3 women who changed the face of beauty
And speaking of incredible women and this special day, tonight I wanted to share some of the powerhouses that changed the face of the beauty industry.
Their stories not only paved the way for females in the workplace, but enhanced the lives of millions of women by arming them with tools for self-care, confidence and most importantly, independence. These are just a few of their exceptional stories that have inspired my own path, and I hope will inspire you too…
Now this will probably be a familiar name for many as Estee’s company is still going strong today. Believe it or not, it all started in a small New York kitchen where Estee’s uncle, a chemist, taught her how to make face creams and cleansers.
After becoming completely enthralled by the whole process, Estee started her own company with her husband in 1946. They launched with just 4 products initially (which looked very similar to our 5 Minute Kit today!) but went on to develop famous formulas such as her ‘Youth Dew’ bath oil and sold more than 150 million bottles in one year alone.
Estee’s success was born from her passion to demonstrate her products in person. This allowed her to teach her customers how to recreate professional results at home and was the inspiration for the very first beauty counters, which still line the floors of every department store today.
I’m also sure that if she were still with us, she’d echo my passion for sharing all the skincare tips and tricks across social media too!
Madam C.J Walker
C.J Walker was born Sarah Breedlove in 1865 and has one of the most incredible life stories. Her parents and 4 older siblings were all born into slavery and she was the first to be born free. Unfortunately, she lost both her mother and father at just 7 years old, was married at 14 and widowed by 20…But nothing held her back.
Sarah suffered with severe dandruff and other scalp ailments due to poor living conditions and set about creating a treatment to help improve the quality of her hair. She developed what became known as ‘The Walker System’, a line of haircare products that completely transformed the Black hair care industry.
Initially she sold her products door to door but went on to train over 20,000 women in her techniques and treatments, as an advocate for Black women’s economic independence. She was the first recorded female, self-made millionaire in America and used her wealth to fund Black charities and women’s scholarships.
Her philanthropic legacy is as famous as her products and her work continues to open the doors to more women than she ever could have imagined.
Helena Rubenstein is the woman famous for putting the science into skincare. She grew up in Poland but fled to Australia in 1896 to live with her uncle at 18, after refusing an arranged marriage.
Upon her arrival her flawless complexion didn’t go unnoticed, and she was inundated with questions about her skincare routine. The secret was her mother’s homemade face cream which she sold to locals before eventually making enough money to open her own salon. The first was in Melbourne, the second in Sydney and the dream was to open in London and Paris too.
At the time, women weren’t eligible for bank loans, so she raised $100,000 of her own money and eventually the dream became a reality. Helena’s salons were the first to ‘diagnose’ skin conditions, ‘prescribe’ treatments and share the scientific benefits of her products. Helena wasn’t just about glamour, but about helping women achieve real results and correcting their skin concerns. Something that I still believe wholeheartedly in today too.
I hope these stories brought you as much inspiration as they have brought me through the years. I feel so grateful to be part of an industry led by such pioneering, courageous women and to be surrounded by all the exceptional females in our BASE community. You are truly what make it so special 🥰
Amy is a qualified skin expert and founder of BASE. When she’s not writing about skincare, you’ll find her applying it, developing it or daydreaming about it instead!