colours and formulas that Rare Beauty has to offer is a mission of mental health awareness and inclusivity that drove Gomez to launch her own brand in the first place.
The star, who grew up in the spotlight, wanted to use her platform to break down the unrealistic — and harmful — standards that exist in the beauty world, so she launched the Rare Impact Fund to provide mental health services in underserved communities. “I definitely challenge the idea that mental health and beauty can’t coexist,” Gomez says. “When you’re feeling a certain way inside, there’s always a part of you that reflects on the outside.” That’s even more true in the age of social media, when self-scrutiny is all but unavoidable. “I’ve had weight issues and inflammation, and I deal with my medical stuff, and for me, that’s when mental health and feeling good comes into play,” she says.
Gomez and her team set a lofty goal to raise $100 million with the Rare Impact Fund to support local, national, and global mental health initiatives focusing on underserved communities over the next 10 years. “Mental health is so connected to different things, and I believe that there are a lot of people who may not understand that,” she says. “Beyond giving access to so many different shades and colours, I want people to feel like they have a community to turn to and resources that are helpful to them.”
While Gomez’s vision for Rare Beauty always encompassed inclusive colour cosmetics and a meaningful philanthropic footprint, she couldn’t have foreseen releasing a beauty line amid the current global health crisis and political climate, where some would consider makeup frivolous. However, for Gomez, moving forward with the launch is an act of perseverance. “Ending up here was always the end goal,” she says, “and with everything happening in the world, it became even more important to us to make sure that we create a safe space where everyone knows that they’re celebrated.”
For Gomez, Rare Beauty is a testament to having a vision and pushing forward despite the odds. “We set out to do this brand, and we achieved exactly what we wanted to do,” she says. Seeing people look and feel beautiful with her cosmetics is just the icing on the cake. “There is nothing more beautiful to me than to see someone just glowing and loving who they are,” she says. “I can tell, because it comes shining from the inside.”
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