10 Women Who Changed The Beauty Industry

10 Women Who Changed The Beauty Industry

With the coming of digital media, influencer marketing and the boom in female entrepreneurship, there has been a shift in the beauty industry. And in how business is done in the cosmetic industry. Women are using social media and their influence as a marketing tool, as a springboard to entrepreneurship and becoming their own boss. Women are securing their place in the world as leaders and innovators. Today, we are are to celebrate 10 women who changed the beauty industry for the better.

Sure the path to equality is still long and we have some work to do but this International Women's Right Day remains the occasion to celebrate women who changed the world, women who have an impact and who paved the way for others. International Women’s Day is a dynamic holiday dedicated to lifting up the social, economic, cultural and political accomplishments of women. It is also rooted in raising awareness of the issues women face across the spectrum and, accordingly, advocating for gender parity.

Thus, it is a day to remind us that Women's Right are still fragile and should not be taken for granted, that the fight still goes on and that women's accomplishments should be celebrated not only on the 8th of March but every other days of the year. Those 10 women who changed the beauty industry empowered women through their accomplishments and contributed to paving the ways for other women to accomplish great things and achieve their dreams.

10 Women Who Changed The Beauty Industry

1. Martha Matilda Harper

Name: Martha Matila Harper
Dates: September 10, 1857 - August 3, 1950
Country: Canada
Job: Businssewoman
What she did: She invited modern retail franchising

Martha started out as a servant girl and became one of the most highly respected business women of her time. As a result, she paved the way with huge innovations in both beauty and business thanks to her hair salon, The Harper Hair Parlour. She is credited to be the first person to come up with a system for what we now know as franchising. She then trained women to open salons using the Harper Hair Parlour and following her rules. By the 1920s, there were over 500 Harper salons around the world. In addition, she also invented the reclining shampoo chair which we all use every time we go to the hairdresser!

2. Madam C.J. Walker

Name: Sarah Breedlove
Dates: December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919
Country: United States
Job: Businssewoman
What she did: She became the first female self-made millionaire in America.

Number 2 on our list of 10 women who changed the beauty industry is Madam C. J. Walker. She developed and marketed a line of beauty and hair products for black women during the 1900s. At first, she started out selling door to door. Then she trained women to become “beauty culturists” by teaching them how to groom and style their hair. Then, she ended up owning a company which included a factory, hair salon, beauty school and learn the art of selling. She made her fortune and continued to support other women by training them and having many women in key management roles. At a time when women, and especially women of colour, had few opportunities and suffered huge discrimination, Madame C. J. Walker was a true pioneer in the beauty industry.

3. Helena Rubinstein

Name: Chaja Rubinstein
Dates: December 25, 1872 – April 1, 1965
Country: Poland, United States
Job: Cosmetic entrepreneur
What she did: She founded Helena Rubinstein Incorporated.

Helena Rubinstein was an entrepreneur and philanthropist born on December 25, 1872, in Krakow, Poland. In 1902, she started her business career in Australia distributing a beauty cream that her mother had used. She soon founded a beauty salon and manufactured cosmetics, working hard to expand her business at every turn. Rubinstein opened salons in London and Paris, and when World War I began she moved to America. Her beauty business grew into a worldwide cosmetics empire, and she eventually created the Helena Rubinstein Foundation in 1953 to fund organizations for children's health. She died on April 1, 1965, in New York City.

4. Elizabeth Arden

Name: Florence Nightingale Graham
Dates: December 31, 1881 – October 18, 1966
Country: Canada
Job: Cosmetic entrepreneur
What she did: She founded Elizabeth Arden Inc.

A big name in the cosmetic industry and number 4 on our list of those 10 women who changed the beauty industry. Throughout the first half of the 20th Century, Elizabeth Arden built a cosmetic brand that is still known all over the world. As a matter of fact, she helped establish makeup as a thing that was acceptable for all women, where it had previously been associated with lower class women. Elizabeth Arden traveled to Paris to learn about beauty, and created ranges of Rouge and Powders that sold around the world. She has been credited with developing the idea of a ‘Makeover’ and showed women the transformative powers of makeup.

Arden was awarded a Légion d’Honneur in 1962 in recognition of her contributions to the cosmetic industry and her legacy lives on with the Elizabeth Arden brand. In the end, Elizabeth Arden not only showed that women could innovate and sell but also her success proved the consumer power of women.

5. Estee Lauder

Name: Josephine Esther Mentzer
Dates: July 1, 1906 – April 24, 2004
Country: United States
Job: Cosmetic entrepreneur
What she did: She co-founded Estee Lauder Companies

Estée Lauder declared that she ‘never worked a day in her life without selling’. It was this drive that led to her being named one of Time Magazine’s top 20 most influential business geniuses of the 20th Century. Estée Lauder started out selling just 4 products, and now her legacy is a multinational corporation which owns 28 different beauty companies. Thus, she was undoubtedly one of the most powerful business women of the 20th Century. With her grandaughters Aerin and Jane still having huge day to day involvement with the company, Estée Lauder gave women in business someone to look up to.

6. Deepica Mutyala

Name: Deepica Mutyala
Dates: July 4, 1989 -
Country: United States
Job: Beauty Expert, YouTuber, TV Host
What she did: She founded Live Tinted

A younger newer name on that list of 10 women who changed the beauty industry, Deepica’s beauty career was kickstarted by a video that went viral on her YouTube channel back in 2015/16. Her Insta feed is all about beauty hacks, tips, interviews, product review and her new baby project, Tinted. Being an Indian born in Texas, Deepica has always been a champion of change for the way we see the beauty industry. As a consequence, she launched Tinted to build an awareness and an empowering community for ‘all the shades in between.” Her Instagram @LiveTinted features people of colour, race and religion. Deepica also serves as an on-air beauty expert on the TODAY Show (an American talk show).

7. Victoria Tsai, founder of Tatcha

Name: Victoria Tsai
Dates: 1978 -
Country: United States, Japan
Job: Cosmetic entrepreneur
What she did: She founded Tatcha

Victoria Tsai is the CEO and founder of Tatcha, the skin-care company based on ancient Japanese traditions. After a decade of working for large corporations, Tsai desired simplicity and authenticity in her life. On a trip to Kyoto, she found a world of pure beauty, craftsmanship and heritage. Tsai created the line after suffering from acute dermatitis and developing a keen awareness about the importance of ingredients used on the skin. Pregnant with her daughter, Alea, at the time, she made certain every product would be as gentle and safe as it was effective.

The company started with just one product: a thin paper used by the Geisha and made of abaca leaves. A Harvard Business graduate turned globetrotting beauty expert and explorer, Tsai splits her time between the Bay Area and Japan, where she travels frequently to work with scientists, researchers and modern-day Geisha to create formulas for the Tatcha collection.

8. Charlotte Tilbury

Name: Charlotte Tillbury
Dates: 10 February 1973 -
Country: United Kingdom
Job: Cosmetic entrepreneur and Global Ambassador for Women for Women International.
What she did: She founded Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Ltd

Another famous name on this list of 10 women who changed the beauty industry, Charlotte Tilbury is another Make Up Artist who has taken the cosmetic world by storm. Tilbury has indeed worked with people like Mario Testino, Gisele Bundchen, Kate Moss and Tom Ford. With her distinctive style, she built up a huge following, Where she is doing things differently is by opening up her skills to all of us.

With her YouTube channel showing tutorials, and the option for customers to buy a complete look from a menu card, she is making beauty something for everyone. You can be your own Make Up Artist. Charlotte Tilbury is one of a new generation of beauty innovators who is changing the way we buy and use Make Up.

9. Iman, International Model

Name: Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid
Dates: 25 July 1955 -
Country: Somalia
Job: International model
What she did: She redefined cosmetics for women of color

Iman is a woman who saw a fundamental gap in the beauty industry and after failing to find products which worked for her skin tone, took matters into her own hands. As a result, Iman Cosmetics is designed around a range of foundations and cosmetics in shades which work with darker skin tones. She developed products which gave women of colour a real choice of options, at an accessible price point. The Iman Cosmetics foundations are now one of the top selling foundations for the USA. Iman gave women of colour visibility within the beauty industry and the success of her range speaks volumes for the demand for products which work on all skin tones.

10. Eunice Johnson, founder of Fashion Fair

Name: Eunice Walker Johnson
Dates: April 4, 1916 – January 3, 2010
Country: United States
Job: Fashion Entrepreneur
What she did: She founded the Ebony Fashion Fair

Before BlackUp, Black Opal, and even Iman Cosmetics, there was Fashion Fair. Started by Eunice Johnson and her husband, John H. Johnson, in 1973, the company caters to the prestige makeup needs of women of color. According to The New York Times, three years after its launch, the brand prompted Revlon, Avon, and Max Factor to expand their shade ranges. Beyond Johnson's cosmetic influence, she was an advocate of supporting and promoting Black designers and models. She created the Ebony Fashion Fair, a country-wide tour that showcased couture and ready-to-wear clothes for a predominantly Black audience.

That is it for our list of those 10 women who changed the beauty industry. Whether they made an impact a few centuries ago or are still changing the cosmetic industry as we know it, their names are always worth celebrating. They show women of the world that anything is possible and that you can accomplish great things. Lt's remember to celebrate women all year round and to celebrate their success every single day of the year!

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