Will 2024 mark the death of the celebrity beauty brand?

Here lie the failed celebrity beauty brands of 2023

Beauty Crew Beauty Editor / November 03 2023

Over the past decade, consumers have been inundated with celebrity beauty brands.

Usually the marketing scheme for these brands relies solely on the popularity of a celebrity and the subsequent loyalty of their fans. 

Customers flock to Rhode Skin for a glazed donut complexion like Hailey Bieber. Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty targets the conscious consumer who wants to simultaneously make the world a kinder and prettier place, and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin have embodied racial, gender and sexuality inclusion since their inception. 

However, not all celebrity beauty brands are created equal, and although Gomez, Bieber and Rihanna have all successfully found a niche within the industry, other famous names have struggled to do so. 

The issue might stem from the fact that the modern beauty consumer is a well-educated cynic that holds a smart-phone in the palm of their hand, and a world wide web of information at their fingertips.

We’re no longer impressed by the mere association of celebrity anymore. We need evidence of efficacy. 

It’s for this very reason that Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Skin flopped so epically — a stark comparison to the sell-out success of its predecessor Kylie Cosmetics. Kylie Skin included a collection of skin care that seemed outdated like a face scrub that included walnut shells, even though we all ditched the St. Ives Apricot scrub a decade ago (after we learned that the ingredient creates micro-lacerations that lead to skin trauma and scarring). Some concerned customers also highlighted that certain products claimed to be vegan and in fact were not.

Similarly, Jenner’s sister Kim Kardashian has discovered difficulties finding a loyal customer base after entering into the skin care market in 2022 with her brand SKKN by Kim. And Sephora pulled Addison Rae’s brand Item Beauty from shelves earlier this year without explanation, despite a hyped launch in 2020. 

Pop stars Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga’s respective cosmetics brands have both had teething issues. Grande’s R.E.M Beauty has had to dispute quality claims from unhappy customers who’ve taken to X (formerly known as Twitter) and labelled the brand as a “cash grab”, while Lady Gaga’s Haus Labs struggled to find traction with customers before launching into Sephora in the United States. 

Biotechnology company Amyris filed for “Chapter 11 bankruptcy” this year and plans to sell its consumer brands which includes celebrity founded brands like Jonathan Van Ness’ JVN Hair, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s Rose Inc and Naomi Watts’ clean beauty brand Onda Beauty.

Comparatively, Scarlett Johansson’s skin care brand The Outset appears to be growing steadily, but according to the brand founder this is likely due to the fact that one-third of the brand’s customer base is made up of men. “My husband and I use the same products, which is unusual,” Johansson explained to Fast Company. “The packaging is minimalist and fragrance-free, which I think is a big selling point to men.”

The actress’s success and that of Rihanna, Gomez and Bieber indicate that perhaps the next 12 months will not be marked by the death of the celebrity beauty brand altogether, but it will certainly weed out all of the celebrity-endorsed beauty brands that lack the quality, efficacy and clear intention that the educated modern consumer demands.

Despite the current state of other celebrity beauty brands, it would appear that Lili Reinhart is releasing a skin care brand targeted towards acne-prone skin. 

Image credit: Getty

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).