Tried and tested: Celebrity beauty products that actually work

Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored
Tue January 30, 2018

Story highlights

  • We tested a number of celebrity beauty brands, including Goop and Honest Beauty.
  • See which four collections are actually worth the price.

Not all celebrity beauty products are made equal. Just because your favorite A-lister has slapped her name and face on a moisturizer, hair care product or makeup item doesn't guarantee that it's worth the price. But sometimes, it is.

Case in point: the following four beauty brands. These lines feature both skin care and makeup items which have all been put to the test and have fared well under scrutiny.

I recently tested the products over the span of a month to see which ones actually made a difference in my beauty and skin care routine. From Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop to Drew Barrymore's Flower Beauty, these are our favorite celebrity-backed lines.

Note: The prices below reflect the listed retailer's price on the date this article was published.


I could (and will) wax poetic about Goop's skin care products. The line, which gets its seal of approval from founder Gwyneth Paltrow, features moisturizers, cleansers and face oils that are packed with powerful organic ingredients aimed to make your skin softer, smoother and healthier. Some of the top products we tested were the Replenishing Night Cream ($140;, the Luminous Melting Cleanser ($90; and Enriching Face Oil ($110;

I would often start my mornings with the Melting Cleanser, which has proved to be a saving grace during the colder months. The cleanser has a creamy texture to it, thanks to the blend of almond, olive and coconut oils, along with shea and cocoa butter. It melts beautifully onto the skin and helps remove dirt and makeup without any harshness. And since it cleans and moisturizes at the same time, my skin felt completely hydrated and ready to start the day. So it comes as no surprise that this product also received top marks from Allure's Best of Beauty Awards.

After washing my face with the cleanser, I'd seal in the hydration with a small amount of Goop's Enriching Face Oil. It was very lightweight on my skin and absorbed fairly quickly. It's a great foundation for a moisturizer to build on if you have dry skin or are suffering from the harsh winter temperatures, or you can use this as your sole moisturizer for the day.

The last, but certainly not least, step in my Goop routine was the Replenishing Night Cream. Another winner of Allure's Best of Beauty Awards, this cream was my last layer of defense for the day as I hit the sheets. For me, it was all about the hydration and regeneration; added sandalwood nut oil is said to increase your skin's elasticity, and hyaluronic acid hydrate is said to help firm and lift the skin. So while you're catching some much-needed z's, you can let Goop do all of the heavy skin work for you.

Honest Beauty

Honest Beauty, the makeup, skin care and hair care line created by actress Jessica Alba, ranks high in terms of effective celebrity beauty products. The real standout for me was Truly Lush Mascara and Lash Primer ($22; This was my first time using a lash primer in my makeup routine, and it's safe to say I had been missing out. The primer coated my lashes for a more even base (no clumpy eyelashes here) before I put on the top coat of mascara. I was incredibly impressed with the overall lift and definition the mascara gave me, not to mention how natural it all looked and felt. It's a great everyday product that I continue to use.

Another product that impressed me was Honest Beauty's The Depuffed Eye Gel ($32; Every now and then, whether from lack of sleep or because of tears, my eyes would get puffy. As part of my routine to combat it, I'd lightly press a cold spoon on my eyelids (sounds weird, but it works!) and then finish with a dab of the eye gel. The combination stopped swelling in its tracks, and the gel, which is packed with caffeine, reduced the look of puffiness. The blend of antioxidants and cooling properties in the gel also soothed the irritation around my eyes quickly.

Flower Beauty

In the makeup arena, Flower Beauty (created by Drew Barrymore) gets high marks. Even better is that most of these items have drugstore prices, so you can get quality goods without breaking the bank. From Barrymore's huge collection, I love a number of products and tools -- for instance, the Flower Ultimate 3-in-1 Blending Sponge ($8.98;, the Flower Shimmer and Shade Eyeshadow Palette ($14.98;, and the Flower Pots Powder Blush ($8.98; The Blending Sponge has become my new go-to tool most mornings when I'm applying foundation or concealer. The shape of the tool has three specific features (hence the name): a precise tip to help blend harder-to-reach spots like the eyes and around the nose, a flat surface made for contouring, and a cupped base for buffing. The sponge has a great grip to it and is super easy to clean. I also use the Powder Blush daily as it gives me natural-looking rosy cheeks with a subtle shimmer. And I don't often do a bolder eyeshadow look, but when I do, the Shimmer and Shade Palette hits the mark. It is truly long-lasting (I rarely have to reapply) and the added brush is soft and distributes the shadow evenly without caking or leaving unwanted powder on other areas of my face. And with everything under 15 bucks, this also is the most affordable celebrity beauty line we've tested.


I've always been told that we should limit our hair washing to avoid stripping out the natural oils that develop. Many experts agree that less washing means stronger hair that grows faster. However, limiting your deep cleans to twice a week means that you may end up with somewhat greasy and even funky-smelling locks. That's where STASH SJP comes in. The brand, backed by Sarah Jessica Parker, has created the STASH Sexy Scented Hair Mist ($30;, a zesty fragrance that livens up your hair and makes it smell good. What I love about the scent is that it features rich and complex aromas like sandalwood, ginger, cedarwood and some citrus notes that don't feel too feminine. It also holds throughout the day, so a simple morning spritz will last you through your workday. And if you love the scent for more than just your hair, you can use it as a body mist.

Currently, the hair mist is out of stock on Ulta, but you can score it in a set along with the STASH Eau de Parfum and Luxe Body Crème for $55 ($55; Because three great products have got to be better than one.