The earliest traces of makeup and cosmetics can be traced as far back as 4000 BC in Egypt. In ancient Rome, people regularly bathed to keep themselves clean and Romans developed a special formula to hide skin blemishes as well.
In the early history of cosmetics, dangerous elements such as mercury, arsenic, and lead were used as they were believed to give enhanced beauty. Now decades later the whole industry has transformed totally focusing more on organic and herbal products.
The beauty business industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry now and is steadily making a profit year after year. Valued at $445 billion, the beauty industry is growing at an impressive rate with at least 40 successful startups today.
Women are more comfortable at handling jobs related to the beauty and makeover industry and hence their effectiveness in this industry is much more as compared to men.
Beauty products and their constituents
The beauty industry does not only include high-end stuff such as perfumes and makeups it includes everything available in the market, products, and services that help people look and smell their best. So, it also includes spas, waxing salons, makeover shops, hair styling shops, deodorant, toothpaste and so much more.
It is every product and service dedicated to helping people look good, based on their definition of good. The definition of beautiful is very malleable and changes continuously. Today, with the advent of social media, people are competing with each other to look good. The beauty, makeover and cosmetics industry hence has found a new section of the society to reach out to.
Thus, with ever-increasing boundaries of beauty and with the code of social acceptance attached to it, beauty and makeup companies are able to exploit a niche market and offer their services and products to a wide variety of people belonging to different ethnicities and regions.
Market share by revenue- In the United States of America, the largest market share by revenue for beauty, styling, makeover and cosmetic products and services is held by Hair Care companies at a whopping 24%. This is followed very closely by Skin Care companies at 23.7% reflecting that people are conscious about their skin tone and health. Cosmetics make up about 14.6% of the share and Perfumes and colognes at 9.5%.
Deodorants, feminine cleansing products, antiperspirants follow suit with 8.5% and at the last comes oral hygiene with 5.6%. All the other kinds of products and services make up for the remaining 14.1%.
- Employment- Bureau of Labor Statistics says that there are at least one million people employed in the service segment of the beauty and cosmetics industry and the numbers are expected to rise further-
- Jobs as barbers, cosmetologists, hairdressers, employed about 656,000 people and is expected to grow by 10%
- There were an estimated 113,600 manicurists and pedicurists in 2004 and a similar growth is expected here as well.
- Skincare specialists were 55,000 in number in the year 2014 and a 12% growth is expected by 2024.
- A whopping 22% growth is expected for massage therapists, the number of which stood at 168,000 in 2014.
Needless to say, women occupy the majority of the percentage mentioned above.
Why women rule the beauty industry and why they will probably continue doing so
Women are at the forefront when creating companies and startups that manufacture cosmetic, makeover and beauty products. Here are some reasons why women are so good in this domain-
- Beauty enterprises can be managed and juggled- Women have the innate ability to juggle multiple responsibilities and in the initial phases of a startup, women can juggle their work with other responsibilities. This gives them a unique chance of taking care of everything without having to bother.
- Women are more equipped in this domain- For launching or marketing a specific product in the market, women need not go any further than to consult herself and self-reference. This is because women know what women want best and hence while the male counterparts sit around big boardroom tables scratching heads, women can consult herself or her female friends and family and come out with an innovative and marketable product pretty easily and quickly.
- Women understand and react appropriately- Women have a great sense of intuition and the ability to react to certain situations appropriately and correctly. Thus, most of the major beauty products and cosmetics owners take the right decision thus expanding their companies to a vast global market.
Women in the beauty, makeover and cosmetics industry
Women are still not given equal opportunities and face harassment and prejudice in every sector in every industry. The beauty business is no stranger to this phenomenon. But despite the many struggles and difficulties, women have come up on top as successful entrepreneurs and global leaders. Their courage, perseverance, and tenacity are the hallmarks of their success.
Some of the women who made it big in the beauty industry are-
- Marcia Kilgore- Marcia is the founder of Bliss Spas, Soap and Glory and Fit Flop. She was the founder of Bliss Spas which she sold to LVHM at a reported $30 million price in the year 1999 and then went on to create Soap and Glory skincare along with Fit Flop, a fit flop (footwear) for toning the body. These achieved a total combined sale of 130 million pounds. Marcia is very passionate about her entrepreneurship and maintains an optimistic outlook on life.
- Aerin Lauder- Aerin Lauder is the creative director of the famous Estee Lauder companies. Although she inherited the Estee Lauder company, she has worked very hard to reach where she is today and due to her efforts and perseverance, Estee Lauder features on the New York Stock Exchange and has a net worth of around 1.64 billion dollars. Her famous quote, “I didn’t get here by dreaming or thinking about it. I got here by doing it,” describes everything about her. She has not only inherited the company from her grandmother, but she has also inherited her intense work-ethic which enabled her to take the company where it is today.
- Coco Chanel- Coco Chanel needs no introduction. She was the founder of the famous Chanel brand. Chanel was credit with the liberation of women post World War-I era from the boundaries of the corseted silhouette. Chanel now is a leading manufacturer of high-end perfumes and beauty products and has an impressive revenue of almost $5.2 billion. It was Chanel’s visions and dreams that made the company as successful as it is today.
- Eunice W. Johnson- Eunice created a fundraiser for a hospital in New Orleans called The Ebony Fashion Tour and featured African American models. It also helped showcase the works of African American designers. Later when it was found out that it was difficult to the get suitable cosmetics for the darker skin tone, Johnson created the Fashion Fair Cosmetics line in 1973 to be sold in departmental stores.
Effect of social media and entertainment
With social media enveloping each and every aspect of life, people are becoming more concerned about their looks and are desperately trying to emulate their favourite superstars on television screens. This bears a direct correlation with the makeover and beauty industry as more and more products become available for the masses. Some of the reasons as to why people are inclined towards beautifying themselves are-
- Increase the social standing amongst friends
- Increasing the chances of success at work or in any other field
- Earn more money
- Increasing the chances of getting a suitable partner
- To help them appear more competent
In conclusion, it can be stated that with the increase in digitization the demand for makeup, cosmetics and beautification products and services are expected to grow. This would give rise to many different companies exploiting niche raw materials for developing unique products. One can easily expect that the majority of these companies will be run by women and a major portion of their workforce too will consist of members of the fairer sex.