Why Blush Might Catapult Hailey Bieber’s Rhode to Beauty’s Top Tier

I half expected to receive an emergency alert when the embargo lifted at 12:05 pm on Monday afternoon for the launch of Rhode’s Pocket Blush. The brand’s first entry into colour cosmetics is a mini stick blush that is meant to be used on-the-go and debuts in six shades such as Piggy (baby pink) and Spicy Marg (bright coral). The product won’t be available for purchase on the brand’s website until June 20, but a spate of outlets from consumer sites (Vogue, Grazia, Cosmopolitan) to trade (WWD, Glossy) fervently published the news within minutes of the press release.

Hailey Bieber’s last major category expansion, a cleanser called Pineapple Refresh, received similarly fanatical attention in January.

Since launching in 2022, beauty’s obsession with Rhode and its founder has only grown. While the initial assortment — a serum, a moisturiser and peptide lip balms — led with Bieber’s skincare-first, doughnut glazed ethos — its her subsequent teases into makeup, tinted versions of her peptide lip treatments and now, blush, that confirm Bieber’s stickiness with beauty trends and online fandom.

A-list talent can typically guarantee a big launch, but celebrities have a relatively short window to prove their validity once a line hits the market. Otherwise, these brands quickly fade away; even Jennifer Lopez, universally known for her body, can’t seem to sell body cream.

Whatever your opinion on the role of glazed doughnuts is in beauty, it’s undeniable that, to her many fans, Bieber has credibility to spare.

Since pivoting from her Covid-era “Who’s in My Bathroom” YouTube series, where she invited celebrity friends into her bathroom to cook, Bieber has gone all-in on beauty. Her content either starts beauty trends (i.e. strawberry makeup) or she is able to make viral trends her own (think: the clean girl aesthetic, or latte makeup). She also talks about and uses beauty products that cool girls love, from Summer Fridays sunscreen and Make Up For Ever lip liners to Kosas concealer.

That she is seemingly as obsessed with beauty as real beauty enthusiasts seems to be her secret weapon, said Kirbie Johnson, host of the beauty podcast Gloss Angeles.

“Hailey has proven that she is a beauty girl,” said Johnson. “She was doing skincare ‘get ready with me,’ makeup videos long before her brand launch. When you have a celebrity brand launching every single day … it [can be] hard to believe that they actually use these products regularly and believe in them.”

Consumer data firm Spate found that monthly Google searches for Rhode Beauty have grown by 66.9 percent from a year ago. The most popular searches for her label are the “Rhode Lip Balm” and “Rhode Phone Case” which have also increased to 40,500 and 14,800 monthly searches, respectively. According to those close to the company, the brand is expected to hit $100 million in revenue this year. And that’s without major wholesale presence, though that’s said to be coming in 2025.

Right now, there may be bigger names in celebrity beauty – Fenty, Rare – but blush might be the product that vaults Rhode into a higher echelon. It is the right and most obvious way for Rhode to enter colour cosmetics, given that Bieber’s long made heavy use of the product to achieve her signature all-over healthy glow. If you go back to the launch of Rhode’s Krispy Kreme collaboration in August 2023, she was flushed with strawberry glaze cheeks on social and throughout campaign images.

Multiple executives at The Business of Beauty Global Forum hyped up Rhode’s marketing prowess to me in side conversations. And they’re not wrong; in many ways, beauty hasn’t seen marketing this savvy since E.l.f.

Bieber has said she is taking a skincare-first approach to beauty, which could be a hurdle since legitimacy in one category doesn’t guarantee it for another. But some of the best new foundations and lipsticks have “skincare benefits” and you could even argue that mascara could fall into Rhode’s purview, given that whole “skinification of hair” conversation brands keep pushing on. If anything, being skincare-first doesn’t exclude her from extending Rhode into most cosmetics products.

I expect Bieber to ride the blush wave, likely introducing more shades and possibly, even new formats. Just last week, Bieber teased a pink shade of her viral phone case. With a 200,000-plus waitlist for the grey version, Bieber has become adept at giving people want before they even know it.

Plus, hear from inaugural class of The Business of Beauty Global Awards winners

1. Conserving Beauty Shows Sheet Masks Don’t Have to End up in a Landfill

Natassia Nicolao Grace, Founder and CEO, Conserving Beauty attends The Business of Beauty Global Awards.

With Elle Macpherson on its board, Conserving Beauty has brought sheet masks and zit stickers into the push to combat beauty product waste.

2. D’you Shakes Up India’s Beauty Start-Up Scene

Shamika Haldipurkar, Founder & CEO, D'you attends The Business of Beauty Global Awards.

The India-based brand targets premium shoppers with science-based skincare.

3. Fara Homidi Elevates the Artistry-Led Makeup Brand

Fara Homidi, Founder & CEO, Fara Homidi attends The Business of Beauty Global Awards.

Balancing ease of use with professional-grade formulas, Fara Homidi Beauty creates formulas that can go the distance, without compromising on clean credentials.

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