Who Owns What in the Beauty Industry?

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No matter the category of beauty products that you prefer – cruelty-free, organic or vegan – the brands responsible are typically owned by large companies that oversee them all. When ownership changes hands, sourcing and manufacturing practices could change, potentially altering your preferences as a consumer.

This infographic offers a compelling look into which companies dominate the cosmetics aisle. From Kim Kardashian West’s KKW line to Kylie Jenner’s lip kits, these companies play an influential role.


Coty is best known for iconic beauty brands like Covergirl, OPI Products and Rimmel; in addition to creating celebrity toiletries for Katy Perry, Kylie Jenner and David Beckham. But Coty goes beyond traditional beauty companies; it is also an industry leader when it comes to sustainability initiatives; their green initiatives include using renewable energy sources for their facilities and products as well as improving waste management practices and recycling programs.

Coty was established in Paris in 1904 and has become one of the leading beauty products and fragrance companies globally. Today, its leadership is headed up by Sue Nabi who has undertaken an integrative repositioning strategy focused on expanding in-house brands while strengthening retailer relationships; also working to reduce debt load while increasing shareholder returns.

This company is also dedicated to sustainability, with an eye toward minimizing their environmental footprint and enriching their community. Through their new Greener by Design initiative they are helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and landfill waste; additionally the company has pledged to use only 100% renewable electricity at their facilities and distribution centers.

The beauty industry is currently going through significant upheaval. Over the last three years alone, there have been 91 mergers and acquisitions within this field – here is a snapshot of some of its key acquisitions.

Estee Lauder

Estee Lauder is one of the world’s largest beauty conglomerates. Their products span skincare, makeup, fragrances, haircare and styling items from multiple brands. Estee Lauder boasts strong brand equity while being focused on long-term growth – recent results were encouraging; sales and revenue had increased by over 5% year over year and they are profitable as a firm.

Estee Lauder (1908-204) founded and developed The Estee Lauder Companies through her beauty business with her uncle’s help, initially mixing face cream in her home kitchen before expanding it into an international beauty empire with him as her partner. Estee Lauder officially incorporated The Estee Lauder Companies under her own name in 1946 and expanded it into an $8-billion empire under her direction.

Her first major break came when Saks Fifth Avenue ordered $800 worth of products in 1949. Her strategy at that time was to provide additional items with each purchase as well as generous samples at no additional charge – an approach learned while working in beauty salons. Her marketing approach would become standard within the industry and continues today.

Estee Lauder made her transition to president-elect in 1973. Leonard Lauder assumed leadership of the company and has been widely credited with steering it toward success ever since. Her legacy remains evident across multiple brands bearing her name such as Clinique and Origins that continue to carry it today.

The beauty industry is dominated by 13 major corporations that play a central role in setting trends and providing products we use daily for washing our faces, moisturizing our skin and applying lipstick – COTY, Estee Lauder, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal Procter & Gamble Unilever Shiseido KAO Corporation to name just a few.


The beauty industry is an expansive business that spans products like lipstick, nail polish and skin care. It plays an integral part of fashion as well, with companies such as Georgio Armani making millions from his beauty lines. There are large beauty conglomerates such as L’Oreal, Unilever and Coty that own multiple brands; however smaller businesses can get involved by purchasing some of these big name names.

Revlon has made several major acquisitions over the last three years, such as Bourjois, Kate Somerville and REN. Furthermore, Revlon acquired multiple smaller skincare and makeup companies as a way of expanding its product lineup and increasing sales.

Outside makeup and skincare products, Elizabeth Arden also provides fragrances and haircare. Their products can be found at department and specialty stores, perfumeries and through other distribution channels; with most sales occurring within the US. Their flagship brand Elizabeth Arden cosmetics is recognized by 83% of online consumers in this country alone!

Revlon reported sales of over 44 billion U.S. dollars in 2023. Revson, the company’s founder who believed strongly in women taking control of their own destiny helped propel it to become what we know it as today’s beauty industry.


Some of the beauty brands you find on your makeup vanity or in Sephora stores are owned by multinational conglomerates that manufacture and market their products worldwide. Major beauty companies include L’Oreal, Unilever, Estee Lauder Companies, Shiseido Company Beiersdorf Coty (with Donna Karan’s Tory Burch Collections being owned by Estee Lauder Companies alone); also Beiersdorf Coty. Shiseido Company Beiersdorf and Coty also produce beauty lines designed by fashion designers such as Donna Karan Tory Burch Collections by Michael Kors as well as own beauty brands such as MAC Cosmetics Aveda Clinique La Mer.

LVMH Group is another powerhouse beauty company responsible for numerous luxury makeup and skincare brands. Established as a French multinational conglomerate in 1987 by merging Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chandon and Hennessy Cognac into one entity, today its portfolio encompasses fashion goods, leather goods, fine wine/spirits/champagne/cosmetics products.

Guerlain, Parfums Christian Dior, Givenchy, Benefit Cosmetics and Fresh are among the many beauty brands owned by LVMH. Clarins skincare brand is well known for its face and body care products; other renowned names in its portfolio are Elizabeth Arden Almay American Crew CND Cutex Mitchum Mitchum as well as Kendo (Kendo Incubator Company), an incubator which develops niche brands before bringing them to market.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Coty, Beiersdorf and Johnson & Johnson are other large beauty companies with global operations that produce and market their products globally. Johnson & Johnson owns such iconic beauty brands as Neutrogena, Aveeno and Clearasil as well as Molton Brown (UK skin-care) and John Frieda (American hair-care brand), but shouldn’t be mistaken with independent beauty labels like Anastasia Beverly Hills Milk Makeup Jouer Cosmetics Stila Huda Beauty Glossier ELF or Cover FX which remain independent entities with individual ownership structures.


Your hair style, lipstick color choice and moisturizer selection are all determined by a select few companies. 13 major corporations dominate the beauty industry with hundreds of brands under their names; you can view this knowledge graph to view them all – COTY, Estee Lauder, Johnson & Johnson, Shiseido, Unilever Beiersdorf AmorePacific KAO Corporation Revlon and LVMH are just a few names among them along with their subsidiary ones.

Japanese company Shiseido brings beauty back into beauty industry through their skincare and fragrance brands. Since 1872, they first entered cosmetics market with Eudermine; its ruby red skin-softening lotion revolutionized how we view skincare. Instead of the medical formulas commonly seen during Taisho era; Eudermine came packaged in sleek modern bottles featuring multifaceted necks; making its debut into beauty market revolution in 1874.

In 2022, the company intensified efforts to strengthen its global presence through an aggressive multi-pronged strategy of investment in R&D/product development/brand management/distribution/digital. Furthermore, acquisitions such as Helene Curtis professional salon hair-care brand further solidified its position both domestically and in Europe.

Nars, Urban Decay and Tarte makeup brands are particularly well-liked among millennials. Additionally, skincare sales increased 14%. Sephora operates Kendo as an incubator that creates niche brands to be sold through Sephora (owned by LVMH); one such brand is Seed Beauty which owns Colourpop and Kylie Cosmetics; with this company working hard to ensure Black-owned beauty brands blend in seamlessly rather than standing out as separate categories.