Celebrities have been endorsing beauty brands for years, often collaborating with big players to promote their favourite products or even create specific lines. Now they’re taking their love for beauty one step further by launching full-fledged collections that bear their name.
“The past few years show that harnessing celebrity star power is a winning strategy for the skincare industry. A well-known face can significantly boost the sales due to the publicity which is often free, especial through social networks,” says Newby Hands, global beauty director at Net-a-Porter.
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One of the pioneers in the industry was supermodel Miranda Kerr, who launched her now award-winning Kora Organics range featuring certified organic and natural products (according to Newby, the brand has experienced 140 per cent growth last year in the Hong Kong market alone).
More often than not, these lines are designed to reflect the celebrity’s lifestyle, which is a major draw for the customer.
“The key of success for celebrity-helmed beauty lines is authenticity. These brands have to speak to their respective lifestyle, so that the products make a personal connection with customers. That said, they have to create something that is needed and gives the customers a value of money in return,” says Newby.
The latest lines go beyond essentials such as cleansers and moisturisers and offer targeted formulas that promise high performance and cutting-edge ingredients.
Take Madonna’s MDNA Skin, which was launched Asia in 2014. Many of the ingredients, including thermal mineral water and volcanic clay, are sourced in the spa town of Montecatini Terme in Tuscany, Italy, while the formulas are manufactured by MTG, which is based in Japan.
Alongside the products, the brand has developed a range of treatments which are available at luxury spas around the world, including the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong.
“Madonna is one of the most influential public figures in the world, so the brand was born with unspoken results and a big fan group. Guests in Hong Kong are very celebrity-driven and open to new products and brands, so it has performed extremely well. Perhaps the only drawback is the fact that celebrity lines have smaller collections, which causes some limitations,” says Jane Wang, cluster director of spa, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong.
Looking ahead, industry experts agree that the category has the potential to grow further, but whether they can compete with big players such as Estée Lauder boils down to performance.
“As an industry built on the idea of change, it is understandable that we are all fascinated by the shift ignited by celebrities and influencers. That said, beyond the coverage and the hype, for the customer it is always fundamentally about the product. So even if the interest is there, if the product isn’t, it won’t translate into commercial success,” says Newby.
Five celebrity skincare lines
Wellness guru and celebrity Gwyneth Paltrow has been lecturing women about the benefits of chemical and toxic-free skincare for years, so it was only a matter of a time before she launched her own line with well-known California-based skincare company Juice Beauty.
The edited line features six “clean” and high-performance products made using organic ingredients, including the Melting Cleanser, which promises to sink into the skin, and the Exfoliating Instant Facial, which claims to instantly revive and brighten the skin.
Jessica Alba’s wellness empire The Honest Company is so successful that it has already been valued at over US$1 billion. Although it’s better known for its baby and beauty ranges, the recently relaunched skincare line has a cult following. Aside from the Younger + Clearer line targeted at millennials, look for new favourites such as the Honestly Pure Retinol Serum with hyaluronic acid and the multipurpose Magic Balm, which soothes and softens dry skin.
Josie Maran has a cult following around the world, thanks to one product – 100 per cent argan oil, which is made in Morocco by local women’s co-ops.
The model and actress swears by its amazing moisturising benefits (it contains high levels of antioxidants, vitamin E and essential fatty acids). It is the basis of most her line, which now includes make-up.
She also recently launched two new anti-ageing formulas featuring a blend of argan and hemp seed oil, and argan and CBD oil.
Australian model Miranda Kerr launched her line back in 2009. A devotee of all things organic, her ingredients are as clean as they come and include noni extract, rosehip oil, sea buckthorn oil and green tea. Many of the formulas are infused and supercharged with rose quartz crystal, which is known for its soothing energy. In addition to the usual mix of cleansers, toners and moisturisers. It also features aromatherapy mists and oils, and supplements.
Launched a few years ago by Madonna, the line is based on ingredients such as a mineral-rich thermal spring water, which the company refers to as “Holy” water. There are only seven products and highlights include the very expensive Rose Mist and bestselling Chrome Clay Mask which is formulated with volcanic clay to purify pores, brightening white willow bark extract and hyaluronic acid to replenish skin.
Available at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong.