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  • Writer's pictureVariant Magazine

Are Celebrity Beauty Brands Destined to Die Out?

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

By Zoie Lambert, Blogger

It is Rare not to find Fenty of beauty products in every Haus. With men and women, both using makeup for a soft beat or snatched look, the beauty industry is globally valued at $532 billion, according to Business Insider. This growth is due to social media, beauty influencers and now a new reason: celebrity makeup brands.

This new phenomenon includes singers, reality stars and models who are all trying to make their mark in the beauty industry. However, with already 128 beauty brands already producing cosmetics and skin products what can these celebrity brands offer?

How it Began

The first celebrity makeup brand was created out of a basic need. Iman, a Somalian-born supermodel, started her beauty brand in 1994 after facing discrimination from makeup artists who expected her to bring her own foundation. For Iman, it was necessary for women of color “to be told that they were beautiful, invited to sit at the table, and courted in high style: women of all skin tones want to look good when they rule the world,” she wrote in an Instagram post.

For the first celebrity beauty brand, Iman did something revolutionary and produced products for all women of color, which was never done effectively by other brands. Though this was a step in a great direction for the beauty industry, it did not inspire many celebrities to start their beauty empire. Until 2013, celebrities’ beauty brands were limited in number, and during this 19-year drought, it seemed the brands created were bringing something new to the industry.

Illustrations by Emma Dengler

During this time model, Josie Maran started a cosmetics line that promotes clean non-chemical makeup because she feared parabens in other makeup products might cause cancer, which her mother and grandmother had. Additionally, in 2009 Australian Supermodel Miranda Kerr started Kora Cosmetics, an organic skincare line to offer people a “healthy alternative” to other products on the market. In 2013, Drew Barrymore launched Flower Beauty with a message of making everyone feel beauty without compromising efficacy and money.

Sound familiar? After 2013, celebrity beauty brands like Barrymore’s with identical mission statements and products increased. Soon after, Jeffree Star, Elle MacPherson, Lindsay Ellingson and Christe Brinkley launched beauty brands in 2014. The following year brought a huge shift in celebrity beauty brands when Kylie Jenner started Kylie Cosmetics. Soon, all celebrities started to realize beauty was a lucrative business and wanted a piece of the pie. Recently, Rhianna, Kim Kardashian, Millie Bobby Brown, Kesha, Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez launched their own beauty brands in the last three years. Vogue even reports Kayne West, Jenniffer Lopez and Cardi B are speculated to start their own beauty lines.

Trendy Becomes Unoriginal

It is understandable that many of these celebrities have a story behind their brands and want to give the consumer a unique experience. However, lately it seems everyone wants to stick their hand in the makeup jar. Jacyln Hill, another celeb beauty mogul said on Twitter, “I feel like 2019 was the year that every single publicist looked at their A-list celebrity client and said, ‘it’s time to create a makeup line.’” Hill was met with backlash while some agreed with her point. Even James Charles noticed this trend and decided to target Alicia Keys who is planning on launching a skincare line. Though he apologized for his comment as well as Hill, are their comments derived from jealousy or a valid reflection of how oversaturated the beauty industry is becoming? If the latter is the case will this makeup blast end like the great perfume rush of the 2000s?

Celebrity perfumes were a key to the hidden lives of celebrities, and for $20 anyone could be Sarah Jessica Parker or Brittney Spears. However, that ended when social media came and revealed the true lives of all celebrities. According to Cosmopolitan, Andrea Rickard, trading director at The Perfume Shop, says consumers want celebrity “endorsements and demand relevance and authenticity” and makeup is just that. Through makeup, a person can personify Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian and watch a YouTube video on how different celebrities apply or use their makeup.

The timeline of celebrity makeup brands is unknown. However, what is certain is that celebrities are taking beauty, an important feature that many people treasure, and making it trendy; and like other trends, this one will die quicker than it began. Hopefully, consumers will wise up before the meteorite hits.

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