Mac Cosmetics Outlet » Estee Lauder Cosmetics

Estee Lauder - A Cosmetics Tycoon

One of the most dynamic businesswomen of the 20th century, Estee Lauder through focus and hard work created one of the world’s most recognized cosmetics brands. With a single-mindedness of purpose rarely encountered, Estee Lauder left behind her at her death a business whose products are today available in almost every country and which employs tens of thousands worldwide.

Born Josephine Esther Mentzer in Queens, New York in 1908, to father Max and mother Rose who were of Eastern European descent, she was trained in the selling of skin care products to local beauty salons and hotels by her uncle, John Schotz, a chemist with New Way Laboratories. In 1930 Estee (her nickname) married Joseph Lauter, the family changing their surname to "Lauder" later that decade.

Estee Lauder was a late bloomer. It was not until 1948, at the ripe old age of forty, that her legacy really was born. In that year, she used her sales skills to obtain a counter at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, where she sold her own skin care products. Counters at other well-known department stores such as Neiman Marcus soon followed.

Her first perfume product was introduced in 1953. Called Youth Dew, it was actually a bath oil that could also serve as a perfume, and it was an instant success with women, who purchased more than 50,000 bottles in the very first year. That success led to her opening Estee Lauder counters across America and in 1960 she entered the international market with Harrods department store in London, England.

There followed a series of product launches that would solidify the reputation of the Estee Lauder brand across the globe. These included Aramis in 1965 (a line of men’s fragrances and grooming products) and Clinique in 1968 (the first non-allergenic fragrance-free cosmetics brand). Her company also contracted to become the world-wide licensee for Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan fragrances and cosmetics.

Besides her relentless drive, her success was largely driven by her sales philosophy that held that in order to make a sale, it is necessary to actually make contact with and engage the prospective customer. In fact whenever her product line was introduced to a new retailer, Estee Lauder would show up to counsel the store’s staff on how to sell her products, and its customers on how her products could help them. As regards the latter, she stated that “in a perfect world, we'd all be judged on the sweetness of our souls. But in our less than perfect world, the woman who looks pretty has a distinct advantage and, usually, the last word”.

Two marketing innovations can be specifically attributed to her. After her success was achieved, she liked to socialize with the rich and famous, and would often give them sample of her products so that they could spread the word. More importantly, she introduced the concept of offering customers a free gift with every purchase of one of her cosmetics.

Estee Lauder continued to work for her company until well into her 80’s. By the time of her death in 2004 at age 97, her cosmetic company’s reach extended into almost every country in the world, earned billions of dollars annually and controlled almost 45% of the U.S. cosmetic market in department stores.

Prior to her death, she was the recipient of many awards recognizing her unique genius and her contributions to the American business landscape. These included being honored by the American Business Women’s Association as one of the 10 Outstanding Women in Business. And in 1998, Estee Lauder was selected by Time Magazine as one of the 20 most influential business geniuses of the 20th century. Not bad for the youngest daughter of nine children whose father owned a small hardware store in Queens.

The author, Colin Albert, oversees the MineralMakeupShoppe website. The site discusses a new cosmetic product called Naked Minerals, which is a pressed all-natural mineral makeup that is not only easy to apply, but does not not stain your clothes.