You may know her as the pioneering influence behind her eponymous skincare and makeup lines, but there is so much more to Estée Lauder than meets the eye.
Having created a beauty empire, the Estée Lauder corporation now encompasses a range brands including Clinique, Origins and Darphin, but just how did Estée Lauder begin her multi-billion dollar business, and how has the Estée Lauder brand itself evolved into the modern beauty it is today?
Born as Josephine Esther Mentzer in New York City, Estée Lauder became one of the most successful and well-known business women in America and across the world. In fact, she was the only female name on Time Magazine’s List of the 20 Most Influential Business Geniuses of the 20th Century in 1998. No mean feat considering gender inequality is still prevalent today.
She began her career in beauty by working in her Uncle’s chemist business, and started selling his concoctions such as creams, rouges and fragrances. In 1953, she went on to create her own perfume, which was actually formulated as a Bath Oil known as Youth Dew. In stark comparison to the refined French fragrances, where a tiny drop was placed on the wrists and behind the ear, women were encouraged to bathe in the oil, so not only was their skin nourished, but was delicately and divinely scented. Youth Dew is still sold today, but has evolved into a collection of products, including an Eau de Parfum Spray.