July 12, 2020
Celebrities giving their name and touch to beauty products is not something new. Sophia Lauren launched her Sophia fragrance in collaboration with Coty in 1981. Cher’s Uninhibited perfume came out in 1987 and even though it is discontinued today, it has become iconic and sells up to 300$ for a vintage bottle on Amazon. Since the 90s, many more perfumes were created in partnership with celebrities (Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton or Beyonce to name a few). But in the last ten years, the rise of social media has changed the game.
With Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and so on, we get a deeper (yet curated) look at how celebrities live their daily life. We know about their whole beauty routine, food preferences, travel habits and more generally their lifestyle on and off cameras. When celebrities were mysterious and distant, a perfume with their name on it was a good way to channel the person’s essence. Now that they share so much more about them, all the products they use on a daily basis can be a mean for people to get closer and imitate the celebrities they admire. This apparent proximity and communication ease (more direct and frequent) creates the perfect condition for them to launch new businesses.
As a consequence, the list of celebrity beauty brands is expanding. A few of the most notable ones are Fenty Beauty (Rihanna), Haus Labs (Lady Gaga), Goop (Gwyneth Paltrow), The Honest Company (Jessica Alba), Kora Organics (Miranda Kerr), Kylie Cosmetics (Kylie Jenner), Florence by Mills (Millie Bobby Brown). However, all brands are not equal. Some celebrities are very involved in the whole brand development, giving inputs into design, product formulations, packaging or textures. While others are just giving their name and face to it and have little to no involvement in the creative process
The longevity of these brands is difficult to predict, yet we can see a stronger pull for brands where the celebrity seems authentic. It usually shows when products and messages are close to a celebrity’s values and speak to a specific audience (like Fenty with its foundation color range of over 50 shades to cater to a much wider range of women skin tones, inclusivity being one of Rihanna’s strong engagement). And conversely, not being genuine enough can lead to some very resounding backlash (like the episode of Millie Bobby Brown fake-washing her face to show how to use her products that spread over the internet like wildfire).
This trend of beauty brands created by celebrities will probably continue to rise, evolve and learn from the mistakes made. What we are convinced of is that many of these new brands will bring something valuable and unique to the market.