By Becky Cattermole
The beauty business is big business. In 2019 the beauty industry was valued to be worth $532 billion, and so it should come as no surprise that some of our favourite celebrities are trying to get a piece of the pie. Celebrity collaborations have always been popular, from Kate Moss’s signature collaboration with Rimmel London, to Victoria Beckham’s line with Estee Lauder back in 2016, which proved only the beginning of celebrity emergence into the field of beauty. Over the past five years, celebrity cosmetic companies have been on the rise, to the point where there is now a new celebrity make up brand popping up every five minutes. But the question is, are celebrities using the lucrative beauty business as a cash cow, and is the make up any good?
One of the prime examples of a celebrity turned make-up-mogul is Kylie Jenner. Love her or hate her, Kylie managed to launch a cosmetics company which was so successful that a few years later it landed her on the cover of Forbes as the ‘youngest self-made billionaire’. Since the success of the Kylie empire, celebrities such as her sister Kim, Rihanna, Drew Barrymore, and even 15 year old Millie Bobbie Brown, have launched their own beauty brands. With most of these celebrities having little to no experience in the beauty industry, and who opt to have their makeup done as opposed to doing it themselves, how can they be trusted to create genuinely good makeup products?
Whilst Fenty Beauty has been labelled as one of the most successful celebrity beauty brands, due to its inclusive shade ranges and tonal highlighters, the majority of other celebrity brands fail to bring anything new to this oversaturated market. Last year Lady Gaga released an underwhelming collection of lip glosses under her new brand Haus Laboratories, although there was nothing ground-breaking or imaginative about these products, they sold instantaneously. The cult following of the brand’s creators enable them to sell the same products which have been made a million times before, to a new audience who are willing to pay an inflated price for a celebrity name.
The celebrity beauty industry lacks legitimacy as its consumers do not seek legitimacy. Famous faces will always vouch that they have been the heart and soul of the creative process, yet in reality, it is doubtful how much input really goes into the choosing of 10 neutral shades and a few shimmers. The nature of modern celebrities allows them to have constant access to their fans through social media, and as a result they are able to promote their products at every opportunity. It is almost fool proof in its method, as the quality of the product doesn’t even have to meet that of other products on the market when it has the backing of a famous face. Kylie Jenner made her millions selling makeup in flimsy cardboard packaging, and eyeshadow pallets that allegedly gave people headaches; the quality was questionable and so was the originality. This proves the problem with celebrity created cosmetic brands, there is no need for the products to be any better than average when enough hype can be created to sell millions of units of the product regardless.
Photo credit to LVMH