In today’s day and age, celebrity beauty brands are a dime a dozen. Fenty Beauty, Rhode, KKW, Haus Labs, Florence by Mills, Goop… the list goes on and on. In such a crowded space, relying solely on a famous name and cute beauty products just ain’t going to cut it when it comes to defining your brand. The secret sauce? Marketing. ✨

This got us thinking—how do two of our favs stack up against each other?

In this article, Lyon Content puts Arianna Grande’s R.E.M. Beauty and Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty marketing to the ultimate test, diving deep into how these brands hustle beyond the glitter to stand out. And, of course, we’ll pick the brain of Lyon Content’s pack leader Christina Lyon, along the way. 

Ready to see whose brand strategy snags the crown? Keep reading. 

Who are Rare Beauty and REM Beauty?

R.E.M. Beauty and Rare Beauty are two celebrity makeup brands that have proven they aren’t playing around when it comes to brand strategy and authenticity. In an era where celeb brands fade as quickly as they appear, R.E.M. and Rare Beauty’s numbers show they’re here to stay.

According to Traackr’s 2023 State of Influence: Beauty Report, R.E.M. Beauty is the seventh top-performing beauty brand in the U.S. (trailing behind Charlotte Tilbury), while Rare Beauty ranked third (hot on the heels of Sephora). In other words, they’re up there with major industry giants, and for good reason.

While we aren’t about throwing shade on celeb beauty brands, let’s just say some are all hype and no substance. 

Plus, people simply aren’t trusting or glamorizing celebs like they used to. According to Christina, consumers have become acutely aware that A-listers live in entirely different realities than the average person. 

And if what they’re selling doesn’t feel genuine? People just aren’t interested. 

“That’s why Kylie Cosmetics has come under fire and struggled. People simply can’t relate. And if there’s one thing we know about beauty marketing in 2024, it’s that authenticity and relatability are everything. So brands must focus less on the celebrity as a person to emulate and more on the people actually buying the products.

So, what’s the story and brand personality behind R.E.M. and Rare Beauty marketing?

R.E.M. Beauty 

photo of Ariana Grande in glam space suit for R.E.M.

Founded by Grammy award-winning singer Ariana Grande, R.E.M. Beauty is a makeup brand with a focus on clean, vegan, and ethical products. Their ethos? To empower self-expression, confidence, and creativity “for anybody and everybody” who loves makeup.

R.E.M. Beauty is all about the magic of dreaming and limitless possibilities. Their brand messaging strategy centers around originality and inclusivity with an ethereal, retro-futuristic twist. Think indie-manifesting-astro-babe.💫

Naturally, R.E.M.’s product line channels those same cosmic-glam vibes, featuring names like:

  • Lunar Magic Blurring Primer
  • Pixel-Iced Lip Gloss
  • Eclipse Blush and Lip Stick
  • Interstellar Highlighter
  • Dreamcloud Face Blender
  • Space Shape Brow Gel

Now, for Selena’s brainchild…

Rare Beauty

Selena Gomez applying Rare Beauty in brand photo

Rare Beauty was born from pop star and actress Selena Gomez’s mission to break down unrealistic standards of perfection. Her mission statement? Creating makeup that’s “not about being someone else, but being who you are.”

Like R.E.M., Rare Beauty’s product line features sustainable, ethical formulas and packaging. More notably, one percent of every sale is donated to the Rare Impact Fund, which supports mental health services and education for young people.

Rare Beauty marketing conveys its brand messaging of inclusivity, mental wellness, and empowerment through thoughtful product names, like:

  • Stay Vulnerable Glossy Lip Balm
  • Positive Light Liquid Luminizer
  • Warm Wishes Bronzer Stick
  • Kind Words Matte Lip Liner
  • Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Mist
  • With Gratitude Dewy Lip Balm

Now, let’s zero in on who they’re talking to. 

Who are R.E.M. Beauty and Rare Beauty’s Ideal Audiences?

Rare Beauty and R.E.M. may occupy the same niche, but that doesn’t mean they speak to the same people. 

R.E.M. Beauty’s target audience: dreamers and creatives of all backgrounds, genders, and orientations passionate about self-expression and otherworldly aesthetics. They embrace individuality and view makeup as a means to tell their story. 

R.E.M.’s pricing stretches between $10 to $42. This price point mirrors that R.E.M. Beauty isn’t just inclusive but attainable, too.

On the other hand, Rare Beauty’s ideal audience is well… her fans. At least, it started that way. In one interview, she said it was their insecurities that sprouted the seed of inspiration for her beauty brand. Today, she says that it’s a home for everyone to feel beautiful in.

Rare Beauty’s products range from $10 to $60, putting it on par with R.E.M.

Now that we’ve gotten to know Ari and Selena’s makeup empires better, let’s bust open their marketing playbooks

How do R.E.M. Beauty & Rare Beauty marketing strategies differ?

It’s clear that Rare Beauty and R.E.M. Beauty are each charting their own course when it comes to brand strategy. And their marketing is no exception, either. 

In the following sections, we’ll dissect the details of their marketing tactics. We’ll peep how each brand:

✅ Shakes sh*t up with emails

✅ Lights up the socials

✅ Tackles web copy

✅ Packs value into blog content

✅ Champions social causes 

✅ Slays the game overall 🏆

Alrighty, marketing besties—the stage is set. 

First up? Emails.

R.E.M. Beauty Vs. Rare Beauty Marketing: Email Content

As any savvy investigator would do, I subscribed to both Rare Beauty and R.E.M. Beauty’s newsletters for a full two months. 

Here’s what I found:

R.E.M. Beauty Newsletter Strategy

R.E.M. Beauty takes a no-holds-barred approach to email, shooting one out every other day—sometimes daily, for special announcements (like sales and product anniversaries). 

screenshot of REM emails in my inbox
Source: my inbox

Their email content varies from product promos, trending makeup looks, and news to customer reviews, staff picks, and nudges about their commitment to sustainability.

Rare Beauty Newsletter Strategy

On the flip side, Rare Beauty’s emails were less frequent and a bit sporadic. Five hit my inbox at the tail end of September, a pair bookmarking October, and a single email at the start of November. 

screenshot of Rare Beauty emails in my inbox
Source: my inbox

Despite the random send times, the content was just as diverse as R.E.M.’s—reminders about their charitable donations, product deals, purchase incentives, and even product round-ups from Selena herself. 

So, who’s claiming the win for email content? It’s a tough call. 

Who’s the Winner?

Listen, R.E.M. Beauty’s email strategy lives up to Ari’s song (Needy). I’ll give them props for mixing up their content and staying true to their brand identity. 

But on that same token, Rare Beauty earns the same recognition.

While Rare’s emails were a bit more scattered, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that R.E.M.’s constant appearances didn’t start to wear thin. It’s safe to assume that’s probably not the customer experience they were aiming for.

In other posts, we’ve touched on how sending too many emails too often can trigger inbox fatigue. The implications? Fewer open rates and waning customer loyalty. 

Rare Beauty, though a bit wishy-washy with their email schedule, stayed top-of-mind without burning a hole through my inbox.

Winner: For that reason, this category goes to Rare Beauty. 🏅

Social Media Content

When it comes to social media content, both brands leverage an omnichannel (or multichannel) approach. That said, there are definitely some favorites. 

R.E.M. Beauty Social Strategy

R.E.M. Beauty harnesses Instagram, Facebook, X (prev. Twitter), TikTok, and YouTube.

Following their never-leave-you-alone email strategy:

  • Instagram: They post daily or twice daily content that’s a mixed bag of promo posts, tutorials, BTS peeks, and Q&As with Ari herself, just to name a few.
  • TikTok: Their TikTok has a similar vibe as IG, posting daily (sometimes multiple times). The content features a few more appearances from Ari and about twice as many tutorials.
  • X:  R.E.M. shares a once- or twice-monthly tweet, while Facebook and YouTube take more of a backseat. 
Collage of REM Beauty’s socials
Source: REM socials

Rare Beauty Marketing: Social Media Strategy 

Rare Beauty leverages all the same platforms, plus Pinterest.

Unlike R.E.M., Rare focuses its efforts on each platform equally, with the exception of YouTube and X coming in last. 

What’s interesting about Rare Beauty’s social media approach is how they wield each platform.

For instance:

  •  Facebook: Rare posts almost daily, but it feels more geared toward highlighting their philanthropic efforts. Product and event updates are more occasional, getting sprinkled in every now and then.
  • Instagram: Their IG strategy closely mirrors R.E.M. with a bit more emphasis on Selena’s mental health advocacy. 
  • TikTok: You have a good mix of product highlights, funny, relatable videos, and inspirational content. 
  • Pinterest: This is a Rare Beauty marketing move snagged straight from Fenty’s playbook (one of the most effective brand strategies in our opinion). They flawlessly fuse their products with pin-worthy quotes, tutorials, and hacks that rarely (pun intended) feel like product-pushing. 
Collage of Rare Beauty’s socials
Source: Rare Beauty marketing socials

Who’s The Winner?

If you’re a seasoned marketer, you probably know that Facebook and YouTube are still taking the lead in 2023. So why are brands like R.E.M. and Rare investing so much of their marketing budget into Insta, TikTok, and even Pinterest? Easy—because that’s where their audience hangs out most. 

Selena Gomez wiping face and saying its hard work

The verdict on who reigns supreme on the socials?

Both Rare Beauty and R.E.M. Beauty leverage diverse platforms to connect with their audiences. On all channels, their feeds are cohesive and feature a consistent tone of voice and relevant types of content.

Winner: Rare Beauty takes a clear lead in meeting their target audience where they are and doing it super strategically. Plus, their savvy use of Pinterest, a platform often overlooked, further cements their edge. 

Web Content and Blog Strategy

Rare Beauty and R.E.M. Beauty have clear, effective brand messages and mission statements woven through their site content. 

They each feature stand-out deals prominently on their home pages. Their product descriptions touch on their audience’s pain points while addressing the benefits of their offerings in a way that stays true to their brand voice. They both even go as far as including tips for product usage. 

Now, their blog strategy? That’s another story.

R.E.M. Beauty‘s blog page features only four “get the look” posts. When you click through to these, you find a product list and three to five concise tips on replicating the look. 

screenshot of REM Beauty’s blog post

Andddd that’s all she wrote for R.E.M. (literally). Womp, womp.

Fortunately, Rare Beauty is lifting our mood with their Rare Impact blog. Instead of centering on makeup, the Rare Impact blog focuses strongly on mental wellness, their advocacy efforts, and events, tips for self-care, as well as stories from within the mental health community. 

screenshot of Rare Impact blog entries

Now that’s value. 

Who’s The Winner?

If this were based solely on website copywriting strategy alone, Rare Beauty and R.E.M. Beauty would easily tie. Their website content and product descriptions check all the right boxes.

But alas, R.E.M.’s blog game has us tuning to the hum of thank you, next. 

Rare Beauty’s blog, Rare Impact, on the other hand, feels like a safe space for mental health conversation. It may not be geared towards makeup, but it feels authentic and relatable. 

It’s like Christina says:

“It’s important to ground a celeb-founded beauty brand in strong ethics, mission, and messaging that’s centered around the audience—not the celeb.” 

Is it packing an SEO punch? Not quite, but we can say without a doubt—it definitely delivers meaningful content.

Winner: Once more, the victory goes to Rare Beauty.

PS. Ari—hit us up if you want to take your blog to a 34, 35 out of 10. 😉

Social Causes

We have to give props where props are due. Both Rare Beauty and R.E.M. Beauty are backing some pretty amazing initiatives. 

They’re both dedicated to creating clean, sustainable, ethical products. From vegan, cruelty-free formulations to recyclable packaging and waste reduction. 

Snippets of Rare and REM Beauty’s commitments to sustainability
Source & Source

Rare Beauty even goes a step further by openly listing their ingredient exclusions, testing practices, and promise to work only with partners who meet Social and Environmental Responsibility (SER) Standards.

But as we’ve learned, Selena’s brand doesn’t stop there. Above all, her brand is rooted in self-love and mental health advocacy. And there’s no question that mission weaves through every thread of the fabric that makes up Rare Beauty.

Screenshot of Rare Beauty mission

Who’s The Winner?

Christina puts it best:

“In 2024, no brand can afford not to be affiliated with a social cause, especially millionaire (or billionaire) celebrities. Ethics are at the forefront of consumer consciousness, so it would be self-sabotage and a bit insensitive not to take a stand on an issue important to the celebs’ fan and audience base.”

While both Rare and R.E.M. Beauty are making strides in eco-conscious and ethical beauty, Selena’s brand has been pivotal in stirring a much-needed conversation around mental health. 

Winner: This win goes to the brand that’s sparking a movement: Rare Beauty, once again.

R.E.M. Beauty vs. Rare Beauty Marketing: Who wins overall?

Listen—Ari and Selena are queens in their own right. If we’re being honest, both of these celebrity beauty brands win our stamp of approval. And if we had to judge by their products alone? Choosing a front-runner wouldn’t be easy.

But this showdown isn’t about their makeup—it’s about their beauty marketing and how they create a brand message and launch it into the digital world. 

And in this arena, the victor is clear…

🏆 Emails: Rare Beauty

🏆 Social Media: Rare Beauty

🏆 Blog and Content Strategy: Rare Beauty

🏆 Social Causes: Rare Beauty

There’s no question—Rare Beauty’s marketing claims the crown with flying colors.

Selena Gomez wearing a crown
Source: Selena Gomez’s X

Why? Here’s how R.E.M. Beauty fell short:

❌ R.E.M. could stand to pump the brakes on their email game. Overloading inboxes gets annoying fast—that’s not so fun or effective. 

❌ R.E.M.’s social media game is strong, but Rare Beauty’s marketing is slaying with precision and tact—something that R.E.M.’s marketing could strongly benefit from. 

❌ There’s only one blog breakin’ hearts like a heart attack, and it wasn’t Sel’s. 😬R.E.M.’s blog lacks content that delivers real value to audiences and boosts their search rankings. Sorry, Ari, but a handful of makeup looks just isn’t enough.

❌ Reducing your carbon footprint and being transparent with your offerings is great, but it’s not revolutionary. R.E.M. could level up by engaging with audiences and tapping into causes that resonate with them most. 

No shade to Arianna Grande (seriously, we love you), but in terms of marketing—we’ve got no tears left to cry.🥲 

Lyon Content Agency writing team with swirling green and pink background

Steal the Spotlight with Content that Roars 🦁

Think only star-studded brands have something to gain from Rare Beauty’s marketing success? Christina says you might want to think twice:

“Even for beauty brands that aren’t founded by celebs, your brand identity, brand positioning statement, social cause affiliations, marketing strategy, and messaging are essential for standing out from the zillions of other beauty brands.”

How do you make it happen? With a kickass content writing and strategy team that vibes with your audience and thrusts you to the forefront of your niche. So when you’re ready, come and get it—we’re locked and loaded to help your biz be the superstar and take center stage. ⭐

Lyon Content beauty writer Natalie Laffont's headshot.

By Natalie Laffont


Natalie is a beauty and lifestyle writer at Lyon Content, born and raised in sunny Miami, Florida. She’s passionate about crafting personality-driven copy that helps brands build a ride-or-die following with their audiences! Like a true Cuban, she runs on XL cafe-con-leches and loves horror movies, houseplants, exploring new places, and snuggling up with her SO and fur babies.