The use of cosmetics can be traced back to Sumerian times, roughly around five thousand years ago. It’s safe to say that this industry is one of the things closest to stability we, as a species, have. Over the course of those five thousand years, makeup hasn’t exactly changed a lot. Sure, some trends may have been at their peak at certain points in history – the intense use of artsy eyeliner in Ancient Egypt, for example. But it’s not like we’ve altered the concept much.
Makeup is incredibly important for a list of reasons. It provides boosts of confidence by hiding various imperfections, and it can radically change our appearance without having to make any permanent modifications. It’s not an industry without its controversies, obviously, which is why the Top 10 Best Makeup Brands are your go-to options. Blending quality with guarantees and certain amounts of safety, these companies have established themselves as the absolute titans of this ever-growing industry. Some of them have been around for decades, ever since the 19th century. With such a track record, who could possibly deny their relevance?
L’Oreal Paris (as it often likes to brand itself) was founded in 1909 by Eugene Schueller. It developed activities in a variety of fields, including cosmetics, hair color, skincare, makeup, and perfumes. The company has official headquarters in over 41 countries, with the official one being located Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, Paris. At the moment, it’s the biggest cosmetics company in the world, with yearly profits that can reach as much as a few tens of billions.
#2 Estee Lauder
Headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York, Estee Lauder is one of the most prestigious makeup brands in the world. Founded in the aftermaths of World War II in 1946 by Estee and Joseph Lauder, it specializes in makeup, skincare, fragrances, and hair care. The company is an umbrella for other big names in the cosmetics industry, including famed makeup brands Bobbi Brown, M.A.C., and Clinique. Estee Lauder is also prevalent among men, having earned a loyal fanbase of gentlemen who seek the brand out for high-quality hair gel and dye.
This Swedish cosmetics company dates back to 1967 when it was founded by the two brothers Jonas af Jochnick and Robert af Jochnick. Specialized in products from fields such as makeup, skincare, hair care, accessories, and many others, it uses a multi-level marketing system that allows direct sell to customers through the use of intermediates and catalogs. Oriflame produces fragrances, makeup items, lotions, as well as accessories of the likes of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, bags, or sunglasses.
Avon and Oriflame are definitely direct competitors, especially because of their similarities. The American brand, located in New York City, USA, produces personal care items, accessories, toys, and fragrances. Like in the case of the former entry, they are distributed to their customers by using the multi-level marketing system through a total of 6.4 million representatives worldwide. The company was created in 1886, founded by David H. McConnell. Although in 2013 it had total sales of $10 billion from all over the world, it struggled in 2015 with a sudden drop in its revenue. Avon has recently completed the sales of the American business and, as part of a three-year plan, it will soon move its headquarters to the United Kingdom.
#5 MAC Cosmetics
Frank Angelo founded the company in 1984, with its then headquarters being located in Toronto, Canada. When it was first created, MAC Cosmetics was mostly aimed at professional makeup artists, realizing afterward that opening to the general public would be considerably more profitable. Estee Lauder Companies bought the rights to the company in 1996 and, only a year later, founder Frank Angelo died because of complications during surgery. The company is specialized in consumable goods, specifically makeup items, and it’s currently one of the top three makeup brands in the world, with thirty stores being open in France alone. Every store is run by professional makeup artists.
Lancome Paris is a brand specialized in cosmetics and fragrances, part of the parent company L’Oreal. Considered to be one of the most luxurious makeup brands in the world, it was founded in 1935 by Armand Petitjean. The house was acquired by L’Oreal in 1964.
With a name as refined as this, it’s no wonder that Artistry is a brand ranked among one of the most prestigious luxury makeup brands in the world, alongside those of the likes of Estee Lauder, Clinique, Lancome, and Shiseido. The company was launched in 1968, reaching by 2000 an estimated total of 400 products. It’s manufactured by Access Business Group and marketed by Amway in a total of 108 countries.
Nivea may not be best known for makeup, given that its specialty lies in personal care products of the likes of anti-age creams, lotions, facial cleansers, and shampoos. However, it does produce some makeup items, out of which the biggest success is the balm lipstick. The company has a long history, having been founded in 1882, Germany. It suffered enormously because of World War II when large portions of the Hamburg production plants were lost after Allied bombing. Moreover, it was, for a long time, a brand associated with the Nazi movement, something that the company started distancing from around the end of 1949.
American company Revlon was founded in 1932 and operates in the industries of cosmetics, skincare, fragrances, and personal care. In the 40’s, Revlon was widely known for its clever marketing campaigns, which relied on using hand-drawn black and white illustrations. The brand was also one of the few to associate lipstick and nail polish colors with exotic names, something that was also a result of the marketing campaign.
#10 Urban Decay
Don’t let the name fool you. This American cosmetics house is going to do the opposite of having you decay. One of the youngest companies from this list, it was founded in 1996 and started producing personal care items, which include lipsticks, eye shadows, and nail polish. Urban Decay products are sold worldwide in some of the biggest themed stores in the world, including Sephora, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Ulta. The brand is also a subsidiary of the French company L’Oreal.