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11 People Who Changed the Cosmetics Industry

11 People Who Changed the Cosmetics Industry

Today's beauty landscape is dominated by big names: L'Oréal, Chanel, Estée Lauder, Clairol, et al. But for every one of these brands, there are discoveries, innovations, and business savvy that have brought them into the modern era. And the history of the cosmetics biz is a fascinating and cutthroat one. Curious about who's responsible for the beauty world we have now? See 11 names every beauty buff should know (and why you should know them) when you keep reading.

  • Lawrence and Joan Gelb — This couple 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.
  • Eugene Rimmel — Rimmel is the man who changed billions of eyelashes by inventing the first commercially available mascara. To this day, "rimmel" is still the word for mascara in languages ranging from Italian to Turkish.
  • 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.
  • Charles Revson — Revlon's founder made his mark by giving women a whole array of nail polish shades that had previously been unavailable, and then created matching lipstick shades so that women could coordinate their makeup perfectly.
  • 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.
  • Eugene Schueller — He founded L'Oréal, now the world's largest cosmetics and beauty company, with over 500 brands in place. His legacy, however, has been irrevocably tarnished by his involvement with the Mouvement Social Révolutionnaire, a fascistic pro-Nazi organization that was involved in the bombing of seven French synagogues in 1941.
  • Ernest Beaux — Everyone knows Coco Chanel, but fewer know Beaux, the nose behind Chanel No. 5 and creator of the modern fragrance. Although synthetics were already in use in perfumery, No. 5's enormous jolt of an aldehyde note made it the first scent to showcase artificiality, paving the way for notes as unatural as bubblegum and champagne.
  • Arinobu Fukuhara — Fukuhara opened the Shiseido Pharmacy in 1872, and his legacy still remains with Shiseido, now considered the world's oldest cosmetics company.

Source: Vintage Ad Browser

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