The beauty industry’s value sits at an average of $530 billion, according to a 2019 analysis by Business Insider. The trajectory is estimated to climb as we move into the future because of the power that social media and influencers have on the industry. Not to mention that some of these social media influencers are making bank selling palettes and other makeup products.
It might not come as a surprise that so many celebrities have now created their own makeup brands. Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, and the Kardashian sisters have all branched into beauty on the heels of successful launches like Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty. There’s definitely money to be made, but sometimes it’s hard to know if a line by our favorite celebrity is worth it, especially if they retail at a higher price point. Is a celebrity product that sells out a case of good quality or a case of loyal fans? We dug around to find the best of the best in skincare, makeup, and haircare, all ranging from affordable to luxurious. Read on to find out what celebrity beauty products are actually worth the money.
This blush from Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty blends super well
From actress to singer to advocate, Selena Gomez is expanding her empire into makeup with Rare Beauty. For Allure, Gomez described her intent with the makeup line. "We want to celebrate why you’re rare. I want people out there to feel beautiful exactly how they are." In a piece for Interview, Gomez described the line as having "48 shades of foundation." However, as the reviews came in, it seemed the real star of the show was the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush for its blendability and staying power.
Available in four different shades and two different finishes, the blush comes in a tube with a soft sponge applicator, almost like a gloss. Nylon reported that 16 women with different skin shades tried the blush, ranging from peach to striking pink, and it’d seem the product appeared highly pigmented with a dewy finish on them all. Yahoo! Life stood behind the blush, noting, "The blush shade ‘Lucky’ looks intimidating at first, but it blends out into a soft berry shade. The publication added that the blush can also be applied as an eyeshadow. At $20, the product seems well worth it.
This Fenty foundation is a fan favorite
The launch of Rihanna’s beauty line, Fenty Beauty, in 2017 sparked a huge discussion about inclusivity in makeup. Fenty Beauty, named after Rihanna’s last name, "speaks to girls who have felt not considered before but are a huge audience for beauty," according to James Karliados (via Allure), a makeup artist who’s worked with Chanel, Balenciaga, and Yves Saint Laurent. Her launch did well, making Time‘s 25 best inventions list in 2017, and certain shades sold out fast. But is the foundation worth the money after the initial hype? The short answer: yes.
The Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation costs about $36, which, in the world of foundations, is pretty reasonable. Notably, Allure‘s review said, "Despite the matte finish and the long wear, my skin still looks fresh when I wear this foundation." Rihanna even said that texture was the most important part of creating the Fenty beauty line across products. "It was really important to me that each product is made to easily build and layer with lightweight textures that are flexible even when you want to re-apply," she told Time.
Kylie Cosmetics’ Lip Kits are beloved
Kylie Jenner launched her first beauty product right on the heels of making headlines for her large lips. Was her new pout cosmetically enhanced, or was it just a trick of the eye achieved by a certain application of a lipstick and lip liner? Even if Jenner did come clean about using filler, that didn’t stop the hype around the release of her Lip Kits in 2014. The launch included three matte liquid lipsticks with coordinating lip liners, and after the product sold out upon release (and continued to do so with later launches), Kylie Cosmetics and the Lip Kits have a cult following.
Even with the rumors that her formula is the same as cheaper brand ColourPop (via Refinery29), the Lip Kits are well received at their $29 price point. A beauty writer for Bustle reviewed the Lip Kits (even if it was a struggle to get her hands on one), saying, "The Lip Kit is super lightweight all the while hugging my lips. It wasn’t drying or uncomfortable at all."
Don’t sleep on Drew Barrymore’s Flower Beauty blush
Drew Barrymore‘s Flower Beauty has been an affordable drug store contender for a while now, and its no wonder, considering that Barrymore has been in the industry since the ’80s, which means she has a lot of behind-the-scenes beauty knowledge. "I’ve also been in a makeup chair since I was 6-years-old and had the fortune of working with the icons of the beauty industry," she told Business Insider.
It’s no wonder that her brand did well, but there’s one product that stands above the others as a daily wear product, and that’s the Flower Pots Powder Blush. Mi-Anne Chan, a writer of all things beauty, described them as "a good, solid blush … it doesn’t ever look patchy on, doesn’t contain any annoying shimmer," according to Refinery29.
On the official website, the Powder Blushes even have a full five-star rating with over 170 reviews. The powders come in six shades and are at the ridiculously cheap price point of $10. Flower Beauty is even cruelty-free! Adding to our shopping cart now.
Tracee Ellis Ross has you covered with Pattern’s Intensive Conditioner
Curly haired girls can rejoice now with Tracee Ellis Ross‘ hair care brand, Pattern. The Girlfriend and Black-ish actress wanted to create a product for textured, curly hair. "We need for everyone to have access to those products so that their hair can feel as beautiful and as hydrated as it should," she said to Allure.
Ross’ products are affordable, but how does the conditioner work out for girls with curly hair? For Allure, one beauty assistant tried the Intensive Conditioner, as well as a shampoo and another conditioner, and said, "My hair felt soft, even after it was cleansed. The conditioner made it really easy to detangle my hair as well." Additionally, a beauty writer for Refinery29 wrote about the intensive conditioner, saying, "My curls drank up all the much-needed moisture from the shea butter, vitamin E, and avocado oils, and were left feeling sleek and soft." Other products got some special shout-outs, too, so it seems Pattern is an all-around much-needed brand for people with curly hair.
Don’t miss out on Victoria Beckham’s VB x AB Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer
Skincare products are the latest foray celebrities have been exploring, but are you a bit skeptical about whether or not those skincare products are actually worth the money and good for your skin? Refinery29 was too, so they did their research. The publication noted Victoria Beckham‘s luxury skincare brand, Victoria Beckham Beauty, as a high-quality brand, and a standout product is the Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer, a collaboration with skincare brand Augustinus Bader. "Victoria Beckham loved the cream so much that she partnered with the brand to create an exclusive, priming moisturizer," reported The Cut.
The moisturizer runs at quite a high price point of $95, but is it worth it? The consensus seems to be that it is. In The Cut‘s article, five women reviewed the product, and all five women noted the its luxe quality. One beauty writer said, "The texture of the primer itself feels very luxurious, instantly melting into your skin, and a little goes a long way, which is nice considering this price."
KKW Beauty’s Classic Eyeshadow Palette is a must-buy
Who knew Kim Kardashian‘s KKW Beauty would take off the way it did? Surely the Kardashian-Jenner family knew, as they’ve been capitalizing on products in many different industries for years now. With the Kardashian name such a staple of pop culture, it’s hard to figure out what’s worth your hard-earned money and what’s not. The KKW Classic Eyeshadow Palette seems to be worth it, and it has glowing reviews in various beauty magazines.
Madeline Hirsch, senior social media manager of Glamour, said the eyeshadows "practically blend themselves, making them perfect to toss on for an easy everyday eye." Cosmopolitan, in an article highlighting the best celebrity beauty products, wrote, "The one piece in her collection that I wear almost every single day? This classic eyeshadow palette," and the publication also shouted out the blendability. In their review, Byrdie praised the palette for its formula: "Matte eyeshadows are usually more difficult to formulate than metallic or satins, so when a brand masters their matte formula, they have my stamp of approval."
Halsey’s About-Face Paint-It Matte Lip Color is smudge-proof
It’s no surprise that pop star Halsey branched out into a line of makeup, launching about-face. When launching her brand, Halsey shared on Instagram, "Many of you may already know that I have done my own makeup for concerts, red carpets, magazine covers, and music videos alike for a long time." She emphasized how makeup isn’t about perfection, but "about feeling cool." And don’t we all want to look as cool as Halsey does on the red carpet?
While she released quite a few different types of products in the launch, the Paint-It Matte Lip Color (in six cool shades) is a standout and not only for its frosted packaging. An Ipsy beauty writer called the lip products a "must-have" and described them as having "a mousse-like texture, making it easy to spread around, then dried down to a smudge-proof color that felt like I had nothing on at all." She added that the lipsticks also had a "fresh peppermint and eucalyptus smell," which sounds amazing. At a relatively cheap price point of $22, it’s also vegan, cruelty-free, and without gluten.
This cream from Pharrell’s Humanrace "changed the game"
A skincare line from Pharrell, the man who never ages? Sounds promising. He teamed up with trusted dermatologist Dr. Elena Jones to explain the thought process behind Humanrace. "We wanted to share with the world his simple routine and his belief that we must pause to take a moment to focus not only on your skin but also on your health and wellbeing," she said in Wallpaper.
With all that said, what is the real verdict? InStyle wanted to see if the product was "worth the hype." The Humidifying Cream was, for their beauty editor, "that girl." She noted, "The Humidifying Cream, which includes both snow mushroom extract and squalane (so duh, obviously it’s deeply hydrating), completely, completely changed the game for me."
Although the cream comes in a package with the Lotus Enzyme Exfoliator and the Rice Powder Cleanser for $100, if you’re nervous to drop that much money at once, go for just the cream, which goes a long way and is priced at $48.
Lady Gaga’s Haus Laboratories eyeliner is "incredibly inky"
Lady Gaga has graced her little monsters with her own brand, Haus Laboratories, a line of makeup created by her and her longtime makeup artist, Sarah Tanno. Just the name suggests experimental and glamorous makeup looks. "This is about liberation," Gaga told Business of Fashion about her line, which was created to promote a message of "self-acceptance and confidence."
The Liquid Eye-lie-ner’s reviews are in, with 4.8 stars and 1,400 reviews! Glamour senior social media manager Madeline Hirsch said the liner "keeps its shape while applying, so you can get a super-precise line out of it, and it’s incredibly inky black and matte." Tanno and Gaga’s goal when creating these products was to have the best qualities "built into" them, as she explained in Dazed Digital. "We want to take the things we’ve learned being on stage, red carpets, or creating music videos," she continued. Notably, the liquid liner was specifically created to be long-lasting (24-hour wear).
Venus Williams’ EleVen sunscreen is a welcome addition to the skincare industry
Venus Williams is an athlete who spends a lot of her time outdoors, so she knows a thing or two about skincare and sunscreen. "People always come to me with their skin issues. I love it, though," she told Allure. So this could be the reason behind the excitement for her sunscreen brand. Williams partnered with Credo Beauty to come up with a product that was reef-friendly and contains the active ingredient zinc oxide. Allure noted how Williams struggled finding a sunscreen that worked for brown and black skin that didn’t leave streaks and that blended in seamlessly. Williams said, "This [line] leaves no white cast and, of course, it’s universal for every skin tone and complexion."
One beauty YouTuber Simply Ije did a product review and said, "I’ve spent all summer trying out mineral sunscreen after mineral sunscreen that claims to be sheer, and I always look ridiculous," but not when it comes to Williams’ EleVen Sunscreen. "I’ve never tried any physical sunscreen that looks this good on dark skin." Hopefully we will see more inclusive sunscreen brands in the future.
Alicia Keys’ Soulcare cream is "rich and hydrating"
Anyone else remember seeing Alicia Key’s makeup-less during her time as a judge on The Voice and wondered what her secret to flawless skin was? Well, thankfully Keys came out with a skincare set in collaboration with ELF dedicated to ritual and wellness called Keys Soulcare. Keys’ dedication to creating the best products comes from the idea of self-care being synonymous with self-love. She even hired dermatologist Renée Snyder to help her in creating the products.
A fan favorite is the Skin Transformation Cream, priced at $30. The product is quite affordable for a skincare cream, but is it any good? Page Six gave their honest review of the product, describing it as "surprisingly rich and hydrating, despite its lightweight feel" and commending its use of "bakuchiol — a plant-based retinol alternative that’s great for sensitive skin — and hyaluronic acid." E! News reviewed the cream and said, "After testing this product for a month, my face looks more even in tone and texture and has an overall radiance to it." The writer did note that it took two weeks for her skin to get used to the cream.
You’ll want to add Taraji P. Henson’s TPH Never Salty Scalp Scrub to your cart
If Taraji P. Henson weren’t an actor, then she probably would have been doing hair. Growing up, she learned how to style her hair in different ways, and this first love was what inspired her to go full circle with a haircare line focused on scalp care, TPH by Taraji. "Just because you’re doing protective styles, and maybe even have long hair because of it, doesn’t mean your hair is necessarily healthy. Healthy hair truly starts at the scalp," she told Vogue.
Don’t just take her word for it. Women with different hair textures tried it for Allure, and one woman said of the Never Salty Scalp Scrub, priced at $13.99, "I’ve gotten into the practice of using a scalp scrub every wash day, and I’ve tried a million of them. Many are forgettable. This one does not fall into that category." Vogue even named it one of 55 best natural hair products, saying, "For gentle exfoliation of the scalp, one can lean on TPH by Taraji’s Never Salty Scalp Scrub that gently removes dead skin cells and leaves it feeling minty fresh thanks to peppermint oil."