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 • Opinion  • Features  • Wait, When Did it Become Cool to Like Celebrity Beauty Brands?

Wait, When Did it Become Cool to Like Celebrity Beauty Brands?

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Main image – @fentybeauty/Instagram

Is it just me, or is it impossible to scroll through Instagram without seeing ‘latte girl make-up’ appear?

A trend that Hayley Bieber embraced, and in turn IG users have recreated her looks with the Rhode beauty collection. Then there’s Selena Gomez, her relatable content has sent the feed wild for her Rare Beauty products.

Celebrity beauty brands are everywhere right now. In the past two years, Billie Eilish launched her vanilla-scented perfume, Harry Styles debuted his skin and nail line, and even Drake launched a candle collection.



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A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez)


A world once reserved for generic fragrance launches has evolved into a much more varied, lucrative and – apparently – cool space. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying – Instagram and TikTok beauty buffs are loving celeb-owned beauty brands and are proudly posting their purchases for the world to see. 

So, how has this beauty category climbed up the social ladder? And what does this mean for the future of the industry?

I’ve turned to two experts to find answers: Preeti Fagagnini, a leading beauty trends and innovation consultant, and Kirsty Doolan, editor at Cosmetics-Design Europe.

Together, we have looked back in time to the days where Britney Spears’ Fantasy was purely for dashes to duty-free at the airport in order to pinpoint the moment where everything changed. 


A #fragrancethrowback 

What do you think of when you read the words ‘celebrity-owned beauty brands’?

For Doolan, “The term conjures up images of people from reality TV trying to make a quick buck out of the general public by jumping on a beauty bandwagon.”

I agree with Doolan here, in that some celebrity-owned brands do have some questionable morals (remember the beauty industry’s open letter to Brad Pitt’s skincare line?) But I must admit, celeb-owned brands bring back some fond memories. 

Twelve years ago, there was one great thing about celeb-founded products – they were cheap. When I was a teen, asking my mum to buy me CHANEL No.5 was out of the question. But you could get a bottle of Beyoncé Heat Eau de Parfum for less than 20 quid in Boots.


Beyonce’s Heat was a classic teen favourite. Image – Amazon

This association seemed shared among my peers.  As a beauty journalist, admitting a partiality to a celebrity product to colleagues was like confessing a nostalgic dirty secret – your fondness would be spoken in whispers and giggles, closely followed by a sheepish disclaimer “it actually smells quite nice you know, but of course I wouldn’t buy it personally.”


The climb from naff to chic 

It wasn’t the moment that I added the Rhode Peptide Lip Tint to basket that I noticed something had changed – it was when I went to Whatsapp my friends to tell them about it.



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A post shared by rhode skin (@rhode)


I realised I had recently been chatting about my love for the Keys Soulcare Truly Becoming Peptide Serum, and had been eyeing up Lady Gaga’s Haus Labs gel eyeliner.

One quick look at the gram, and my suspicions were confirmed, beauty editors around the globe were fans of Rhode, Rare Beauty and – of course – Fenty

Fagagnini tells me that Rhianna changed the narrative “around celebrity beauty with the launch of Fenty beauty a few years ago. Celebrity beauty went from being a cliché to being noteworthy.

Rihanna proved that celebrity beauty can also be innovative by creating a truly inclusive brand with high quality and insta worthy products.”



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A post shared by FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA (@fentybeauty)


Doolan was thoroughly in agreement. She said Fenty changed the beauty game by “highlighting that most colour cosmetics brands didn’t have a wide enough range of shades to suit all skin tones.” 

Doolan pointed out that “celebs saw these success stories and wanted a piece of the action, too.”

She shines a spotlight on Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, she seemed “heavily involved in new product development and they knew her target customers.”



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A post shared by goop (@goop)


Doolan also talks about how “Selena Gomez Rare has found a great gap in the market with Rare and built a genuine community.”

One to watch? “I’m fascinated by Kate Moss’ Cosmoss as she’s just teamed up with Deepak Chopra. How brilliant is that?”


The takeaway 

So, here we are proudly posting our #PeptideGlazingSkin on Insta – but will it last?

Fagagnini believes it’s just a phase “The beauty market has shown huge resilience, not just in recent years through a pandemic and recession, but also historically.

This fact coupled with the huge success of unicorn brands like Fenty have tempted other celebrities. Short term, we will see this continue to grow, but the backlash has already started, so it won’t last long.”

Both Doolan and Fagagnini agree that Fenty is a brilliant brand, but this is an exception, rather than the rule. They’ve also confirmed something that rings true – to shine bright, brands need to appear authentic, trustworthy and have a reason for launching. 

So, whether you’re a Rare Beauty megafan or you steer clear of celebrity names, one thing’s for sure  – my algorithm can’t get enough of modern-day celebs. I suspect that yours is just as inundated, too. 


Meet the Experts 

Preeti Fagagnini (Nèe Chotai) is the founder of agency PCC Beauty & Cosmetics Intelligence, and a beauty trends and innovation consultant.  


Kirsty Doolan is editor at Cosmetics-Design Europe, an online news source for the cosmetics and personal care industry. 


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Freelance Beauty Writer

Shannan is a freelance beauty journalist with over seven years of experience working on beauty desks.  You’ll see her work published in the likes of Harrods' own magazine, Red, Women’s Wear Daily, Canvas8 and more. She regularly guest lectures on various courses at Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design about digital content. Shannan is obsessed with all-things beauty, and particularly loves writing about scent – she was a finalist for the 'Rising Star' category at The Jasmine Awards 2023, one of the most prestigious journalistic awards in the beauty industry.

Expertise: Makeup, skincare
Education: Falmouth University

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