With hours spent in the makeup chair, celebrities tend to pick up a lot of hands-on beauty experience along the way. For that reason, they have become a trusted source of some of the most popular beauty brands on earth, like Fenty Beauty by Rihanna and Kylie Cosmetics by Kylie Jenner.
But even the most vaunted names in Hollywood might have trouble getting their formulations right at first, which is why we’re ranking all of the most popular celebrity beauty brands on the market from best to worst – and the results may surprise you. As we await the release of Haus Beauty by Lady Gaga, a new beauty line by Victoria Beckham, and a makeup collection by Jennifer Lopez, we’ll get you acclimated with some of the best celebrity beauty brands and how they fare in the eyes of real women.
The impact that Fenty Beauty has had on the industry is so profound that it has been dubbed an “industry disruptor”, and it was all based on the fairly simple premise of inclusivity. Women of color who have struggled their entire lives to find shades that match their skin tones rejoiced when Fenty Beauty’s foundation – its hero product – came in 40 shades that, at the time, included the darkest available foundation on the market. Rihanna told Time, “I never could have anticipated the emotional connection that women are having with the products and the brand as a whole. Some are finding their shade of foundation for the first time, getting emotional at the counter. That’s something I will never get over.”
Another aspect of Fenty Beauty’s success is Rihanna’s 360-degree management of her line. Not only is she its best spokesperson, always wearing her own products to red-carpet events and labeling them carefully on social media, but she is also involved with every aspect of production, right down to the formula and packaging.
Kylie Jenner, the youngest of the Jenner-Kardashian clan, turned her lifelong obsession with makeup into a billion-dollar empire in less than two years. Her pioneering of social media marketing – including surprise drops and elaborate countdown schemes – threw fans into a frenzy, often causing stalls and crashes on her main site in the early days of her launches. The products used to go so quickly that she was forced to turn around and manufacture twice as many for a restock.
Things have relaxed since the inception of Kylie Cosmetics, but her fans are still fervent about her products. Her lip kits and eye palettes are well-formulated and beautifully packaged, and she is great at providing realistic swatch information and demonstrating how to wear her products with detailed tutorials.
Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr is her own best spokesperson – who wouldn’t want the same healthy, beautiful skin? After the supermodel read a study that reported the average woman applies more than 200 chemicals a day to her skin by way of her skincare and hygiene products, she was prompted to go searching for products that were free of harmful chemicals, but still delivered tangible results.
She couldn’t find any, which lead to her launch of Kora, a completely organic, non-toxic, cruelty-free, and certified-vegan brand of skincare products that “It” girls swear by. In fact, Kora is so popular that suppliers have a hard time keeping its products in stock, particularly those in its ‘Noni’ line. You may have to be patient to snag some of its highest-rated items, like the ‘Noni Glow’ face oil, but for once, the results will be well worth the wait.
goop by Juice Beauty
When you name your lifestyle brand goop, you have to expect a measure of funny interpretations and hilarious riffs in pop culture. However, the results of Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop by Juice Beauty brand are too good to ignore and too compelling to laugh off. While Paltrow has come under fire in the past for promoting less than reasonable health practices, her skincare and beauty line is scientifically formulated and organic, created to address all manner of problems from parched, dull skin to fine lines and wrinkles.
Even the packaging is specially made in Germany to ensure that plastic won’t leach into the product. Goop by Juice Beauty spares no expense when it comes to providing nourishing, helpful ingredients, which is why the price point is a little high, but users absolutely rave about the results in product reviews.
Rosie for Autograph
For weeks, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley teased a new beauty-related brand on Instagram and, when it launched, we expected an extension of her excellent collaboration with Marks & Spencer, Rosie for Autograph. Unfortunately, our predictions were incorrect.
It turns out, Rosie Inc. is her new lifestyle website, with beauty products that are recommended by the actress and supermodel rather than designed by her. If you’re looking for a personal touch, the aforementioned Rosie for Autograph makeup collection is fantastic, with plenty of rave-worthy products that mimic her signature glow and gorgeous pout.
When Drew Barrymore set out to create her beauty brand Flower Beauty, she wanted to make something that was cruelty-free and affordable for all. Her hands-on approach to production means the actress has personally overseen the formulation of her products, down to the packaging, which is why her inexpensive products are often compared to those with much higher price tags.
Although Flower Beauty started small in 2012 with a limited range of makeup, it has now expanded to include makeup brushes and tools, primers, setting sprays, and everything else you need for full-look makeup. The best part is that you can buy it all and not bust your wallet. Win-win.
You might know Jessica Alba from her roles in The Fantastic Four and Dark Angel, but these days, she is much more a respected business mogul than a famous Hollywood actress. Alba launched the bravely-named organic lifestyle brand The Honest Company in 2012 and faced a series of setbacks before finally finding its sea legs – it’s almost as if putting “honest” in the name invited more intense scrutiny.
Her company has had to settle multiple lawsuits regarding the nature of its clean ingredients, but now it’s back, reformulated and better than ever. Seriously. After receiving $200 million in a round of investments, Alba’s company has future-proofed its products by cornering the clean beauty market. Honest Beauty has earned rave reviews from consumers, and sales are up 34 percent over last year.
Kim Kardashian West
One might argue that Kim Kardashian-West’s new beauty brand KKW Beauty deserves to be higher on the list, but an honest look at user reviews tells a different story. Following the success of her younger sister Kylie Jenner’s beauty brand, Kardashian-West set out to provide a missing puzzle piece in the market: an on-the-go contouring stick that is easy to use. As the cornerstone product of KKW Beauty, one might expect better results from the stick, but many users complained about its chalky texture and how little product they actually received for the high price tag.
Other products have faced similar scrutiny in that the products looked unnatural in daylight and the range of colors was limited for women with darker skin. Many also have a problem with the fact that the company does not have a return policy. Having said that, you might not care about any of the critiques if you’re a diehard fan of all things Kardashian – start with her lip products and eyeshadow palettes as they have received the most praise.