The Rise of Celebrity Beauty Brands

Over the past three years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of celebrity beauty brands launched onto the market, with great contract manufacturers behind the scenes creating the formulas you love. At our last count there are over 30 beauty brands currently on the market which are owned or co-owned by celebrities, with just over half of these being launched over the past three years. And there’s more on the way with Scarlett Johansson, Cardi B, Hailey Bieber, Harry Styles and Ariana Grande announcing this year that they’re launching beauty brands. 

Current list of celebrity beauty brands on the market:

  1. Iman Abdulmajid – Iman Cosmetics (1994) 
  2. Cindy Crawford – Meaningful Beauty (2005)
  3. Josie Maran – Josie Maran Cosmetics (2007)
  4. Gwyneth Paltrow – Goop (2008)
  5. Miranda Kerr – Kora Organics (2009)
  6. Jessica Alba – Honest Beauty (2011) 
  7. Drew Barrymore – Flower Cosmetics (2013)
  8. Kylie Jenner  – Kylie Cosmetics (2015)
  9. Hayley Williams – Good Dye Young (2016)
  10. Rihanna Fenty Beauty (2017) 
  11. Gabrielle Union – Flawless (2017) 
  12. Kim Kardashian – KKW Beauty (2017)
  13. Madonna – MDNA Skin (2017)
  14. Paris Hilton – Paris Hilton Pro DNA (2018)
  15. Lady GaGa – Haus Laboratories (2019) 
  16. Millie Bobby Brown – Florence by Mills (2019)
  17. Victoria Beckham – Victoria Beckham Beauty (2019)
  18. Michelle Pfeiffer – Henry Rose (2019) 
  19. Kesha – Kesha Rose Beauty (2019)
  20. Tracee Ellis Ross – Pattern Beauty (2019)
  21. Catherine Zeta-Jones – Casa Zeta-Jones (2020)
  22. Lauren Conrad: Lauren Conrad Beauty (2020)
  23. Taraji P. Henson – TPH by Taraji (2020)
  24. Selena Gomez – Rare Beauty (2020) 
  25. Alicia Keys – Keys Soulcare (2020)
  26. Kristen Bell – Happy Dance (2020)
  27. Issa Rae – Sienna Naturals (2020)
  28. Carmen Electra – Gogo Skincare (2020)
  29. Pharell Williams – Humanrace (2020) 
  30. Jennifer Lopez – JLo Beauty (2021) 
  31. Halsey –  About-Face (2021)
  32. Jada Pinkett Smith – Hey Humans (2021)

Celebrities are the original influencers and have been used as brand ambassadors and the faces of many many campaigns. Whilst celebrities aren’t Doctors or Dermatologists, they’ve spent years and years sitting in makeup chairs and have access to the world’s best makeup artists, treatments and products, so there’s a perceived element of expertise. If they’re authentic, transparent and honest, they can wield great influence. 

Beauty brands, be it skincare, makeup or hair care, are the new celebrity perfume. What started with Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor in the 80s, ended up being an over saturated market which peaked in 2011-2012 and then consumers moved on.  

When reading articles about celebrity brands, you can’t read an article without the success of Rhianna’s Fenty Beauty being mentioned.  But why is this celebrity brand different from the rest and what is she doing differently? Why is it deemed so successful? 

Comparing Fenty Beauty to Australia’s Miranda Kerr’s Kora Organics, Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics and Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty; Kora Organics is 95% owned by Miranda Kerr, Kylie Jenner originally fully owned Kylie Cosmetics but in 2019 sold off 51%, and from reports Selena Gomez is the full owner of Rare Beauty.  Fenty Beauty on the other hand, whilst it was created by Rihanna, the singer only owns 15% of the brand. The remainder of the brand is owned by luxury brand giant LVMH, which is the parent company for Sephora, Belvedere Vodka, Moȅt & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Tiffany & Co, Tag Heuer, Bvlgari, Parfums Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton.  

The partnership with LVMH isn’t the reason though for Fenty’s success, the reason for its success is that the brand was built on cultural relevance of diversity and inclusion – the brand stands for something. It’s not just a brand that is relying on the owner or co-owner’s celebrity status and social media following to sell products. When Fenty Beauty was launched, it was launched with a range of 40 different (now increased to 50) shades of foundation, which in 2017 was groundbreaking. Rihanna says “foundation is one of those areas in the beauty industry that has a big void for people at extreme ends of the shade spectrum. There’s this middle ground that’s covered really, really well. But then if you’re very pale or if you’re very dark there aren’t a lot of options. And so, I wanted to make sure that women of all skin tones were covered so they could be included in what I created”. Many other brands have now gone on to follow this trend. 

This is a similar story for Rare Beauty, where Selena Gomez has built her brand around mental health. Rare Beauty is more than a line of beauty products, Gomez has also launched a platform to help with mental health and says “I hope by sharing my own story and using my brand and platform to talk about and connect more people to resources that support their mental health, I can encourage others to get the help they need and bring more mental health services to educational settings”.

Another reason why Fenty is so successful, it is backed by quality products at reasonable prices. Whilst technically a luxury brand, the price point of products is at the lower end of the luxury market making it affordable and again inclusive. 

With more celebrity brands on their way, as celebrities monetise their fan base and use their social media reach as a marketing platform, consumers are still looking for authenticity, credibility, transparency and honesty in their beauty brands. As Kylie Jenner is now learning, just being a celebrity isn’t good enough. Celebrities need to use their brand for good, to further social issues, start conversations, solve problems and have good quality products for it to be successful. 

Which is the same for all brands and this is where New Laboratories comes in. We have in excess of 300 formulations, plus your choice of custom R&D to create unique products that can result is exclusive IP [Intellectual Property] for your brand. With over 50 years combined experience in the cosmetic and R&D sectors, we bring our extensive skills to each project and every production run. And with our knowledge base in the natural and organic sectors, we can provide packaging and marketing advice to assist to help solve social issues, start conversations and solve problems where the customer experience is at the forefront. For more information email