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Curious About Celebrity Beauty Brands? I'm Giving You the Inside Scoop!

Celebrity beauty brands seem to be everywhere nowadays!

Plenty of A-list actresses and Grammy award-winning singers are now adding “business owner” to their resume, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

Their new brands are usually surrounded by buzz and released with much anticipation, and most seem to do well.

But why do they choose to focus on beauty (specifically, skincare and makeup)?

It’s no wonder they want to get in the game!

Profits are a big motivating factor, but I think beauty is something many people get passionate and excited about, and celebrities recognize this.

But what do celebrities even know about beauty, anyway?

Their makeup is done for them!

And, why are we so inclined to purchase celebrity-owned beauty products?

Are they worth our hard-earned money?

I’m addressing all of these questions and more, so keep on reading!

Consumer Psychology

Why do celebrities fascinate us so much?

I mean, they’re human, too.

First of all, our brain recognizes celebrities in a way that’s similar to how it recognizes people we actually know in real life.

A Taiwanese study showed that we remember products that are endorsed by celebrities, regardless if we’re their fans or not.

And, if we are a fan of a particular celebrity that endorses a certain product, we place a higher value on that product.

It’s like we’re receiving a recommendation from a trusted friend.

But wait! I couldn’t care less about what a celebrity has to say! They just do it for the money!

Well, age plays a role.

This behavior is more common in younger consumers (ages 18-24), according to a recent study by the University of Arkansas and the Manchester Business School of London.

These consumers develop their identities and appearance based on celebrities.

Research conducted by Nielsen in 2015 found that celebrity endorsements resonate more strongly with Millennials (ages 21-34) and Generation Z (ages 15-20).

These age groups are also more likely to trust celebrity endorsements.

And, research shows that when people are talented in one area, we perceive them to be talented in other areas, too.

This is called the halo effect.

So, if a successful actress starts a beauty company, we’re more motivated to try the products because we perceive them to be high-quality.

Second, celebrities are very much a part of American culture - whether we like it or not.

They’re nearly always on our radar due to the status and multiple platforms that they have (i.e. national media exposure and social media).

We can easily become engrossed in their personal lives and curious about what they’ll do next.

According to Daniel Kruger, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Michigan, we’re social creatures, and knowing what’s going on with high-status individuals can help us navigate the social scene.

Have you ever bonded with a girlfriend over a celebrity crush or gossiped about what movie stars were wearing on the red carpet?

There you go.

It can also bring us genuine enjoyment and help us escape from daily life.

In extreme cases, fans can display celebrity worship syndrome, which is excessive involvement and interest in a celebrity’s life.

Why Beauty?

While money is definitely a motivating factor, every celebrity with a beauty brand has a personal reason for getting involved in the industry.

One of the original success stories is Iman Cosmetics, created by model Iman.

She introduced makeup foundation shades for women of color, which were seriously lacking in the industry.

Makeup artists never had colors that matched her skin, so she would have to mix and match multiple foundation shades and bring it into photoshoots.

Another reason celebrities create their own brand is because of passion.

In an interview with The New York Times, Drew Barrymore, who has a line called Flower Beauty, said, "I have been in the makeup chair since I was 6 years old."

For Jessica Alba, her company, Honest Beauty, is “...about giving people peace of mind and telling them what we are honestly free of,” she said in an interview with WWD.

“The company was founded to help create a healthier environment for everybody, not just rich folks,” she continued.

Second, fans are loyal and stay up-to-date on a celebrity’s latest projects.

This translates into paying customers.

For example, if you love a fashion model who started their own skincare line, you’ll try their products no matter what because you want to show your support.

Celebrities recognize this and use it in their marketing, revealing upcoming products on Instagram or doing product teases on Snapchat.

As a result, fans will also spread the word on social media and essentially provide free marketing.

The Internet is such a powerful tool!

If a celebrity-owned brand has a price point that’s too high for the average consumer, produces poor-quality products that don’t work, or has bad customer service, you’ll hear about it.

In contrast, if a celebrity-owned brand is affordable, produces high-quality and effective products, and has good customer service, you’ll hear about that, too.

This is another reason why celebrities are motivated to turn out great products.

Think about it: If a celebrity has a lackluster brand and/or makes a crappy product, it'll be bad publicity and may affect their overall public perception.

Why Are These Brands and Products So Popular?

I've categorized some of the most popular celebrity beauty brands according to what made them successful or stand out.

Some of them fit into multiple categories!

Let's dive in.

Social Media

One person immediately came to mind: Kylie Jenner.

I don't think she even needs an introduction.

Although she’s only 20 years old, if anyone knows how to strategically use social media, it’s her.

Need proof?

She has 99 million Instagram followers.

And, her brand, Kylie Cosmetics, is being labeled “an empire.”

According to WWD, the company made $420 million in sales in only 18 months and is projected to make $1 billion in lifetime sales by 2022.

Her first lip kits sold out within 30 seconds on the website.

There are thousands of articles online that analyze her marketing strategy, but I'm going to try and break it down into a few sentences!

Kylie seems to let her audience inside her everyday life, whether she's driving around, hanging out with friends, or lip-syncing to music.

Although, yes, she's rich and famous, she's relatable to consumers her age.

And, while Kylie does have a separate social media accounts for Kylie Cosmetics, she frequently posts about the brand on her personal accounts.

She does product photo and video teases on Instagram, does lipstick swatches on Snapchat, and tweets about new product launches and customer service.

She even developed an app (with a $2.99 subscription fee) that features exclusive content, like articles, beauty tutorials, and shopping guides.

This generates even more buzz and excitement.

Kylie is her brand (it’s named after her, after all!) - it's all one cohesive entity.

Credit: Kylie Jenner's Instagram

Credit: Kylie Jenner's Instagram


When singer Rihanna created Fenty Beauty, she had a mission in mind: inclusivity.

And she delivered.

She offers 40 shades of foundation and a universally-flattering lip gloss.

This immediately set her apart from other celebrity-made brands, and people took notice.

Although Fenty Beauty was launched nearly two months ago, it’s still red hot for this very reason.

People are still wondering, “Why aren’t 40 shades the norm in every product line?”

In this Fenty Beauty Instagram video, Rihanna says,

“In every product, I was like, ‘There needs to be something for a dark skin girl. There needs to be something for a really pale girl. There needs to be something for someone in-between.’”

Inclusivity was also apparent in the brand’s marketing - before the products were even officially released.

In its initial campaign, models of all different backgrounds and skin tones were used - because monotony is boring!

Rihanna saw a need that other cosmetic companies weren’t addressing and went for it.

As a result, she gained a wide and loyal audience.

You go, girl!

It helps that the products are great quality, too.

Credit: Rihanna's Instagram

Credit: Rihanna's Instagram

After developing Kardashian Beauty with her sisters, Kim Kardashian-West went solo and developed her own makeup line, KKW Beauty.

(I don't think she needs an introduction, either.)

Her main focus?

The skin.

She wanted anti-aging components in her products and to partner skincare with makeup.

Her contour kit generated the most buzz.

Most only come in one or two shades, but Kim's is available in four shades: light, medium, dark, and deep dark.

In an interview with Harper's Bazaar, Kim said,

"It was a no-brainer that was a given. They can't get products in their color tones, and that sucks, so that wasn't even a question."

Kim had full control over her brand and was involved in each step of the process, from packaging to formulas.

The contour kits sold out in less than 3 hours, reflecting the demand for more makeup shades.

Credit: Kim Kardashian-West's Instagram

Credit: Kim Kardashian-West's Instagram

The Health and Wellness Trend

In a "Green Beauty Barometer" survey conducted by Kari Gran Skin Care, 59 percent of women over the age of 35 said buying green beauty is important to them, while 73 percent of millennial women want cleaner, all-natural products.

This is why you may be seeing more beauty products that are labeled "green," "organic," and "natural."

Celebrities, such as actress Gwyneth Paltrow, recognize this trend and incorporate it into their brand.

She owns Goop, a modern lifestyle brand for food, fashion, home, health, and wellness.

She decided to collaborate with Juice Beauty to create a "clean" skincare line of six organically-formulated products.

In an interview with Vogue, she said,

“We absorb 60 to 80 percent of what we put on our skin, so the idea that you’re exercising and trying to eat well and then slathering yourself with chemicals, parabens, and silicones—it’s not great.”

She also felt that natural skincare products that delivered real, effective anti-aging results were missing from the market.

It took Gwyneth over a year to develop the line, and she wouldn't finish until it matched her vision.

Each product is non-toxic and up to 99 percent organic.

Credit: Gwyneth Paltrow's Instagram

Credit: Gwyneth Paltrow's Instagram

Miranda Kerr, Victoria's Secret Angel, decided to make her own skincare line, Kora Organics, because she felt that there were too many unnecessary chemicals in other products.

In an interview with British Vogue, she said:

"When I was modeling full time (at around 18), I became aware of the chemicals contained in most skincare products and I searched for years to find a range that was not only certified organic but also delivered results. I was unable to find anything on the market that delivered what I was looking for so I decided to create my own range."

She believes consumers should know what they're putting on their skin, which I wholeheartedly agree with.

She spent four years developing products with an organic pharmacist and testing the formulas herself until they met her standards.

It's been her labor of love, to say the least.

And, hey, I can relate! ;)

Miranda is involved in the day-to-day operations of the company, including marketing, finance, product development, and global sales distribution.

All of the products in the line (21 face and body care products, to be exact) are cruelty-free, vegan, and non-toxic.

Credit: Kora Organics' Instagram

Credit: Kora Organics' Instagram


According to Marketwatch, even a simple announcement from a brand signing a celebrity can cause the stock prices of the company to rise.

The research also shows that sales will increase an average of 4 percent after signing a celebrity.

No wonder beauty collabs are so frequent!

Ryan Seacrest does many things - TV host, producer, radio personality - and now one of them is skincare.

He recently collaborated with Dr. Harold Lancer, Beverly Hills dermatologist, to co-found Polished, a high-end men's skincare line.

In an email to the New York Post, Ryan said,

"Many men don’t prioritize their skin in the same way women do. We both saw a void in the market for accessible, science-driven skin care developed specifically for men.”

Men's skincare has been gaining more buzz recently, so it makes sense that he wanted a way in.

The collection includes five products.

Other than being Dr. Lancer's patient, it's somewhat unclear what role Seacrest actually played, as I doubt he was in charge of the formulas!

Credit: Ryan Seacrest's Instagram

Chrissy Teigen is a busy gal, too - but she still has time for creating makeup!

The model, social media star, and author collaborated with Becca Cosmetics to create the Becca X Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette.

It features two highlighters, a blush, and a bronzer for a sun-kissed glow.

Chrissy told People Magazine,

“As much as I’ve gotten my makeup done in the past, I still feel like I don’t know how to apply it or what to use or what goes together. It’s really nice to have something with four different aspects that really go together and gives you this confidence that you can’t go wrong with it.”

She was heavily involved in the creative process, tested shades on her family and friends, and offered samples.

Credit: Chrissy Teigen's Instagram

Final Thoughts

So, let’s get to the question you’ve all been wondering:

Should I buy these celebrity brands?

My answer is that ultimately, the choice is yours!

If you’re unsure about trying a product or are unfamiliar with a celebrity’s values, you can read product reviews, watch YouTube reviews and tutorials, and stalk social media.

Generally speaking, I think the celebrities that I’ve discussed today were involved in much of the creative process and genuinely care about offering quality products.

So, feel free to treat yourself (if you want)!

Beauties, have you tried any celebrity beauty brands? Do you have a favorite? Share with us in the comments!


Hi, Karen! That’s a really good point. I’m seeing more skincare brands embracing “getting older” but not so much with makeup brands.

Alana @ 2018-07-09 8:18am

I’m sick of these people that are famous sticking there names on a few products and making a killing off these stupid girls. I have looked at several of these products and there is nothing but bad chemicals in them but at the very bottom of the list they will put in a product that makes you think it is great. also what makes me sooooo angry is women of a certain age yes I am one of those and we get passed over more than any women out there. I cannot even find a decent lipstick or eyeshadow that is not glittery or bright blue!!! I am telling you women of all ages want to look good but come on women of a certain age cannot wear glitter lipstick and eyeshadow and most do not want to. I would love to have the connections and money I would start skin care anti aging but most of all it is the makeup. There is tons of anti aging so I think that has been covered but not makeup etc. Thanks for my thoughts Karen Wilson

Karen Wilson @ 2018-07-05 7:43am

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