Not so long ago, almost every A-lister had a perfume to peddle. But with fragrance sales taking a hit during the shutdowns, there’s a new celebrity project in town: skincare lines. And famous faces on both sides of the pond are enjoying it.
Kim Kardashian and model Hailey Bieber have launched their own lines in recent months. Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Skin, actress Jessica Alba’s Honest Beauty and singer Rihanna’s Fenty Skin are already an integral part of Boots.
This month came the big bucks: Cosmoss by Kate Moss, a ‘curated collection’ of the model’s self-care ‘rituals’, which includes face cream, cleanser, face oil, fragrance mist and tea bags. These “uplifting and inspiring” products are top of the line – with prices to match.
The same week, Kate’s best friend, fashion designer Stella McCartney, also announced a new skincare line.
Kate Moss attends the first exclusive event for her new beauty and wellness brand Cosmos by Kate Moss at Harrods
Stella by Stella McCartney is vegan, sustainably made and expensive.
All of this begs the question: during a cost-of-living crisis, is celebrity skincare really worth splurging on? We put A-list brands to the test…
SELF-CARE TRAIT AT SUPERMODEL PRICES
Cosmos by Kate Moss (from £20, cosmossbykatemoss.com)
Cosmos by Kate Moss (from £20, cosmossbykatemoss.com). This range prides itself on being “skincare simple” with six products forming a dawn-to-dusk wellness routine
Range: This range prides itself on being ‘skincare simple’ with six products forming a dawn-to-dusk wellness routine – energizing Dawn Tea (£20 for 20 teabags), Sacred Mist (£120 ), calming Dusk Tea (£20), Golden Nectar CBD & Pro-Collagen Oil (£105), face cream (£95) and face wash (£52).
Identifiers: The key ingredients are CBD (cannabidiol) in the oil for balance, while the cream and cleanser contain bakuchiol (a retinol-like plant extract) for rejuvenation and an Icelandic mousse which, according to the packaging , is an “effective anti-aging moisturizer”. which can “rejuvenate the skin by 20 years in our weeks”.
Products: Tried the Dawn tea – an energetic but rather sour start to the day with tart hibiscus and rosemary.
I got along best with the makeup remover, a recyclable tube of thick, nourishing rosehip-scented cream that’s surprisingly effective at removing eye makeup.
The collection is reminiscent of taking care of yourself in small touches, with sensory treats and proven natural ingredients, but the prices seem quite high.
Verdict: Beautifully crazy.
STELLA’S CLEAN, GREEN AND LEAN DIET
Stella by Stella McCartney (from £38, stellamccartneybeauty.com)
Stella By Stella McCartney (from £38, stellamccartneybeauty.com). Natural, responsibly sourced ingredients come in reusable recycled glass jars with refill pouches inside.
Range: It contains only three products: a serum, a cleanser and a moisturizer. Responsibly sourced natural ingredients are presented in reusable recycled glass jars with refill pouches inside.
Identifiers: The fragrance for the range – a blend of clove, pine and eucalyptus leaves – was created by cult nose Francis Kurkdjian. The focus is on rebalancing the skin rather than eliminating wrinkles. But you can layer your favorite exfoliants and retinols into this clean regimen of concentrated products and take it a step further.
Products: The Alter-Care Serum, £110 (£90 for a refill), is a standout; a moisturizing milky lotion that you apply to your face, neck and around your eyes, alone or under a moisturizer. It comes in a 50ml container, which seems like a better investment than the standard 30ml jars.
Verdict: For clean queens with deep pockets.
SHARING LOVE: THE COUPLES RANGE
S’Able Labs (from £28, uk.sablelabs.co)
Range: From actor Idris Elba and his actress-model wife Sabrina comes this genderless skincare range modeled by couples including the Elbas (S’Able, if you hadn’t guessed it, is the upside of Elba) . There are three products: a serum/toner hybrid, a moisturizer, and an exfoliating cleanser to brighten and fight pigmentation.
Identifiers: The range is full of proven actives, such as Tranexamic Acid to reduce hyperpigmentation, Niacinamide which strengthens the skin barrier and the powerful antioxidant and brightening combination of Vitamin C and Ferulic Acid.
Products: All are impressive, hardworking and decent value, especially the Qasil cleanser, £28, which left my skin looking shiny and plump and smelling wonderfully earthy.
Verdict: Sharing is caring – simple and effective.
NATURAL PRODUCTS ON A BUDGET
Honest beauty (from £16, boots.com)
Range: Actress Jessica Alba’s skincare line is part of her global mega-brand Honest and features everything from retinol and eye creams to vitamin C serums and clay masks. most under £30.
Identifiers: The products are gentle effective and free from a “no” list of so-called “controversial” ingredients, such as parabens and mineral oil.
Products: The Hydrogel Cream (£25) is one of my favourites, a day or night formula that starts out as a rich cream but magically turns watery when you rub it in, adding deep hydration without feeling greasy. It is appreciated by beauty editors for its excellent ability to quench the skin.
Verdict: The beauty that makes money.
POSH AWESOME PLUMPING BASE
Victoria Beckham by Augustinus Bader (from £58, victoriabeckhambeauty.com)
Victoria Beckham by Augustinus Bader (from £58, victoriabeckhambeauty.com). There are two skincare products in the range
Range: There are two skincare products: Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer, which starts at £58 for a 15ml bottle, and Cell Rejuvenating Power Serum, £105 for 15ml.
Identifiers: Victoria pulled off a coup by teaming up with stem cell expert Professor Augustinus Bader. Its patented skin regenerator Trigger Factor Complex (TFC8) has earned it worldwide fame. It’s in both products.
Products: I tried the gold version of the moisturizer, which gives the skin a tanned complexion and contains papaya enzymes for brightening, as well as plumping and firming ingredients.
As a primer, it gives your makeup “stickiness” and the bronze pigments revived my mature skin. Pound for pound it’s “cheaper” than Bader’s – her cream costs £215 for 50ml, while Posh’s moisturizer is “only” £140 for 50ml.
Verdict: Awesome and good under makeup.
SIMPLE SERUMS FOR ALL AGES
Rose Inc by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (from £24.50, spacenk.com)
Rose Inc by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (from £24.50, spacenk.com). Simple skincare collection includes two face serums, eye cream, moisturizer, cleanser and toner
Range: Model Rosie’s simple skin care collection includes two face serums, an eye cream, a moisturizing gel, a cleanser and a toner.
Identifiers: The products aren’t packed with active ingredients – apart from the Skin Resolution Clarifying Toner (£24.50), which contains salicylic acid to unclog pores and niacinamide to minimize oiliness and redness.
Products: It is a light treatment for all ages. My teenage daughter, who is prone to spots like Rosie, loved the moisturizing gel. My drier skin preferred Radiant Reveal Brightening Serum. At £53 it’s the most expensive item, but the minerals gave my dull complexion an instant glow.
Verdict: Balancing and giving shine.