Skin Deep: Celebrity Skin Care Lines 101

When it comes to celebrity-endorsed products, you can’t help but wonder how legit any of their claims are. Could Katy Perry really be using Covergirl mascara every day in real life, and how often has Sarah Jessica-Parker been leaning over her bathtub rinsing out her Garnier Nutrisse hair dye? Many of us, as consumers, go ahead and take our chances and try a new product if we like the celebrity promoting it. Chances are, however, we’ve probably all learned by now that there’s not always the promised results behind the glowing reviews.

The beauty industry is especially guilty of this marketing tactic, and who can really blame them? How many times have we admired Blake Lively’s hair and wished we knew her inside secret, or been fascinated with the porcelain perfection of Nicole Kidman’s complexion? When these women put their flawless face on a product and claim it really worked for them, it’s not surprising at all to see why these contracts sell products so easily.

A few smart celebrities seem to have caught on to this trend. Some of the most beautiful women in the world are taking a more entrepreneurial route, however, rather than simply collecting an easy paycheck from an already-existing skincare company, or signing a complicated contract. Self-produced celebrity cosmetic lines have been on the shelves more than ever lately, so we’ve researched which ones might actually work for you, and which ones you should avoid being fooled by this summer.

celebrity skin

Cindy Crawford’s relationship to beauty needs no explanation. In 2005 the retired supermodel teamed up with Dr. Sebagh, a French skincare specialist, and formulated her skincare line, Meaningful Beauty. This extremely affordable line of anti-aging products is based around a self-described “Youth Molecule” that Sebagh discovered (named Superoxide Dismutase) that they draw out from what the website vaguely refers to as “a rare melon.

Sebagh tells customers, “It’s been a very difficult process to extract the enzyme from this melon, and we’ve been the first ones to use this melon extract in a very high concentration, which is exclusive to Meaningful Beauty.

The line operates similar to the way Proactiv does; customers are shipped 3-month supplies of five to seven products ranging from cleansers and sunscreens to décolleté treatments. There are promo codes and special offers and even a 60-day money back guarantee, which is comforting, given the highly-mixed reviews from customers who ordered Meaningful Beauty through Amazon. While Crawford says she’s used this anti-aging melon extract for over 20 years, she’s admitted to using Botox and fillers to maintain her appearance, which seems just a little deceptive to us. We suggest you enter your credit card information at your own risk.

Another superstar who appears to be an exception to the inevitable effects of aging is Christie Brinkley, the brains and face behind Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare. Just the fact that she put “authentic” in the title suggests that she understands the consumer who has been duped by celebrity endorsements in the past.

Brinkley says on her website, “Authentic skincare is not just another celebrity endorsed skincare line; this is my own brand. I’m person- ally involved in every step of the process and I proudly stand behind every single product.”2 Christie currently offers eight products that are reasonably-priced at a range from $32.95 to $79.95 USD.

Unlike other independent ventures Salma Hayek chose to team up with CVS pharmacy in 2011 to create a line called Nuance Beauty. The diverse product line has been wildly popular with drugstore beauty shoppers and to the La Mer-loving woman, it almost seems too good to be true.

The products in Hayek’s line are of higher quality than their outdated Neutrogena drugstore counterparts that may have pushed you to try
a more expensive product in the first place. Some of her best selling products are a dark cacao and coffee “Firming Body Cream,” “AM/PM Anti-Aging Eye Serum,” and a “Blackcurrant Intense Hydration Hair Mask.” With names and ingredients like that, who wouldn’t want to try them out?

In contrast to partnerships celebrities form with already-existing cos- metics companies, Salma insists she’s taken a leading role in its creation from start to finish. She told USA Today, “I’ve been working on this for years. I burn my face, my eyes, trying this ****. I have very sensitive skin. The stuff is really, really, really good.”

How can you not love Salma’s sincerity and dedication to her product? With a wide variety of options (skin, body, hair, and makeup) and an insanely low price point ($2.99-$19.99), we’re ready to reconsider the notion that you always get what you pay for.

If any American star could release a trio of skincare products launched exclusively in Japan and be a success, it would be Madonna. Marketing Japan’s dual obsession with skincare and the original Material Girl, it’s no surprise that MDNA was a smart product to put into existence,released with an edgy and mysterious launch video featuring the one and only queen, of course.

Madonna and her team worked with Japan’s leading beauty company MTG to create three separate products to form a system that promises results. And no, they are not even close to your average cleanser/cream combo. The skin rejuvenator is actually an electronic device which uses magnetic force to draw out impurities while simultaneously using what they call “deep derma induction” to enhance beauty nutrients. You can own this experimental invention if you happen to be shopping in Japan for 58,000 yen, which is roughly $482 USD.

The kit comes with their second product, the “Chrome Clay Mask.” Made with clay found in an Italian spa town, Montecatini Terme, the mask promises “even textured, flawless and glowing skin,” according to the company. Sold separately is a serum which is made from vitamins, botanicals, and... you guessed it... the very essence of Madonna herself. Priceless, no?

If you shop at Sephora then you’ve probably seen or heard about the Argan Oil line, Josie Maran. What most people don’t know is that founder Maran was a former actress and model for companies such as Guess, Glamour, Sports Illustrated, and one-day competitor, Maybelline. While Maran doesn’t name names specifically, she says on her website, “I worked with some of the world’s best makeup artists. The more I learned about toxic chemicals in most cosmetics, the more I wondered: did beauty have to be bad for us?

In 2007 Maran made her curiosity a reality and her company was up and running. The company now offers a wide variety of products, always with a similar baseline: 100% organic fair trade Argan Oil as the main ingredient. From cleansers to lipsticks, her products are not made for those who typically opt for oil-free products. However, Maran insists that even those with oily or acne-prone skin will benefit from the effects of Argan Oil.
Celebrities make the best spokespeople for a ton of reasons, but in the beauty industry their looks play a huge role in just how persuasive they can be. With photo editing programs and cosmetic procedures available, it’s important not to take any claims too seriously or to project celebrities’ experiences onto yourself.

Regardless of who you are taking your beauty suggestions from, some- thing important to look at is the lifestyle of the person giving advice. Great skin reflects a healthy way of life and celebrities can’t afford to fall off their game. They have an advantage simply because they’ve had to pay close attention to their beauty routines their whole life. I hate to say most celebs are probably much more self-disciplined then we are… so let’s indulge ourselves and test their products out, but also follow their lead in working toward an increasingly healthy and balanced lifestyle.

STORY ALISON DUPRAS