Kylie Jenner sold a stake of her beauty brand to the multinational company Coty, which owns companies like Sally Hansen, Cover Girl, and Rimmel, in a $600 million deal. The move drove the value of Jenner’s brand up to $1.2 billion, firmly solidifying her as one of the youngest billionaires in the world. Jenner started the company in 2015, selling lip kits that offered brightly pigmented long-wear lip color to a younger audience. Since then, she’s expanded to a full range of makeup and skincare, with products ranging from $18 to $60.
Her brand is just a portion of the $532 billion beauty industry, according to Business Insider. If you’re wondering how on earth it is possible that “beauty” could possibly be that big, here’s an anecdote: To get my face to the point where I wanted to take a selfie and post it to Instagram this morning — which earned me the 12 compliments and subsequent amount dopamine rush require to function — I used roughly $150 of beauty products. Cleanser, daily peel, retinol, moisturizer, serum, foundation, eye shadow, chap-stick, mascara, lip tint, blush. (None of it was Jenner’s brand, but it was all essentially the same type of products.) And that’s not even a full face of makeup, not a Friday night Euphoria-inspired eyelid disaster.
I’m 23 and feel compelled to “invest” in myself like this because I have bought into the cult of self-care and because I want to look hot. Also, I don’t have a lot of disposable income, and I know spending a lot of money on a multi-oil serum that promises me it is both sustainably sourced and will keep me young forever might not be the cure to all of my woes. But I’m willing to spend $34 in the hopes that it will.
And according to market research, the industry is set to continue to grow with the help of shoppers like me. According to Edited, beauty companies are creating products targeted to Millennials and Gen Z, with factors like price and sustainability becoming a larger focus. Coty, which faced a $965 million write-down this year according to Bloomberg, is hoping to sell some of the older brands they own, like Wella and Clairol, in hopes of shifting towards owning more companies like Jenner’s. With a lower price point and a product that is used by influencers and brand ambassadors, Jenner’s brand has a familiarity and following that comparably successful brands spent decades building up.
Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty is another brand powered by the creator’s celebrity, with similarly successful results. Rihanna posts a photo of herself glamorously made up on Instagram and tags Fenty Beauty in the picture. By going to Fenty Beauty’s page, you can find the exact products Rihanna used to achieve looking like Rihanna. It’s a perfect business model.
The beauty industry is only going to continue growing as more celebrities and influencers enter the business. There's an insatiable appetite out there for the kind of glittery, colorful, products that promise to make us shine online. And I guess I'll just keeping feeling endlessly obliged to purchase products that make deliver the hope of a better me.