It seems like every day another celebrity is launching a beauty brand. Last week, John Legend announced the launch of its new unisex skincare range.

How much is too much? According to Business Insider, no less than 25 celebrities and influencers have launched beauty or skincare products over the past three years.

As this number increases, consumers feel fatigued.

“When I see a famous beauty brand, I just don’t buy it,” Anya Dua told The New York Times. Dua is the founder of Gen Z Identity Lab, an online platform for Gen Zers to discuss what’s important.

Some brands struggle to fight through the noise.

Sephora has reportedly removed beauty brands Item Beauty by Addison Rae and Selfless by Hyram by Hyram Yarbro from its shelves. The brands, both launched by social media influencers, were not in touch with consumers, an industry source told Insider.

Morphe, which has used social media influencers to promote its beauty products, announced it was closing all of its US stores earlier this month, according to Bloomberg.

  • According to parent company Forma, revenue from social media stars Jeffree Star, James Charles and Jaclyn Hill fell 66% in 2021 to $32 million. (For context, partnerships with Star and Charles helped the brand raise $400 million in 2019.)
  • Importantly, Morphe severed ties with Star after being accused of using racist language in 2020 and with Charles after being accused of sexual misconduct in 2021.

So, is the celebrity beauty boom over? Yes and no.

Brands like Fenty Beauty and Rare Beauty will most likely continue to drive sales, but the days of every influencer and their mother launching a brand may be numbered.

Even the Kardashians may be wearing their welcome. At a recent Marketing Brew event, Amanda Goetz, Founder and CEO of House of Wise, said, “Every Kardashian released our product on Valentine’s Day,” she said. “Zero sales. Zero.”

The foundation: While celebrity beauty brands existed long before the Kardashians appeared on TV screens, it’s safe to say that Kylie Cosmetics set the stage for the modern celebrity beauty brand.

The company, which launched in 2015 and was acquired by Coty in 2019, led Kylie Jenner to be named “the world’s youngest self-made billionaire” by Forbes (although that title was later revoked) and opened the way to an onslaught of celebrity beauty brands.

Now, famous beauty brands are so ubiquitous that websites have to create guides to track them all.

At the top, you have Fenty Beauty, which also put founder Rihanna on the billionaire list and advocated for greater inclusion within the beauty industry. Forbes conservatively estimated Fenty Beauty to be worth $2.8 billion in 2021, which undoubtedly grew with the beauty industry in 2022.

Climbing the ladder is Selena Gomez’s company, Rare Beauty. Despite being less than three years old, the brand has gained a huge following on social media, with 3.7 million followers on Instagram and 1.2 million on TikTok (not to mention that the hashtag #rarebeauty has more than 2.8 billion views on TikTok).

Take-out: Although the beauty industry has managed to stay recession-proof in 2022, this year growth will see a significant slowdown, with retail sales of cosmetics and beauty products increasing by only 1.8 % (compared to around 12.1% last year), according to our forecast.

Famous brands that want a share of the industry’s nearly $90 billion in sales aren’t just competing with each other, they’re competing with brand behemoths like L’Oreal and Coty.

Famous brands must have more than a big name to connect with the public. With Gen Z leading the way, the next phase of beauty will likely be all about authenticity and relatability.

This originally appeared in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail news, stats and trends, subscribe here.

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