Celebrity Beauty Brands: quality products or shameless cash grab?

Words by Daisy-Mai Pulford

It is undeniable that we have become hugely accustomed to seeing celebs promote their newest beauty range on our social media newsfeeds, with a range of celebs cashing in on the beauty industry, from Youtubers to influencers and even singers. However, the rising popularity in celebs creating beauty lines raises concerns as to whether their newest business venture is one that reflects their genuine interest in good quality makeup or is it a cheap money-making scheme that exploits their fans?

Kylie Cosmetics

When we think about celeb beauty brands, we think of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Kylie Jenner’s makeup line burst into the limelight back in 2015 with the launch of her lip kits, since then Kylie Cosmetics has expanded to include eyeshadows, concealers, highlighters, makeup tools and even a skin care range.

However, Kylie Cosmetics has been criticised for its expensive makeup brushes that lack the quality they advertise, the dangerous beauty trend that boosted its popularity (we all remember the ‘Kylie Jenner lip challenge’, don’t we?) and not to mention the fact that last year Kylie Cosmetics came under fire from Forbes for overvaluing itself. With all this in mind, we cannot help but to consider whether Kylie Cosmetics is a money grabbing scheme that appeals to young and impressionable fans to boost Kylie Jenner’s net worth. 

Jeffree Star x Shane Dawson – Conspiracy

In 2019, Youtubers Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson collaborated on a makeup line called ‘Conspiracy’, featuring eyeshadow palettes, lip sticks and accessories. The beauty line sold out online and was a huge success, Dawson featured the moment the range went live on his Docuseries ‘The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star’. Nonetheless, fans criticised Dawson’s involvement in the line due to him not being a part of the beauty industry, this criticism grew further when Dawson announced his departure from his short-lived time in the beauty community days after restocking the collection. Shane Dawson has proved to be a controversial figure on YouTube, but was this makeup collaboration an attempt to repair his reputation or was it just a way to make money out of the makeup community?

Gwyneth Paltrow – goop

Gwyneth Paltrow launched her brand ‘goop’ in 2008 as an email newsletter, since then it has expanded into the conglomerate it is today, featuring fashion pieces, home décor (including the candle named “This smells like my vagina”), books and ‘clean beauty’ products. Goop’s target audience is quite obviously makeup wearers with plenty of cash to spare, seeing as some of the beauty products cost an arm and a leg, the goopglow exfoliator costs an eye watering £112 for 50ml. High prices can be expected when shopping for clean and organic beauty products but the extortionate price tags on goop’s products make them inaccessible for a large portion of the makeup community.

Of course, in every industry there are individuals who exploit fans for monetary gain, but its not all doom and gloom. Below are some celebrity beauty brands that we can count on to have our best interests at heart.

Drew Barrymore – Flower Beauty

Launched in 2013, actress and 90s icon Drew Barrymore created Flower Beauty, a cruelty free, affordable, and empowering makeup line. The collection includes a wide range of makeup and tools, the foundation comes in 15 different shades and most products range from $8 to $16. The brand promotes self-love and acceptance and proudly proclaims its ethical and cruelty free stance. It is clear to see that this celebrity beauty brand has all the right intentions at its core, and it is available in the UK at Superdrug stores, what’s not to love?

Lady Gaga – Haus Laboratories

Lady Gaga is no stranger to bold and beautiful makeup, so when she launched her beauty line ‘Haus Laboratories’ in 2019 it made so much sense. From eyeliners, eyeshadows and lip colours to blushers and highlighters, the whole line is vegan and cruelty free. Haus Laboratories also has a policy that $1 of every purchase is donated to Gaga’s ‘Born this way’ foundation which provides mental health support and resources to those that need it. Quality makeup and supporting a worthy cause? It is a win win.

Rihanna – Fenty Beauty

Of course, we cannot discuss celebrity beauty lines without mentioning Rihanna and Fenty beauty. Fenty’s makeup range is incredibly diverse and inclusive, catering for all skin tones with 50 different shades of foundation. Filling the gap that ignores darker complexions in the beauty industry with quality makeup is something Rihanna is passionate about, and this is clear in her makeup line. A perfect example of a celebrity beauty brand that is dedicated to diversity, inclusivity, and quality makeup, not just clout and money.