Whatever Happened to Jessica Simpson’s Dessert Edible Beauty Brand?
What happened to Jessica Simpson's edible Dessert beauty products line?
In 2004, the pop star changed the beauty industry when she released Dessert, the reportedly first-ever line of “kissable and taste-able” beauty products that included lip gloss, body cream, fragrances, hair and body mist, shampoo and body wash.
“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 original press release read. “Sexy girls want a Taste.”
Although the target audience for Simpson's since-discontinued line of scented and flavored products consisted of young girls, the product marketing was hyper-sexualized. The brand included product titles such as “Trya My Papaya” and “Delicious Kissable Hot Body Topping,” while directions for products, such as the 8oz Whipped Body Cream with Candy Sprinkles, instructed, “Slather it on yourself or a friend to be completely smoochable and delectable.”
Naturally, Simpson and her then-husband of two years, 98 Degrees member Nick Lachey, served as the sweet and seductive models for the brand, trying out the products on each other in promotional photos and at events.
“[They're] very sensual products,” Lachey told On Air with Ryan Seacrest about Dessert. “I was fortunate enough to be able to taste test.”
Despite the popularity and success of the “lickable” products, Dessert stopped production in 2006 after some not-so-delectable lawsuits.
In November 2004, a cosmetics manufacturing company called Cosmojet sued Simpson, Dessert Beauty Inc. and Sephora, claiming they were owed $200,000 for products that Cosmojet had already manufactured.
According to People, a rep for Simpson said in a statement: “Jessica Simpson is a spokesperson for Dessert products and has no involvement in the day-to-day operation of the company’s business. Ms. Simpson has no knowledge whether Cosmojet’s claim has any basis, nor does she have any responsibility for the company’s accounting and billing procedures or payment obligations.”
The spokesperson further added: “Ms. Simpson does intend to vigorously dispute Cosmojet’s meritless claims against her and to take legal action against Cosmojet for involving her in this matter.”
Despite the Cosmojet lawsuit, and the sexual nature of the cosmetics, in 2005 Simpson went on to release two new lines geared towards even younger consumers called Dessert Treats and Sweet Kisses.
However, by 2006 another lawsuit was launched regarding the title of one of the products. Mara Fox, guitarist and creator of a fragrance line called "Love Potion,” filed a lawsuit for the brand's use of the term "Love Potion," but ultimately lost.
In less publicized scandals involving the brand, one customer allegedly got a yeast infection from using the Butterscotch Toffee Body Wash. Another reviewer claimed the Deliciously Kissable Belly Button Love Potion Fragrance attracted bees.
In an episode of Simpson and Lachey’s MTV reality show Newlyweds, Simpson can be seen taste-testing the Dessert products for the first time while on the set of a promotional photo shoot. After hours of posing with the cupcake-flavored lip glosses and ingesting the product, Simpson falls ill and the rest of the shoot is canceled.
Although it seems possible that Simpson got sick from over-indulging in her own product, which lists its ingredients primarily as sugar, corn starch, confectioners glaze and various color dyes, the episode ends with her saying that doctors told her she had come down with a “24-hour flu.”
Sadly, the innovative line of edible, wear-it-and-share-it beauty products didn’t have staying power, but the excessively sweet flavors and saccharine scents remain nostalgic to this day.