The Big Bad World of Products Celebrities Promote on Instagram 


We’ve all got bills to pay—even if we’re minor-to-moderate celebrities. So what’s a reality star or child actor to do when the show doesn’t get picked up for a fourth season or when (more likely) their opulent lifestyle has outgrown their bank account?

Luckily for them, it is 2015 and the world of Instagram marketing is ready and waiting. There’s an interesting limbo that awaits the wide swath of celebrities who are no longer famous enough to land an endorsement deal but are still famous enough that a company will pay them money to promote a product on their personal social media. The products that celebrities shill on Instagram are generally coherent with the nature of the medium—i.e. highly narcissistic—and tend to repeat a small range of categories: teeth whitening, weight loss teas, waist shapers.

Or, in the case of pregnant Kim Kardashian, drugs for morning sickness.

You’ll immediately notice that the caliber of most of these products is questionable, and that all of these “ads” require a certain love of selfies and correspondent lack of shame.

But one thing’s undeniable: making money this way is pretty easy. Even if you don’t have Instagram, you can do it via the tabloid medium. Mandy Moore, for example, simply has to put on some decent clothes and pretend to go grocery shopping to stay ahead of those mortgage payments. No social media presence required.

Compare that to the caption Snooki included with a post about a protein powder:

Squats make a booty good. @proteinworld Slender Blend makes a booty even better! Toning up with the best nutritional supplements out there 🙂

We don’t know for sure that Snooki’s being paid for that post, of course. (I mean: she is.) When a celebrity is being paid to use their platform to promote a product, they’re supposed to tag the post #ad or #spon in some way indicate that a transaction has taken place, like with Kelly Ripa here: an actual star with a real endorsement deal, for whom transparency is not a problem.

Sometimes a celebrity’s post will include a discount code for the product they’re promoting. While this isn’t an outright admission that it’s a straight-up advertisement, most people can make that jump.

If I can count on anything I know I can count on my @girlycurves_ waist cincher Every mom can use that extra help Thanks @girlycurves_ (They are having a 15% OFF Memorial Day Sale Use Code: Memorial) I gained some weight from my all-inclusive vaca in Mexico because I had a good time drinking and eating a lot like everyone should on vacation but now it’s time to get back on the grind and really work out for a better body and a better self! Even though I’m happy with how I look I want to achieve better results.

Compare that to this post from Hilary Duff with a caption that in no way suggests that she was paid to post an obvious advertisement.

Having a spot of @lyfe_tea(British accent) #healthkick #lyfetea

Maybe she really was given that tea as a gift, and chose to take a picture that prominently featured the product by her own accord. Realistically, however, Hilary Duff is just another player in the wild, shameless world of Instagram promotion, laid out for you below.

Teeth Whitening


We are a UK based, 100% natural health products company that has a desire to promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Cocowhite products originated on the back of a well known practice called Oil Pulling, (see more below) to provide a 100% natural alternative to the chemical fuelled teeth whitening craze.

Lindsay Lohan

As you’ll see, our friend Lindsay is quite the prolific Instagram hawker, which is probably the least surprising thing you’ll hear this week. She’s the epitome of the type of celebrity for whom this is a pretty sweet deal. She’s not making any consistent money doing her actual job, you know she could use the cash, and because she no longer has a brand to maintain, shame absolutely does not live here no more.

Kylie Jenner

Angela Simmons

Vanessa Hudgens

Katie Price

Scott Disick and Melissa Gorga

Audrina Patridge and Ashley Benson

We can’t see your teeth, Ashley!

Bright White Smile

We have spent numerous months researching other tooth whitening products – with the aim of creating the best value and most effective product that you can find anywhere at any price. We have evaluated hundreds of different products and now are proud to release what we believe is the best tooth whitening system for you to use in the comfort of your own home. We know you’ll be convinced that BrightWhite Smile is the best at-home whitening product.

Scott Disick

Somebody please explain the word “variety” to this man.

Blac Chyna

Blac Chyna clearly knows how her bread and butter is earned.

Express Smile Atlanta

Express Smile Atlanta is a professional teeth whitening business and can improve your smile by 3 to 10 shades giving you a whiter, brighter smile!

Monica Brown and Jussie Smollett

Almost every single Real Housewife of Atlanta:

Kim Zolciak-Biermann

(Clockwise) Cynthia Bailey, Porsha Williams, Phaedra Parks and Kandi Burruss

Nene Leakes

Basically every cast member from the Love and Hip Hop franchise:

(Clockwise) Young Joc, Nikki Mudarris, Rasheeda Frost, Mimi Faust, Soulja Boy and Ariane Davis


Nick Cannon

Nick Cannon is our first appearance of: “People I didn’t think had to do shit like this.” Clearly spousal support was not in Mariah’s prenup.



Christina Milian and Khloé Kardashian

Amber Rose


Draya Michelle

Lilly Ghalichi

Lilly Ghalichi appeared on two seasons of Bravo’s Shahs of Sunset. Lilly Ghalichi seems to have a lot of time on her hands.

Vanessa Simmons

Angela Simmons

Vinny Guadagnino

Lil Kim

Mr. Blanc

Mr Blanc is a natural and peroxide free teeth-whitening product that if used correctly, will get your teeth looking and feeling whiter in 14 days.

Alexis Bellino

Ashely Tisdale

Adrienne Bailon and Lilly Ghalichi

My favorite part of all this is when someone promotes two different products that are obviously competitors. C’mon, Lilly—are you an Express Smile Atlanta girl or a Mr. Blanc customer? Pick a lane!

Audrina Patridge

Stephanie Pratt

Considering Stephanie Pratt a celebrity is definitely a reach. However, Mr. Blanc’s marketing team does not seem to share my skepticism, and perhaps the most shocking thing I found during my “research” was the number of people willing to give Stephanie Pratt money for an endorsement.



MateFit’s goal is to bring you the healthiest and most natural supplements available. Our tea is combined with a large variety of different fresh herbs and spices to create a potent mix that can assists you on the path to a healthy body.

Britney Spears

Filed under: “People I didn’t think had to do shit like this.”

Nicki Minaj

Also filed under “People I didn’t think had to do shit like this.”

Scott Disick

Kyle Richards

Amber Rose

Angela Simmons

Adrienne Bailon

Fit Tea

Fit Tea is a loose leaf Fit Yea, that contains a powerful blend of: Organic Green Tea, Oolong Wu Yi, Organic Rooibos, Ginger, Pomegranate, Guarana, Birch, Stevia, corn and Honey Powder. You will be amazed at not only how WELL Fit Tea will work for you, but just how amazing and splendid it tastes!

Kylie Jenner

Curiously, Kylie Jenner like a few other celebrities here, has deleted this picture from her Instagram. Whether the deal included an agreed-upon time limit for the post or if she just realized that this is all a bit gauche, I’ll never know—but my money ain’t on the latter.

Sarah Hyland

Amber Rose

Ed Westwick

Vanessa Hudgens and Christina Milian

Melissa Gorga

With her sister-in-law Teresa Guidice currently serving time for being an overspending liar, I can’t even blame Melissa for this hustle.

Vinny Guadagnino and Tyler Posey

Ashley Benson

Victoria Justice

Scott Disick and Vanessa Simmons


Here’s the thing, say what you will about Coco, but homegirl is at least having a bit of fun with all this.


Made from a purely natural organic herbal blend, Slendertoxtea is a Teatox designed to detoxify and cleanse, increase metabolism,suppress your appetite, burn calories and increase energy.Together with a healthy eating plan and lifestyle, join the Slendertoxtea movement today.We hope you are as thrilled with it as we are!

Porsha Williams and Gretchen Rossi

Lisa Vanderpump and Heidi Montag

Lisa Vanderpump is one of the few Real Housewives with real, serious money. I would love to know why she feels the need to shill detox tea on social media, but I think the answer would just make me sad.


Welcome to our TeaMi family, where your health and wellness are our main goal. Health begins with what you “put in”. That is why we made sure that what we “put in” our tea is of the highest quality and purest form. There are thousands of recorded tea plant species around the world. How many exist exactly? That is like asking how many stars light up the night sky- far too many to count. So what did we do? We analyzed them, ate them, drank them and blended them in every combination possible until we found the perfect formulas to give you the most effective, organic, tasty tea!

Blac Chyna

Lilly Ghalichi


The aim of Bootea is to give you the boost you need to get back on track with your healthy eating and active lifestyle. The ingredients used in our teas have been used for centuries for health and wellbeing purposes but it is only now we have finally brought all these unique ingredients into one perfect, rounded product. Teatox is a fancy word we use to describe the way the body goes through a natural process of elimination, by removing unwanted ‘toxins’ & built up waste matter, from your body via the lungs, kidneys, bowels and skin.

Lindsay Lohan

Hi, Lindsay.

Vanessa Hudgens

Shemar Moore and Irina Shayk

Ashley Tisdale and Scott Disick

Vanessa Simmons

Angela Simmons

Ashley Benson

Katie Price

Good marketing is all about a consistent duckface.

Jonathan Cheban and Audrina Patridge

Stephanie Pratt

I’ve stopped asking “HOW?” and “Why the hell?” with this one.

Lyfe Tea

Lyfe Tea is a company with the concept of letting you be the most beautiful you ever. We want you to feel fabulous! It is our goal to help our customers to live a healthy life by creating a healthy lifestyle. Our products are designed with the richest ingredients that are filled with important body builders that help to eliminate fat while improving one’s overall body function. Our teas are rich in antioxidants. They help one’s ability to focus while aiding with physical endurance. While the tea will help in controlling one’s weight it will also aid in circulatory function. It will ultimately rid the body of wasteful toxins while rejuvenating its cellular structure.

Angela Simmons


Lindsay Lohan

This is the second detox tea that Lindsay promotes.

Vanessa Simmons

Tori Spelling


Nicky Hilton

Filed under: “People I didn’t think had to do shit like this.” I think it’s worth noting that Paris does not promote detox tea on Instagram.

Holly Madison and Lilly Ghalichi

Kourtney Kardashian

Kandi Burress

Melissa Gorga

Hilary Duff

Doesn’t she look kind of irritated to be doing this?

Mimi Faust and Draya Michele

Jonathan Cheban

Christina Milian and Audrina Patridge

Kim Zolciak-Biermann

Kim does have like six kids, so I guess those mouths have to be fed somehow.



Nutrition Shakes

310 Nutrition

310 Nutrition is a top emergent brand when it comes to meal replacement shakes and weight loss supplements! As a Southern California-born company, situated close to the beach, 310 knows how important it is to look and feel good in your body. That is why we want to help you reach your goals.

Kim Zolciak-Biermann

Kim is a 310 Nutriton superstar. They must be paying her a (relative) bucketload of money because the frequency with which she posts about these shakes is absurd.

Porsha Williams


JWoww, I must assume, owns equity in this company because good lord that’s a lot of posts.

Lindsay Lohan

There she is.

Alexis Ballino and Gretchen Rossi

Boris Kodjoe and Joanna Krupa

Protein World

We’re leading the protein revolution with a new and innovative range of pure, GMO free supplements to help you become healthier, leaner, fitter and stronger.


Katie Maloney

Because it’s hard to afford Coachella on a pretend waitress’ salary.

Blac Chyna

Lilly Ghalichi

I wonder if Lilly thought those gym pics looked believable.



We are a UK based, natural health supplements company, committed to delivering lasting results with affordable, healthy solutions to enhance and preserve your natural beauty.
Hairburst believe beautiful, healthy skin and hair starts from within. By using safe, natural ingredients in formulas that are clinically tested and proven, we hope to assist the overall health and wellbeing of our customers by spreading messages and information regarding health and beauty. We often use Instagram to do this.
Hairburst products are not only a great way to kickstart your hair growth journey but can also be added into your existing hair care regime. Begin the journey to the hair you want with an intense mix of natural vitamins & minerals and beging to grow healthy hair from within.

Alexis Ballino

Lindsay Lohan

Lilly Ghalichi and Audrina Patridge

Ashely Tisdale

Katie Price

Melissa Gorga

Stephanie Pratt

Stephanie. Fucking. Pratt.


Hairfinity Hair Vitamins are formulated with essential nutrients for healthy hair growth. Our vitamins nourish your hair from the inside out. See results in the first month.

Nip and Fab

Nip + Fab is a fabulous skincare and body care range founded by Maria Hatzistefanis (founder of Rodial). Designed to deliver targeted treatments for the face and body, our formulas are crammed with innovative and natural advanced skin smoothing, boosting and firming ingredients. Nip + Fab is premium skincare for everyday concerns at everyday prices.

Audrina Patridge and Stephanie Pratt

Kylie Jenner

I think it’s safe to assume that Kylie Jenner is being paid by this company. However, rather interestingly, her contract doesn’t seem to include a clause about her face being present in any of the posts. I bet Kris made that deal.

Lindsay Lohan


No Waist Clique

Our Waist Shaper Corsets can instantly give you the appearance of a slim, curvy waist while also training your waist to maintain an hourglass figure all year round.

Melissa Gorga

Kim Zolciak-Biermann

This is horrifying.

Angela Simmons and Tamar Braxton

Lindsay Lohan and La La

Tameka “Tiny” Cottle-Harris

Girly Curves

We are a company that provides an outstanding service distributing shapewear all over the World. We believe in quality and attention to detail. Every garment is designed and manufactured at our Manufacturer headquarter in Colombia using technology, expert sewers and rigorous quality control to produce the finest garments.



Little Tiny Waist

Waist training is a gradual process of waist reduction using our waist training belt. Also known as waist cinching , the practice came to prominence during Victorian times. Wearing a waist cincher, exercise and eating a healthy diet can radically reduce the waistline. It takes dedication, time and patience. Most importantly, you must do it at your own pace.

Amber Rose

Waist Gang Society

Waistgangsociety high quality Reshaping waistshaper is a unique latex material which attacks unwanted fat and impurities within your body. Our reshaping line will strengthen your core all the while improving your posture. The thermogenisis created within your body will allow your body to rid itself of harsh toxins and impurities, through perspiration. While wearing a garment or waist trainer , the tight compression will help to reduce food volume intake which will help acheive the healthier practice of smaller meals, more often, rather than three large meals a day.

Kourtney, Kim and Khloé Kardashian

Sister that peddle together don’t have to live under the thumb of their momager forever. Just kidding, of course they do.

Blac Chyna and Cassie

One takeaway: everyone needs to chill.

Contact the author at [email protected].

All images via Instagram

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