“Celebrities are saying, ‘This is my skin care, this is what I use,’ and ‘No, I don’t get Botox, it’s just my products,’” said Stacey Berke, 34, an addiction counselor from Rochester, N.Y. “It makes it hard to believe.”
The traditional celebrity endorsement is no longer enough. People need to know there’s expertise or, at the very least, an interest in what’s being sold to them.
“It’s more apparent how transactional it is,” said Lucie Greene, a trend forecaster and founder of the Light Years consultancy. “It’s not something you’ve genuinely done because you’re passionate about lip gloss.”
Moreover, everyone knows celebrities often undergo procedures, cosmetic and surgical, to look the way they do. There is no serum that can make a 50-year-old look two decades younger, and yes, we know that butt is fake.
“The transition from, ‘I’ve made cash hawking brands for others’ to ‘Why don’t I try and create something myself?’ is not always the right reason to create something,” said Richard Gersten, an investor and the founder of True Beauty Ventures. The firm has been approached by at least 10 celebrity or influencer brands over the last few months, he said.
The Evolution of the Celebrity Beauty Brand
Once, the only way to gain access to a celebrity’s private world was through a spritz of their perfume, said Rachel ten Brink, a general partner of Red Bike Capital and a founder of Scentbird, a fragrance subscription service. Now fans are privy to the food, fashions, opinions and breakdowns, often in real time, of the famous people they follow.
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