It seems like every day another celebrity launches a beauty brand. Just last week, John Legend announced the launch of his new unisex skincare line.
How much is too much? According to Business Insider, 25 celebrities and influencers have launched beauty or skin care products in the past three years.
As this number grows, users feel fatigued.
“When I see a celebrity beauty brand, I just don’t buy it,” Anya Dua told The New York Times. Dua is the founder of Gen Z Identity Lab, an online platform for Gen Zers to discuss what matters.
Some brands struggle to combat the noise.
Sephora is reportedly pulling Addison Rae’s Item Beauty and Hyram Yarbro’s Selfless from its shelves. The brands, both started by social media influencers, weren’t connecting with consumers, an industry source told Insider.
Morphe, which uses social media influencers to promote its beauty products, announced it was closing all of its U.S. stores earlier this month, according to Bloomberg.
- According to parent company Forma, earnings related to social media stars Jeffree Starr, James Charles and Jacqueline Hill fell 66% in 2021 to $32 million. (For context, partnerships with Star and Charles helped the brand earn $400 million in 2019.)
- It is important to note that Morphe cut ties with Star after he was accused of using racist language in 2020 and with Charles after he was accused of sexual assault in 2021.
So is the celebrity beauty boom over? Yes and no.
Brands like Fenty Beauty and Rare Beauty will likely continue to drive sales, but the days of any influencer and their mom launching a brand may be numbered.
Even the Kardashians can wear out their welcome. At a recent Marketing Brew event, Amanda Goetz, founder and CEO of House of Wise, shared, “Every single Kardashian posts our product on Valentine’s Day,” she said. “Zero sales. Zero.
The basis: Although celebrity beauty brands have been around long before the Kardashians graced television screens, it could be said that Kylie Cosmetics set the stage for the modern celebrity beauty brand.
The company, which launched in 2015 and was bought by Coty in 2019, led to Kylie Jenner being named “the world’s youngest self-made billionaire” by Forbes (although that title later was canceled) and launched a furious onslaught of celebrity beauty brands.
Celebrity beauty brands are now so ubiquitous that websites have to create guides to keep track of them all.
At the top you have Fenty Beauty, which also put founder Rihanna on the billionaire list and made the case for more inclusion in the beauty industry. Forbes conservatively estimates Fenty Beauty to be worth $2.8 billion in 2021, which has no doubt grown along with the beauty industry in 2022.
Rising in the rankings is Selena Gomez’s company, Rare Beauty. Despite being less than three years old, the brand has gained a huge following on social media, with 3.7 million followers on Instagram and 1.2 million on TikTok (not to mention that the hashtag #rarebeauty has over 2.8 billion views on TikTok).
The takeaway: Although the beauty industry managed to remain recession-proof in 2022, growth will slow significantly this year, with retail sales of cosmetics and beauty products growing just 1.8% (compared to about 12.1% last year), according to our forecast.
Celebrity brands looking to get a slice of the nearly $90 billion industry’s sales aren’t just competing with each other, they’re competing with brand giants like L’Oréal and Coty.
Famous brands need something other than a big name to connect with audiences. With Gen Z leading the way, the next phase of beauty is likely to be driven by authenticity and connectivity.
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