Rebuke or buy, that is the question?

Written by Nikita Takhar

Blog |

2022 has been the year of backlash when it comes to celebrity beauty brands, and it’s safe to say it’s in a troubled state.

This year has seen celebrity launches go into overdrive, some would even say, overkill – with new ones coming out at a rapid rate.

Gone are the days where beauty brands are founded by those who have spent years cultivating the perfect products to cater to consumer’s needs, with the sweat and tears driven by the goal of making individuals feel more beautiful and confident, but now, actors, singers, influencers and TV personalities with no prior background in beauty have broken the market – predominantly skincare – which has been rebuked not only by the experts, but consumers too.

Celebrities are moving away from being ambassadors for brands, and instead fronting their own, competing with beauty high-street favourites and even the luxury market, despite having no relevance to the sector.

Interestingly over recent years, celebrity ambassadors have sky-rocketed brands from the likes of Molly-Mae and Pretty Little Thing to Saweetie becoming the global ambassador for MAC, and these still work. Celebrity branding is a powerful strategy to help differentiate your brand from competitors, but only if the celebrity partnering is right. The majority of celebrities are creatives at heart, so for those endorsing a brand which aligns with their beliefs and passions, it will come across as genuine, relatable, and trustworthy to their loyal following. According to Forbes ‘celebrity endorsement helps increase sales in the short term and brand awareness in the long term.’ So, it comes to no surprise, that when done right, brands can increase their stock price by 4% and generate 650% ROI for every $1 invested in influencer/celebrity marketing – and for brands like PLT or L’Oreal…safe to say that’s a lot of dollar!

Despite this working well, celebrities have made a big shift. No longer satisfied with being ambassadors, they want to promote their very own beauty brands, but the over saturation in such a short period has turned consumers off.

Let’s take it back though, to when it worked!

One of the first celebrity make-up brand launches was from icon, Somalian-born supermodel, Iman in 1994. She created an array of cosmetics due to the discrimination she faced from makeup artists at the time who couldn’t cater to her skin tone and expected her to bring her own foundation. Iman broke the mould. Her reasoning behind her launch was personal, strong, bold, revolutionary, and even inspires much loved celebrities to this day like Rhianna’s Fenty. Iman ruled the roost and stood singular in the market up until 2013, before others started to catch on.

Based on this, in my opinion on what’s missing and why these new celebrity launches are failing, is because they lack substance, history and depth. Beauty is an art, and if everyone can do it, then what makes it special? Celebrity beauty launches are turning beauty into a trend, and like we know from our lockdown TikTok days (*flashback rosemary water, horrific dance moves and banana bread), trends can die out quick!

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