Celebrating 20 Years of Beauty Inc

·11 min read

2001: Chantal Roos photographed by Roberto Frankenberg

“Can this woman breathe new life into YSL Beauté?” blared the very first cover of Beauty Biz magazine, of Chantal Roos, the legendary fragrance exec who then oversaw the brand. The answer was yes. In 2008, L’Oréal bought YSL Beauté for 1.15 billion euros, and today it is a top performer worldwid. Elsewhere in the issue was news of Sephora’s first-ever runway show, a ranking of the top-selling fragrance gift sets for the holidays (Estée Lauder’s Perfume Treasures was number one) and an insider’s look at Gisele’s early ads for Victoria’s Secret.

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2001: Chantal Roos photographed by Roberto Frankenberg
2001: Chantal Roos photographed by Roberto Frankenberg

2002: Marcia Kilgore photographed by Gunther Intelman

Back then, Marcia Kilgore was the bright young founder of Bliss, the spa and skin-care concern that LVMH took a stake in a few years earlier. In the ensuring years, the serial entrepreneur has founded no fewer than four successful brands, including Soap & Glory, FitFlop footwear and, most recently, Beauty Pie. Also making news: Banana Republic’s first makeup line (r.i.p.), Barneys New York’s decision to move its beauty floor to the basement level and the dermatologists shaking up the skin care scene.

2002: Marcia Kilgore photographed by Gunther Intelman
2002: Marcia Kilgore photographed by Gunther Intelman

2003: Jean-Paul Agon photographed by Ben Baker

L’Oréal’s Jean-Paul Agon appears on what would be the first of many Beauty Inc covers, here in his first in-depth interview as CEO of L’Oréal US. He became global CEO in 2006, leading the world’s largest beauty concern to a position of even greater strength. Upon his retirement and elevation to chairman earlier this year, Agon had enriched L’Oréal’s portfolio through some 30 acquisitions, increased significantly the size of its mass and luxury businesses, ushered in the digital era, and created a global enterprise that met his original goal of attracting 1 billion new consumers to the company. Numbers-wise, that translated to a quadrupling of L’Oréal’s market cap under Agon, to close to 200 billion euros, and a group share price that increased by more than 350 percent.

2003: Jean-Paul Agon photographed by Ben Baker
2003: Jean-Paul Agon photographed by Ben Baker

2004: Model Sarah Crutchfield photographed by Gail Hadani

Beauty Biz took a deep breath and delved into the growing business of well-being, reporting on a growing group of brands (Avon Wellness, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Norma Kamali and Origins, to name a few) that were capitalizing on the nascent inner health-outer beauty connection. Prada was in the news, too, as then-licensee Puig tried to get the brand’s struggling beauty business back on track (more recently, L’Oréal took control of the license in 2019 and introduced its debut effort, Luna Rossa Ocean men’s scent in August.) And in retail news, the 800,000 square-foot IFC mall opened in Hong Kong with 15 beauty stores. Today, that number is 35.

Model Sarah Crutchfield photographed by Gail Hadani
Model Sarah Crutchfield photographed by Gail Hadani

2005: Model Yoon-Ae Paik photographed by Tetsuya Nikura

Beauty Biz’s first — but far from last — in-depth report on the growth of the beauty business in China, assessing the fast-growing middle-class consumer base and the explosive development of international brands like Estée Lauder, Lancôme and Olay. Key launches that year included the vibrating razor from Venus (who could forget it?), CK One Summer and SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic (a successful launch, indeed — today, two are sold every minute.)

2005: Model Yoon-Ae Paik photographed by Tetsuya Nikura
2005: Model Yoon-Ae Paik photographed by Tetsuya Nikura

2006:Anne Hathaway photographed by Guy Aroch

Who better for Beauty Biz’s first celeb cover than Anne Hathaway on the eve of the opening of “The Devil Wears Prada.” That was the year red carpet beauty cemented its influence in the trendosphere, as consumers clamored to emulate all things celebrity. We asked beauty execs for their top rising stars. John Demsey chose Amy Adams, Pamela Baxter tapped Camilla Belle, and PR guru Alison Brod tapped Amanda Bynes as one to watch.

2006:Anne Hathaway photographed by Guy Aroch
2006:Anne Hathaway photographed by Guy Aroch

2007: Susan Arnold photographed by Melanie Dunea

Procter & Gamble’s Susan Arnold was instrumental in transforming the consumer packaged giant into a bona fide beauty player, tripling sales from $7 billion in 2000 to $23 billion (including feminine care) in 2007. Since then, the business has had its ups and downs, selling 41 brands to Coty Inc. in 2015 for $12.5 billion in a move that proved to be transformational for P&G. Under current beauty CEO Alex Keith, the remaining brands like Olay, Patene and SK-II have soared, with P&G the only company in 2020 to post an increase in sales despite the effects of the global pandemic, reaching a turnover of $14 billion.

2007: Susan Arnold photographed by Melanie Dunea
2007: Susan Arnold photographed by Melanie Dunea

2008: Christy Turlington Burns photographed by Guy Aroch

Supermodel Christy Turlington Burns fronted an issue dedicated to the feel-good gurus and the continuing boom in wellness. Then, it was driven by Baby Boomers who had turned their attention — and spending — from high-priced luxury goods to taking care of themselves and pampering mind, body and spirit. Today, their progeny — Millennials and Gen Z — are driving ever bigger growth in the sector. Important even before the pandemic, the notion of self-care is now a priority for many, with McKinsey estimating the global wellness market at more than $1.5 trillion, with annual growth of 5 to 10 percent.

2008: Christy Turlington Burns photographed by Guy Aroch
2008: Christy Turlington Burns photographed by Guy Aroch

2009: Arlenis Sosa photographed by Guy Aroch

Presaging many of the key growth drivers of the upcoming decade, Beauty Biz delved into mobile phone marketing — still in its nascency. (We still called apps by their full name.) We also reported on the TV shopping wars between QVC and HSN (today they’re one big happy family) and profiled Latinx model — and current Lancôme spokesmodel — Arlenis Sosa.

2009: Arlenis Sosa photographed by Guy Aroch
2009: Arlenis Sosa photographed by Guy Aroch

2010: Leonard A. Lauder photographed by Chris Buck

The legendary Leonard A. Lauder appears on his first (and only) cover of Beauty Biz, the recipient of our first Visionary Award. “A visionary is someone who can see the future, or thinks he sees the future,” he told Pete Born. “That doesn’t come from daydreams or dreams, but it comes from knowing the market and the world and people really well, and knowing where they’re going to go tomorrow. Great ballplayers know where the ball is going to be,” he concluded. “That’s how they catch it. I know where the ball is going to be.”

2010: Leonard A. Lauder photographed by Chris Buck
2010: Leonard A. Lauder photographed by Chris Buck

2011: Lauren Hutton and Ashley Smith photographed by Ruven Afanador

Call it the ultimate makeover: We transformed Beauty Biz into Beauty Inc with an issue that heralded the new era of ageless beauty — as personified by cover stars Lauren Hutton, then 67, and Ashley Smith, who was 20 at the time. Elsewhere we explored the scientific discoveries leading to longer lifespans, reported on a new way to develop products called crowdsourcing (how novel!) and learned the secrets of successfully running a marathon with then-Groupe Clarins CEO Philip Shearer (fastest time: 3 hours and 17 minutes.)

2011: Lauren Hutton and Ashley Smith photographed by Ruven Afanador
2011: Lauren Hutton and Ashley Smith photographed by Ruven Afanador

2012: Travel retail illustration by Mike Lemanski

The travel retail channel was starting to soar, and Beauty Inc was there as it took off. At the time, Brazilians were fueling much of the growth, but it was traveling Chinese consumers who would really drive the channel’s exponential expansion, helping perfume and cosmetics sales increase from $13.8 billion in 2011 to a pre-pandemic high of $31 billion in 2018. Elsewhere in the issue, Facebook had established itself as a marketing must for beauty and we spotlighted the top five beauty performers on the platform, as measured by likes (remember those?): Dove, MAC, L’Oréal Paris, Kat Von D and Maybelline New York.

2012: Travel retail illustration by Mike Lemanski
2012: Travel retail illustration by Mike Lemanski

2013: Pat McGrath photographed by Ben Hassett

Makeup genius Pat McGrath (now Dame Pat) hadn’t yet launched her namesake line when we profiled her, but she hinted at what was to come, noting “there is always space in the market when asked if she had anything in the works. Still, color was a fertile ground for others, particularly fashion designers. In the wake of Tom Ford’s successful launch, others joined the action, including Marc Jacobs, Burberry and Christian Louboutin. Also coming into their own: Next-gen sunscreen brands like St. Tropez, Coola and Supergoop!, then a fledgling brand and today a leader with products like Unseen Sunscreen, three of which sell every minute.

2013: Pat McGrath photographed by Ben Hassett
2013: Pat McGrath photographed by Ben Hassett

2014: JiHye Park photographed by Jason Kim

Remember BB Creams? They heralded the surge that was K-Beauty — starting in China and then spreading far beyond, as giants like AmorePacific and LG Household and Health Care set new standards for innovation in skin care. Closer to home, brands like MAC, Benefit Cosmetics and Jo Malone London were starting to exponentially expand their own retail networks, a trend that continues today. And who could forget the sit-down between retail genius Ed Burstell and legendary entrepreneur Bobbi Brown, one of beauty’s most prolific creators. “My problem isn’t coming up with something new,” said Brown. “It’s which of the new ideas to do!”

2014: JiHye Park photographed by Jason Kim
2014: JiHye Park photographed by Jason Kim

2015: Models Nora Vai and Ragnhild Jevne photographed by Ruven Afanador

Today, clean beauty is an established part of the beauty lexicon. But six years ago, it was just starting to enter the mainstream with brands like Beautycounter, Youth to the People, Ilia and Drunk Elephant leading the way. Elsewhere, we noted the appointments of David Taylor as CEO of P&G and Celia Ellenberg as beauty editor of Vogue, and reported on the sensational social media success of Anastasia Beverly Hills. All of those things still hold true, but what has changed are the numbers. Back then, the brand’s earned media value was about $46.5 million, reported Tribe Dynamics, who calculated the brand’s 2020 EMV figure to be in excess of $1 billion.

2015: Models Nora Vai and Ragnhild Jevne photographed by Ruven Afanador
2015: Models Nora Vai and Ragnhild Jevne photographed by Ruven Afanador

2016: Jamie Kern Lima photographed by Ahmed Klink

Talk about prescient: Our headline for It Cosmetics founder Jamie Kern Lima was “Strike It Rich,” and that was before she sold the brand to L’Oréal for $1.2 billion — in cash. (Kern Lima herself reportedly took home about $410 million of that.) We also turned the spotlight on the beauty youthquake, profiling those in the under-40 set — makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench and entrepreneurs Emily Weiss and Huda Kattan, to name a few — who helped usher in a new era for the industry.

2016: Jamie Kern Lima photographed by Ahmed Klink
2016: Jamie Kern Lima photographed by Ahmed Klink

2017: Fabrizio Freda photographed by Nigel Parry

What a success story: Fabrizio Freda, CEO of the Estée Lauder Cos., has been one of the most transformational leaders in beauty. No wonder he’s made multiple appearances on the cover of Beauty Inc since his appointment in 2009, including here, in 2017. That year, he had increased sales 54 percent, from about $7.4 billion when he took over to $11.4 billion, a trajectory that has continued. When Freda won our Impact Award in 2019, Lauder’s sales topped the $14.5 billion mark and his “multiple engines of growth” strategic vision has resulted in leadership positions across geographies and categories. Vroom vroom.

2017: Fabrizio Freda photographed by Nigel Parry
2017: Fabrizio Freda photographed by Nigel Parry

2018: Mind the Gap illustration by Annu Kilpeläinen

Beauty Inc produced its first Women’s Issue in 2017 to highlight gender inequality at the upper levels of the beauty industry. For our second annual iteration, we took an in-depth look at the lack of equity and inclusivity. Unilever’s Esi Eggleston-Bracey led a panel with Uoma Beauty’s Sharon Chuter, P&G’s Lela Coffey and Mary Carmen Gasco-Buisson, JuE Wong (then of Moroccan Oil and today CEO of Olaplex) and Trisch Smith of Edelman, shining a light on the tough truths the industry faced to truly become representational of the consumers it serves. For the first time, we also quantified the number of women and women of color at the executive and C-suite level in the 10 largest companies, and have subsequently reported on the progress made — and the work left to be done.

2018: Mind the Gap illustration by Annu Kilpeläinen
2018: Mind the Gap illustration by Annu Kilpeläinen

2019: North West photographed by Juco

Our highest-profile cover subject was also our youngest: North West, the daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, garnered over two billion impressions for Beauty Inc when she posed for a story looking at the rise of the highly connected generation Alpha. Their youth belies their power — the U.S. Census Bureau says people 17 and under will comprise 43 percent of the country’s population by 2025, which means that we will all most likely be seeing much more of North in the years to come.

2019: North West photographed by Juco
2019: North West photographed by Juco

2020: LaShawn Kenley photographed by Remigio Newton

The new social justice moment sparked by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police had a profound impact on society at large and on beauty. Companies have been reassessing how Black people are represented internally and externally, recognizing that their efforts to date haven’t sufficed. Combined with the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, we saw a reset that continues to this day, in which everything from corporate structure to consumer mores are being reassessed. And while no one can predict the future and how the industry will evolve to meet the culture where it is, one thing is certain: Beauty Inc will be there to cover it every step of the way.

2020: LaShawn Kenley photographed by Remigio Newton
2020: LaShawn Kenley photographed by Remigio Newton

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