From actors to models, singers to influencers, it seems if you’re famous enough, you can now create your own beauty brand.
Over the past 20 years, the celebrity beauty industry has grown at a rapid rate.
It started back in the 2000s, with megastars like Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears and even Rihanna developing their own perfumes.
Twenty years on, and Britney Spears’s Fantasy and Rihanna’s Reb'l Fleur remain very popular. While the “Lift Me Up” singer now has a new perfume under her Fenty Beauty brand, Reb'l Fleur remains a best seller due to its affordable price tag since Fenty is considered a luxury perfume.
Celebrity perfumes were just the beginning of what has now become a trend. So much so that celebrity skincare and make-up brands are now flooding the market and actually creating stiff competition for more established brands.
When beauty influencers post their make-up looks on social media platforms, you’ll see more and more of them using brands like Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty or Lady Gaga’s Haus Labs, over, let’s say, the more established make-up brands like MAC or Nars cosmetics.
If it’s not influencers, then it is the stars themselves who are inundating our timelines with their products. Most celebrities have millions of followers. Kylie Jenner alone has 372 million followers, while her sister, Kim Kardashian, who recently launched her skincare line, SKKN by Kim, has 333 million followers.
They don’t even need expensive marketing campaigns to get their brands out there when all they need is their face and social media.
They are the brand. The product is secondary.
And who wouldn’t want to own a piece of their favourite celebrity? Even if it’s something as small as lip-gloss.
According to those who have come close to her, Rihanna smells like heaven. So why wouldn’t her fans want to own her perfume? Her Fenty perfume has been flying off the shelves because who doesn’t want to smell like heaven?
Have you seen Kylie Jenner’s lips? Even though we all know that they are not completely natural, they are plump and full. This is why her lip kits were and still are so popular. Everyone wants Kylie Jenner's lips. In fact, it’s her lipstick kits that propelled her make-up brand to icon status and made her the multi-millionaire she is today.
Ariana Grande, who recently launched her own beauty brand called R.E.M. Beauty, is famous for her slick eye-liner looks, so of course, she has a midnight black eye-liner marker in her collection.
The glazed doughnut look is one of summer’s hottest make-up looks made popular by supermodel Hailey Bieber.
Did she create the look to promote her reasonably priced skincare brand Rhode which features a collection of products that will make you glow? If so, it was a very clever move on her part. Not only did she create a trend, but she’s given her followers the tools to get her famous glazed glow. She actually has a product called “Peptide glazing fluid” in the range.
While most celebrity beauty brands rely heavily on name recognition, it doesn’t hurt that many of them have chosen to align with a cause.
Selena Gomez’s mission-driven Rare Beauty recently donated $1.2 million from its non-profit Rare Impact Fund to a cohort of mental health services.
Lady Gaga’s make-up brand, Haus Laboratories – a vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics range – sets out to create awareness around LGBTQ+ rights and HIV/Aids.
“Clients want to be connected to what a celebrity stands for,” Alison Hahn, Sephora’s SVP of make-up and fragrance, tells Allure. “What are their values? What are the emotional connections, and is there something good and a mission behind the celebrity? The products (also) need to work. They still need to do everything any product we sell does.”
With the celebrity beauty space becoming increasingly congested, the ultimate strength and longevity of the brands depend on whether or not customers make repeated purchases.
Some celebrities are so keen to get a piece of the popular pie that they hit snags before they even lift off the ground.
Kim Kardashian’s newly launched SKKN by Kim line was hit with a trademark lawsuit filed by Beauty Concepts, a four-year-old skincare company operating under the brand SKKN+, as far back as July 2021.
The Black-owned skincare boutique, which offers facials and body treatments out of its store-front in Brooklyn, alleges that Kardashian’s brand will confuse consumers and diminish SKKN+’s online presence.
Bieber was hit with a similar lawsuit by Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, who co-founded the independent fashion label Rhode in 2014 and refused to sell the brand to the supermodel four years ago.
Scarlett Johansson fans took issue with her skincare line, The Outset, as it promises to achieve the same polished skin as the star, even though many speculate she’s likely undergone expensive cosmetic procedures.
While you might be thinking that the market has certainly reached saturation point, in the last year alone, we’ve seen more than ten new celeb brands pop up, and there are still more to come.
In March, model Winnie Harlow dropped a beauty brand called Cay Skin which focuses on sun protection.
La La Anthony launched her hair-care brand, Inala.
Actor Idris and wife Sabrina Elba have launched a gender-neutral skincare line, S’ABLE Labs Skin.
Earlier this year, momager Kris Jenner trademarked ‘Kris Jenner Beauty’, ‘Kris Jenner Skin’ and ‘Kris Jenner Skincare’.
Singer John Legend announced plans to launch an affordable skin-care line catering to consumers with melanated and dark skin tones.
Brad Pitt announced that he would be launching a skin-care brand that combines science and nature, titled Le Domaine.