The Women of the Cosmetic Industry | International Women’s Day

The Women of the Cosmetic Industry | International Women’s Day

You know you are addict to the latest beauty trends. I know I am! I can’t get enough of what’s hip (do people still say that?) and hot. Some of the latest craze have arrived and I want to share them with you!

Joan Bove

This couple ( with husband Lawrence Gelb) founded Clairol, bringing the first one-step hair color to salons and, more importantly, the first do-it-yourself permanent color to American homes.

Madam C.J. Walker

Ms. Walker, née Sarah Breedlove, was not only a pioneer in the haircare industry and a champion for African-American rights, she was also the first female self-made millionaire.

Florence Nightingale Graham

Graham is the woman who founded Elizabeth Arden and invented the concept of the makeover. Reality television will be forever in her debt.

Estée Lauder

We all have Ms. Lauder to thank for the freebies at modern makeup counters. Not only did the woman innovate department store makeup kiosks, she was also known for courting celebrity endorsements by sending stars her products, and for being a tireless saleswoman.

Helena Rubinstein

She invented the concept of “problem skin,” introduced fancy packaging and status anxiety to modern mass beauty sales, and sold to women’s self-consciousness. So every time an ad tries to scare you with aging concerns, feel free to consider this brilliant and merciless businesswoman ruefully.

Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown entered the beauty scene in the ’90s, challenging the popular aesthetic by emphasizing natural makeup — nude palettes, neutral shadows, glowy, healthy skin. That no-fuss ethos continues to define her brand today. Known for her insanely popular cosmetics line and eight — count ’em, eight — books, we wouldn’t be surprised if Brown added the title of Superwoman to her ever-growing résumé.

Charlotte Cho

It’s no secret that Korean beauty products, techniques, and traditions have made a major impact here in the U.S., and Charlotte Cho has been at the forefront of that movement, every step of the way. Cho runs the e-tailer site Soko Glam, which stocks the latest and greatest buys from her native South Korea. With a background as an esthetician, she has also penned a skin-care book, and frequently doles out nuggets of wisdom on the site’s blog for your reading and skin-perfecting pleasure.

Balanda Atis

When chemist Balanda Atis was growing up, she witnessed her family members struggle with an issue that many women of color confront in the makeup aisle: finding a shade to match their complexions. So, in 2013, while working for L’Oréal, Atis took on a side project to develop products for the brand specifically formulated for the consumer of color. Today, the Women of Color Lab — led by Atis — includes a team of scientists who have created more than 30 new shades across L’Oréal’s many brands.

Essie Weingarten

While everyone else was mixing up lotions and potions, Weingarten decided to follow the road less traveled by cooking up nail polishes. She started out in 1981, selling her products door-to-door to Las Vegas salons. Before long, she was the one fielding the requests. Fast-forward 30-plus years, and it’s virtually impossible to mention nail polish and not think of the eponymous brand, and its fun colors and clever names.

Mary Kay Ash

With her $5,000 life savings in tow, Mary Kay Ash set out to launch her dream cosmetics company. Arguably the originator of the “lean in” concept, she helped numerous women achieve success on their own terms and encouraged them to be their own bosses.


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