Most Celeb Beauty Brands Are Overhyped, But Experts Use and Love These Ones

·12 min read

I have a confession to make. Even though I’ve been obsessed with beauty since childhood (at the tender age of 5, I thought it an abomination to spend my weekly allowance on anything other than the selection of body glitters, glow-in-the-dark nail polish, and discs of green eye shadow at Claire’s), and even though it’s practically written in my job description to care, know about, and research every new beauty trend, brand, and product born into the industry, I’ve become completely lackadaisical when it comes to celebrity beauty brands. It’s not that I don’t love celebrities (I do!) or that I’m suffering from new-brand fatigue (I’m not!), it’s just that the recent boom of celeb-fronted skincare, makeup, and haircare lines has, in some cases, left something to be desired, not to mention a touch of suspicion regarding motive and authenticity. (The beauty biz is worth a rough $400 billion, after all!)

That said, I don’t want to be a complete wet blanket here. Even though the influx of celebrity beauty brands these days kind of feels like a game of Whac-a-Mole—as soon as you try one, there are five more in its place—most of them are, quite honestly, pretty good and well worth the plunge if you feel so inclined. But as someone with a discernible eye who tries new products on the daily, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a personal queue of favorites, and after talking to some of the best beauty experts in the industry, I’m definitely not alone. So I thought it’d be fun to share! Below, you’ll find 13 expert- and editor-loved celebrity beauty brands. Bear in mind that if a certain brand didn’t make it on our list, it isn’t to say it’s bad or bogus; it’s just that this story would have an infinite number of slides if we were to include every single celebrity label elbowing for room in the industry right now. Curious to see which celeb brands can be consistently found atop our vanities? Keep scrolling!

The Expert Favorites

Anomaly Haircare by Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Meet Anomaly, a clean, affordable, environmentally onscious new haircare line launched earlier this year by Priyanka Chopra Jonas. Each and every product comes in at just $6, and one of our favorite things about the brand is its commitment to sustainability. Bottles are made from 100% plastic trash diverted from landfills and ocean-bound plastic, and cans from infinitely recyclable aluminum. Plus, the formulas yield incredible results. We suspect that if you were blindfolded, you’d never know you weren’t using a product with seven times the price tag.

"I really like this brand as an affordable vegan haircare option," says celebrity hairstylist Christian Wood. "The products actually work and produce great results while being 100% vegan. Plus, the fact that the bottles are made from reused plastic is a bigger win for me."

Shop the Faves:

Anomaly Dry Shampoo ($6)

Anomaly Deep Conditioning Treatment Mask ($6)

Pattern Beauty by Tracee Ellis Ross

Designed with love from Tracee Ellis Ross, Pattern specifically caters to every kind of curl and coil pattern. (Hence the name!) In the brand's mission statement, it heralds its focus on the celebration of Black beauty, amplifying and enhancing each and every texture. The brand has a handy curl guide on its website, and you can expect to find deeply nourishing curl elixirs that come in at wallet-friendly price points.

"I can’t get enough of this brand, especially the hydrating mist for both my clients and myself," celebrity hairstylist Jillian Halouska tells us. "It’s a magic moisturizing cocktail of oils and aloe vera that can be used on either wet or dry hair to protect against heat-inflicted damage or for a quick style refresh."

Shop the Faves:

Pattern Hydrating Mist ($18)

Pattern Leave-In Conditioner ($25)

The Honest Company & Honest Beauty by Jessica Alba

We consider Jessica Alba, and her clean, green brands, The Honest Company and Honest Beauty, the OGs in multiple categories. First of all, Alba was one of the first celebs to do the whole beauty-brand thing, and while clean beauty has become pretty mainstream in recent years, her mission to create safe, nontoxic formulas was still unique back in 2012 when the company was founded. We love that you can find quite literally anything you might need in life (from glass cleaner to lip gloss to diapers) in one fell swoop.

"Everything from Honest is great, but I've been especially obsessed with the hand sanitizing spray in lavender," Halouska adds. "It smells so lovely and miraculously keeps your hands soft. I use it everywhere: my kit, my handbag, when I'm traveling, the list goes on and on."

Shop the Faves:

The Honest Company Hand Sanitizer Spray in Lavender Field ($3)

Honest Beauty Tinted Lash Serum ($20)

Goop Beauty by Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow's iconic brand Goop is another beauty-industry heavy hitter that has been around longer than most (since 2008!) and has been at the forefront of trends, topics, and buzzy product launches making waves in both the beauty and wellness circuits. "We operate from a place of curiosity and nonjudgment, and we start hard conversations, crack open taboos, and look for connection and resonance everywhere we can find it," the brand notes on its website. "We don’t mind being the tip of the spear—in short, we go first so you don’t have to." Oh, and if you want the honest truth, the products—be them beauty or wellness—are really effing good.

"I can’t go a week without using the GoopGlow Microderm Instant Exfoliator," shares celebrity hairstylist Bridget Brager. "My facialist suggested I start using an exfoliating treatment once or twice a week in my 30s to allow my best skin to come forward by buffing away impurities, evening out my skin tone, and brightening my overall appearance … giving me that glowy, dewy skin I desire. This is a does-it-all exfoliating treatment, and I know every ingredient in this product does something special—GP hit it out of the park with this one, for sure!"

Shop the Faves:

Goop GoopGlow Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator ($125)

Goop Glow Lotion ($58)

Victoria Beckham Beauty by Victoria Beckham

The buzz was high and mighty the instant Posh-obsessed masses (aka everyone?) found out the pop star and business mogul was extending her presence in the fashion world to beauty. Not surprisingly, she totally killed it with her namesake collection Victoria Beckham Beauty, and her stunningly packaged makeup and skincare products—the latter being a cult-beloved collab with Augustinus Bader—has become one of the chicest, most highly praised beauty brands on the market.

"I love Victoria Beckham's beauty line," Brager adds. "For me, it’s her clean lipsticks, especially. They feel like velvet—not too matte and not too shiny. (I switch between the shades Girl and Pose.) They stay put, which is exactly what I’d expect from Victoria Beckham, a woman who owns the stage and the boardroom!"

Shop the Faves:

Victoria Beckham Beauty Posh Lipstick in Girl ($38)

Victoria Beckham Beauty Lid Lustre in Mink ($36)

MyKind Organics by Alicia Silverstone

Even though most of us can’t think of Alicia Silverstone without instantly celebrating her iconic portrayal of Cher Horowitz in the 1995 blockbuster Clueless, the actor has proven she also has what it takes to makes waves in the wellness world as an entrepreneur. A sub-brand under the Garden of Life umbrella, MyKind Organics is a plant-forward collab with Silverstone that represents the first certified USDA Organic, non-GMO project verified, certified vegan, and certified gluten-free supplement. Think trustworthy formulas that utilize real food sans added sugars, artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, and any other type of icky addition.

"I recently worked with Alicia Silverstone and was blown away by all the passion, knowledge, and work she’s put into her collaboration with Mykind Organics and Garden of Life vitamins," Brager shares. "I recommend biotin, in particular, all of the time and take it myself! Plus, if you’re like me, you’ll feel good knowing it’s backed and clean!"

Shop the Faves:

Garden of Life MyKind Organics Apple Cider Vinegar Diet Gummies ($20)

Garden of Life MyKind Organics Once Daily B Complex ($21)

The Editor Favorites

Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez

Born in 2020, Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez is one of the newer brands on the celebrity beauty circuit, which meant that it was met with more pre-launch skepticism than, say, a brand might have encountered even just a few years ago. That said, despite entering an ultra-saturated market, Gomez's makeup offerings proved many suspect shoppers wrong (including me!) by debuting an onslaught of products that are pretty damn fantastic. I could quite literally use her line, and her line alone, for the rest of my life and feel 100% satisfied. Plus, if you need further evidence, plenty of said products have also gone viral on TikTok.

Shop the Faves:

Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in Happy ($20)

Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlight in Flaunt ($22)

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

Does Fenty Beauty, and the brand's most recent extension, Fenty Skin, even need an introduction? Leave it to Rihanna to create one of the most in-demand and deeply beloved beauty brands in the mix right now. I don't know a single editor who doesn't obsess over the brand's addictive makeup formulas, and in light of the star's recent foray into the skincare category, I can also attest that each of the lush products lives up to the buttered-up hype. According to the brand's website, Rihanna ventured into the beauty industry to increase the inclusivity and representation of everyone, and the impressive array of shades she debuted spurred countless other brands to reassess and expand upon their own dismal selections.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Gloss Bomb Heat Universal Lip Luminizer + Plumper in Hot Cherry ($22)

Fenty Skin Butta Drop Whipped Oil Body Cream ($39)

About-Face by Halsey

About-Face is the newest celeb-founded brand on our list (2021), but that hasn't stopped Halsey's line from gaining tons of buzz and deserved praise ever since. Touted as "multidimensional makeup," the unprescribed aesthetic is dreamy, whimsical, and without boundaries. Plus, you can apply and rest easy knowing the products will stay put all day or night and are also vegan, cruelty-free, clean, non-irritating, and hypoallergenic. "Inspired by and for our diverse and artistic community, we create makeup made with integrity and intention, for all stages of life," the brand notes on its website. "We are built on the truth that no one is just one thing—humans are weird, complex, and entirely beautiful because of it."

Shop the Faves:

About-Face Daytripper Light Lock Lip Gloss in It's Not You, It's Me ($20)

About-Face Summer Light Lock Stick in Broken Beams ($25)

Kora Organics by Miranda Kerr

Many people might be surprised to be reminded that Australian-born model Miranda Kerr is another celebrity who was, in a way, before her time in creating a clean and organic beauty company. Kora Organics has been around since 2009, but that hasn't stopped Kerr from continuing to grow her business, launching green hit after green hit of beautiful skincare fodder over a decade later. The sparkling collection of products is centered around the use of targeted, active ingredients, hand-picked due to their natural healing and protective powers—think beautiful things like noni extract, rose-hip oil, sea buckthorn oil, and green tea, just to whet your appetite.

Shop the Faves:

Kora Organics Turmeric BHA Brightening Treatment Mask ($48)

Kora Organics Minty Mineral Hydration Mist ($40)

Henry Rose by Michelle Pfeiffer

What celebrity doesn't have their own perfume? No shade, but the fragrance industry is notoriously saturated with celebrity names even though most celeb-fronted scents don't offer a personal look into said celebrity. However, Henry Rose from Michelle Pfeiffer has differentiated itself as one of the very few exceptions. Unlike most other perfume brands, what sets Henry Rose apart from the pack is its unfaltering transparency and commitment to using clean and safe ingredients. In other words, 100% of the ingredients are shared, and they 100% won't alarm you since each addictive fragrance is free of every substance on the Environmental Working Group's unacceptable ingredient list. Consider yourself warned: The hardest part will be simply choosing one.

Shop the Faves:

Henry Rose Jake's House Eau de Parfum ($120)

Henry Rose Queens & Monsters Body Cream ($65)

Elaluz by Camila Coelho

Camila Coelho's new beauty line, Elaluz, might not be as well-known as others on our list, but it just so happens to be one of my all-time favorites. (Try the Dry Texture Finishing Spray below, and you'll understand everything.) The offerings are affordable, and the brand focuses on inclusivity, sustainability, and transparency. Plus, because it's the little things that make life all the sweeter, the line smells good too, with intoxicating notes inspired by Brazil threaded throughout the product selection.

Shop the Faves:

Elaluz Dry Texture Finishing Spray ($36)

Elaluz 24K Eye Treatment ($39)

Keys Soulcare by Alicia Keys

Co-created by singing legend Alicia Keys, Keys Soulcare burst onto the scene late in 2020, and I have to say, it hasn't disappointed on the satisfaction front. "Inspired by [Alicia's] own skincare journey and love of ancient beauty rituals, Keys Soulcare goes beyond skincare to truly care for the whole self—body, mind, and spirit," the brand explains. One part wellness, one part beauty, it features dermatologist-developed clean skincare formulas that are designed to not only drench your complexion with nourishing ingredients but to feed a lust for self-care and soul nourishment as well (just as the name would suggest).

Shop the Faves:

Keys Soulcare Be Luminous Exfoliator ($22)

Keys Soulcare Sage + Oat Milk Candle ($38)

Up next, Brad Pitt's Stylist Is Known as the French Hair Whisperer—Here Are Her Secrets

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

Read More from Who What Wear