With so many celeb beauty lines in the market (and underway), do we honestly need them all?

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Lady Gaga. Millie Bobby Brown. Jennifer Lopez. They’ve collaborated with beauty brands, and launched their very own lines into the market that has Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics. The saturation of launches begs the question: “What’s so exciting about these brands besides celeb involvement?”


Celeb beauty isn’t exactly groundbreaking. Miranda Kerr's Kora Organics and J Lo's perfume collabs left their mark on the scene.

So... why now? It's pretty clear that social media is the biggest catalyst. When it comes to spending that coin, about 74% of buying decisions are influenced by social media, according to Sprout Social. The power of these selfie-rich platforms combined with celebrity engagement is greater than ever as they can directly market the products and give an intimate demo in real time. Even NPD Group Beauty Analyst Larissa Jensen noted that “having a large social media following equates to sales.” 

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Unlike celebrity fragrances which have been dwindling since the 2008 recession [according to a 2017 BBC report], full beauty lines possess a stronger power of representing a celebrity’s lifestyle, if executed correctly. Take Rihanna’s championing of people of all skin tones, which aligns with her personal ethos, or Tracee Ellis Ross pumping out hair care specifically for curly hair babes. This comes down to an important element in the modern beauty game: authenticity. “Authenticity in marketing is really key, because it’s a precursor of trust. And trust is what gets people to buy into the story and it’s the only thing that influences our purchase behaviours,” said Pamela Rutledge, a psychologist studying media issues in an interview with Vox.

How is trust built between these celebs and the common people from all over? Through social media. By limiting the connection barriers now more than ever, fans can keep up to date and literally buy into the looks of celebrities that they deem relatable.

When our faves drop their own beauty lines, we tend to have faith that they’re also selling them in our best interests as opposed to solely adding more dollars into their bank accounts. That’s because it seems more likely that stars care about the image they’ve strived to build which ties into their sole personal beliefs and values. After all, there’s more heat to bear on a single pair of shoulders if it all goes south, right?
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How long will the magic last if you don’t just step up but more importantly, maintain the sturdy momentum? Rakuten Intelligence reports that Kylie Cosmetics sales dropped by 14% in 2019, with revenues declining by 62% from their 2016 peak by 2018. It looks like the lip kits which launched her brand to smashing success were the only major hot topic on peoples’ lips while her newer lines quickly faded into yesterday’s news. What will the future hold for other celeb beauty brands?

Logically, having more competitors should force these and future companies to step up their game and stand out from the crowd in order to nab the largest consumers but is there really any distinctive variation between these collections that deserve our hard earned $$$? Looks like the seeds of discontent have already been planted. Perhaps the public is starting to realise that they deserve more than just beauty products labelled with celeb names.

Ultimately, it boils down to whether or not customers buy into the message, both literally and figuratively. As consumers, we should strive to look past these big names and see the bigger picture into what they’re selling (product + message). Is it truly worth the buzz or are you just blindly buying into the hype? You decide.

“By limiting the connection barriers, fans can keep up to date and literally buy into the looks of celebrities they deem relatable.”