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If you’re sick of reading the seemingly endless stream of celebrity beauty brand announcements, we don’t blame you. But if you can park your scepticism for just one moment, you’ll discover that a select few are actually pretty good.
Is it just us or does there seem to be an announcement about a new celebrity beauty brand each and every month? Just two weeks ago, Scarlett Johansson announced she’d be launching a ‘clean’ beauty brand in due course, while reports of beauty trademark applications filed by Harry Styles, Cardi B and Hailey Bieber have been bubbling up on the internet for some time.
Add all of those new brands to the already gigantic pile featuring Kim Kardashian’s KKW Beauty, Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, Gwyneth Paltrow’s divisive Goop, Lady Gaga’s Haus Laboratories, Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty, Millie Bobby Brown’s Florence by Mills, Tracee Ellis Ross’ Pattern and Pharrell Williams’ Humanrace. And that – by no exaggeration – is just the tip of the big name beauty iceberg.
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In fact, it seems that in recent months we’ve reached a kind of cosmetic twilight zone, with anyone upwards of 500K followers branching out into the beauty realm, even if they land on deaf (or more likely, sceptical) ears.
Some celebrity beauty brands deserve our collective eye rolls. A very small handful, however, are genuinely good enough to sit shoulder-to-shoulder (or bottle to bottle?) with the more respected beauty brands already lining our shelves. But which, you ask? Let us run you through the best celebrity beauty brands out there as well as the standout products from each.
Quick disclaimer: Ellis Ross’ Pattern would make the list if it was available here in the UK.
With Fenty Beauty, Rihanna didn’t just add to the beauty industry, she revolutionised it. Proving to the archaic big name brands that inclusive shade ranges aren’t just possible, they’re necessary and involving a full spectrum of faces in her campaigns, she’s set the new (and very welcome) standards for anyone wanting a slice of the beauty pie.
The stay-all-day foundation
Available in a whopping 50 shades, this foundation goes on smoothly and then does not budge.
Shop Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation at Harvey Nichols, £27
The non-sticky lip gloss
The Rihanna look in a single product, Gloss Bomb is a non-sticky lip gloss laced with iridescent shimmer.
Shop Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in Fenty Glow at Harvey Nichols, £17
The pigment-packed cream blusher
It isn’t just foundation formulas that missed the mark, colour products like blushers have long failed to deliver the pigment payoff required on darker skin tones. Not Fenty’s. It applies bold, meaning you can either blend it down to a subtler finish or build it up for greater intensity.
Shop Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in Crush on Cupid at Harvey Nichols, £19
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Victoria Beckham Beauty
After the a successful beauty collaboration with Estee Lauder, Beckham decided to recruit Sarah Creal, then an executive at conglomerate, to collaborate on a new venture: Victoria Beckham Beauty. Hiring Creal was her first clever move, utilising the latest advancements in skin and make-up technology was her second, thus cementing the brand’s position as a serious and worthy player. So much more than a bog standard product in flashy packaging, each and every formula puts performance as its top priority, from the hi-tech moisturiser that feeds skin health, formulated by none other than Dr Augustinus Bader to the unbelievably buttery texture of her lipsticks.
The glow-giving moisturiser
Formulated in collaboration with stem cell and biomedical scientist Dr Augustinus Bader (yes, the man behind that cult moisturiser), VB’s version utilises the same skin-healing science just with added illuminating qualities. It comes in a neutral shade as standard, but to really ramp up the glow, this gold-tinted version is everything.
Shop Victoria Beckham Beauty Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer at Cult Beauty, £92
The lash-separating mascara
Apparently mascara topped the list of product requests received by the team at Victoria Beckham Beauty, and at the beginning of this year, they finally landed on a formula worthy of release: Future Lash. With a skinny and slightly curved brush, the result is understated (so not one for you if you prefer your lashes big and bulky) with a formula that pretty much refuses to turn clumpy.
Shop Victoria Beckham Beauty Future Lash Mascara at Victoria Beckham Beauty, £26
The buttery beige lipstick
Paying homage to Beckham’s old school Posh years, this glossy lipstick comes in eight spectrum-spanning nude shades plus one modern, subdued red.
Shop Victoria Beckham Beauty Posh Lipstick in Girl at Cult Beauty, £38
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Keys Soulcare is a pure manifestation of founder Alicia Keys’ approach to beauty. To her, it’s all about rituals; moments dedicated to caring for yourself and that shines through in all her products. The textures are a joy to use, each and every formula smells great and she’s even brandished them with smile-inducing mantras and affirmations.
The silky body oil
Its products like this that take the chore out of full body hydration. Rich, decadent and containing a blend of jojoba, marula and baobab oils, this silky body oil leaves limbs gleaming.
Shop Keys Soulcare Sacred Body Oil at Harrods, £25
The hydrating face mask
Built on a base of manuka honey, this charcoal mask is designed to calm skin, purge pores and amp up hydration.
Shop Keys Soulcare Harmony Mask at Harrods, £28
The water-free exfoliator
Powder skincare products are everywhere right now, offering a more sustainable alternative to their water-logged counterparts. This powdered face scrub uses teeny, tiny microgranules to gently flick away dead skin cells without upsetting the fresh skin below.
Shop Keys Soulcare Be Luminous Exfoliator at Harrods, £22
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Jessica Alba’s brand Honest Beauty gains its brownie points through its practicality. Each of the products are undeniably simple in formulation, but so many of them offer multiple uses, are engineered for on-the-go application or build two products into one package.
The double-ended mascara
Cleverly, one end of this wand houses a volumising lash primer while the other contains a lengthening mascara.
Shop Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer at Cult Beauty, £19
The multipurpose balm
The versatility of this solid balm moisturiser knows no bounds. Use it on lips, cheeks, elbows, heels, or anywhere skin has started to feel a little dry and flaky.
Shop Honest Beauty Magic Beauty Balm Stick at Cult Beauty, £20
The super subtle lip stain
It may look pretty pigmented in the bullet, but this lip crayon goes on incredibly sheer, leaving little more than a hint of colour.
Shop Honest Beauty Lip Crayon-Lush Sheer in Bordeaux at Cult Beauty, £16
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Images: courtesy of brands
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