Gwyneth’s Goop, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, and the Beauty Craze of…Cannabis?
They began as three separate paths that recently seem to have converged into one. We’ll call the first “The Goop Phenomenon” in which all things new age-y, luxe, and wellness found their way to the mainstream. The second is “The Fenty Beauty Phenomenon” in which individualism became the new group think. The third is the journey of the cannabis plant. A much more storied adventure, but one that has seemingly found itself currently climaxing in the beauty industry space.
Mhmm, you read that right. That stuff you may have referred to as pot, weed, or marijuana is, in a way, the biggest beauty craze of the year.
I say “in a way” because the cannabis plant has different parts that are used for different things. THC, for example, is the component of the plant that gets people high when consumed. Hemp has been used for a multitude of things for generations, from fabric and paper, to soap and more recently, protein shakes. CBD, or cannabidol, is one of the compounds of the cannabis plant that has recently found itself enjoying newfound prettiest-girl-at-the-prom status.
Significant research on the effects of CBD is still lacking (since US federal law has prohibited testing the plant extensively) but what we do know is that it has shown anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties, used for anything from joint pain to children’s epilepsy.
Once strictly considered medicinal, the no longer scandalous CBD can be found in products from bath bombs to lip balm, on boutique-y websites, or at your neighborhood Sephora.
And that’s because companies are gaining wider access to it, and its benefits, now that cannabis is legal in states like California. But aside from effectivity, supply and steadily decreasing stigma around cannabis, it is now not only becoming more visible on store shelves, but being positioned as a luxe and specialty beauty must-have. CBD, if you try to weave a tale of it, might not have even been invited to this particular prom without Gwyneth Paltrow and Rihanna.
Not that their involvement was direct (aside from Rih’s pretty blatant endorsement of cannabis culture), but as mentioned earlier, the Goop and Fenty Beauty phenomenons in themselves may have helped create the perfect storm for CBD’s grand entrance into beauty.
Some fun facts about Goop and Fenty Beauty:
Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop
Worth: $250 Million
Started as a newsletter of recommendation lists, sent out of Gwyneth’s kitchen
The content remains free, but the products are highly priced and occasionally brow-raising.
For example, The Goop Jade Egg ($66) — a pre-drilled jade egg meant to be strung on dental floss, and inserted in a woman’s vagina. “For optimal self-love and well-being,” the product description says.
Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty
$100 Million: Sales made in its first 40 days
40: The number of foundation shades Fenty Beauty launched with
132 Million: A one month tally of views of Fenty Beauty YouTube tutorials
$245 Million: Rihanna’s net worth, up almost 250% from the previous year
While Gwyneth tapped into a market of recently empowered women that were determined to invest top dollar in self-care, Rihanna’s demographic was an untapped market whose brand of self-care leaned into identity and individuality. In both scenarios, the entrepreneurs had the right message, they were the right muses for their movements, and the timing was impeccable. Both primed the market for a brand of wellness and beauty previously considered niche.
And what about CBD?
Whoopi Goldberg, with business partner Maya Elisabeth, started the Whoopi and Maya line of products dubbed “Pot for PMS,” which as it sounds, is a series of CBD (and THC) products from lotions and tinctures to bath soaks and chocolate, designed to ease the dull ache of menstrual cramps.
A whole gamut of CBD based products are being launched into the market, and behind them are industry insiders, from high street fashion retailers to top fashion and beauty magazine editors. Olivia Wilde has spoken about her CBD regimen to combat the physical fatigue of her “1984” stint on Broadway.
So you put all of this together, and what do you get?
A beauty industry that is set to hit $805 billion by 2023, whose standards and protocols are being redefined by renegade and once “alternative” markets—the new-age rich, those with skin color shades that run either left or right of the basic drugstore foundation gradient, and the hippies. Who would have thought that “minority” markets would have such a major impact?
Lead photo from @fentybeauty