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These are your best, most secure VPN options

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If you’re still working from home because of the global pandemic, you’re not alone. Working remotely has become routine for millions of workers — and that means remote VPN access is more important than ever. But as the number of commercial virtual private networks keeps growing exponentially, finding the best VPN to maximize your online privacy can be tricky.  

To help you find the best VPN to meet your needs, we’ve sifted through a multitude of overhyped VPN providers all touting their own private network — including such popular names as NordVPN, Surfshark, ExpressVPN, IPVanish and more. In our current testing and ranking system, we assessed more than 20 factors, including price, security, number of server locations, ease of remote access, 우리카지노 bandwidth caps, logging, dedicated and dynamic IP, client software and customer support. We’re keeping a close eye on how each VPN provider stands compared with its competitors, as well as any new VPN services that may hit the market. We’ll be regularly updating this directory as new options become available. Below, we’ve catalogued our favorite services to date — and listed some less viable options, too, based on our testing.   

That said, the VPN landscape can be confusing and mystifying. Here are some quick tips, each of which link to a more in-depth discussion of the topic in question.

Don’t use free VPN services: You’ll only find paid options below because they’re the only ones we can recommend. 

Look for a no-logs VPN, but understand the caveats: The best VPNs keep as few logs as possible and make them as anonymous as possible, so there’s little data to provide should authorities come knocking. But even “no-logs” VPNs aren’t 100% anonymous.  

VPN transparency is important, but warrant canaries are only the beginning: Many services use “warrant canaries” as a way to passively note to the public as to whether or not they’ve been subpoenaed by a government entity, as many investigations from national security agencies can’t be actively disclosed by law. But — like the no-logging issue — warrant canaries aren’t always as straightforward as they seem. You should spend more time investigating whether your prospective VPN has cooperated with authorities in the past — and how and when they’ve disclosed that fact.

Think twice about using a US-based VPN: The Patriot Act is still the law of the land in the US, and that means that any VPNs in the United States have little recourse if and when the feds show up with subpoenas or national security letters in hand, demanding access to servers, user accounts or any other data. Yes, they may have little data to access if the service has a strong no-logs policy, but why not do an end-run on the feds and just choose a service that’s based outside Uncle Sam’s jurisdiction? (You’ll want to avoid those countries that the US has intelligence-sharing agreements with, too.)

The best VPNs right now

Let’s look at each of our VPN vendors below in more depth. Keep in mind that this is an evolving list: It was originally published earlier and is constantly updated. We’re actively working on more VPN testing and research, so expect this guide to change throughout the year as our virtual private network use continues and we put each VPN option through its paces.    

The list below presents our favorites in an overall ranking; if you want to see them judged by more specific criteria, check out the links below.

You’ll mostly find the same names you see here, but we’ll call out when and where specific traits make for a better choice in a more narrow evaluation.


  • Number of IP addresses: 30,000
  • Number of servers: 3,000-plus
  • Number of server locations: 160
  • Number of simultaneous connections: 5
  • Country/jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
  • 94-plus countries
  • 3 months free with 1-year plan

ExpressVPN consistently proves itself one of the fastest VPNs on the market, and actively promotes its commitment to privacy. The company tells us its network is powered by TrustedServer technology, which ExpressVPN built to ensure that there are never any logs of users’ online activities. In the privacy world, ExpressVPN has a strong track record, having experienced a server seizure by authorities which proved their zero-log policy true at the time. We also like the quality of the VPN’s setup guides, and the detailed information in its FAQ. 

Like the rest of the top five VPN services we’ve reviewed for 2020, ExpressVPN offers a useful kill switch feature, which prevents network data from leaking outside of its secure VPN tunnel in the event the VPN connection fails. Unlike the others, though, ExpressVPN gained points from us for its support of bitcoin as a payment method — something not all of our favorites offer, but which adds an additional layer of privacy during checkout.

The company has been in business since 2009, and ExpressVPN has a substantial network of fast VPN servers spread across 94 countries. Its best plan is priced at less than $7 a month for an annual package, which includes three months free. 

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While Surfshark’s network is smaller than some, the VPN services makes it up on features. Let’s start off with the biggest win it offers: unlimited device support. If you want to run your entire home or office on Surfshark’s VPN, you don’t have to worry about how many devices you have on or connected. It also offers antimalware, ad-blocking and tracker-blocking as part of its software.

Surfshark received generally high marks when its Chrome and Firefox extensions were audited for privacy by German security firm Cure 53 (PDF link of full report) — though that audit was commissioned by Surfshark.

The company has a solid range of app support, running on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Fire TV and routers. Additional devices such as game consoles can be configured for Surfshark via DNS settings. We particularly like the feature that allows you to whitelist certain apps and websites to automatically bypass the VPN. For some business uses, this can be critically important. 

Surfshark also offers three special modes designed for those who want to get around restrictions and more carefully hide their online footsteps. Camouflage Mode masks your VPN activity so your ISP doesn’t know you’re using a VPN. Multihop jumps your connection through multiple countries to hide your trail. Finally, NoBorders Mode “allows [you] to successfully use Surfshark in restrictive regions.” Just be careful. Doing any of these three things could be illegal in your country and could result in severe penalties. During our testing, we saw no DNS or IP address leaks, and had no trouble accessing Netflix. 

Unlike many of the other VPN providers, Surfshark doesn’t offer a one-year plan. Its best offer is $2.49 a month, for its two-year plan (you pay about $60 up front). A six-month plan is $6.49 a month (about $39 up front), and month-by-month plans are $12.95 a month. Definitely take advantage of its generous 30-day trial to decide if you like this service (and if you choose the two-year plan, maybe set a reminder in 23 months to see if you can talk it into a continued discount rate).

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NordVPN is one of the most recognized brands in the VPN field. It offers a generous simultaneous connection count, with six simultaneous connections through its network, where nearly all other providers offer five or fewer. NordVPN also offers a dedicated IP option, for those looking for a different level of VPN connection. NordVPN offers a kill switch feature, and the ability to VPN into Tor. We detected no privacy leaks during our tests, and found its speeds to be reliably fast. 

The company’s two-year subscription plan costs $3.71 a month ($89 billed at once). That price is lower than most contenders, but creeps up for the six-month plan ($9 a month or $64 total) and the monthly plan ($11.95 a month). But it does have a full 30-day refund policy. 

While NordVPN has lived on this list for a long time, we moved it to the penalty box in October 2019 to re-evaluate our recommendation after a report emerged that one of its rented servers was . Nord’s actions following the discovery included — eventually — multiple security audits, a bug bounty program and heavier investments in server security. 

While we’d have preferred that Nord self-disclosed the issue much earlier, the fact that the  served to further verify that NordVPN keeps no logs of user activity. As a result, Nord remains on this list as a recommended vendor. 

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A big win for IPVanish is its fun, configurable interface, which makes it an ideal client for those who are interested in learning how to understand what a VPN does under the hood. Its multiplatform flexibility is also ideal for people focused on finding a Netflix-friendly VPN. 

A unique feature of IPVanish, and one we’re intrigued by, is the VPN’s support of Kodi, the open-source media streaming app that was once known as XBMC. Any serious media fan has used or built Kodi or XBMC into a media player, and the integrated IPVanish Kodi plugin provides access to media worldwide.

At $10 a month or $62 a year, IPVanish is obviously trying to move you towards its yearly program. We’re a little disappointed that it only allows a seven-day trial, rather than a full 30 days, but it does offer a full money-back guarantee. That said, the company gets kudos for its recent increase from five to now 10 simultaneous connections. We also liked its connection kill switch feature, a must for anyone serious about remaining anonymous while surfing. 

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Other VPNs we’ve tested

Not every VPN can be a favorite. These are ones we reviewed, but they’re not full-throated recommendations for one reason or another, including limited features and concerns over adequately hiding your identity. 



CyberGhost VPN

In CNET’s previous coverage of virtual private networks, we’ve praised CyberGhost for its roster of competitive features. Our in-depth last year included speed testing, security verification and an analysis of its full suite of $2.75 per month for a three-year plan

As we’ve bolstered our approach to VPN reviews in recent months, however, CyberGhost has raised some red flags. Its warrants skepticism; our previous tests have shown it to expose your VPN use to your ISP; its website and app trackers are more numerous than warranted; and its ad-blocker uses an untrustworthy method of traffic manipulation no VPN should even think about. Its low price previously made it worth considering if you needed to change the appearance of your location online, but not if you wanted best-in-class security. 

While CyberGhost’s connection speed and security appear to be improving, I don’t currently recommend using CyberGhost if you’re in a country where VPNs are illegal. I also recommend anyone in the US reviews CyberGhost’s parent company before deciding whether to pay for a subscription. 

On the plus side, however, CyberGhost is still faster than Norton Secure VPN and was less taxing on my device’s processing power during testing. It also offers split-tunneling in its Windows client and has its servers neatly organized into user-friendly categories: NoSpy servers, servers geared for torrenting, servers best for streaming and servers best for use with a static IP address. CyberGhost imposes no data caps and allows unlimited server switching.

Read more: CyberGhost VPN review: Promising improvements but its parent company concerns me



Norton Secure VPN

  • Number of countries: 29
  • Number of servers: 1,500 (1,200 virtual)
  • Number of server locations: 200 in 73 cities
  • Country/jurisdiction: US
  • $40 for the first 12 months

LifeLock, long known for excellence in security products, has a relatively limited offering in its VPN product. Norton Secure VPN does not support P2P or BitTorrent, and it does not support Linux, routers or set top boxes. Its Netflix and streaming compatibility is somewhat limited. Even worse, during testing, we experienced privacy-compromising data leaks. 

During CNET’s testing, Norton Secure VPN speeds were comparable to other mid-tier VPNs but not particularly competitive. Although its VPN is only available on four platforms — Mac, iOS, Windows and Android — Norton gets points for its 24/7 live customer phone support and 60-day money back guarantee.

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Other VPNs in the mix

Below you’ll find some additional VPNs. We’re in the process of reevaluating them in the coming months.   




PureVPN does not log connection information. The company joined the “no log” movement in 2018, which was recently verified via a third-party audit by Althius IT (albeit one commissioned and paid for by PureVPN). 

We like that PureVPN offers a 31-day refund policy and supports Bitcoin payments, to further extend anonymous browsing. We also like that PureVPN has both Kodi and Chromebook solutions available. In addition, PureVPN was the first VPN service we noted to fully implement the GDPR.




StrongVPN blasts onto our favorites list with excellent infrastructure and decent price performance. As with our other favorites, StrongVPN has a strong no-logging policy. Since VPN is all about protecting your privacy, that’s a place the savvy VPN providers can pick up points.

Strong also picks up kudos for its large base of IP addresses, which also helps protect your anonymity. It has a solid collection of servers and worldwide locations. For those of you who need a dedicated IP, you can get one from the company, but you’ll need to contact support to get help setting it up.

One of StrongVPN’s strongest strengths is the company’s network. It owns and operates its entire network infrastructure, which means it has no externally dictated limits on bandwidth or the type of internet traffic allowed on the network. This gives you the confidence that you’ll be able to power through your work.

StrongVPN’s regular monthly price of $10 is in the middle of the pack, but its yearly price of $70 is among the lowest of our contenders. 


Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

  • Number of IP addresses: N/A
  • Number of servers: 3,252
  • Number of server locations: 37
  • Country/jurisdiction: US

Speaking of price, if you want a solid VPN provider, Private Internet Access is the place to go. 

The key to getting the most savings with this vendor is buying its two-year plan for $69.95. That works out to $2.69 a month. It also offers a one-year plan for $39.95 (which comes out to $3.33 a month), or a monthly plan for $9.95 a month.

The company does not release information on the number of IP addresses available, but at 3,252, its server count is more than any of our other picks.

These folks have been around since 2010, and don’t log anything. It provides a generous five connections, a connection kill switch feature, and some good online documentation and security guidance. Our one disappointment is that its refund policy is seven days instead of 30, but you can certainly get a feel for its excellent performance in the space of a week.


HotSpot Shield

Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield is a product that has had some ups and downs in terms of our editorial coverage. Back in 2016, it picked up some positive coverage based on founder David Gorodyansky’s comments about protecting user privacy. Then, in 2017, a privacy group accused the company of spying on user traffic, an accusation the company flatly denies. Finally, in 2018, ZDNet uncovered a flaw in the company’s software that exposed users. Fortunately, that was fixed immediately.

So what are we to make of Hotspot Shield? Frankly, the controversy caused us to drop it from our directory for a while. But it approached us, made a strong case for its ongoing dedication to privacy, and we decided to give it another chance.

Here’s the good news. It offers one of the best money-back guarantees we’ve seen for VPN services, a full 45 days. It supports Linux, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, along with plugins for Chrome and Firefox. It also supports routers and media players. And, as a bonus, it has a connection kill switch feature.

The company does not support P2P or BitTorrent — and it also doesn’t support OpenVPN. Every other vendor does, but Hotspot Shield limits its VPN protocol support to L2TP/IPSec and something it calls Hydra, an enhancement of the transport protocol.

Overall, the company did impress us with its attention to privacy. It has a published privacy canary. It also told us, “We have built in malware, phishing and spam protection. Our commitment to our users is that Hotspot Shield will never store, log or share your true IP address.”


Since we’re living in a connected world, security and privacy are critical to ensure our personal safety from nefarious hacks. From online banking to communicating with coworkers on a daily basis, we’re now frequently transferring data on our computers and smartphones. It’s extremely important to find ways of securing our digital life and for this reason, VPNs have become increasingly common.

What Is a VPN?

A virtual private network is a technology that allows you to create a secure connection over a less-secure network between your computer and the internet. It protects your privacy by allowing you to anonymously appear to be anywhere you choose.


When your computer is connected to a VPN, the computer acts as if it’s also on the same network as the VPN. All of your online traffic is transferred over a secure connection to the VPN. The computer will then behave as if it’s on that network, allowing you to securely gain access to local network resources. Regardless of your location, you’ll be given permission to use the internet as if you were present at the VPN’s location. This can be extremely beneficial for individuals using a public Wi-Fi network or public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Therefore, when you browse the internet while on a VPN, your computer will contact the website through an encrypted connection. The VPN will then forward the request for you and forward the response from the website back through a secure connection.

VPNs are really easy to use, and they’re considered to be highly effective tools. They can be used to do a wide range of things. The most popular types of VPNs are remote-access VPNs and site-to-site VPNs.

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Top 5 reasons to use a VPN


What is a remote-access VPN?

A remote-access VPN uses public infrastructure like the internet to provide remote users secure access to their network. This is particularly important for organizations and their corporate networks. It’s crucial when employees connect to a public

It usually relies on either Internet Protocol Security or Secure Sockets Layer to secure the connection. However, an SSL VPN can also be used to supply secure access to a single application, rather than an entire internal network. Some VPNs also provide Layer 2 access to the target network; these will require a tunneling protocol like Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol or Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol running across the base IPsec connection.

What is a site-to-site VPN?

This is when the VPN technology uses a gateway device to connect to the entire network in one location to a network in another location. The majority of site-to-site VPNs that connect over the internet use IPsec. Rather than using the public internet, it is also normal to use career multiprotocol label switching clouds as the main transport for site-to-site VPNs.

VPNs are often defined between specific computers, and in most cases, they are servers in separate data centers. However, new hybrid-access situations have now transformed the VPN gateway in the cloud, typically with a secure link from the cloud service provider into the internal network.

What is a mobile VPN?

A traditional VPN can affect the user experience when applied to wireless devices. It’s best to use a mobile VPN to avoid slower speeds and data loss. A mobile VPN offers you a high level of security for the challenges of wireless communication. It can provide mobile devices with secure access to network resources and software applications on their wireless networks. It’s good to use when you’re facing coverage gaps, internetwork roaming, bandwidth issues or limited battery life, memory or processing power.

Mobile VPNs are designed and optimized to ensure a seamless user experience when devices are switching networks or moving out of coverage. It generally has a smaller memory footprint, and because of that, it also requires less processing power than a traditional VPN. Therefore, it enables your applications to run faster while the battery pack is able to last longer.

A Mobile VPN is a worthwhile tool to have since it increases privacy, user satisfaction and productivity, while also reducing unforeseen support issues caused by wireless connectivity problems. The increasing usage of mobile devices and wireless connectivity make it more important to ensure that your data is being transferred through a secure network. It will allow you to access the internet, while staying safe behind a firewall that protects your privileged information.

Who needs a VPN?

People who access the internet from a computer, tablet or smartphone will benefit from VPN usage. A VPN service will always boost your security by encrypting and anonymizing all of your online activity. Communications that happen between the VPN server and your device are encrypted, so a hacker or website spying on you wouldn’t know which web pages you access. They also won’t be able to see private information like passwords, usernames and bank or shopping details and so on. Anyone who wants to protect their privacy and security online should use a VPN.

How to choose a VPN service?

There’s a vast range of VPN services on the internet. Some are free VPN services, but the best ones require a monthly subscription. Before you decide to download a VPN, make sure you consider these factors for understanding a VPN.

Cost: VPNs aren’t too pricey, but they vary from vendor to vendor. If your main concern is price, then go with something inexpensive, or a free VPN service — like Spotflux Premium VPN or AnchorFree HotSpot Shield Elite. Free servers are often slower, and since most are ad-supported, they place adverts on the online pages you access. Others can even limit the speed of your connection, as well as your online time or amount of data transferred.

It’s also important to note that leading VPN providers offer stronger security features to ensure you’re digitally safe. When selecting a paid VPN service, always be sure to check which countries it operates servers in.

Reliability: Select a VPN that is reliable and read the reviews to make sure that it’s capable of protecting you by providing you with sufficient online privacy.

High security: An effective VPN will have the following security features: 128-bit encryption, anonymous DNS servers and an absence of connection logs.

Are there any bandwidth limits? This can often be linked to price; paying more will generally provide more bandwidth with faster internet access.

Are VPN apps for Android, iOS phones and tablets available? Apps for Android and iOS devices are also vulnerable, so make sure your VPN server can support a VPN app.

To ensure privacy, you want to make sure you have a VPN that doesn’t store online logs. Some servers provide virus and spyware protection, and features like that can significantly increase your online safety.

Using a no-logs VPN service will provide you with a higher degree of security. It can protect you from blanket government surveillance and prevent your internet service provider from knowing your online activity.

Using a VPN for Netflix and other forbidden treasures

like Netflix and Hulu have been making it difficult for foreign users to access their content in other countries. Many people can get around region restrictions by using a VPN service to route your traffic through another country.

It can be quite simple to watch Netflix and other restricted goodies. You’ll have to use a VPN service that allows you to get a unique IP address. This can often be available for an additional fee. Look for VPN services that offer a “dedicated IP address,” “dedicated IP” or “static IP.” Additional features like these will always allow you to access content from Netflix through a VPN service.

This is by far the easiest way to access your forbidden apps since there’s no specific way to block VPN traffic.

Many people started using a VPN to evade geo-restrictions. But despite its forbidden benefits to users outside the US, a VPN is a great tool that can protect you and enhance your online experience over the internet by providing you with sufficient security and privacy. When it comes to selecting the best VPN, you have plenty of choices. There are many cost-effective VPN options, and all of them will vary in monthly offerings. Choosing the best VPN is easier once you narrow down the competition. The best indication of a good VPN service provider is that it has the right security and the right support in place for you.

Got a question for our security community? Head over to the  and join the conversation.  

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Kim Kardashian's makeup artist Mario launches his own beauty…

Kim Kardashian‘s KKW Beauty brand is set to have some serious competition in the form of a new cosmetics collection being launched by the reality star’s longtime friend and makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic.

The 36-year-old beauty pro, who has worked with Kim, 39, for years, and also counts Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez, and Kate Bosworth among his clientele, announced the launch of Makeup By Mario on Monday – 11 months after he teamed up with Kim on the launch of a KKW Beauty palette collaboration. 

Mario’s new beauty brand also coincides with his 20th year working as a makeup artist, 우리카지노 and the cosmetics guru revealed during an online launch event that he has been working on the collection for more than three years, having decided early on to manage almost every aspect of its creation personally.  

Success: Kim Kardashian's longtime makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic is launching his own beauty brand on October 1

Success: Kim Kardashian’s longtime makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic is launching his own beauty brand on October 1 

Collaborator: Mario, 36, has been working with Kim, 39, for years, and the two teamed up on a KKW Beauty palette last year - however this is the first time he has launched his own products

Collaborator: Mario, 36, has been working with Kim, 39, for years, and the two teamed up on a KKW Beauty palette last year – however this is the first time he has launched his own products

‘With Makeup By Mario, I’ve taken my signature techniques and transformed them into accessible pro products inspired by the ones I’ve loved and used throughout my career,’ the beauty pro explained in a statement.  

Mario explained that he wanted to release a line of cosmetics that would make women’s beauty routines easier, noting that he used his decades of expertise to design products that were professional-grade quality, 메리트카지노주소 but simple to use, so that they can be purchased by anyone and everyone, no matter what their level of expertise. 

‘My greatest hope is that this collection inspires play and experimentation — that each product enhances your artistry, elevates your application, and evolves your technique,’ he said.  

The first range of products from the line, which will be released on October 1 – Mario’s 37th birthday – all focus on the eyes, because that is where the makeup artist always starts when he is putting together a look. 

Having taught dozens of master classes over the years, during which he shares his most-used techniques with other industry experts, Mario wanted to infuse all of those trade secrets into his products. 

For example, one of the offerings in the first release is a concealer palette for the eyes; Mario has long relied on concealer and translucent powder to prep the eyes, rather than using a primer, and 메리트카지노주소 that tip is brought to life in the Master Eye Prep & Set ($28). 

Budding makeup artists will also have the chance to get creative with their looks courtesy of the Master Metals palette ($48), which features five metallic shadows – all of which are ‘inspired by Earth’s natural metals’.  

Inspiration: Mario's first product releases are all focused on the eyes, because that is where he starts whenever he puts together a beauty look

Inspiration: Mario’s first product releases are all focused on the eyes, because that is where he starts whenever he puts together a beauty look 

Natural: The beauty pro revealed that the shades in his collection were inspired by the colors of human organs and arteries, because he wanted them to be completely universal

Natural: The beauty pro revealed that the shades in his collection were inspired by the colors of human organs and arteries, because he wanted them to be completely universal 

Mix it up: The products are all based on the techniques that Mario has picked up over the years, and they are meant to encourage users to improve their own skills as they use them

Mix it up: The products are all based on the techniques that Mario has picked up over the years, and they are meant to encourage users to improve their own skills as they use them 

Goal: 'I've taken my signature techniques and transformed them into accessible pro products inspired by the ones I've loved and used throughout my career,' he shared

Goal: ‘I’ve taken my signature techniques and transformed them into accessible pro products inspired by the ones I’ve loved and used throughout my career,’ he shared 

The palette not only includes the shadows themselves but also a mixing tray and spatula that allows you to mix the different shades, and turn them into a bold liquid formula using an additional product – the Master Metals Manipulator ($14). 

This liquid formula transforms the powders into ‘molten’ metals that can then be blended and applied either as a liner or a metallic shadow.  

When it came to creating his eyeliners themselves, Mario says he was inspired by his own sister who has ‘struggled for years’ with perfecting her technique. 

‘I wanted to create an eyeliner for my sister and the other women like her,’ he shared while showing off his Master Mattes Liquid Liner ($22) and his Master Pigment Pro Pencil ($22). 

Mario’s personal fascination with nature also played a significant role in the creation of the products, particularly the eyeshadow palettes, which he revealed to WWD were inspired by the colors of ‘human flesh, arteries and organs’,  shades that are essentially universal to all users. 

‘I wanted a brand that is completely universal, especially in this first collection, [so] that all of my clients would be able to use it — and my followers,’ he explained. 

‘I started to research and study the shades within the human body. We all have the same shades, no matter where you’re from, [and] surprisingly enough, we don’t have a lot of shades within our bodies.  

‘Not to sound morbid, but basically to show that [the collection] is truly universal and comes from within us.’ 

Simple: Mario explained that he wanted to release cosmetics that will make women's beauty routines easier

Simple: Mario explained that he wanted to release cosmetics that will make women’s beauty routines easier

Betting on himself: The beauty pro did not want to accept outside funding, so he invested all of the money to start his brand himself

Betting on himself: The beauty pro did not want to accept outside funding, so he invested all of the money to start his brand himself 

Gamble: 'So if this doesn't work out, I'm going to be back living with my parents!' he joked

Gamble: ‘So if this doesn’t work out, I’m going to be back living with my parents!’ he joked

Celebrity favorite: Mario began his career as a sales assistant in Sephora back in 2000, when he was just 17, however he has gone on to build up an impressive roster of A-list clients

Celebrity favorite: Mario began his career as a sales assistant in Sephora back in 2000, when he was just 17, however he has gone on to build up an impressive roster of A-list clients

In addition to the Master Metals palette, there are two other eyeshadow offerings in the first Makeup By Mario collection – Master Mattes ($48) and Master Metallics ($48) – and Mario revealed that he chose to separate the matte shades and the metallic shades because that is how he has always been trained to organize his own kit, the same one that he has used on all of his A-list clients. 

When it came to testing out his new products on his most famous clientele however, Mario was hesitant to reveal exactly what he was working, admitting during his online launch event that he is incredibly ‘secretive’ and didn’t immediately share details about his creations. 

So while he did use his products on his clients, he confesses that they had no idea what those formulas were – nor were they aware that he had spent months on end perfecting them himself. 

The launch of the brand is a triumph that has been years in the making for Mario; while he says he has been working on the product concepts since early 2017, he has been ‘dreaming’ about having his own brand stocked on the shelves of Sephora ever since 2000, when he first started working there at the age of 17. 

And while he has teamed up with other beauty brands in the past, working on single-product collaborations with major labels like KKW Beauty and Anastasia Beverly Hills, when it came to launching his own line, Mario wanted to ensure he would be more than just the ‘face’ of the collection that was created in partnership with another big brand. 

But while he has certainly achieved his goal with the launch of Makeup By Mario – which will be released online and in Sephora at the start of next month – it hasn’t come easy.

‘I have invested everything I have into this brand, because I didn’t want to use outside funding,’ he explained. ‘So if this doesn’t work out, I’m going to be back living with my parents!’