Cover Kylie Jenner with fans during a store launch for Kylie Cosmetics back in 2018. Photo: Getty Images

Celebrity beauty brand fatigue is slowly seeping in... but that doesn't mean your favourite Hollywood stars will hold back when it comes to releasing more of their own products in the beauty sphere

It’s a curious phenomenon—celebrity beauty brands, that is. For loyal fans, getting a skincare line from their favourite celebrity provides yet another opportunity for them to show their unwavering support. Perhaps these beauty products, which often come in aesthetically pleasing packaging, can also be regarded as a form of merchandise for fans.  

When reality TV star-turned-cosmetics mogul Kylie Jenner launched her brand, Kylie Cosmetics, she singlehandedly started a new kind of celebrity wave. One that influenced consumers to shop online without trying or swatching the products in person. And she hardly did any marketing for it—not that she needed to do any.

According to market and consumer data provider Statista, skincare is one of the most profitable product categories and its revenue is projected to generate roughly US$177 billion in 2025.

Some of the most popular celebrities in the world have cashed in on this. And it looks like they’re not slowing down.

Read more: Beauty Brand Founders on the Most Important Skincare Lessons They Hope Their Children Will Learn

In 2022 alone, we’ve seen several skincare launches from some of the world’s most famous faces. Scarlett Johansson, Alicia Keys, Courtney Cox, Hailey Bieber and, of course, Kim Kardashian were some of the celebrities who launched their beauty brands in an already saturated market.

Some of them have also collaborated with renowned dermatologists to work on their products together. Bieber worked on her new skincare line, Rhode, with Dr Dhaval Bhanusali, the TikTok-famous New York City dermatologist who’s also known as the “formulation king”. Kardashian, on the other hand, consulted aesthetician and facialist-to-the-stars Joanna Czech, to develop the formulas for SKKN by Kim. She also admitted that her ex-husband, rapper Kanye West, was the brains behind the brand and conceptualised the sleek packaging, in line with his signature preference for a minimalist aesthetic. 

It's a smart move on both their parts because naysayers can’t accuse them of releasing beauty brands without conducting any tests or research. But that doesn’t mean they avoided controversy altogether. Kardashian’s skincare line made headlines almost immediately because of how much the SKKN products cost; the full range of nine items will set one back by at least US$630.

Just when you think it can’t get any more crowded in the world of celebrity skincare—a couple of Hollywood leading men have joined the fray.

And we’re talking names like Brad Pitt. Yes, the multi-hyphenate just dropped his first skincare line—Le Domaine. The genderless line, which comes in ultra-chic packaging, is currently comprised of just four products, with a price range of ₤60 to ₤290. Three of the products are also refillable.

When asked about celebrity-fronted businesses, Pitt had this to say in an interview with Vogue UK: “I love what Gwyneth [Paltrow]’s done [with Goop]. She is still a really dear friend, and she has built this empire.”

Is that an indication that Pitt, too, is out to create his own beauty empire? Interestingly, he shared in the same interview that he won’t be the “face” of Le Domaine and there won’t be ad campaigns with his face splashed all over. He won’t even be doing much press for the skincare line.

Pitt is not the only heartthrob who is venturing into the skincare space. British actor Idris Elba also debuted his skincare line with his wife Sabrina in July this year. And surprise, surprise: their skincare range S’Able Labs is also genderless.

Will this big wheel ever stop in Hollywood? Everyone seems to be having a go at spinning it and hoping it’ll create some form of success—whether or not it lasts doesn’t seem to be a priority. If it were, we wouldn’t be getting random celebrity beauty brands every other month. And the most puzzling fact is how celebrities who are completely unrelated to beauty seem to be able to launch their own line. Blink 182 drummer (and newly minted Kardashian husband) Travis Barker just expanded his wellness line too. His target audience is unclear but all five products in the range are infused with CBD, or Cannabidiol, an active ingredient found in cannabis.

A New York Times article from 2021 noted that “majority of celebrity beauty brands are a flop”. Everyone interviewed for that article was asked to name one successful celebrity brand “besides Kylie Cosmetics, Fenty and Goop” and unsurprisingly, none of them could.

To be fair, another celeb-owned brand that deserves recognition is Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty. The pop singer-actress’ makeup brand has released a few products that have earned widespread praise in an organic way among beauty enthusiasts online. But again, that’s just one brand by a famous person who has 346 million followers on Instagram. Not everyone can pull that off. Lady Gaga’s Haus Laboratories failed to take off despite launching two years ago, inspiring the award-winning artist to introduce a brand-new team earlier this year in hopes of revamping her brand.

In case you missed it: From Rare Beauty to Kylie Cosmetics: 7 Vegan and Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands We Love

Perhaps the old mentality of “all press may be good press” still exists. But will this hype last? Celebrity beauty brand fatigue may well be underway and no one is spared. Even Kylie Jenner’s “hype-driven” marketing approach is wearing off. A Business of Fashion report said that online searches for Kylie Cosmetics have fallen steadily over the last five years and the company (majority owned by beauty giant Coty) is off by about 80 per cent from their peak according to Ahrefs, a search insights company.

Yet these celebrities don’t seem to learn—and can’t seem to quit. The celebrity beauty brand era is like a bubble that will eventually burst. For now, it looks like there’s no stopping anyone in Tinseltown from releasing a business that they may or may not have any expertise in. Just ask Brad Pitt.  

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