The Golden Era of Celebrity Beauty Brands Is Ending

The bubble is bursting as shoppers increasingly favor quality over star power.

More than 50 celebrities and influencers — from singer Lady Gaga to tennis phenom Naomi Osaka — have launched cosmetic, haircare and skincare brands in just the last three years, according to a Bloomberg News tally. The US beauty industry is particularly alluring due to high operating margins and the daily-use nature of many products. Like other parts of the consumer sector, the boom was also fueled by cheap digital advertising and all the money sloshing around the economy due to low interest rates.

But rates have surged, fears of a recession linger and consumer preferences have changed. Post-pandemic shoppers are more interested in skincare than makeup. They’re also more discerning and increasingly considering a brand’s quality and authenticity — or the lack thereof — thanks to the flood of product reviews on platforms like TikTok and Reddit. A celebrity’s backing doesn’t matter to a majority of female shoppers, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence survey of 650 cosmetics and skincare users in January.