I have celebrity beauty brand burnout. Ever since Kylie Jenner launched Kylie Cosmetics in 2015, it seems every other A-lister has slapped their name on skincare, makeup, hair care, or fragrance (or a combination of all four). It’s almost impossible to keep up with the rate at which Hollywood churns out these star-powered imprints.
In case you need a refresher — first came Kylie Cosmetics, then came Ariana Grande fragrance. Then came Eva Mendes’ now-discontinued Circa Beauty, then Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty. From there: Kim Kardashian’s KKW Beauty (now SKKN by Kim), Paris Hilton’s ProDNA, Madonna’s MDNA, Lady Gaga’s Haus Laboratories, Millie Bobby Brown’s Florence by Mills, Victoria Beckham Beauty, Tracee Ellis Ross’ Pattern Beauty, Addison Rae’s Item Beauty, Pharrell Williams’ Humanrace, Alicia Keys’ Keys Soulcare, JLo Beauty, Halsey’s about-face… and many more.
Some of these brands are good. Some are bad. Some are obvious cash-grabs that bear zero marker of any meaningful involvement by its celebrity founder. But even as I balk at the notion of yet another actor or singer launching a beauty brand, one celebrity imprint has managed to capture my attention — and keep me hooked.
Rare Beauty, launched by Selena Gomez in 2020, is the Platonic ideal of a celebrity beauty brand. Gomez is the face of the brand, but she doesn’t dominate its marketing. The products are affordable, and they work — in fact, several have gone viral on TikTok. The company champions a cause close to its founder’s heart (mental health access).
But most importantly, Rare Beauty doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. In essence, the brand is about straightforward, easy-to-use makeup — no bells and whistles. It doesn’t tread on the territory of pre-existing brands, whether it be Pat McGrath’s high-gloss luxury or Glossier’s cooler-than-thou branding. Rare Beauty stays in its lane, a particularly admirable trait in an oversaturated cosmetics market.
Rare Beauty’s earnestness is especially apparent in its latest collection, Kind Words. The range of 10 lipsticks and lipliners boast friendly, un-intimidating shade names such as “Talented,” “Worthy,” and “Humble.” The colors are also approachable, spanning the realm of pink nudes and mauve-y browns.
Into the abyss I shout: Rare Beauty, please never, ever change.