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BIG-NAME BONUS With fame comes great selling power

A whirlwind tour through celebrity skincare

Maggie Gibbons

It seems like every day another celeb launches their own skincare or cosmetics brand. While celebrity-owned beauty brands are nothing new, there has been a huge resurgence in the past few years. A look at the industry success might well explain why business-aware famous names are jumping unto the highly lucrative skincare bandwagon.
The estimated size of the skincare market has increased by roughly 80 percent in the last ten years. There are many reasons for this; the discerning shopper is now demanding more natural ingredients, and we’ve become more skincare savvy. Unless a product has some skin enhancing ingredients, I’m just not interested in purchasing.
Britney Spears and Paris Hilton were among the frontrunners in the early noughties with saccharine sweet perfumes, solely directed at the teen market. Boy was it a success! Apparently Spears has sold more than 500 million bottles of her scent Curious since 2004. However, as far back as the ’70s Liz Taylor was endorsing Estée Lauder perfumes, and her own perfume, White Diamonds, was launched in 1991 and is reported to have earned a cool $1 billion in sales.  
Paris Hilton has now added beauty to her CV. Her Unicorn Glow Mist facial spray is a real hit with the youngsters. (Could you imagine anything with ‘unicorn’ in the name being targeted at mature skins?)

Highs and lows
A few celebrity brands dominate the market – Kylie Cosmetics and Fenty Beauty by Rihanna are record breakers, with Kim Kardashian’s KKW Beauty a close contender with massive sales. Madonna launched MDNA Skincare in 2014, a luxury line of natural products with all kinds of lovely blends, including wild rose and essential oils.
In 2012, Jessica Alba founded The Honest Company, featuring products like Organic Healing Balm with sunflower-seed oil and a makeup line that’s paraben free. Meanwhile, in November 2015, Kylie had first launched her Lip Kits and by 2016 expanded to Kylie Cosmetics to much pzazz.
Groundbreaking? Not really! They’re simply using their names and looks to enter this already overcrowded market. Many make extravagant promises, trading on young consumers’ desires to be like their idols. I wonder how many actually use their own products? Judging by what we see on screen, there’s more cosmetic enhancement by way of botox and fillers than skincare alone.
Have there been failures? You bet there have. The Estée Edit, which launched in 2016, tried unsuccessfully to capture the millennial market by signing Kendall Jenner as a face of the brand. Sales were poor and Estée Lauder discontinued the brand in 2017. Maybe Estée Lauder just didn’t appeal to the young millennials.

Lip syncing
Can we all be fooled by the promises though? Sure we can. For all you Charlotte Tilbury fans out there I’m afraid to say I feel her products are grossly overhyped and overpriced. In fact, every time I see her ad on TV I think to myself ‘Who’s paying for that?’. The consumer of course.
Her cult status Pillow Talk lipstick was supposedly the perfect nude, and the sales at the time reflected its popularity. Lately though, I think it’s become a case of the emperor’s new clothes. The gloss has literally worn off. The packaging is beautiful, but does that justify the high price? I don’t think so. Not feeling the love I’m afraid.
Remember Trinny Woodhall? She and Susannah Constantine did that ‘What Not To Wear’ TV programme some years ago. Well, didn’t she too go and launch a makeup and skincare range. Trinny London has been around for a few years now. She’s down to earth and doesn’t use fancy names to demonstrate her products. She applies everything with her fingers, which is good at subliminally suggesting the application is fast.
Her products come in little bite-size pots and are stackable, so they just click into each other. Her hero is BFF, which is a tinted moisturiser that goes on white and adjusts to your skin. Another favourite is Miracle Blur Lip and Line Filler. I’ve ordered this, as I’d love to find something that works on lip lines. I’m using ELF right now which is just ok, mind you it’s cheap and cheerful. Trinny has collagen and elastin in hers so it might just be the game changer I’m looking for. It’s around €30. I’ll keep you posted.

Maggie Gibbons is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at living@mayonews.ie.