Products: – Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter – Make Up For Ever ULTRA HD foundation, concealer, & loose powder, single eyeshadows – Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit, and gel eyeliner – MAC Cosmetics blush in Melba, highlight in Double Gleam, lipstick in Devoted to Chili, Clear Lip Glass, & Give Me Sun bronzer – Benefit Precisely My Brow pencil & Gimme Brow setting gel – Sigma brushes.
(Disclaimer: I do have Teanna’s consent to post the images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)
Whether they’re caused by allergies, a sleepless night, or even genetics, dealing with dark under-eye circles can be a daunting task. Many eye creams and serums can help diminish their appearance over time, but if you’re looking for a quick fix, you might want to layer a color corrector underneath your concealer. These innovative products use color theory to balance discoloration on your skin by canceling it out with the opposite shade on the color wheel.
From color-correcting palettes that allow you to blend multiple colors to brush-on options or a brightening color corrector that makes you look more awake, there’s tons of different types of color correctors available. With so many options, it can be difficult to discern what color corrector is the best for your skin tone and needs. That’s why we found the best color correctors for every skin tone and under-eye concern.
When looking at these products, we took into consideration their shades, formula, and lasting-power in order to make the best recommendations. One clear winner was the Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector for its wide range of shades and hydrating formula that lasts for hours.
These are the best color correctors for dark circles.
Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector
What We Love: It has tons of different shades and is budge-proof.
What We Don’t Love: The cream formula can be tough to blend.
This Bobbi Brown color corrector is a very popular option and for good reason. Not only is the cream corrector infused with moisturizing ingredients to keep your under-eye area looking smooth and hydrated, but it’s also waterproof, sweatproof, and humidity-resistant, so it will stay put all day. Plus, there are 12 shades to choose from, so you should be able to find an option that works for your skin tone. Each shade has a pink or peachy base, which is great for canceling out the bluish-purple tone of under-eye bags. You’ll look well-rested and youthful in mere seconds!
Price at time of publish:$34
Size: .05 fl oz | Number of Shades: 12 | Cruelty-Free: No
L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer
What We Love: It’s very creamy and makes the skin look even and smooth.
What We Don’t Love: The coverage is not very buildable.
Looking for a long-lasting color corrector that won’t break the bank? We suggest this L.A. Girl option. Along with a brush tip that makes application a breeze, the color corrector is specially formulated to provide natural-looking coverage for hours at a time. It comes in tons of different shades, ranging from purple and green to orange and yellow, so you can easily tackle whatever type of discoloration you’re dealing with. The texture is so creamy and easily blends into the skin. However, a little amount goes a long way as it is very pigmented. If you’re looking for extra coverage, pair it with the L.A Girl HD Pro Concealer.
Price at time of publish:$5
Size: .28 fl oz | Number of Shades: 10 | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Maybelline New York Cover Stick Concealer
What We Love: It’s hypoallergenic and easy to apply.
What We Don’t Love: We wish this product lasted longer on the skin.
This Maybelline corrector is another affordable find that’s incredibly popular. The dermatologist-tested product is hypoallergenic and specially formulated to not clog pores. It’s also waterproof, so it will stay put through workouts and hot summer days alike. The best part is the stick-styled application, which makes it easy to brighten up the eyes in a pinch. It is offered in both a yellow and green corrective shade as well as multiple skin tone shades. It’s very pigmented, so one quick swipe will apply plenty of product.
Price at time of publish:$10
Size: .16 fl oz | Number of Shades: 8 | Cruelty-Free: No
NYX Professional Makeup Color Correcting Concealer Palette
What We Love: It targets every type of discoloration.
What We Don’t Love: The product feels a bit waxy and can look greasy under foundation.
This handy NYX palette comes with six different creamy shades that do everything from counteracting redness to combatting sallowness. You can mix and match to target all your problem areas or blend multiple shades for a custom corrector that works on your skin tone. It’s very lightweight and easy to blend, so you’ll hardly even notice it’s there. Once it does its job, you won’t need as much concealer or foundation either.
Price at time of publish:$12
Size: .05 fl oz | Number of Shades: 6 | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Maybelline New York Master Camo Color Correcting Pen
What We Love: It visibly brightens under-eye circles and works on all skin tones.
What We Don’t Love: It takes a while for it to set and moves around if not fully dry.
This correcting pen by Maybelline features a sponge-tip applicator that helps you apply and blend the perfect amount of product each time. The creamy formula provides ample coverage, and it doesn’t crease or become cakey in the under-eye area. It comes in a variety of different shades, which target various complexion issues and skin tones. It’s so easy to take it on the go and is sure to provide a brighter, more even complexion before applying makeup.
Price at time of publish:$8
Size: .05 fl oz | Number of Shades: 6 | Cruelty-Free: No
Smashbox Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector
What We Love: It evens out discoloration and has an illuminating effect.
What We Don’t Love: It has a bit of shimmer in it, which may not be for everyone.
If you’re looking for a product that will brighten your under-eye area at the same time as it covers dark circles, look to this illuminating corrector. The color corrector’s tint cancels out the dark blue and purple hues of dark circles, while the backlight technology illuminates your skin. It is also formulated with vitamin E to keep your under-eyes hydrated and moisturized, which helps prevent makeup from cracking or creasing. There are four shimmery shades available: Fair/Light, Medium, Medium/Dark, and Dark.
Price at time of publish:$32
Size: .15 fl oz | Number of Shades: 4 | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for Dry Under Eyes
Tarte Colored Clay CC Undereye Corrector
What We Love: This product doubles as an eye cream with lots of skincare benefits.
What We Don’t Love: The shade selection is limited.
The best beauty products can tackle more than one issue, which is why we love this multitasking Tarte color corrector so much. Along with providing long-lasting full coverage, the product is also formulated with sodium hyaluronate and squalane to hydrate and nourish the delicate skin under your eyes. For an even more youthful appearance, mica and silica work together to soften the appearance of fine lines, while caffeine improves puffiness. While we wish there were more shade options, this all-in-one product doubles as both makeup and skincare, giving you a lot of bang for your buck.
Price at time of publish:$21
Size: .08 fl oz | Number of Shades: 2 | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Vanish Color Corrector
What We Love: It boasts a glowy finish that won’t crease.
What We Don’t Love: It’s on the more expensive end for a corrector.
This fan-favorite color corrector from Charlotte Tilbury is a full-coverage product that brightens dark under-eye circles quickly and offers crease-proof coverage. It’s specially formulated with carnauba wax, which prevents creasing, as well as flavonoids to help reduce the appearance of puffiness. To top it all off, the formula also boasts mica for a glowy, illuminating effect. It’s lightweight, buildable, and has a natural finish, so you’ll hardly even need concealer. There are four shades to choose from: Fair, Medium, Tan, or Deep.
Price at time of publish:$48
Size: .09 fl oz | Number of Shades: 4 | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for Light Complexions
Chanel Le Correcteur de Chanel in Pêche
What We Love: The finish is illuminating even when set with powder, and lasts all day long.
What We Don’t Love: While it is comfortable to wear, it does crease.
A color corrector that is lightweight, long-lasting, and super creamy? Yes, please. Although this concealer from Chanel has four shades (a pink, green, apricot, and peach shade), the shade Pêche is a peach color correcting shade that is perfect for light to medium skin tones with deep-blue dark circles. Essentially, the purpose of using a peach shade on lighter skin tones goes back to the color wheel: orange/peach and blue are complimentary opposites, therefore they cancel each other out. Not only will this concealer help dark circles magically disappear, it will also help diffuse any imperfections, such as hyperpigmentation and dark spots, with its soft-focus pigments.
Price at time of publish:$80
Size: 0.26 fl oz. | Number of Shades: 4 | Cruelty-Free: No
Best for Dark Complexions
MAC Studio Fix Conceal and Correct Palette
What We Love: It’s a true all-over product that acts as a color corrector and concealer in one.
What We Don’t Love: The shades might be too warm for cooler undertones.
The MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Conceal and Correct Palette offers the best of both worlds: four concealers and two color correctors. Those with medium to dark complexions will appreciate the shade range of this palette, which includes brightening shades, contouring shades, and the perfect orange and red shades to conceal dark circles and blemishes. We love that the palette is also infused with antioxidants and other skin-benefitting ingredients to leave a natural, buildable finish on the skin. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about it oxidizing, creasing, or transferring — it is that good.
Price at time of publish:$42
Size: 0.21 fl oz. | Number of Shades: 6 | Cruelty-Free: No
Best for Redness
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Corrector in Green
What We Love: The coverage is so pigmented, you won’t need to build more on top.
What We Don’t Love: A little goes a long way, so if you use too much, your skin will look green.
Green color correctors are not just for concealing redness from hyperpigmentation, rosacea, and acne — it’s sufficient at covering darkness around the eyes, too. Similar to their Teint Idole Ultra Foundation, Lancôme’s color corrector is long-wearing, ultra-pigmented and truly feels like second skin. All you need is a pea size amount to use underneath the eyes, and it will do the rest. It is also worth noting the corrector is available in other powerful shades (yellow, lavender, and peach, to name a few) to help camouflage brown dark circles and stubborn redness, but the green shade happens to be our personal favorite.
Price at time of publish:$30
Size: 0.41 fl oz | Number of Shades: 6 | Cruelty-Free: No
Live Tinted Huestick Corrector
What We Love: Not only is it the perfect shade to color correct dark circles, it also works as an eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick.
What We Don’t Love: There isn’t much product inside.
The Live Tinted Huestick Corrector is all about skin first, and makeup second. Its ingredients are packed with skin-loving benefits, including hyaluronic acid, squalane, and vitamins C and E to quickly brighten, moisturize, and soften the skin. But best of all, you can use this product outside of color correcting as a eyeshadow, lip, and cheek multi-stick (there’s a reason why it is called a 4-in-1 stick). Swiftly use the corrector to counterbalance blue and purple hues found under the eyes, then use it as a rose-y blush to highlight the face — the possibilities are endless.
Price at time of publish:$24
Size: 0.1 fl oz. | Number of Shades: 5 | Cruelty-Free: Yes
What to Keep in Mind
Many correctors have green and purple undertones, which are great for covering up blemishes and redness, but they do little for concealing dark circles (unless they have red undertones). Instead, you should choose color correctors in shades of red, pink, yellow, or orange, as these will help balance out the bluish-purple color of under-eye circles. The shade you choose will also depend on your skin tone. Peach-toned correctors work really well on light to medium skin tones (like the Chanel Le Correcteur de Chanel in Pêche), while oranges or reds work better for deeper skin tones (such as the MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Conceal and Correct Palette, which has more than one color corrector). Yellow is another option for those with medium or tan skin and can also be used to counter dullness, bruises, or veins.
Some correctors also offer coverage, so you can wear them on their own and forgo concealer. If you plan to let your corrector stand alone, you’ll want to make sure it provides ample coverage and doesn’t allow for any creasing, cracking, or slipping. If you still plan on wearing concealer or foundation, a good corrector should create a solid, even base, so that you can use less makeup and it stays where you apply it.
Just like a concealer, you’ll want to make sure your color corrector can hold up for the entire day (our personal favorite is our Best Overall pick, the Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector). The product should not only keep discoloration at bay for however long you intend on wearing it, but a good corrector will also last consistency-wise and prevent makeup from creasing or drying out throughout the day. Look for a product that is resistant to common makeup woes, like sweat and humidity.
A waterproof foundation can be a lifesaver in the summer, on vacation, or whenever you need your makeup to last all day and night without turning into a muddy, cakey mess. But finding the right formulas can mean the difference between a clear, polished complexion, and a sticky, coated, smudge-y one. “Waterproof foundations are a great solution for when you want to wear a full face of makeup, but don’t want to constantly worry about touch-ups or looking like you’re melting,” Emily Amick, New York City-based Makeup Artist, told InStyle. The trick is finding a formula that strikes the right balance delivering a breathable lightweight texture with impressive staying power, and one that works into the skin, instead of caking on top of it.
“Our skin creates natural oils over the course of the day, and waterproof foundation will endure the buildup of natural oils,” Deney Adams, celebrity makeup artist at Blonde Artists, told InStyle. With more options hitting the market than ever before, we’re helping you weed through the clutter, and find the high-quality, outperforming formulas that will hold up despite water, sweat, and tears.
MAC Studio Radiance Face and Body Radiant Sheer Foundation
What We Love: The formula feels light and comfortable on skin.
What We Don’t Love: The coverage may be too sheer for some.
Don’t let the new name fool you. This bottle houses the same beloved formula as the MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation, just with a fancier name and more shade options to choose from. It’s the familiar bottle you’ll find in almost every professional makeup artist’s kit because of its ability to withstand the elements — no matter if it’s long days on set or the sweat and tears of a hot summer wedding — while still looking fresh and natural. The formula strikes the hard-to-find balance of being delightfully creamy and hydrating without feeling heavy on the skin. It’s a buildable formula that starts sheer, adding a natural dewy finish to the skin, but can work up to medium coverage and will last all day and night without melting away.
Price at time of publish: $39
Shade Range: 30 | Coverage: Buildable| Size: 1.7 oz
Make Up Forever HD Skin Undetectable Longwear Foundation
What We Love: The long wear formula is vegan.
What We Don’t Love: The matte finish can be dry for some skin types.
As the name suggests, this high-performance formula was originally designed to be undetectable under any light and look natural even under the most high-definition lenses, like those used in television production and on fashion runways. “The formula is beautiful for skin that really looks like skin but has the coverage to hide any imperfections,” Amick told InStyle. “It is long-lasting, waterproof, and designed to be undetectable on HD cameras, so it’s perfect for someone who fears cakey-ness and just wants luminous, perfect skin (a.k.a, all of us!).”
Price at time of publish: $43
Shade Range: 40 | Coverage: Medium| Size: 1.01 oz
Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation
What We Love: It’s great for use on face and body.
What We Don’t Love: May not be hydrating enough for dry skin.
If you’re looking to even out skin anywhere on your face or body, this buildable, lightweight formula will do the trick. It provides enough flexibility to build up to your desired coverage level, while also delivering the staying power to withstand a sweaty workout or hot day at the beach, without wiping away. “This foundation looks like a second skin and is buildable so you can layer it to the desired coverage,” Tobi Henney, celebrity makeup artist to Megan Fox, Barbara Palvin, and Poppy Delevingne, told InStyle. “This is the perfect option for someone who wants to even out their skin tone because you can build it up in areas where you need a little more coverage,” Amick added.
Price at time of publish: $40
Shade Range: 40 | Coverage: Medium| Size: 1.6 oz
Revlon ColorStay Longwear Makeup
What We Love: The texture is impressively lightweight and comfortable on skin.
What We Don’t Love: It may be too drying for some skin types.
Don’t let the friendly price tag fool you. This high-quality formula feels luxurious on the skin and has a staying power that rivals that of its higher-priced counterparts. The oil-free formula and natural matte finish are great for combatting the greasiest, sweatiest days, or anyone who battles a naturally shiny T-zone come the afternoon. A small dab is enough to provide medium coverage and even out any redness or dark spots on the skin, so your complexion appears flawless. It also layers nicely if you need a little extra coverage in certain areas. The best part: you don’t have to worry about this budge-proof base wiping away in the summer heat, and it’s spiked with a shot of SPF 15 sun protection, too.
Price at time of publish: $10
Shade Range: 43 | Coverage: Medium| Size: 1 oz.
Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer
What We Love: The budget-friendly price tag.
What We Don’t Love: Some noted it can look orange against fairer complexions.
Here’s a multi-tasking formula that delivers on its promises as both a quality concealer and a high-performing foundation base. “I was surprised by its performance when I first tried it, but this affordable formula really holds its own,” Amick told InStyle. “It’s a great semi-matte, water-resistant foundation that packs a lot of coverage without looking heavy.” We also love the impressively inclusive shade range and the versatility of this product which helps to even skin tone and effectively disguise dark under-eye circles without caking or settling into fine lines.
Price at time of publish: $12
Shade Range: 45 | Coverage: Full | Size: 1 oz.
Best for Sensitive Skin
Morphe Filter Effect Soft-Focus Foundation
What We Don’t Love: The coverage may be too light for some.
We love a good makeup product spiked with skincare benefits, and this long-wear foundation is exactly that. The texture strikes a delicate balance being both soft, but not watery, and creamy, but not heavy, giving skin natural coverage that looks like your skin, but better. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, which deliver added hydration and a dose of skin-loving antioxidants that help improve skin texture overtime. The formula blends seamlessly into skin, without caking on top of it, and adds a natural dewy glow that won’t wipe away at the first sign of sweat or moisture.
Price at time of publish: $20
Shade Range: 40 | Coverage: Medium| Size: 0.94 oz.
Best Matte Finish
NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation
What We Love: It helps to reduce shine.
What We Don’t Love: Some note it can settle into fine lines.
The luxurious formula may come at a price, but let that be your first clue that this is not your average foundation formula. The high-quality, sweat-proof makeup base is packed with oil-absorbing powders and micro-algae extract that eliminate any excess grease or shine from skin, even on the hottest, stickiest summer nights. It’s also spiked with hydrating hyaluronic acid to help keep skin supple, while still managing to give complexion the most gorgeous natural matte finish. “It looks great in photos and has great longevity,” Henney told InStyle. A small dab goes a long way in delivering full coverage wherever you need it, and rest assured that even base will stay put until you decide it’s time to wash it all away.
Price at time of publish: $40
Shade Range: 34 | Coverage: Full| Size: 1.5 oz.
Best Natural Finish
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation
What We Love: The natural matte finish won’t leave skin dry.
What We Don’t Love: The fancy formula, comes with a fancy price tag.
A full-coverage, waterproof foundation that doesn’t feel heavy on the skin is hard to find. That was until the beloved celebrity makeup artist, Charlotte Tilbury, gifted us the prettiest bottle of dewy, hydrating perfection that feels like a second skin. The creamy foundation strikes the delicate balance of delivering full coverage, without feeling like a heavy blanket of pigment on the skin. It also features a host of skincare benefits including wrinkle-fighters that help to improve skin’s appearance long-term, instead of just temporarily covering things up. “This is such a stunning foundation, that’s sweat-proof, humidity proof, and transfer-proof and can last from day to night,” Henney told InStyle.
Price at time of publish: $46
Shade Range: 44 shades| Coverage: Full| Size: 1 oz.
Hourglass Cosmetics Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick
What We Love: The creamy stick makes for easy application.
What We Don’t Love: It has a higher price tag, and comes with less product.
Every element of this fancy foundation stick was designed with intention to make for an easy, fuss-free application, and flawless, long-lasting coverage. The unique slanted, triangular tip allows you to effortlessly navigate the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies around your face and nose. The creamy formula glides onto skin, making it easy to apply as foundation to cover larger areas for all-over coverage, or double as a concealer dabbed onto targeted spots like under the eyes. The coverage is substantial, yet still manages to feel lightweight and comfortable on skin. Plus, thanks to its impressive long-wear and waterproof benefits, you’re safe against the elements all day and night.
Price at time of publish: $48
Shade Range: 32 | Coverage: Full| Size: 0.25 oz.
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
What We Love: The extensive shade range ensures a perfect match for most.
What We Don’t Love: The coverage might be too light for some.
A quick Google search will surface over 50,000 four- and five-star reviews of the beauty universe celebrating this beloved formula for a plethora of reasons. For starters, the all-inclusive range features 50 distinct shade options across the light to deep spectrum, delivering the perfect shade match to more beauty lovers than ever before. The meticulous formula balances tone and texture, delivering comfortable, all-day wear that isn’t too heavy, too matte, or too shiny. The gorgeous soft matte finish looks like your skin, but better, and is buildable so you can work up to your desired coverage level, without feeling like you’re caking on pigment. Added bonus: this polished base will remain flawless through sweat and tears.
Price at time of publish: $39
Shade Range: 50 | Coverage: Medium | Size: 1.08 oz.
Smashbox Studio Skin 24 Hour Full Coverage Waterproof Foundation
What We Love: It’s easy to blend.
What We Don’t Love: It can feel heavy on skin.
This is a feel-good formula for multiple reasons. One: it feels impressively pampering thanks to hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, which keep skin feeling smooth and hydrated. Two: special pigments help to create a special blurring effect which gives the complexion a polished, matte finish, without leaving skin dry and cakey. Three: it’s a formula built to last and one that will take you from humid beach days to all-night dance parties without wiping away. We also love the cruelty-free formulation which just adds to the feel-good factors.
Price at time of publish: $38
Shade Range: 30 | Coverage: Full| Size: 1 oz.
What to Keep in Mind
When to Use
There’s no wrong time to use a waterproof foundation. From hot summer days and nights, to beach vacations, or anytime you’re looking for your makeup to last for a long period of time. “If you’re a full-face-at-the-gym kind of person, or a stage performer, you might consider a waterproof formula for daily use! There’s no harm in wearing waterproof year-round as long as you’re cleansing properly at the end of the day,” Amick told InStyle.
Be sure to check out the ingredients when choosing a foundation. It’s often misunderstood that waterproof foundations are heavy and drying. “We all have different skin types and skin needs, you’ll want to choose a foundation with ingredients that work best with your needs,” Adams, told InStyle. “For example, if you have oily skin you might look out for foundation with zinc oxide or serecite.” There are also formulas spiked with hyaluronic acid to help keep skin hydrated.
Not all waterproof foundations are full coverage. There are many great formulas on the market today that offer medium, buildable coverage so you can be in control of the desired effect. You can also find waterproof foundations with both matte and natural finishes, so you can best meet your skin needs.
MAC Cosmetics’ Whitney Houston collection is here, and it’s chock-full of the hyper-glam, 1980s-perfect staples with which the late vocalist remains associated to this day. Marked by bold smokey eyes and bold red and metallic-brown lips, Houston’s beauty regimen was as iconic as she herself was, throughout all her decades of fame. And now that it’s shoppable in luxe gold packaging, fans can get a small piece of her cult of personality, created alongside and approved by the Whitney Houston Estate itself.
MAC’s Houston line has been a long time coming. The brand announced the collection more than a year ago, last September, to be timed with the release of Houston biopic “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” It’s also “something Whitney always wanted to do,” the artist’s sister-in-law and former manager Pat Houston told People. “I’m pleased we can do something that I know she would have loved.“
If any makeup brand was going to bring this to fruition, it was MAC. The cosmetics giant has collaborated with celebrities for decades, even before celebrity beauty affiliations became ubiquitous. Its charitable Viva Glam initiative, which raises money and awareness for HIV/AIDS, has been releasing collections since 1994, including ones in partnership with living legends like Rihanna, Lady Gaga and, most recently, Rosalía. MAC’s first significant posthumous launch came in 2012, with a 28-piece makeup line inspired by Marilyn Monroe.
Other late celebrities followed, including Selena Quintanilla, with a range that commemorated the 25th anniversary of her passing, and Aaliyah, thanks to a viral fan petition wherein shoppers went so far as to create mockups of products they wanted. Both sold out immediately. But experts attest that cosmetics brands like MAC aren’t just in it for the profits (although, yes, they do make money). For the estates of certain departed figures, like Houston, eye palettes and lipsticks are just one small, but not altogether insignificant, way to keep their legacy alive for a new generation. It’s also, somewhat uncouthly, good for business.
“These posthumous launches aren’t necessarily money-drivers, but more so relationship-builders in a few ways,” says Kirbie Johnson, a beauty reporter and co-founder of beauty podcast Gloss Angeles. “If MAC and Estée Lauder have a great relationship with a movie studio, why not work together on promoting a film? Not to mention the fan relationship, which is important to a brand.”
Johnson goes on to explain that if an estate like Houston’s is angling for a makeup collaboration, it may feel more comfortable with a behemoth like MAC because, well, they know it will be done right. In Houston’s case, the packaging is elevated and the formulas are what you’d expect from a MAC product, Johnson says, and “you don’t feel like the brand skimped to make it.” As one of the top three global makeup brands, MAC sees a reported annual turnover of more than $1 billion, with 500 independent stores.
“I feel like MAC is a household name at this point, but some of this could be a play to either increase reach or awareness of the brand to the departed’s fanbase or simply to add consumer value,” adds Johnson. “MAC is a legacy brand; collaborating with icons like Selena, Aaliyah and Whitney positions them in the same category.”
A posthumous collaboration, however, is not without its risks. As Johnson says, the person the collaboration is being made for is no longer here, so how can they give approval? In 2017, for example, Urban Decay received a flood of criticism for its Jean-Michel Basquiat collection. (“An artist known for his highly critical takes on power structures like capitalism surely wouldn’t be putting out an eyeshadow palette,” says Johnson.) “You have to hope whoever is running the estate is someone they trusted and is acting in the deceased’s best interest,” says Johnson.
Indeed, fans of late icons, like Houston, are especially protective after their passing — which, ultimately, leads to higher sales. Cieja Springer, a longtime fashion marketer and founder of the “From the Bottom Up!” podcast, attributes this sensation to what she calls “brand regret,” which goes a step further than buyer’s remorse and tends to afflict those who, for a range of reasons, weren’t fans of the artist when they were alive. In the case of Gen Z, which is now captivating the cosmetics industry with its growing purchasing power, this is simply because they weren’t born yet.
“In order for fans to not constantly live with the regret of not giving the artist their flowers while they were here, they jump on it now so they’re not left out,” says Springer. “It’s all about not being left out, at the end of the day.“
With a posthumous product launch, fans are able to buy a piece of their favorite celebrity again (or for the first time) — and as Johnson adds, that opportunity may not come around again, which creates more incentive to buy the product. This is especially true in the case of figures like Aaliyah or Selena, who didn’t have a long period of fame before passing, “so perhaps there was less memorabilia for fans to purchase as a token of their love for both artists,” says Johnson. But of all the memorabilia and merch possibilities, why makeup?
“Whether the celebrity is currently active in their field or not, there’s a shorthand that exists with the ‘look’ and palette of a highly celebrated and media-visible celebrity that gives the consumer an ability to recreate famous looks or a style with which they identify, or find aspirational,” answers Professor Stephan Kanlian, chairperson of FIT’s unique master’s degree program for emerging leaders in the cosmetics and fragrance sector. “It’s a basic need of universal beauty that individuals aspire to copy the look of someone they see as having great beauty or style.”
After all, makeup products are more attainable than, say, fashion items for most fans, especially younger ones. Johnson offers the example of Harry Styles’s HA HA HA capsule for Gucci, which starts at $235 for a pair of striped logo socks, with T-shirts running around $750. “I’d bet most fans are sporting his $20 Pleasing nail polish instead,” she notes.
“Most people cannot afford a Chanel bag, but they can afford Les Beiges Bronzer,” says Johnson. “As for celebrities who have passed, you can’t carry a record on your person to show you’re a fan, but you can pull a Whitney Houston-branded MAC compact from your bag.”
Products: – Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter – Make Up For Ever ULTRA HD foundation, concealer, & loose powder – Anastasia Contour Kit – MAC Cosmetics blush in Gingerly, highlight in Double Gleam, BlackTrack liquid eyeliner, lipstick in Velvet Teddy, Clear Lip Glass, & Give Me Sun bronzer – Benefit Precisely My Brow pencil & Gimme Brow setting gel – ColourPopAn Emerald Away eyeshadow palette – Sigma brushes.
(Disclaimer: I do have Keanna’s consent to post the images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)
Products: – Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter – Make Up For Ever ULTRA HD foundation, concealer, & loose powder – Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit – MAC Cosmetics blush in Gingerly, highlight in Double Gleam, BlackTrack liquid eyeliner, lipstick in Russian Red, Clear Lip Glass, & Give Me Sun bronzer – Benefit Cosmetics Precisely My Brow pencil & Gimme Brow setting gel – ColourPop Stone Cold Fox eyeshadow palette – Sigma Beauty brushes.