Celebrating Women in the Beauty Biz for International Women’s Day Week
Beauty is a billion-dollar business offering women more makeup, hair, and skincare options than ever before. No matter your philosophical ideas about beauty, it’s apparent that beauty does matter, and it does not have to be solely about vanity.
In a fashion landscape predominately run by men, beauty is a market dominated by women and they understand a woman’s need to look and feel her best when she presents herself to the world.
Today Love Happens is honoring some of the most influential women in the beauty industry for our week-long focus on women empowerment in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th. Below are 10 women that have shaped the industry through their ideas and brands!
A glamorous and incredibly inspiring serial internet entrepreneur, beauty and fashion expert, mother, grandmother and mentor to women around the world, Loren Ridinger has most certainly put her stamp on the world of beauty! From humble beginnings to a monumental business mogul, Loren is a powerful woman who has built an empire that makes women feel beautiful inside and out. She is the co-founder and senior executive vice president of MARKET AMERICA | SHOP.COM, and the creator of the award-winning beauty line, MOTIVES BY LOREN RIDINGER, the solution-oriented product line FIXX, the skincare line CELLULAR LABORATORIES, and the exquisite jewelry collection, Loren Jewels.
The Women Behind Estée Lauder
Estee Lauder (Photo via Wikimedia Commons); Aerin Lauder (Photo via 1st Dibs) and Violette (Photo via Estee Lauder)
An iconic force in the beauty industry, Estée Lauder empowers women by enhancing their beauty. A women-for-women brand, we cannot exclude any of the powerhouse ladies behind it. Founder, Estée, was a visionary in the field of luxury creams and cosmetics and believed that any woman could be beautiful. Today her granddaughter, Aerin Lauder, has taken the helm as style and image director of the brand (she also has dabbled in the interior décor industry with some stunning creations!). And Global Beauty Director, Violette, carries out the Lauder philosophy of timeless, rather than trendy beauty while taking the brand in a new and innovative direction on a mission to help women use makeup to embrace and accept who they are rather than try to be someone else.
Beauty is an attitude.
Another visionary woman for her time, Elizabeth Arden got her start at the turn of the 20th century using special techniques that she learned in Paris. Elizabeth was a pioneer bringing makeup from the stage to everyday life, introducing the idea of eye makeup to American women, and offering the first makeovers in her New York salon. Founded as the famous Red Door Salon in Manhattan, the brand, Elizabeth Arden, is now a beauty empire owned by Revlon.
Best described as a serial entrepreneur, Marcia Kilgore founded Bliss Spa, Soap & Glory, Fitflop, Foam and Substance, and, most recently, Beauty Pie, which she describes as “her best idea yet”. She’s been able to sell her brands for millions of dollars within only a few years of conception, making it apparent that she really has a knack for the business of this thing called beauty.
Dr. Macrene Alexiades, MD, PHD
Harvard graduate, Dr. Macrene Alexiades is a renowned dermatologist located on Park Ave in Manhattan. After a jaunt with L’Oreal, Alexiades finally created her own brand of plant-derived skincare, aimed at anti-aging, called 37 Actives. A product we have never tried but heard works wonders!
Quality really can be the key to success! This lesson rings clear in the story of Susanne Kaufmann and her namesake brand. Initially created exclusively for the spa at her family’s Hotel Post Bezau in Austria, her holistic care line quickly received widespread popularity on the global market because of its natural and luxurious appeal.
When life gives you sour lemons, take them and make lemonade! Another cliché line, but one that Tata Harper took to after her stepfather was diagnosed with cancer. Tata began a quest to develop the best skin serums using supercharged and non-toxic ingredients after learning of the harmful side effects of many common ingredients in skincare. Today Tata Harper Skincare has become well known for its effective yet holistic approach to skincare.
One of the most powerful entrepreneurial fuels is the discovery of a problem in need of solving. When former make-up artist Rose-Marie Swift began to see the potential harm of even the tiniest of amounts of chemicals used in cosmetics and skincare and seeing firsthand what products work best, and how her clients wanted to use makeup – she set out to do things better with her brainchild brand RMS Beauty. She developed the skincare line as a healthy alternative to the toxic products on the market and uniquely added a range of oral, pro-biotic rich products, believing that skin’s health reflects what’s going on inside.
There are few modern women in beauty more iconic than Bobbi Brown. She started her career as a makeup artist and became widely known for her natural palette choices for women. A natural born entrepreneur, in 1991 she and a chemist developed a revolutionary line of 10 lipsticks based on a beige pigment which debuted at Bergdorf Goodman in New York. Within a short four years, the success of her line led to its purchase by Estée Lauder, a deal that allowed her to maintain creative control until 2016. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics continues to be the go-to brand for women that want to naturally enhance their beauty and Bobbi Brown the woman continues to share her beauty expertise through her many books.
“My grandfather taught me how important it is to have your eyes open,because you never know what’s going to come your way.”
Madam CJ Walker
Last, but certainly as far as you can get from least, Madam CJ Walker (1867-1919) was the first-ever female self-made millionaire in America, a wealth she earned every cent of through her successful line of hair care products. Ever the entrepreneur and saleswoman, after seeking treatment for hair loss, she developed the “Walker system,” a line of scalp preparation and lotions that revolutionized black hair care, and sold her homemade products directly to black women. In 2016 her products were brought back on the market and are available today exclusively through Sephora.