7 Self-Made Billionaires In The Beauty Industry

Beauty Industry Self-made Billionaires Pat McGrath

The beauty industry not so long ago only celebrated mid-aged white women who managed to build their empires on their cleverness and how to use their looks. Until recently when the role of social media platforms came in play. Only then people opened their minds on celebrating the success of a person and what they have to offer regardless of their age, gender, race, or class.

The beauty industry is a tough one to break into and stay relevant in as it is consistently changing. So how do they do it? How do they figure out that this is the right business to go into, and how? Some people would go for a more unique way to get advice like tarot cards or hair readings, while others study the market and understand what the masses want and know how to deliver it and stay creative on all fronts. While a lot of people think that the only way to be a billionaire is by inheriting money or being born in a wealthy family, we have right here 7 self-made billionaires who beg to differ.

1. Kylie Jenner

A lot rolled their eyes at the latest announcement for Forbes magazine where they named Kylie Jenner as the youngest “self-made” billionaire. Dictionary.com quickly stirred the tea when they tweeted the literal meaning for self-made as “having succeeded in life unaided”. Kylie was shaded a lot for the statement due to her privilege of being born in one of the wealthiest and most famous families in America. Many argue that without her big sister’s backslide and “keeping up with the Kardashians” we would have never heard of Kylie Jenner. However, the young billionaire has claimed to be independent of a really young age and she didn’t have any inherited money. Kylie then defended her Forbes title by stating how she spent all her own money to start her cosmetic brand back in 2016. No one is doubting whether Kylie started the brand by her money or not, but the fact remains that her fame and connections aren’t “self-made”.

2. Jeffree Star

The beauty industry is filled with creative and unique people who came from nothing to build their empires. Jeffree star is the best example we can set for the term “self-made”. The young artist was the biggest influencer back in MySpace days as a singer/songwriter. Soon the music career that Jeffree has planned for himself would fail to leave him broke. Only to earn the title back again as one of the biggest beauty influencers back in 2007. Jeffree was number 6 on Forbe’s top 10 YouTube influencers which he reacted to on SnapChat stating how he only had $1500 dollars when he started his YouTube channel. The makeup artist then invested alone all his life savings into his first beauty product that soon became the biggest hit on the market. Star also mentioned how Forbes numbers were actually low and how his net worth is much higher than that. While Jeffree is only known as a millionaire, he clarified that his cosmetic brand is not the only thing he invests in.

3. Pat McGrath

The Legendary fashion make-up artist hit the $1 billion long before Kylie did, yet her picture didn’t make it to Forbes cover. The artist is known for her bold colors, her technique of using her hands instead of brushes, and creativity. Pat stated that her success is solely driven by her passion for makeup and how every shoot is different and every look she creates is unique. While Pat received some help from other investors in her makeup lab, the artist founded her makeup line all on her own.

4. Huda Kattan

Who doesn’t have an item or two from the well-known brand Huda Beauty? But Huda wasn’t always that famous. The beauty influencer never imagined that one day she will be a businesswoman with a brand that Forbes recently valued to be $1 billion. She graduated from a college that was forced on her by her parents like many of us with their urge for their kids to study something “serious”. Huda then worked in many jobs that she never was passionate about until she finally quit to find her passion. Her sister then urged her to study what Huda has always found interest in, makeup. Huda then started a beauty blog that wasn’t that much of a success until one day her sister pushed her to follow her dreams to start a makeup brand. The blogger wasn’t making much money from her blog so her sister gave her a small loan to invest in her false lashes back in 2003. That’s when everything changed for Huda and she was finally ready to build her makeup empire and made it to Forbes cover as one of America’s richest self-made woman back in 2008.

5. Anastasia Soare

When Kim K. herself gives the title “Eyebrow Queen”, we know that Soare really deserved it. The Romanian Immigrant built her empire since 2000 with her motto of “one brow at a time. Anastasia saw the demand that wasn’t even acknowledged in Hollywood and she built her entire cosmetic brand around it. It’s hard to imagine now how nobody paid attention to brows back in the 90s with all the eyebrows kits and pallets now. Anastasia then shared some tips on how to become a billionaire after she made it to Forbes’ list of richest self-made women in the USA. The only tip that stood out is to not care about money or fame. You need to just follow your dreams and find your passion and to be the best at your craft.

6. Tory Burch

Once upon a time, a publicist threw everything behind her to become a fashion designer. Tory Burch managed to turn her simple ballet flats into a spark that started her success and her journey of making her first billion. While she didn’t inherit any money, her father is the one who inspired her to become the fashion queen she is today. Tory before all of this viewed herself as a “tomboy who grew up on a Pennsylvania farm”. While tory never studied fashion, she managed to launch her first store back in 2004 from her kitchen table. Soon enough, this one store turned to 160 retail stores. Tory depended on her eye-catching designs to manage on drawing in the attention she needed on her journey to success.

7. Diane von Furstenberg

A wrap dress who is now iconic managed to turn the Belgian designer’s life upside down. Diane is not only a fashion designer, but she is a feminist fashion designer. She has always been an advocate for body diversity and the #MeToo movement within the beauty industry. Diane is also a writer who wrote a few books targeting women in regard to beauty tips. The fashion empire she built is now available in more than 70 countries.

Follow Your Passion

What you need to take away from this article isn’t about following the steps of these self-made billionaires. Everyone is different and your journey will never imitate someone else’s journey. Social media is now allowing everyone to follow their dreams. Whichever that you are interested in, you need to follow it and it’s ensured to grant you success.


Main Image:  Actress Queen Latifah and CoverGirl Global Creative Design Director Pat McGrath
Credit: John Shearer / Staff Getty Images North America

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