If there was ever a meeting of snooty beauty enthusiasts, I would imagine we would all float about wearing monocles and turning our noses up at less than amazing products. We would clap twice and these products would be thrown into the beauty dungeon where they and their creators get a chance to really reflect on the less than ideal product they have formulated. In today’s times, the dungeon would feature plenty of celebrity beauty brands because…well.. have you tried using them?
I am aware that there are no dungeons now (sad, really) and I don’t wear monocles (at least in public) but it’s entirely true that all of us have had encounters with celebrity beauty brands that have been less than pleasant. Largely, celebrity beauty lines have products that barely perform, contain ingredients that are trendy but don’t do much else and seem like expensive versions of beauty products that have already flooded the market. And mostly, they fly off the shelves not due to their ground-breaking formulations or effectiveness but because of glossy campaigns promoting them as the next best thing after sliced bread.
The Celebrity Beauty Brands Bandwagon
A caveat, an uncessary one, but one I must issue nonetheless. None of those celebrities look like that in real life. There are makeup artists, photographers, photoshop artists and so many people who make the star look like a million bucks. Even if they are peddling skincare to you, their skin can’t possibly that glowy all the time. Now that that’s out of the way. Let’s talk about the celebrity beauty brands and their basic AF products.
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Let’s take Kylie Skin, for starters. In May 2019, Kylie Jenner announced the launch of her skincare line. The usual suspects were all there cleanser, toner, moisturiser etc, all prettily tucked into baby pink packaging. There was also a walnut scrub. Yes, the same kind of product that dermats have been screaming hoarse about, saying that these tend to cause micro-tears in the skin. The St Ives Apricot scrub was tagged as a villain for the harsh microbeads and yet, the people at Kylie Skin went against the grain and good advice and launched this. Inevitably the product got flak. And fell out of favour. Quite badly, I imagine, the brand’s Instagram page barely ever features this product, hoping to recover from the PR crisis it caused.
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Jennifer Lopez told us that we shouldn’t be fooled by the bucks she has, she’s still Jenny from the block and I swayed along with her happily, believing every word. Then in December 2020, JLo launched her skincare brand, eponymously called JLO Beauty. And since then, the bronze goddess has been talking about the goodness of olive oil and positive thinking. Sure these things help, but to believe that these are the only things that make Jennifer Lopez look like she hasn’t aged a since she was 20 and that she’s never had filler or botox- yeah, that seems sus. This celebrity beauty brand comes at a pretty penny and I am sure not I see merit in all the products. Sure, the products itself haven’t proved to be bad, but sales are certainly easier if you have a gorgeous woman attaching her name to it.
There Is Some Serious Elbow Grease Here
There are plenty of other celebrity beauty brands and while some are living up to the hype- think Fenty Beauty (Rihanna), Rare Beauty (Selena Gomez)- there are others that haven’t exactly impressed people. Haus Laboratories (Lady Gaga) has been accused of being too boring- nothing like the singer’s style.
Celebrity beauty brands like Kora Organics by Miranda Kerr also borrow heavily from the celebrity’s heritage. A lot of her products feature noni fruit extract, an ode to her childhood. Fenty Beauty also seems like an extension of the Rihanna’s persona- from being colour inclusive in the most fabulous way to be audacious enough to introduce a gloriously gold highlighter. Not for the faint hearted, much like Rihanna herself.
Celebrity Beauty Brands Closer Home
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Closer home, fewer celebrities have their own beauty lines. The only celebrity beauty brand that comes to mind in Kay Beauty, Katrina Kaif’s venture into the beauty industry. The products are affordable but Katrina’s own involvement seems pretty limited. A reddit thread about this celebrity beauty brand is quick to draw parallels with Kylie cosmetics and mention how Katrina looks like she’s only the face of the brand, hardly employing the products she peddles.
That being said, there are a lot of us who are willing to part with some serious cash when she told us the blushes were beautiful, so again, it’s a commercial success for everyone involved and it makes sense to use Katrina’s star power to sprinkle fairy dust all over the products, even if they are not the best in the category. In fact, while they may be affordable, the amount of product in her compact powders and blushes is notoriously little, so that practically everyone is hitting pan a couple of months after buying them. Makes great business sense, for us consumers, it barely makes any budget sense.
Whether the star behind the brand is fully getting their hands dirty or not, I am convinced that celebrity beauty brands can get away with a lot more owing to the name. So yes, a basic moisturiser that puts your back by a couple of thousand isn’t worth the investment, even if you favourite celebrity is telling you that it is made from her tears and her sweat from the 64th ray of the sun.