The last six months have seen an influx of the new and rare Selena Gomez. Her latest album dropped to much critical acclaim and reached number 1 on the Billboards charts.
But Sel isn’t stopping there. This week, she announced her brand new line of cosmetics, exclusive to Sephora. It’s named after her latest album, and its title track Rare. Due for release in mid-2020, the brand has already started its marketing.
Celebrities using their name for cosmetics is not new, it’s a tried and tested strategy that capitalises on fan bases and already established images. Kylie Jenner and Rihanna currently lead with celebrity cosmetic success. Rihanna’s brand Fenty Beauty promotes accessibility, boasting more than forty foundation colours for all skin types. The Jenner-Kardashian culture of social media and popular culture is likely the success and power of Kylie Cosmetics. This leaves Gomez with a challenge of ensuring her own brand has another marketing point.
It seems that Sel’s Rare Beauty is an attempt to celebrate individuality, which is likely to boost its morale and entice young audiences. In a recent Instagram video, she told us “Being rare is about being comfortable with yourself. I’ve stopped trying to be perfect. I just want to be me.” The remark “I want us all to stop comparing ourselves to each other and just embrace our uniqueness” has become the backbone of its image and is definitely a viable marketing ploy.
With most celebrity beauty companies however, limited selections for foundation colours are an issue. When Kylie Cosmetics released its first round of make-up it was widely critiqued for not catering for a variety of skin types, mostly the standard white shades. In its next release, more colours were added, but only as a result of audience backlash. If Gomez is touting a brand that supposedly embraces individuality, but fails to cater for a range of skin colours, then Rare Beauty will also face audience disapproval and disappointment.
The idea of a beauty company that centres not on “how others see you” but “how you see yourself” is a really powerful marketing strategy, especially in today’s social media era. The quote on their Instagram page “you are not defined by a photo, a like, or a comment” refreshingly changes the discussion about make up not being a tool for public approval, but a tool for self-expression. Sel’s branding could easily win a healthy, vibrant audience and as the line is dropped, it will be interesting to see just how inclusive the range is.
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