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Cosmetics Industry: Home

Guide for undergraduate and graduate students covering resources for the business aspects of the U.S. cosmetics industry, including top companies, market information and trends


Retail sales of color cosmetics in the U.S. is expected to exceed $11.1 Billion in 2019The U.S. Cosmetics industry includes companies that manufacture and distribute make-up for eyes, face, lips and nails, but not perfume, soap, skincare or hair care.  Information on the U.S. Cosmetics industry needs to be compiled by searching a variety of resources including databases, newspapers, business journals, industry web sites, publications and reports, company web sites and social media. 

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Top Companies

Link to company web sites to learn more about company history, products, news, trends and financial information if public.


L'Oreal SA   $30.8 Billion, brands: IT Cosmetics, Lancome, Maybelline, NYXX, Urban Decay, YSL. revenues

Estee Lauder  $14.9 Billion, brands: Estee Lauder, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, MAC, Becca, Aerin Beauty, Too Faced

Coty    $ 9.3 Billion, brands: Cover Girl, Max Factor, Rimmel

Revlon Inc.  $  2.5 Billion, brands: Revlon, Almay, Elizabeth Arden

Mary Kay  $ 3.4 Billion (estimate), brands: Mary Kay and Timewise

Beauty Packaging Magazine has data on the TOP 20 GLOBAL BEAUTY COMPANIES, including several cosmetics companies


Cosmetics are purchased through many channels including health & beauty stores, mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs department stores, drugstores, supermarkets and other

Sephora, USA  Revenue: $ 1.2 Billion (estimated)

Ulta Beauty  Revenue: $6.7 Billion

Target  Revenue:$75 Billion

Industry Information

IBIS World includes these 2019 reports on the cosmetics market, including these reports: Beauty, Cosmetics & Fragrance Stores in the U.S., and Cosmetic and Beauty Product Manufacturing in the U.S.


The following publications and market research reports offer overviews of the cosmetic industry:


The U.S Food and Drug Administration's cosmetics web site has information on the regulation of cosmetics, ingredients, labeling, links industry associations and events, and news.

Industry Trade Associations:

Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) is a professional trade association with more than 10,000+ members from over 3,300 companies in the beauty and retail industries.  The site has some free content including news, companies, top brands by sales, product awards, trends, events and  marketing.

The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) is a trade association of global cosmetic and personal care companies.  The association serves "as the voice on scientific, legal, regulatory, legislative and international issues."  The PCPC site has news, an international buyer's guide, a suppliers directory, and information on ingredients in cosmetics.

Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors (ICMAD) is a trade association who's mission is to represent, educate and foster growth and profitability of entrepreneurial and independent companies in the cosmetic and personal care industries worldwide. The web site has news, regulatory and international trade information, independent beauty innovators (IBI) awards, and the Annual Beauty Reference Guide with information on the cosmetics market, companies and trends.

Web Sites and News:

Cosmetics Business is a journal and web site with industry news and information used by business professionals in the cosmetics and personal care industries.  The web site has up to date news, trends and a directory of companies in the industry.

Beauty Packaging Magazine's web site covers manufacturing, packaging and marketing, and is published for executives involved in the personal care, cosmetic and fragrance industry.  This magazine and web site has news and articles on trends in the cosmetics industry such as sustainable packaging, social media and digital marketing.  There is also an international buyer's guide, information on events, and reports including their TOP 20 GLOBAL BEAUTY COMPANIES

Cosmetics Design is an online news source for online news source for the cosmetics and personal care industry.  Content includes good articles on trends such as sustainability.

The Library of Congress has an excellent research guide covering on The Business of Beauty


Ingredients & the Environment

Consumers care about safe and natural ingredients for themselves and the environment is a web site sponsored by the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), and is geared towards educating consumers about the safety of the ingredients in their favorite cosmetics and personal products.  There is a searchable database of ingredients. Also on the site is information about regulation of cosmetics. The PCPC is a trade association which represents over 600 global cosmetics and personal care products companies. An ingredient look up on this site also takes you to the Cosmetics Ingredient Review which studies the safety of ingredients and individual chemical compounds as they are used in cosmetics, and publishes their results in peer reviewed scientific literature.

The Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Skin Deep Cosmetic Database gives hazard ratings for products and ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products so that consumers can protect themselves from exposure to chemicals.  The EWG is not aligned with cosmetics companies or the FDA.

Digital Marketing & Influencers

Manufacturers and retailers are embracing digital marketing trends: L'Oreal acquired ModiFace which allows consumers to try on cosmetics virtually, and retailers like Target offer a virtual makeovers.

A beauty influencer is a person who creates and posts videos to social media including Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, about cosmetics, fashion, hair-styling, nail art, and other beauty-related topics.  Influencers have the power to effect purchase decisions of others

Influencers are an important part of marketing to consumers, and many influencers have arrangements with companies to endorse their products.  Consumers are more likely to trust an influencer that they perceive to be honest and an expert on the topic or product.  Influencers are so important  that Forbes has recently started publishing an annual list of top influencers in different markets, including the Top Influencers in Beauty.

Behind the Numbers Podcast from eMarketer on digital media and marketing:  Are influencers really worth it? Oct 29, 2019.

Some of the hottest new cosmetics brands have been launched by celebrity influencers, including Rihanna's brand Fenty Beauty and Kylie Jenner's Kylie Cosmetics.   Kylie Cosmetics has over 22.5 million followers on Instagram, and Rihanna's Fenty Beauty has 8.7 million followers.

History, Fun & Beauty Award Winners

History of Cosmetics from Ancient Times gives a timeline of cosmetics from its origins to today

Allure Magazine's Best of Beauty Award Winners 2019 Editor's favorite products and brands