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Would you buy a beauty product from a celebrity?

The-Women-Perfume-CounterAs testimony to effectiveness, ageless actresses like Courtney Cox and Cate Blanchett have been the paid faces of skin-care brands like Kinerase and SKII, just like generations of starlets and beauty products before them. But now, a handful of celebrities (not all A List, and not all beauties) are launching skin-care lines with their own name on the jar, adding to what’s become a burgeoning “celebeauty” category.

These skin-care products share something with the long-standing celebrity-branded fragrance market, which has made gazillions selling the essence of Hollywood icons in jars and bottles. But when it comes to moisturizers, are we buying it?

Christy Turlington thought we might. In 1999, the fashion model developed Sundari, an Ayurvedic-inspired beauty brand inspired by Turlington’s passionate personal journey on the yoga mat. Although Turlington sold Sundari in 2003, her concept marked a turning point in celebrity skin-care. She introduced the idea that if beauty or hope could come in a jar, so could well-being.

CateIronically, what’s happening now, as the celebrity category expands, the beauty spokesperson concept is dissolving: Everyone from comediennes (Fran Dresher) and dermatology fanatics (Cindy Crawford) and comedienne-dermatology-fanatics (Joan Rivers) now has a skin-care line.

A few actually have a message in the bottle. Dreshers’s nine-piece range called FranBrand, which launches in November on HSN, will contain organic ingredients and support Fran Drescher’s Cancer Schmancer Movement. The paraben-free line is a result of the nasal-voice actor’s own experience with uterine cancer.

CourtneyOf course, even if a skin-care brand supports a celebrity’s philanthropic vision or green lifestyle (Kate Hudson and Mariel Hemingway are on this bandwagon), celebrities work with chemists, confirms a New Jersey beauty product formulator, who has developed such brands and preferred not be named. “They’re not the chemist.”

And that’s a good thing, since it means the products stand a chance of working. As for whether you’re getting a scoop of well-being with your crème du celeb, it bears remembering that the creative minds behind most of these new products are actors. They are used to playing a role.

Would you buy a celebrity-endorsed or created skin-care product? Tell us, here!