This industry was made for us. Women. This industry talks to us. Women. But did you know that most of this industry was started, pioneered and lead by men? There are only a few women in the early days of the beauty industry, but over time we have made our own way. After all, for a long time it was only acceptable for women to wear modern makeup. So why shouldn’t we be the ones to lead this innovative industry?
Let’s celebrate the women who have created an industry honouring woman-kind, our beauty, our respect and our self expression.
The Golden Girls
Elizabeth Arden, Coco Chanel and Estée Lauder are the cosmetic golden girls. While we know these names, there aren’t that many of us who know what they actually did for the industry.
Elizabeth Arden made makeup acceptable for all women, she made the cosmetics industry desirable all over the world and her legacy lives on today through the Elizabeth Arden brand. She is also invented the modern makeover and created a retail environment championing the female consumer.
Coco Chanel. Everyone knows that name, and the Chanel brand. Her approach to beauty products, such as the Iconic Chanel No. 5, gave an otherwise hum-drum fragrance industry a modern and fresh fragrance for the times. It was the first of many innovative beauty products she created. Need proof of her cutting edge products, just walk into any department store and you can see a whole range of luxury cosmetics that stem from her original line.
And Estée Lauder, if you haven’t heard of her, you have been living under a very boring rock. Some of the first experiences we have with makeup are going through our Mum’s cosmetics bags, chances are she had at least one of Estée’s products. One of her greatest legacies was her driving ambition and unapologetic approach to selling. She started out with just four products and went on to be named Time Magazine’s Top 20 most influential business geniuses of the 20th Century.
One of my first memories of shopping for body products and cosmetics is heading into The Body Shop to get a body butter with my mum. I remember the green walls, rows and rows of soaps and the fact that the whole brand was ethical. It was my first exposure to cruelty free shopping. Little did I know at the time, The Body shop was started in England by a lady named Anita Roddick. She was one of the first to use refillable containers and used the brand as a platform to talk about social issues. And! Even though most people associate the green coloured walls with nature and goodness, it was actually the only paint that would cover the stained walls back when the brand was just a tiny store with a tiny budget and a big goal. It wasn’t about being fancy, rich or famous. The Body Shop was all about humble beginnings and having a conscience when buying.
No list is complete without mentioning Iman. The first cosmetics brand to cater women of colour, or basically anyone darker than slightly tanned. Iman, a woman of colour herself, couldn’t find makeup to suit her skin tone so she decided to bridge that enormous gap. Today, Iman Cosmetics is one of the highest selling brands today in the US and continues to grow every day.
And last but not least I think the Modern Day golden girl of cosmetics has got to be the one and only Charlotte Tilbury. Talk about glamour! This woman has not only worked as a makeup artist for the stars but she has made A-list glamour accessible to the millions through her beautiful products and her innovative approach to teaching. The aim of her game is to make you feel like a rockstar through education, innovation and above all, Glamour.
There are countless women now bringing amazing innovation to the beauty industry. Most recently I can’t think of anyone more than Iris from the Quick Flick. Have you had a try of it yet? Its pretty amazing!
Most of all, today is about celebrating being a woman, the strides we have made and those who came before us. But most of all its about looking after your fellow woman and standing side by side on issues that plague us in today’s society and the society we want to build for the future.
I hope you all have an amazing day and kick some butt