August is Women’s Month in South Africa. At Burst we are always celebrating the amazing women around us. But this is a great time to celebrate women in beauty who have come before us and made a way for us to follow.
Makeup works with fashion – the two combined make powerful, bold statements, allowing women to shine their light brighter.
The beauty industry has a history of strong women who have started their own business and built powerful, iconic brands that have had a lasting influence on the industry.
We are highlighting just a few of these strong, powerful women.
Probably the most iconic of all the women in beauty, Este Lauder was Inspired by her chemist uncle. She started out by working with him to mix lotions and skin products and it was in 1953, she created her first fragrance, Youth Dew. Youth Dew was a little different to the French perfumes that were popular at the time in that it was a bath oil and perfume all-in-one. This product became and instant success and there was no stopping Este Lauder from there. One of her more famous quotes “I have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard.”
Another popular brand, Essie, was started by Essie Weingarten who, in 1981, took 640 pounds worth of her Essie nail polish to Las Vegas. She left samples of her 12 original colors in the most luxurious casino hotels and salons in Las Vegas. It took only 10 days for everyone to call her back and place an order. Word quickly spread and suddenly Essie was a world wide success. She took nail polish to the next level by including vibrant shades, nudes, and metallics in her collection.
Not only is Bobbi Brown known for her makeup line, she has also written 8 successful books – amazing, right? Bobbi Brown started out as a makeup artist and only officially launched her Essentials line in the 90’s, her aim was to simplify makeup for busy women. She did this my creating 10 lipsticks and a small selection of foundation sticks – allowing women to create a collection of basics.
Sonia Kashuk used her experience in fashion design as her inspiration for her beauty empire. Her career began in New York in the ‘80s and she has built a successful beauty brand based on color, shape, and form. She has worked with Cindy Crawford since the model was 17 years old and collaborated on Cindy Crawford’s Basic Face in 1996. Kashuk’s was the first makeup artist to bring luxury but affordable makeup to the mass market at Target.
Often referred to as the most influential makeup artist in the world, Pat McGrath has no formal training or qualifications. Despite that she has worked on shoots for publications like i-D and big name designers like John Galliano and Jil Sanders, She has created extreme editorial looks and is best know for her inventive looks that use bold colors. Pat is also very involved in supporting young talent and runs Instagram contests, giving the winners the opportunity to work with her during fashion week. She’s recently launched her first beauty product.
Oldie Gilbert is old school but unforgettable. She started her career in the early ’80s and has worked with countless famous designers from Helmut Newton to Steven Klein and has years of experience backstage for Chanel, Christian Dior, and John Galliano. She is well known for her larger than life creations and if she did not already have enough success she launched a line of hair accessories in 2001.
Sally Hershberger is the queen of celebrity hair. When she opened her salon in New York City, she charged $600 for a cut which was the most price at the time. She rose to fame as the it-girl-slash-model of perfectly undone hair, creating Meg Ryan’s signature shag. She changed hairstyling forever.
Michelle Phan opened up the world of beauty to a whole new audience by becoming the ultimate Youtube influencer in 2007. Many attribute the spike in DIY beauty content creators to Michelle. She has collaborated with big name brands like Lancome and L’Oréal, and has her own beauty subscription service.
Emily Weiss launched her blog, Into the Gloss in 2010. The motivation for this blog came about because Emily felt that the was no authentic, honest coverage of the fashion industry. She not only does product reviews but has featured high-profile women like Gigi Hadid and Cindy Crawford. During these interviews she showcases behind the scenes of peoples lives. When Emily launched her first product line Glossier, it was met positively and is a huge success.
Charlotte Tilbury is a British makeup artist with an editorial background. She has worked with Kate Moss, Mario Testino, Tom Ford, Gisele Bündchen, to name a few. Charlotte went on to launch a sucessful YouTube channel in 2012 and has built an almost cult like following of women of all ages. Following the success of her YouTube channel she went on to launch a chic line of products in 2013.
The name Laura Mercier is synonymous with perfect skin. She started her makeup journey when she was just 17 years old in her France. Laura moved to New York in 1985 to join the team that launched Elle in the U.S. Her work has appeared in various magazines and fashion campaigns from Bergdorf Goodman to Bloomingdale’s and she has worked closely with Madonna. Mercier started her cosmetic line in 1996 and her values include natural beauty and creating the “flawless face,” – values that have stood the test of time.