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Jessica Simpson

Remember when Jessica Simpson launched an edible cosmetics line?


TextAlex Peters

And then fell deathly ill

Before there was Glossier’s birthday cake flavoured lip balm, there was a different sweet treat-inspired beauty brand on the scene.  

Let us take you back to April 2004, when singer, actress, reality star, fashion designer, culinary connoisseur, and cultural icon Jessica Simpson launched Dessert Beauty by Jessica Simpson, a line of edible cosmetics, skincare, and perfumes. 

Stocked at Sephora, the range consisted of body mists, lip glosses, bubble bath, shampoos, whipped body creams (with sprinkles included, natch), perfumes, body wash, and blush – all edible and all with ridiculous names like Deliciously Kissable Belly Button Love Potion Fragrance.

Banking on Simpson’s sex appeal, despite the target audience clearly being the sole demographic of young girls, Dessert Beauty was marketed in a hyper-sexualised manner more suited to flyers in a telephone booth. “Dessert girls are full of sweetness and desire and they don't mind getting their hair a little messed up in the name of seduction,” the press release read. “Sexy girls want a Taste.”

Simpson and husband Nick Lachey promoted Dessert Beauty by licking themselves and each other all around town. “Very sensual products,” Lachey told a reporter for Ryan Seacrest’s show, “which I was fortunate enough to be able to taste test.” No thanks.

The reviews were not as sexy, however. One customer got a yeast infection from using the Butterscotch Toffee Body Wash – not sexy. Another user of the Deliciously Kissable Belly Button Love Potion Fragrance was followed everywhere by bees. Also not sexy.

After several lawsuits, the line was eventually discontinued although it remains forever in our hearts – and on eBay. 

However, bringing ourselves back to prelapsarian 2004, for a moment, to an episode of Newlyweds where Simpson is shooting the campaign to launch Dessert Beauty. Simpson is being shown some of the products from the range, clearly for the first time, and has no idea about any of them. Upon being shown the Whipped Body Cream and told it’s moisturiser, Simpson responds, “so it moisturises huh?” We then watch as Simpson poses seductively with a cupcake, progressively being forced to eat more and more icing until she feels so ill she ends up crouched on the bathroom floor eating crackers her mother brought her.

The shoot is ultimately rescheduled after Simpson spends three hours throwing up. She is then taken home where she crawls into her apartment from the elevator. Nick seems relatively unconcerned. We then cut forward and find out Simpson went to a doctor where she was hooked up to an IV and told she had a “24-hour flu”… that or she was poisoned by her cupcake. We may never know.

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