Celebrity beauty products are on the rise, with Jennifer Lopez and Selena Gomez being some of the latest celebs to jump on the bandwagon, which has proven to be a lucrative business to most. Out of all the famous faces who’ve launched their own cosmetics line, Kylie Jenner and Rihanna arguably have two of the most popular companies on the market right now.
The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star branched out and launched Kylie Cosmetics back in 2015, and while she initially only sold lip kits to her devoted army of fans, the mother of one has since branched out and launched countless cosmetic products including eye shadow palettes, highlighters, glosses, to name a few.
Rihanna, though she launched her Fenty Beauty brand in 2017, critics praised the “Umbrella” hitmaker for her broad inclusivity across skin tones and gender, which attracted a hefty amount of consumers to push her annual sales to $570 million in 2018 alone.
Whose Cosmetics Brand Is Bigger: Kylie Jenner or Rihanna?
Kylie had a two-year head start with her Kylie Cosmetics firm, which launched in 2015 and began selling liquid lipsticks and lip liner sets for as much as $30, which is quite a competitive price considering the 23-year-old had just launched the business.
But her huge social media following appeared to have been what made the business a success right from the start. By the end of 2016, it was reported that Kylie Cosmetics had earned a whopping $300 million before it was valued at $800 million by Forbes back in 2018.
The makeup line was inspired by Kylie’s own insecurities with her lips in her teenage years — and what initially started out as a passion project has turned the TV personality into one of the richest young celebs in Hollywood, with a $900 million net worth.
“It’s the most authentic thing I’ve done in my career, and it really relates to me, and I feel like people can tell that I’m super passionate about it,” she told Teen Vogue in 2018.
“It came from an insecurity and I turned it into something. I was insecure about my lips, and lipstick is what helped me feel confident. And I feel like people could see that it’s authentic to me, and it was organic, and it just worked!”
What’s also worked in Kylie’s favor is the endless collaborations she has done with her friends and family members, such as the Kylie x Kendall collection which was launched on Kylie Cosmetics over the summer of 2020.
Along with heavy promotional campaigns on their social media platforms, where Kylie alone boasts almost 220 million followers, each and every collection she has launched so far have sold out within minutes.
In the past, Kylie has also teamed up with the likes of her mother Kris Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, her former BFF Jordyn Woods, and her daughter Stormi for individual collaborations, which have been just as successful.
Rihanna, on the other hand, opened Fenty Beauty’s doors back in September 2017 and had one of the most promising starts of any cosmetics brand in history, with sales reaching almost $600 million in the first year.
People of color, in particular, called Fenty Beauty their go-to company for all things concerning makeup due to the fact that Rihanna’s company was one of the first brands to offer inclusivity by providing original foundation with over 40 different shades.
Fenty Beauty is partially owned by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey (LVMH) — the whole operation has skyrocketed to a value of $3 billion, but since Rihanna only has a 15% share in her own company, not all of the money made through Fenty Beauty goes to her pockets. She only gets a piece of the earnings.
Speaking about her desire to one day have her own makeup line, Rihanna told InStyle back in 2017: “You have all these ideas of things you want for yourself, and for me, beauty was a natural fit because makeup is such a huge part of my career and image. I wanted to do a line for years, but it needed to be credible, something that industry pros and girls around the world would respect.”
“I wanted everyone to feel included. We actually started with foundation because it’s the very first makeup product I fell in love with.”
Both Rihanna and Kylie have since gone on and launched their own skincare brands — Kylie Skin and Fenty Skin, respectively. Given that RiRi only has a small stake in her company, this would evidently make Kylie not only the richer but more successful cosmetics entrepreneur.
In 2019, Travis Scott’s ex-girlfriend sold a 51 percent stake of her company to Coty for $600 million, leaving her with 49 percent, which is still higher than Rihanna’s.