Celebrity Lifestyle Gurus & Their Brands, Ranked
The most compelling part of celebrity culture is when these people decide that the best way to share their dubious “gift” of existing and being alive is to branch out into lifestyle brands. Why limit yourself to starring in movies and being photographed in yoga pants walking your dog when you can throw everything you like into a bowl, give it a vigorous toss, and pour out a lifestyle brand? With Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James set to launch sometime in 2015, I thought it only appropriate to conduct an in-depth analysis of some of the heavy-hitters in the celebrity lifestyle category. Here’s my exhaustive and thorough ranking of celebrity lifestyle brands, from the GOOP-y to the ediTORIal.
8. Tori Spelling /ediTORIal: Tori Spelling continues to cling to whatever scraps of relevancy she may have, spinning her life into various reality shows throughout the years. ediTORIal is her foray into lifestyle, and I’m sorry, but it’s a pile of garbage. She’s not really breaking any ground here, but she loves her kids and is the kind of over-sharey gal that will sit you down at brunch and show you a 20 photo slideshow of her kid in a wig before you’ve even ordered a drink.
7. Blake Lively/Preserve: Preserve is for your sorority sister who’s been secretly pinning farmhouse tables and mason jar lights to her Shabby Chic wedding board and takes extra care to incorporate a braid or two into her artfully tangled mop of extensions and real hair. The site appears to be run by a tween who overuses the Valencia filter and doesn’t understand the basics of clean web design. But, if you’re looking to cultivate the kind of life that includes artisanal ketchup and sachets, Preserve is where it’s at. Are you in the market for a $150 handmade rag doll for your precious moppets, Ainsley and Marigold? Or, maybe you’re interested in making your home look like a cross between Anthropologie and the interior of an Airbnb cabin in Jackson Hole. Either way, Blake’s got you covered.
6. Elizabeth Banks: From where I sit, it looks like Elizabeth Banks’s personal brand is that of a bawdier mommy blogger who also happens to be famous. She’s got recipes that aren’t anything to write home about, some fashion collages that are the celebrity equivalent of an #OOTD post and a few videos that gently but not obnoxiously promote the work that she’s doing. Surprisingly, I am in full support of this! Elizabeth Banks is a taste for a very specific set of people — a cappella enthusiasts, YA novel supporters, people who still use the word “badass” — but I’m not entirely opposed. Look, I’d make this mac and cheese recipe happily. I would scroll through her outfit Polyvores and maybe think about ways to recreate those looks myself. I’d even watch one to two videos of her answering questions for fans. A strong showing, Banks. Good work.
5. Alicia Silverstone/The Kind Life: Silverstone’s been on her vegan-earth-mother kick for pretty much her entire career, so branching out into a lifestyle brand that espouses vegan eating and all natural toothpaste isn’t entirely out of character, and I don’t actually hate it! A friend made this soup from her cookbook, The Kind Life and brought it to a dinner party — it was delicious. The Kind Life feels earnest. In between auditions and feeding her child Bear like he is a tiny baby bird, Alicia writes blog posts on her iPhone in her sunroom, surrounded by tasteful mid-century modern furniture and bowls of palo santo sticks, and that’s okay. She’s not as horrible as she could be about her lifestyle, and somehow manages to not be evangelical and preachy.
4. Jessica Alba/The Honest Company: I can’t fault Jessica Alba for launching an all-natural, eco-friendly baby care brand, because if I were to ever have a child, I would most likely consider splurging on these adorable print diapers and training pants. I can’t really think of anything notable that Jessica Alba has really done aside from this, besides starring in the critically under-watched dance film, “Honey.” She’s appealing to a wide swath of the population: people with babies that don’t want to wrap their precious bundles of life in things that are full of chemicals, sulfates, phalthates and whatever other bad things are in Pampers. As lifestyle brands go, this is innocuous. Nowhere on her site does she mention not wanting to vaccinate her children, so I can’t lump her as part of the seedy underbelly of wackos who love communicable diseases and hate shots. She just wants to use the clout she has as a celeb to bring mildly over-priced baby things to the world. That’s fine by me. The Laurels and Nathaniels and Zolas that will run the world in 20 years deserve to have access to the finest organic, soothing bottom wash that money can buy.
3. Lauren Conrad/The Beauty Department: Lauren Conrad is a walking Pinterest board. Lauren Conrad cried, like, a lot, when she read The Fault In Our Stars. Lauren Conrad wears hair bows and manages to look chic, and not twee. Lauren Conrad successfully makes DIY body scrub, and has a craft table full of ribbon, so that it actually looks professional. Her lifestyle is aspirational, but not so aspirational that its actually out of reach. I am not a Lauren Conrad girl, but I imagine that there are tons of people out there who eat this shit up. Yeah, she’s basic, in the way that girls who still get muddy gray-taupe manicures are basic, but it works. She stays in her lane, she knows her audience, and from what I can tell, they love it.
2. Shay Mitchell/Amore & Vita: The prettiest of the “Pretty Little Liars,” Shay Mitchell and her best friend Michaela Blaney, have created their own personal lifestyle site, Amore & Vita, which showcases the kind of L.A-tan-and-pretty-and-shiny-haired lifestyle that people actively work to achieve. While Amore & Vita is the kind of phrase you’d regretfully tattoo on your body sophomore year of college after watching “The Talented Mr. Ripley” one too many times while stoned, the lifestyle they’re shilling isn’t bad! Nail art and nice furniture and the kind of California casual ripped jeans and floppy tees that I wish I could wear year round are all things I can get behind.
1. Gwyneth Paltrow/GOOP: The GOOP woman has hair that’s the tawny “bronde” that you read about in Allure last week, and it’s shiny and textured and smells like jasmine. Her name, more likely than not, is Rachel. She really loves nut milks of all sorts, hand creams and has been all about Argan oil way before Josie Maran. When you eat dinner at her house, she makes one thing only, and it is roast chicken. She wears whisper-thin knuckle rings and lots of chunky knits. She’s probably kind of annoying, but you know what? GOOP really set the standard for lifestyle brands.
There are lots of ladies out there somewhere who want to have the kind of kale-smoothie-macrobiotic-quietly-expensive-highlights life that Gwyneth Paltrow seemingly leads. I do not count myself amongst their ranks, but I get it. She is both dewy and matte. She exudes a shabby opulence that a lot of people try really, really hard to achieve. Gwyneth has done such a good job of marketing her own carefully curated, highly-selective and very white-lady California lifestyle that she’s set the standard for all the other starlets clamoring for a piece of that pie. I hate everything about it, from Gwynnie’s sanctimonious attitude to the cult of Tracy Anderson, but I can’t knock her hustle.