Going the start-up route also has the potentially huge prize down the road of an I.P.O. or a deal like Ms. Jenner’s, but not everyone has the stomach for it because “you can lose a boatload of money,” Mr. Maglione said — and yes, he means the star’s own.
As for the licensing deals, he declined to discuss numbers. But documents filed in a copyright infringement lawsuit against Khroma Beauty offer a peek: Boldface Licensing + Branding paid Khloe, Kourtney and Kim Kardashian an advance of $1 million for licensing rights, with guaranteed minimum royalty payments of $4.6 million to $5.2 million, depending on the launch dates of various products. (Don’t remember Khroma? It was introduced in 2012, was promptly hit with multiple lawsuits for trademark infringement and lasted barely a year in stores.)
Katie Slater, a partner at William Morris Endeavor who handles celebrity endorsements (she did Olivia Wilde’s deal with True Botanicals), also cited the money clients can make, along with the creative control they can exert. Instead of just turning up for shoots and P.R. days, stars can have a say in what is being said. Besides, doesn’t every star these days want to be a multi-hyphenate?
Actors, Ms. Slater said, “are writing, directing, producing. They are building their own brands.”
Whether this rush to create a brand is leading to some debuts that don’t seem authentic, or with products that aren’t actually wanted or needed, customers will decide.
“You have to make something damn good and differentiated,” said Michael Yanover, the head of business development at Creative Artists Agency who helped start Haus Laboratories. “And is this the right product for this fan base?” (To measure a celebrity’s cultural influence and whether it can be converted to sales, CAA uses a proprietary and somewhat secretive analytics tool, CAA Intell.)
Last year, customers quickly called out the teenage actress Millie Bobby Brown for a video she posted of her skin-care routine — she was trying to promote her new line — in which she wasn’t using the products (or even water), and her makeup remained intact. And Alicia Keys, who famously swore off makeup in 2016, will face the market with Keys Soulcare, a line of products that won’t be widely revealed until Dec. 3. Last month, Ms. Keys, a former spokeswoman for Proactiv skin care, promoted her new wares to a virtual V.I.P. lounge full of influencers and answered pre-vetted questions from beauty editors and TikTokers.