With a new wave of backlash coming after every launch, the celebrity beauty brand sector is in a troubled state. So, what will it take for an A-list range to thrive in 2023?
Is the era of celebrity beauty brands over?
Actors, singers and influencers with no real background in beauty broke into the market, predominantly skin care, and many to a lukewarm reception.
“They think this is a space with zero barriers to entry,” says Scott Oshry, Chief Marketing Officer at beauty incubator Maesa, the brains behind Drew Barrymore's Flower and Priyanka Chopra's Anomaly.
“That, with no experience, they can become a billionaire by doing beauty. It is almost like, are you kidding me?”
A pinnacle moment in this year’s backlash was when Brad Pitt launched his genderless (and pricey) brand Le Domaine Skincare in September.
The Oscar-winning actor’s lack of sector knowledge had consumers questioning what he actually knew about skin care.
Five indie brands even asked the star to close his “buzzy but ineffectual celebrity beauty brand" in an open letter.
“It felt disingenuous that all of a sudden the most important thing to Pitt in the world right now is skin care,” adds Oshry. “I just don’t buy it.”
[Celebrities think] that, with no experience, they can become a billionaire by doing beauty. It is almost like, are you kidding me?
Actor Jared Leto’s 12-piece desert-inspired lifestyle brand Twentynine Palms shortly followed and was met with a similar response.
During the launch in October, the Suicide Squad star told Vogue: “I have never been really interested in beauty products”. The message felt confused.
Add several more skin care launches to the list – such as singer Ciara’s OAM, model Kate Moss’s Cosmoss and actor Idris Elba’s S’Able Labs – and the market feels truly saturated.
Deciem, the maker of skin care brand The Ordinary, has even publically blasted the influx of celebrities entering the business.
The company said stars who have never shown an interest in beauty before are taking up "valuable space", stating "skin care is not merch".
But have consumers truly fallen out of love with celebrity beauty brands or is there still hope for the sector?
Consumers gave Brad Pitt's genderless brand Le Domaine Skincare a lukewarm reception
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