What brand(s) have really stood the test of time for you?

I still find reasons to love and enjoy a lot of brands from when I first started wearing makeup to now (which is over 15 years!) – like MAC, Urban Decay, etc. I think MAC has stood the test of time, because they have a strong, core range that is still popular (even if not widely raved about through the online community) and reliable. Natasha Denona is a brand that I was incredulous over when it first emerged (like who’s buying $200+ palettes!), but the brand has really carved a good space for itself–even more so with the newer $65 mini-15 pan palettes.

— Christine


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Erica Avatar

MAC bc they have so many staples and workhorse products. Another brand is Loreal. I trust and use so much of their stuff! I’d say Natasha Denona and I do like what I have from the brand but I haven’t been using them long. Like ask me in 5 years lol

Beth Avatar

I don’t think anyone does red lipstick better than MAC. Clinique still puts out good skincare products. I’ve been using them for about 25 years or so. For hair, I always return to Carol’s Daughter Monoi shampoo and conditioner. I periodically try other brands, but rarely re-purchase hair stuff from anyone other than Carol’s Daughter.

Rachel R. Avatar

Some of the brands toward the end of the list won’t seem old enough to make this claim, but I included them because they’ve been around at least a few years and so far, so good.

BareMinerals, TheBalm, Urban Decay (slipping more every year), MAC, Too Faced (slipping), Tarte, NARS, Buxom, Wet n Wild, e.l.f., Physician’s Formula, Milani, Maybelline, Burt’s Bees, NYX, Makeup Revolution et al., Profusion, J.Cat, Jordana, Pacifica (scents and lotions; mascara, but the other makeup has never been good), Sephora Collection, Notoriously Morbid, SugarPill, Juvia’s Place, ColourPop, Looxi Beauty, Black Moon Cosmetics, Pat McGrath, Natasha Denona, Violet Voss, Viseart, Huda Beauty, Fenty Beauty, Apocalyptic Beauty, Ace Beaute, Alter Ego, and Lethel Cosmetics. Sonia Kashuk, e.l.f., and ecoTools for brushes and tools.

I just started using Sydney Grace this year, but I know they’ve been around longer, and I have a feeling they’ll be on my list a few years from now.

Erica Avatar

That’s good to know. I was skeptical about them bc of their gimmicky packaging/marketing but thanks to Ulta and Riley Rose, I was able to discover they have quite amazing quality ?

Ginny Avatar

MAC for sure if we are talking brands I’ve been using for at least a decade. I have powder products that probably ARE a decade old (RIP Dame blush) that I still use all the time. I know they discontinue frequently but when you think about it, most brands do. MAC at least keeps the old standbys like their red lipsticks and kohl pencils (please god don’t get rid of the eye Kohls). I’m not that excited by their LE releases as much as I am by finding a new product in their extensive core range that I never knew about.

I also have a lot of NARS eyeshadows kicking around from years ago and I’ve always loved that formula. I bought my first NARS shadow for high school prom in 2005! Haven’t tried the new formula yet but I want to. I’ve been a fan of their lipsticks too, particularly the sheer ones.

For tools, MAC again and Real Techniques. Tbh I’ve never had a makeup brush fall apart on me or anything but my brushes from these brands are just the ones I use most. I wish RT would have more releases.

Mariella Avatar

MAC, for sure. So many of my “holy grail” products – Craving lipstick, especially – are MAC and will always be MAC. I’d include Bare Minerals in there too, mostly for their eyeshadows (and those wonderful loose shadows and blushes that seem to be going the way of the dodo!) but they’ve discontinued them all! And Sephora’s own house brand…there’s very little I’ve purchased from them (including some great and affordable skin care that is now, of course, discontinued) that hasn’t been excellent and unbelievably well-priced.

Ana Maria Avatar

MAC and Estee Lauder are the brands that withstood the test of time. I started my makeup journey with cheap counter knock-off make-up, advanced to brands like Maybelline and Revlon, but it was MAC that made me fall in love with make-up and experimenting with it. Estee Lauder is the brand that showed me make-up in worth investigating in.
I had my moments with Benefit, MUFE, ABH, Becca, Hourglass, but time and time again in the last 10+ years it’s those two.

Paula’s Choice is definitely the one that passed the test of time. At some point I used it exclusively, then I explored more brands like Drunk Elephant, The Ordinary, Clinique, Peter Thomas Roth, La Roche Possay, Simple, etc. But now I am again exclusively using Paula’s Choice and I don’t feel the need to switch anything in my routine.

Frozendiva Avatar

I go back to the pre-Sephora days when my choices were either drugstore, or department store brands.

Lancôme mascaras and eye makeup remover, Estée Lauder foundations and skincare have been consistent. The brand went through periods when it had some interesting and innovative stuff. I have always found Dior and Chanel to be semi consistent. Clinique is consistent for some people, but its products were so-so for me.

I stuck mainly to L’Oreal in terms of drug store products. Cover Girl had issues and I’d get breakouts. Revlon still has good lip products.

Mac would be also be a usual purchase for me. I also found Sephora’s own line to be decent and quality for the price. Some of the current popular brands are still fairly new – Tom Ford, Pat McGrath, Charlotte Tilbury, etc. Urban Decay has been hit and miss.

I have used Aveda hair products for years. I switch between them and a drugstore brand. Sebastian hair spray has been a regular purchase. Salon Selectives had a really good inexpensive hairspray that has been discontinued.

Nancy T Avatar

Even though both have shown some inconsistent quality at times, I still love MAC and UD. I suppose because with both the good outweighs the ‘meh’, and only rarely, truly bad. I also still enjoy using older Lorac palettes that I still have, like, Unzipped and Pro 1. Maybelline is another brand that still knows how to come out with something interesting and also has some fantastic core products. For this question, I limited myself to brands I’ve been using for at least 5 years. But, I could also include PML, ND, Fenty and Viseart if this question gets asked again in a few years!

Pearl Avatar

I have been using MAC since 1996, when it was in Broadway (now Macy’s). I think it just came stateside around that time.

A few recent purchases that have been consistent in quality for me are Natasha Denona, Viseart, Pat McGrath and Chanel eye shadow quads.

Sarah Avatar

MAC, definitely. I mean, what person doesn’t have a great MAC memory? Often times, this is our first foray into Serious Makeup(TM)! Their core products are fantastic. Their lipsticks are iconic.

Sugarpill is another one that stands the test of time. To me, they put so much thought into their launches so that when they do launch a new product, it’s just as incredible as the rest of their line. And weren’t they one of the first brands to truly embrace the concept that makeup is accessible to everyone? I know they definitely support drag and back in college that was the reason they won me over. Buttercupcake…whew, best yellow I have ever owned.

Genevieve Avatar

Different brands have stood the test of time for me for different beauty products.
CP’s lux lipsticks have been consistently good over the past few years, offering high quality but inexpensive products.
Eyeshadows are harder to pin down as a lot of my past favourite brands (like UD and bareMinerals) have really dropped the ball. So I think Sydney Grace has shown itself to be pretty consistent and reliable over the past couple of years. ND has definitely improved as well.
Milani continues to offer good quality, but more pricier products as well.

Nikki Avatar

Still rocking CoverGirl mascara and Meow cosmetics mineral powder foundation. Although, I now use the Meow powder as a setting/finishing layer after all of my other makeup, since I’ve started developing some character to my face in the form of fine lines that the powder wants to sit in, so I use a liquid foundation/moisturizer mix that “floats” a little better now.

Erin Avatar

MAC. I’ve been wearing it for 25 years this summer & it never fails to impress me in some way. It seems there is always something new popping up that interests me. Most recently it’s the Powerglass.

Roxy Avatar

Too Faced is the only brand I’ve used for the past 5 years where the quality has never disappointed me. I would of said Urban Decay a year ago, but they’ve discontinued so many great products that I no longer care for them.

Laura Pekofsky Avatar

Mac is my first love and the majority of my collection. I’m also brand loyal to urban decay, nars blushes, becca highlighters and tarte black eyeliner. Quickly growing for me are pat McGrath, Laura mercier and Charlotte tilsbury.

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