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Are celebrity beauty brands really worth buying?

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In a sea of celebrity launches, make-up lines and skincare endorsements, it can be hard to tell the quality from the commotion. So, our editor reveals the brands that are actually worth the buck.

The first celebrity beauty brand was founded back in 1994 by supermodel Iman — and the makeup brand, Iman Cosmetics, lives on to this day. But it wasn’t until the turn of the millennium that other celebs started following suit. There was a slow trickle into the industry in the early noughties. Some have stood the test of time, too, such as Meaningful Beauty by supermodel Cindy Crawford (2004) and Miranda Kerr’s Kora Cosmetics (2009).

Others, like Jessica Simpson’s edible makeup line Dessert Beauty (2004), have not. In recent years, however, you might think it’s easier to find a celebrity who hasn’t launched a beauty brand. From Idris Elba’s skincare line and DJ Khaled’s grooming range to makeup from Lady Gaga and more from the Kardashian/Jenner family than we can count (it’s seven), there’s well over 50 celebrity lines to choose from today — many founded in just the last few years.

As a beauty writer I’ve tried a lot of them, too many perhaps. And to give props where they’re due, most are very good — thanks, most likely, to the product developers and cosmetic formulators working behind the scenes. Regardless, here’s my pick of the best celebrity beauty brands worthy of your hard-earned money, in no particular order (because that’s too hard a task).

Rare Beauty

Not only is the makeup range from Selena Gomez a worldwide favourite, garnering over 600,000 online searches monthly, according to research from online beauty and wellness marketplace Fresha, but it also stands out thanks to its unique product designs. Many have been applauded for their accessible features, such as the circle atop the liquid blush and lip oils, which make it easier to open for those who might struggle to twist a lid.

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Selena Gomez, Rare Beauty Founder

My top recommendations would be the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush (£24) — just be warned they’re extremely rich in colour, so you’ll need a lot less than you think — and the Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara (£21), which is not only waterproof but stays put when I forget I’m wearing it and rub my eyes. New to the UK is the Brow Harmony Flexible Lifting Gel (£18) — it’s had rave reviews coming out of the US since its launch in August 2023.





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Rare Beauty, Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara

Fenty Beauty

When Rihanna launched her makeup line in 2017, she disrupted the industry by releasing a 40-foundation shade range.

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Fenty Beauty, Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer

Within months, brands were scrambling to increase their range with four announcing additional shades in the year since Fenty Beauty launched. Two of my favourite products happen to also be two of the brand’s bestsellers. ­The Icon Velvet Lipstick (£24) — which Rihanna wore for her Superbowl performance last year — with the most pigmented colour I’ve ever seen in a lipstick, and the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer (£18) which you could argue laid the way for the return of lip glosses and making them popular again.

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Fenty Beauty, Icon Velvet Lipstick

Rhode

When Hailey Bieber launched her skincare line, Rhode, I had low expectations, but I can admit when I’m wrong.





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Hailey Bieber, Founder of Rhode

­The small selection is made up of just four products: Glazing Milk, Peptide Glazing Fluid, Barrier Restore Cream and Peptide Lip Treatment, and they’re all worthy purchases. ­The website claims the small range was curated so shoppers can be intentional with their skincare which, in a world of overconsumption, is a welcome message.

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If I had to choose one, I’d recommend the Peptide Glazing Fluid (£30). This super hydrating serum nourishes your barrier with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and pro-ageing peptides — it’s a fan favourite for good reason.

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