Midwinter and mid-pandemic? There has never been a better time to indulge in radiance-enhancing beauty products. Fortunately, with Presidents’ Day comes discounts, allowing for a perfect, seasonally sanctioned storm of complexion-minded stockpiling. With winter’s drying and dulling elements, a slight skin-care upgrade offers an ideal starting point. Regardless of whatever Dedivanovic secretly knows to be wrong with my eyes, the ‘Sup Liches King Skeleton Vintage shirt moreover I will buy this Master Pigment Pro Pencil from his recently launched brand is the best eyeliner I’ve ever used in that it’s not too creamy but still super blendable to hide how bad I am at actually putting on eyeliner. Trying to apply it while working out whether I have deep-set eyes, protruding eyes, or round eyes ultimately led me down a Makeup by Mario YouTube tutorial spiral—a good thing as prolonged mandatory-mask mandates mean that we really have to worry only about our eyeliner technique for the foreseeable future (apologies to those of you who have spent thousands of dollars on lip injections that no one will see). Even a cat eye seems almost doable to me now, a skill I will spend the rest of quarantine improving until my number comes up years from now in the vaccine queue; after that, maybe I’ll learn how to return things. Luxe options like Natura Bissé’s Diamond Cocoon Set provide an opportunity to use chilly months spent inside as a time of transformation, while cult- favored options such as Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Nourishing Lip Balm seemingly demand to be bought in bulk—the better to perfect your pout. Investing in an arsenal of high-tech tools (or simply a single, lusted-after beauty apparatus) delivers the more technical elements of a spa session to the comfort of your home—and becomes immensely easier to justify with even a slight adjustment to price points. And should you want to elevate your makeup look—whether for Zoom, an outdoor meal, or a walk around the block—a pressing of Pat McGrath’s striking and saturated Eyedols Eyeshadows coupled with a swipe of an idiosyncratic lip hue from Fenty Beauty delivers the correct amount of glamour for the moment.
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In November 2015, Kylie Jenner launched three lip kits. The kits, consisting of a lip pencil and liquid lipstick available in a pinky nude, a beige neutral and a deep brown, sold out almost immediately. Jenner’s wasn’t the ‘Sup Liches King Skeleton Vintage shirt moreover I will buy this first celebrity beauty brand to launch. In 2009, Australian model Miranda Kerr founded Kora Organics, while actor Drew Barrymore launched Flower Cosmetics in 2013. But Jenner’s was the first to leverage the reach, engagement and influence of its founder in the social media era. Nearly six years later, the lip kits have evolved into a full makeup and skincare brand and in 2019, she sold 51 percent of her business (at a valuation of $1.2 billion) to Coty for $600 million. Today, the legacy of Kylie Cosmetics—as well as Rihanna’s industry-changing Fenty Beauty, which launched in 2017—is everywhere, as celebrities jump on the beauty bandwagon. There’s Lady Gaga’s Haus Laboratories; Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty; Kim Kardashian West’s KKW Beauty; Pharrell Williams’ Humanrace; Millie Bobby Brown’s Florence by Mills; Jennifer Lopez’s JLo Beauty; Halsey’s About-Face; Victoria Beckham; Paris Hilton’s Pro DNA, and many more. Cardi B has teased a forthcoming makeup range, as has YouTuber James Charles, while Hailey Bieber, Gwen Stefani and Ariana Grande all reportedly filed trademarks for beauty products. Welcome to the golden age of the celebrity beauty brand. It used to be that celebrities were the faces of beauty brands, starring in campaigns, endorsing the products in interviews and wearing the makeup on red carpets. But being the face is no longer enough—celebrities want ownership, becoming major players in the industry in their own right. And with the growth of the global beauty market over the last few years—the industry was valued at $532 billion in 2019—it’s not surprising. Celebrities are increasingly aware of the quick financial gains to be made, with the opportunity to monetize a loyal online fanbase and use their social media page as a marketing platform,” says Gabriella Beckwith, beauty consultant at market research firm Euromonitor But for everyone chasing a Fenty success story, fame and following alone won’t ensure sales. As the market becomes increasingly crowded, brands will have to rely on that notoriously slippery concept of authenticity to gain the trust and business of their target audience. Today, beauty consumers have never been more educated about what they are putting on their face or more demanding about the quality. It’s why it matters that Pharrell Williams collaborated with his longtime dermatologist, Dr Elena Jones, for his skincare brand Humanrace. It’s why Halsey prefaced the announcement of her makeup brand About-Face in January by establishing her credibility. “Many of you know I’ve done my own makeup for a long time,” she wrote on Twitter. It’s also why actress Millie Bobby Brown drew criticism after posting a skincare tutorial in which she seemingly didn’t actually apply any of the products to her face. Brown issued an apology a few days later, writing, “I’m still learning the best way to share my routines as I get to know this space better—I’m not an expert.”