Introduction In recent years, there has been a significant trend of famous musicians and performers launching their beauty brands. Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, and Gwen Stefani are some of the most notable examples of successful artists in the beauty industry. In this in-depth blog post, we will explore the beauty brands created by these iconic artists, discussing their products, marketing, and impact.
Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty
- Background on Rihanna’s Music and Style
Before launching Fenty Beauty in 2017, Rihanna had already cemented herself as a major force in pop culture. With chart-topping hits like “Umbrella,” “Diamonds,” and “Work,” Rihanna has become one of the best-selling artists of all time. She is known for constantly reinventing her music and style, setting trends with her fashion choices. Rihanna’s diverse beauty looks throughout her career have encompassed everything from long, sleek hair to short, spiky pixie cuts and vibrant, creative makeup styles.
- The Launch of Fenty Beauty
After years of dominating the music industry, Rihanna leveraged her recognizable name and iconic brand to co-create a beauty line with luxury goods conglomerate LVMH. Fenty Beauty debuted in September 2017 with an unprecedented 40 foundation shades, meeting the needs of many people of color ignored by the mainstream beauty industry. Rather than just lending her celebrity endorsement, Rihanna has an active hand in product development and creative aspects of the brand. She holds the title of creative director and works closely on deciding shades, formulas, packaging and more.
- A Focus on Inclusivity
With Fenty Beauty, Rihanna aimed to create a cosmetics brand that includes people of all skin tones, cultures and identities. The extensive foundation range caters to light, medium, tan and deep complexions with neutral, pink, yellow and olive undertones. When launching, Rihanna told journalists her goal was “women everywhere [to] be included…that was one of my biggest challenges, but I knew I wanted to do it.” Reviews praised the foundations’ smooth, long-wear formulas that blend effortlessly into the skin for a seamless finish.
Along with an inclusive vision, Rihanna ensures her brand visually represents all groups who use her products. Fenty Beauty campaigns, advertisements and imagery spotlight models of different sizes, ages, genders and ethnicities wearing the cosmetics. The brand also nominates a diverse group of beauty influencers as official “beauty ambassadors” to promote products on social media through gifted collaborations.
Essential Product Ranges Some hero products that boosted Fenty Beauty’s popularity include:
- Pro Filt’r Foundation: As mentioned, the extensive range of long-wear foundations became an instant hit for catering to many underserved skin tones and sold with a primer-infused formula and buildable medium to full coverage.
- Gloss Bomb: This extra plump, moisturizing lip gloss quickly emerged as Fenty Beauty’s top seller. Packed with shea butter and peppermint oil, it delivers a non-sticky shine and a sweet vanilla scent. The universal rosy nude shade looks flattering across skin tones.
- Match Stix: These cream contour, concealer and highlighting sticks let you customize your perfect shade match. Velvety matte and shimmer finishes can also be mixed for versatile colour-blending and layering.
- Body Lava: Rihanna brought her signature glow to the body category with this liquid illuminator for legs and décolleté. Light-diffusing pigments and nourishing oils give vibrant, strobe-worthy radiance.
Rihanna’s Impact on the Industry
- Helped shift makeup marketing to embrace inclusive messaging and showcasing diverse beauty.
- Pushed other brands to expand their foundation ranges and representation.
- Set a model for celebrities by thoughtfully collaborating with makeup brands, not just slapping their names.
- Converted even some makeup-averse people into trying and enjoying cosmetics.
- Her product formulas also impacted trends — sparking more brands to develop their long wear, loose powder formulas and glosses.
Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty
- Background on Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez first stepped into the spotlight as a child actress on Disney Channel programs and the hit series Wizards of Waverly Place. While continuing to pursue acting, she soon pivoted into the music scene as a solo pop star. Her chart-topping debut studio album Stars Dance was released in 2013 and showcased Gomez maturing from a teen star into a grounded, passionate singer-songwriter. She has become one of the world’s best-selling musicians with critically acclaimed albums like Revival, Rare and SG2. Amidst her entertainment career, Gomez has also been very public about her mental health journey — including bravely sharing her bipolar diagnosis.
- Rare Beauty Launch
In 2020, capitalizing on her passionate fanbase and relatability, Selena Gomez founded her makeup company, Rare Beauty. The cruelty-free, vegan brand is centered around embracing one’s natural beauty and recognizing every person’s unique value. Gomez serves as founder, creator and executive producer of Rare Beauty. Being personally involved at all stages, her goal was crafting accessible products that empower self-expression and combat the unrealistic standards of perfection often promoted by beauty brands.
- Mental Health Advocacy
A key pillar of Rare Beauty is advocating for mental health awareness and providing community support. Rare Beauty shares information from leading organizations and mental health resources like crisis hotlines on their website and social platforms. To make a difference at scale, the beauty brand pledged to raise $100 million over the next ten years to help people access much-needed services. Additionally, Rare Beauty partnered with several non-profits that work to advance mental well-being among young people from marginalized backgrounds.
Every product sold also indirectly supports their social impact goals. Rare Beauty created the Rare Impact Fund, where 1% of all sales increases accessibility to mental health resources. The beauty brand aims to make therapy, counseling, peer support and other aid available for college students, vocational programs and more.
Key Product Offerings Some of Rare Beauty’s top-rated offerings include:
- Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner: This ultra-black liquid eyeliner features a precision felt tip for finely defined wings and lines. The quick-drying, smudge-resistant formula also makes the application mistake-proof.
- Soft Pinch Liquid Blush: These buildable, water-based blushes come in matte and dewy finishes. The Lightweight, imperceptible tint effortlessly melts into the skin for a lit-from-within flush. Shades range from soft mauve to vibrant coral.
- Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream: Imparting moisture and rich color, this unique whipped lip product applies like a balm while providing opaque, 12-hour pigment. Reviewers praise the smooth, lightweight texture.
- Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Prime & Set Mist: As an all-in-one face prep and finisher, this spray hydrates, primes, sets makeup and refreshes throughout the day. The soothing cucumber and green tea-infused mist also contains antioxidants and neuropeptides.
- Positive Light Tinted Moisturizer: In keeping with Rare Beauty’s uplifting motto, this product delivers glowy medium coverage while infusing skin with a blend of lotus flower, gardenia and white water lily extracts. The lightweight, buildable formula comes in 20 flexible shades.
Rare Beauty’s Brand Impact
- Connected beauty with a mission of mental health awareness and access. Set a model for socially conscious brand values.
- Leverage a celebrity’s platform to advocate for an important cause—directly raise and deploy funds beyond a passive percentage of profit models other brands use.
- Fulfilled an audience thirsty for a celebrity makeup collab after years of hinting at the possibility.
- Created everyday staples ideal for Gomez’s Gen Z and millennial fanbase while making products suited for beginners new to cosmetics.
Lady Gaga’s Haus Labs
- Background on Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga epitomizes theatricality. The aptly named “Mother Monster” reshaped pop music and style trends throughout the late 2000s and early 2010s. She rocketed to fame with her 2008 album The Fame, then continued surprising fans with outrageous fashion statements and constant reinvention from album to album. Hits like “Poker Face,” “Bad Romance”, and “Born This Way” merged infectious melodies with social commentary on acceptance. With outrageous persona aside, Lady Gaga has proven herself a seriously talented vocalist with an unstoppable artistic vision. She diverged into acclaimed acting roles, recently winning an Oscar for A Star is Born.
- The Launch of Haus Labs
After being the face of major brands like Versace and MAC Cosmetics for years, Lady Gaga decided to create her own beauty company suited for self-expression. Launched in September 2019, Haus Labs celebrates the artistry of makeup and individuality championed throughout Gaga’s career. The cruelty-free brand offers high pigment, long-wear, and multifunctional makeup for experimentation. In an interview with Allure about her Haus Labs vision, Lady Gaga proclaimed, “I want people to put on makeup and feel good in their skin…Don’t use makeup to hide who you are. Use it to show who you are.”
Showstopping Product Ranges
Haus Labs formulates its pigment-saturated products to fuel creative transformation. Some beloved offerings include:
- Liquid Eye-Lie-Ner: This lush liquid eyeliner packs an intense matte finish with a substantial color payoff. The flexible tapered pen allows both ultra-fine lines or thick, dramatic flicks. Sold in black and brown.
- Le Monster Matte Lip Crayon: As Gaga’s take on the 90’s lip pencil trend, these chubby jumbo crayon sharpen to a flawlessly bold point. The lightweight, creamy formula imparts saturated matte color and easy lining in a single swipe.
- Optic Intensity Eco Line: Made from over 50% plant-based ingredients, this graphic eco gel eye line series comes in vivid shades like green, royal blue and true red. Great for graphic liner looks.
- Glam Attack Liquid Shimmer Powder: Developed in collaboration with Sarah Tanno, Lady Gaga’s longtime makeup artist, this liquid face highlighter imparts show-stopping iridescence. You can mix the gleaming topper into any face or eye product.
- Phantom Volumizing Mascara: Perfectly suited for Gaga’s penchant for dramatic lashes, this clinical-grade mascara promotes lash growth through an infused formula while instantly increasing volume, length and lift.
Haus Labs Brand Impact
- Created a brand centering escapism, creative identity and embracing your inner performer
- Set a standard for sustainability in makeup, launching the first lines of certified CarbonNeutral® to fight climate impact.
- Dramatic product range inspires experimentation beyond average everyday looks.
- High-performance formula innovation targets problems like hair loss/thinning lashes (Phantom Mascara)
- Brings back the 90’s style of creativity and boldness of makeup self-expression.
Gwen Stefani’s GXVE Beauty
- Gwen Stefani’s Iconic Style Evolution
Before entering the beauty industry, Gwen Stefani first rose to fame as the lead vocalist of the rock band No Doubt. Their album Tragic Kingdom and flamboyant lead singer quickly caught attention in the mid-90s. Stefani’s signature retro-glam style also made an impact, from her blonde bombshell curls to her classic red lipstick. As Stefani set out on a massively successful solo career, she continued blending punk rock edge with Old Hollywood charm into signature looks accompanied by hits like “Rich Girl”, “Sweet Escape”, and “Make Me Like You.”
- Launching GXVE Beauty
After decades of dominating music alongside style icon status, 2022 marked Stefani’s expansion into cosmetics. She debuted her makeup line, GXVE Beauty, in March 2022, dropping a collection focused on her tried and true glam essentials. The cruelty-free brand channels Stefani’s signature aesthetic to help recreate her glowing skin paired with a bold red lip. Designed for versatility, the multi-use complexion products suit a range of ages and skin types. As founder and creative director, Stefani brings her enthusiasm to promoting the brand through interviews, campaign videos and engaging social media content.
- Product Standouts
Some beloved products from Gwen Stefani and GXVE Beauty include:
- Sweet Escape Color Lip Gloss: This high-shine red lip gloss nods to one of Stefani’s hit songs and her affinity for the classic lip look. The moisturizing formula includes antioxidant-rich ingredients like orange fruit extract and vitamin E.
- Boom Box Blush & Highlight Palette: With four striking shades, mix and layer this cheek palette for custom pops of color and glow. Finishes range from matte blush to baked highlighter.
- Shape Shifter Brow Sculpting Pencil: Designed to define and fill brows for a natural yet polished look. The customized triangular tip and built-in spooley brush allow easy, quick filling and grooming.
- Best At Blue Eyeliner: Part of the bolder hues offered, this rich cobalt blue liner makes eyes pop and recalls the punk scene Stefani emerged from. The smooth pencil glides on effortlessly.
- The Great Escape Soothing Face Primer: As a nourishing base for the entire GXVE complexion range, this silicone-free primer smoothes skin texture while hydrating. Lightweight and non-greasy.
GXVE Beauty’s Impact
- The void was left after Urban Decay discontinued Gwen’s signature lipstick shade, Anaheim.
- Products like blue liner broaden everyday color cosmetic options.
- Campaign imagery and products help users channel 90’s attitude and edginess in a wearable way.
- Tutorials and guidance from Stefani provide a unique learning experience that’s aspirational yet approachable for regular people.
Pioneering a New Celebrity Business Model Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, and Gwen Stefani represent a vanguard of celebrities who thoughtfully created authentic beauty brands that leverage their values and passions. They seized on opportunities beyond just licensing their names for endorsement cash grabs. As actual creative directors, these artists connect directly with fans to offer inspiring makeup crafted to enhance self-expression and embrace one’s distinctive traits. While undoubtedly savvy business moves, their makeup lines also provide platforms to advocate causes personally meaningful to them — from inclusivity to mental health awareness. The result set a new standard for celebrities holistically launching companies with purpose and heart. What artist will be next to grace the beauty aisles?