Sunday, November 7th, 2010

How do you feel about private label cosmetics/makeup? (Private label traditionally means that someone, say Celeb A, chooses to create their own makeup line, and they select products and shades out of a third party’s catalog, and then the third party will put their logo on it.)

Temptalia's AnswerI don’t really like it.  I like the idea of someone being in the trenches, at least creatively, to develop the texture/product they want as well as the colors.

Today’s question is inspired by Beaut.ie posing the same one — I was curious about how Temptalia readers feel on the issue.

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45 thoughts on “How do you feel about private label cosmetics/makeup?

  1. j

    what? thats, yuck!

    what are some private label cosmetics/make up brands?

  2. I’m not really a fan of it, because someone’s putting their name on someone else’s hard work. If you put your name on something, you need to have developed it.

  3. I agree. Once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. Just with different names.

  4. Christian

    What are some examples of private label cosmetics companies?

    • Svetlana

      The one example that I know of is Queen on Blending on youtube (a makeup guru). She uses “her” Queen of Blending e/s in almost every look along with e/s’s from other brands

  5. VivaGlamVI

    I think as long as the products are of a good quality and of a reasonable price then its something that I think we can all appreciate!! =D

  6. Rosanna

    I don’t like it either. I find it dishonest. Someone should be there, at least looking over the processes of developing the products and colours. I don’t expect everyone who wants to start their own line to be a chemist.

    A very similar example that comes to mind is when celebrities develop fashion lines. Like honestly? They are not REAL fashion designers, they have some creative say but they can’t actually sew or draw complete designs.

    I view fashion and makeup as art, and as an artist, I find it extremely distasteful to use someones ideas and products and slap your name on it, even if it is consensual because it takes away of the meaning of being an artist – expressing originality through yourself. Otherwise, it’s just about money.

  7. Tania

    What a good discussion topic.
    My first impression is to shudder and say I hate it, but upon further consideration I can’t see it as bad unless the cosmetic brand is selling it as if they personally were involved in the development process from beginning to end (falsely advertising).
    Otherwise I think that branding is a huge part of retail and cosmetics. Building an image and designing appealing packaging takes time, creativity, and money so to a degree they are entitled to marking their own prices for the same product. It’s up to us as consumers to decide how we value these products and whether we are willing to pay for them (no one is forcing us!).
    Now if you buy the same product from a more expensive brand and decide you like it more than it’s cheaper (but duplicate) alternative, that just reflects on how fickle we are as consumers and how we may not always base our taste on actual product quality but what we perceive that quality to be.
    Generally, I think this should just encourage us to educate really ourselves about what we buy.

  8. Tania

    What a good discussion topic.
    My first impression is to shudder and say I hate it, but upon further consideration I can’t see it as bad unless the cosmetic brand is selling it as if they personally were involved in the development process from beginning to end (falsely advertising).
    Otherwise I think that branding is a huge part of retail and cosmetics. Building an image and designing appealing packaging takes time, creativity, and money so to a degree they are entitled to marking their own prices for the same product. It’s up to us as consumers to decide how we value these products and whether we are willing to pay for them (no one is forcing us!).
    Now if you buy the same product from a more expensive brand and decide you like it more than it’s cheaper (but duplicate) alternative, that just reflects on how fickle we are as consumers and how we may not always base our taste on actual product quality but what we perceive that quality to be.
    Generally, I think this should just encourage us to really educate ourselves about what we buy.

  9. Mai

    I’m okay with it as long as they make the rest of the cosmetics or if it’s like the starting point of the business. I hate it if it’s all they sell.

    Business should be about being innovative and doing something no one else has done or improving on something someone else has done. What’s the point in slapping a sticker on something when I could easily get it from hundreds of other people?

  10. But isn’t it an issue of many many brands? Not only celebs? I suppose lot of smaller and quite affordable products are not made by the brands themselves. As far as I know all German drugstore brands are made by private label system. It might be a difference, because they select which product shall come from which factory and the celeb collections might be limited to one.

    For example the STARS MAKEUP HAVEN – COASTAL SCENTS shadows are not made by them or Medusa / B*tchslap / Manic Panic – it’s all the same.

  11. Bravo, only if it’s my own line.

  12. nyxmoxie

    I’m not really surprised. I’ve read in other places that most of the celebrities will team up with certain companies and have other people ghost write books, design perfumes, design handbags, fashion lines, etc. without any input from the celebrities themselves except the celebrities names.

    Celebrities don’t talk about this but IF its true then I don’t think this makes them bad people, they and the companies involved both benefit from this business, but that’s why I don’t usually buy from celebrity lines. I don’t think this makes celebrities & the companies unethical. Clearly this is a business decision.

    However I appreciate artists (famous and non-famous) who are creative and involved in their work. I appreciate writers who write their own books, designers who make their own sketches and design their clothes (they don’t have to sew it, but at least sketch and design). I usually like to support artists who are involved in their own creative work.

    Is buying Heidi Klum’s makeup line any different from buying Cover Girl makeup? Probably not, they’re both huge companies and they both care about money. Either way you’re buying a brand name product from a corporation. I think if people want to buy from their lines that’s fine, but I’m not going to buy something just because it belongs to a celebrity brand.

    I have to like the product, its all about the product and how its going to benefit me. When I was working in retail, I worked the cosmetic counter and we had a sample of Britney Spears’s perfumes, I tried one of the sample bottles and I didn’t like it.

    I tried a Paris Hilton perfume and it actually smelled good but I didn’t buy it. I do wish celebrities were more involved with the creative end of their products, and I do appreciate the artists who are involved creatively with their lines, but at the same time no I don’t think celebrities are bad for attaching their names to company products.

    Bottom line I will only buy a product if I like it no matter who makes it.

  13. nyxmoxie

    I forgot to mention, the reason I didn’t buy a bottle of Paris Hilton’s perfume is at the time I had debt and was paying it off so I didn’t have the money to buy her perfume even though I loved it. I’m debt free these days and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy her perfume but I mostly prefer to wear Amazing Grace by Sephora.

  14. theetrilobite

    i totally agree with you. similarly, i don’t normally wear a lot of celebrity lines period. usually it seems more to me like a side project or just another way to make money. i want to buy make up from a technician.

  15. I don’t really care for it—it feels a little bit deceptive, since no one would actually BUY it if Celeb A actually said “I took the easy way out on this. I didn’t design any of these, but they’re all colors I like and would wear myself”. I mean, I’d appreciate the honesty, but I don’t think most people would want to spend money on it after that. Regardless of the quality of the generic product, most people want to believe that they are getting something unique, for their money.

    That said, I don’t care for the celebrity obsession in general, so I don’t particularly find a level of appeal in wanting to buy the various merchandising things that have taken off as ways for celebrities to expand their name recognition. For the most part, I find celebrity fragrances, makeup lines, fashion collections to be bland.

  16. monika-luiza

    not my cup of tea! As most of the times the cosmetics can’t comped with the brands I normally use. with privat label cosmetics i mean the things like the 88 palettes.

    if you really want cosmetics with your name on it, then work for it like the girl from suggarpill

  17. Mspinkgrl

    Absolutely not like. Makeup is a form of artistry whether your walking a runway, dressing up for haloween or wearing neutrals at a bank job. Private labels do not respect this and their products always reflect it. It’s like putting a picture up on the feature wall in your house. First it doesn’t look anything like the real thing, disrespecting the great artist that created it (a poor replica print). Why would we treat our faces the same way. Our most precious canvas.

  18. grace

    If I were given the opportunity to create a line, I would want to completely customize it. Its misleading when celebs put their name to something not 100% theirs. I understand they may not have the time to completely immerse themselves in the products, but its about honesty.

  19. Jayna

    It does nothing for me! I have no LOVE for some Celeb picking out stuff from a catalog, sticking their logo on it and making a buck off it.. what’s the point? I guess I am not star struck enough to get sucked in marketing. I also do not really care if they do work in the trenches on a prouct line, because I know they do not really know anything about product technology, once again their name is helping to sell something, just not important to me. I would rather leave the dollars in my pocket than paying the celeb!

  20. Avatar of Lauren Lauren

    If all they’re doing is monopolizing on their name, then that’s just crap. It’s most likely something obvious that I would just pass up. In your opinion, do you think the Josie Maran cosmetics are an example of this? I’ve been eyeballing some of the products. She seems to be hands on, but who knows, right?

  21. I don’t like the idea because it’s not really original. That’s why I refuse to buy those 88 palettes or whatever. When you think about it, you and I can sell private label cosmetics, only you sell for a good price and mine are through the roof — yet, they’re the SAME thing.

  22. The only note-worthy brand that I can think of is Kat Von D since I believe Sephora brand makes it, if I’m not mistaken.. But even her products are made differently from Sephora brand so it is very worth it. When it cones to indie brands private labeling though, I lose all interest especially when there are so many people making all their own cosmetics by hand, are better quality and are more affordable.

  23. I don’t like the idea. If the same exact products are available from a wholesaler, and the person slapping their name on the products isn’t doing anything to change the wholesale products, then what is the point?
    It seems to be more about ego- about someone wanting their own makeup line- than it is about the products. I’m hesitant to buy any celebrity makeup product for that reason. The packaging might be nice, but I’m always skeptical when it comes to makeup lines created around people who have nothing to do with makeup. That’s pretty much the reason I’ve resisted the urge to buy any Kat Von D, Tokidoki, or Tara Tarantino makeup products. It seems like you are paying for the name and the packaging only.

    • Avatar of Ana Ana G.

      It’s the same with me. I don’t think I ever bought any of these celeb products…and for no special reason but they just don’t appeal to me.

  24. Joy

    Considering that a handful of companies [l'Oreal, Proctor & Gamble, Estee Lauder] own most of the lines, it’s probably a moot point.

  25. JD

    While I don’t like the principle, I’ve probably bought quite a few things that fall under that category without knowing it. That being said, the only thing I can think of that I bought was Jessica Simpson’s Fancy perfume, but only because Betsey Johnson’s been discontinued and it’s the closest scent I can find. (PS if anybody knows another good dupe for Betsey Johnson perfume, please let me know!)

  26. Katie

    The prevalence of private label cosmetics is what makes me a bit wary to buy from small-time makeup retailers on the internet. I don’t want to spend $10 on an eyeshadow that I can buy for $2 somewhere else minus the branding/packaging.

  27. Reme

    This is a total turn-off for me and I wish brands were forced to clearly label where a generic product has simply been repackaged. It seems to be happening a lot lately with make-up products made in German factories. I’m definitely more product-driven in my purchases however and don’t simply go for brand names (celebrity or otherwise). If a product has received great reviews (by you wonderful beauty bloggers!), has appealing packaging and is something I’ll use, well then I’ll buy!

    P.S. I love how you read beaut.ie Christine, it’s a fantastic site but our Irish slang and humour must confuse you at times haha!

    • LOL! Yes, I will say that Irish slang always confuses me – but in a good way. ;) I learn something new that way! Beaut.ie has been a long time favorite for me.

  28. Vanessa

    Ugh this situation irritates me and i’ll tell you why… prime example coastal scents and mannly 120… depending on which “company” is selling the 120 you can buy it for $0.01 or for $70.00… does this make sense? I have a friend she paid $75.00 for a mannly palette with a fake MAC sticker on it, i paid one cent plus shipping for my 120 i think those things are so unfair. I think people like that cheat innocent consumers. also coastal scents, i was all for them until i realized i could buy the same exact 28 color palette for um $19.00 less… made me very upset. Good thing i bought the 28 palette through the distibutor and saved money.

    Where did the creativity go? These people reselling items as their own are just benefiting off of the actual designers and people who really deserve the credit. I frown upon this.

  29. Carrie Ann

    I think that if a celebrity is going to put her name on a product, she should have some part in the creation of the product. I wouldn’t want to put my name on something unless I was involved in every step. It’s like celebrity endorsements. They shouldn’t endorse a product unless it’s something they really do use and like.

  30. Linnea

    Totally agree Christine, I definitely want someone to get in the trenches and make it their own collection. I want it to be a reflection of that celeb’s personality. That being said, I will never buy something because its associated with a celebrity, even my favourite celeb. I will only buy something if I generally like it. :)

  31. This is a great topic!

    I think that customers out there are savvy enough to know what they are buying into so I don’t have a problem with private labelled cosmetics. The successful products that get noteworthy recognition are those where a lot of time and effort has gone in their development, not the private label ones.

    Regarding celebrity endorsed products, what is the difference between Kat Von D’s team coming up with a new line of cosmetics and Lancome’s team doing the same for example? With both cosmetic companies you are buying into their name and branding. In fact, I bet Kat Von D has had more input into what comes out of her collection than the CEO of one of the big brands! As long as I like the product and its of good quality, then I’m happy.

    I think that everyone has had a valid point on this topic, it just depends what angle you decide to look at it.

  32. queenfrostine

    I don’t like it at all, and not just for the reasons most other people have mentioned (that it’s lame to put your name on something you had no part in developing). I really don’t like it because 90% the products are crap. Teaming up with a celebrity saves companies the effort of having to build a customer base on their own merit because (at least in theory) that celebrity brings an audience with her. That kind of marketing attitude isn’t often paired with the pursuit of excellence you know? Plus, I’ve never been a fan of celebrity marketing. I don’t know that there’s a celebrity out there whose endorsement alone could get me to buy a product. If I wouldn’t turn to a makeup artist for great music, why would I turn to a musician (or model/celebutante/actress) for cosmetics?

  33. Avatar of Marianne Mar

    It depends on the quality of the product.
    If the product is good and it adds something to my stash, it doesn’t matter whose name is on it. Sure… If it’s a person that doesn’t match my style or taste in the first place (like Britney or Paris), I’m less motivated to have a look at their products. But if it’s someone who inspires me, someone I admire or simply someone whose style I really like I’d give it a go and have a look.

    I like Kat von D’s style, makeup- and hair wise. I like her line because it has a range of edgy colors and the packaging is beautiful. But then again, if the product looks pretty but it’s crap I won’t be buying it anyway. And with the right products, it’s easy to see if a celeb just gave her/his name to the product or he/she was really involved in creating it.

  34. Carissa

    News flash everyone- this happens with MANY high end cosmetic companies, not just bottom of the barrel companies like Coastal Scents, etc. If you’ve ever been to an esthetics trade show, you will see products from MAC, Estee Lauder, Givenchy, Sigma, Clinique, etc all distributed and created by private label makeup companies. It’s actually quite shocking to recognize some products you really love with no label on them whatsoever, and finding out that they are actually being made by private label brands. Usually most of these companies are Asian. I remember going to my first trade show and seeing those rare MAC limited edition lipglosses- the ones with the holographic gradient of colors in the rectangular shaped tubes? (I forgot the name). It’s the same thing with brushes. For example, Crown Brush is the main distributor for Coastal Scents and (some) Sigma brushes. Even brushes like those from higher end companies like Clinique, Dior, Estee Lauder etc. can be seen at these packaging and labeling trade shows. Can you imagine that some of your most prized and expensive brushes and cosmetics can actually be purchased at much less than half the cost if you know where to find them? It’s a tricky, sneaky world out there. Of course these companies will never actually tell you what brands they distribute to and vice versa, because that would ruin the entire point of private label cosmetic companies. All I can say is just do your research, and never base a products quality on the name on the packaging.