Skincare and beauty have been around for decades – centuries, even – with millions of brands making products all over the world. With an industry valued at $511 billion in 2021, more people are starting to see money-making opportunities – especially celebrities.
Earlier this week, tennis player Naomi Osaka revealed her new label KINLÒ – a range of sun care products specifically designed for melanated skin. Osaka saw a gap in the market and set out to develop a brand with strong messaging to combat the myth that people with darker skin tones can't get skin cancer and therefore, don't need to use sunscreen.
The 23-year-old athlete has already seen a huge amount of positive responses in just 24-hours, and all the products are already available to buy from the website. No fuss, just pure messaging with one specific goal in mind.
One person who's understood the value of a celebrity-backed concept and brand is Rihanna. After being in the spotlight for years, she saw there was a huge gap in the beauty industry, with very few labels making foundation and concealer for people with darker skin tones, and set out to change that. The rest is history.
Fenty Beauty is now worth a cool $2.8 billion, according to Forbes, and with her new venture Fenty Skin, both labels are only going to continue to grow. There's no doubt that Rihanna will maintain her billionaire status as she continues to revolutionize industry after industry.
Rihanna has also managed to change our view on lingerie with Savage X Fenty, practically putting Victoria's Secret out of business after showcasing a wide range of body types, sizes, and casting a diverse set of talent for her shows.
Of course, with Fenty Skin, she also cast her now-boyfriend A$AP Rocky as well as Lil Nas X in its first campaign, changing the notion that skincare is something that is considered "feminine." LVMH also said that the skincare label "generated unprecedented buzz," and said it was "off to a good start."
It's not rocket science, but it is a recipe that includes identifying what is missing, and with celebrity backing, the venture is already guaranteed to generate buzz across social media and publications. An A-list celebrity like Rihanna already has a huge following and fan base that will most likely purchase her products, so you've also secured customers right off the bat.
In the past few years, the list of celebrities launching skincare and beauty brands has only continued to grow. The pattern is reminiscent of the early 2000s fragrance boom, when everyone from Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, to Kim Kardashian debuted their own perfumes. I could write a whole essay about how Fantasy (particularly the airport-exclusive version) singlehandedly changed my life, but I'll save that for another time.
In 2021, big actors, influencers, and singers are going big and launching their own brands. Some examples include Selena Gomez's RARE Beauty, Lady Gaga's Haus Labs, Kylie Jenner's Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin, Jennifer Lopez's JLo Beauty, Alicia Keys' Soul Care, Kim Kardashian's KKW Beauty and KKW Fragrance, Halsey's About Face, and of course, Pharrell's sold-out Humanrace.
Now, you can't just smell just like your favorite celeb – you can replicate their entire routines by using their products. But are the brands actually good? Or are they just money-making moves?
When JLo's eponymous brand launched, the singer was marketing it by saying that the label is the secret as to how she's managed to maintain her youthful glow, without other treatments such as botox or fillers. Whether you choose to believe it or not, there are thousands of people out there who will.
It's not just celebrity brands, it also applies to any celebrity-endorsed product. A moisturizer might look amazing and promise flawless skin, just like its ambassador, but what we "normal" people often forget is that images are retouched, and the celebrities in question have access to multiple treatments to make them look younger, more glowy, and just all-around perfect. Sadly, no moisturizer can achieve that.
Celebrity marketing is nothing new. Actors, models, and other talent have been the face of brands forever, but the recent boom paints an interesting picture of the industry. Can a brand even succeed without celebrity backing or endorsement? And is it even worth trying to compete with A-listers such as Kylie Jenner, Selena Gomez, and Rihanna?
From fragrances to fully-fledged companies, what will be next for celebrity brands?