Jennifer Aniston is to launch her own beauty brand, LolaVie, on Wednesday. But can the star of Friends and The Morning Show make it in the ever more crowded celebrity beauty space?
The competition is fierce, with Ariana Grande, Hailey Bieber, Kim Kardashian and Harry Styles all rumoured to be following Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Kylie Jenner and Alicia Keys into the skincare market.
Initially at least, fans buy into the celebrity brand as much as the products themselves. “Fans of Hailey Bieber, who’s in her early 20s herself, care more about buying into Hailey and her ‘cool girl’ status than product efficacy,” says Allison McNamara, founder of beauty company Mara.
But that doesn’t make for a solid long-term strategy. The road to Goop levels of success isn’t always obvious. “Celeb endorsements are a dime a dozen: you can’t build a brand off of that,” says Jill Manoff, editor-in-chief of beauty website Glossy. “Aniston’s biggest challenge will be credibility. She has access to the greatest dermatologists, cosmetic physicians. Her skin is not the result of some over-the-counter products.” Manoff says Aniston would benefit from linking up with a dermatologist. “Selling herself as the expert would be a challenge.”
Credibility in the beauty world comes from independent (often called “honest”) product reviews online and social media engagement, says Manoff, and celebrities need to ensure they are establishing fans of the brand rather than fans of themselves.
Aniston’s fanbase, says McNamara, “is older than Bieber’s, which makes it even more challenging because her products need to work. Women in their 40s know good skincare and know when it’s working (and when it isn’t).” She says they are looking for “products that visibly improve skin concerns such as wrinkles, sagging and ageing”.
There is one thing Aniston has got right even before launch, however. “Brands that don’t name themselves after the celebrity have more staying power,” McNamara says. The challenge will be making LolaVie known separately from Aniston’s celebrity. “In terms of longevity, only time will tell.”