The cosmetics industry is known to be one of the fastest growing sectors globally that continues to gather an increasing demand for products. This growing demand has given rise to a steep competition amongst brands, where experimental launches and creative marketing strategies are now part of almost every renowned brand campaign, in order to stand out and leave a lasting impression on consumers.
Luxury cosmetic brands have immensely contributed to the beauty industry with a vast revenue of nearly 13.45% in the past decade and is predicted to increase rapidly in the near future. With more and more people readily investing in high end makeup brands, the beauty industry is thriving and has observed an increase in the number of brand launches, product types, shade ranges and overall inclusivity, striving to attract a more diverse audience.
But, how did Luxury cosmetics come about?
Ever since the advent of makeup in the early 1900’s, brands were looking to introduce products that would revolutionize the market. Through developing new color schemes of lipsticks to creating advertisements that tugged an emotional chord in customers, it was all being tried and tested to see what would ultimately work.
In 1910, Elizabeth Arden founded her beauty brand consisting primarily of red lipsticks and started selling them at her salon in Fifth Avenue, New York. It was one of the first beauty brands to revolutionize the suffrage movement in 1912 and went on to become the very first luxury makeup brand to gain popularity. It was also the first brand to introduce eye makeup in America.
The early 1940’s saw a huge shift in the cosmetic industry and this shift was initiated by Estee Lauder. She founded her own range of skin care products and began selling them through word of mouth. Her products were so well in demand that within a span of a year, Estee Lauder was a developed makeup brand, selling a full range of products and were the first to introduce the ‘Gift with Purchase’ marketing technique, which was eventually adapted by many companies to follow.
What drove people to use Luxury Cosmetics?
During this time, a number of makeup brands were launched that were at a more affordable price point. But simultaneously, there was also a huge demand for high quality products. Beauty standards were still being evolved during this time and people were mostly influenced by the movie culture. They wanted to look like the actors and actresses they watched on television, who used makeup and thereby indirectly drove a high demand. This in turn allowed the luxury cosmetic market to prevail and cater to a larger consumer base.
‘Elegance comes from being as beautiful inside as outside’ – Coco Chanel
There is not much that has changed in terms of what these brands provide today, but due to the ongoing growth in the demand of luxury products, multiple businesses have founded their own space in the industry. The past decade has seen an onset of various multinational cosmetic brands, that have revolutionized makeup and taken the beauty industry by storm.
Here’s looking at the Top 10 expensive Luxury cosmetic brands in the world today:
1. Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)
A French Luxury brand founded in 1961, YSL is known to be one of the most lavish and prominent high end cosmetic brands. What started as a renowned name in the fashion world in the late 20
th century, gradually ventured into the space of creating beauty and makeup products that exude an elegantly rich experience. It is also one of the first makeup brand to have a fashion house’s name attached to it.
It all began in 1979 when YSL debuted the ‘Rouge Pur Lipstick 19, which is till date known as the most iconic shade of blue-toned fuchsia and continues to remain a best seller. This particular lipstick shade caused such a stir in the beauty industry that it completely transformed the brand perception. YSL then went on to launch their own mascara, foundations, eye liners, bronzers and more. One of their most popular creation is the Radiant touch highlighting stick pen, launched in 1992, that is still high in demand and widely sold till date.
Signature: YSL as brand is known for its conceptualization of bold looks and statement makeup range. It stands for encapsulating the essence of femininity through stunning colors. The brand packaging is encased in strong gold with clean cuts and a well-defined logo in the center.
2. Giorgio Armani Beauty
Giorgio Armani is a Luxury Italian fashion house, founded in the year 1975. The brand is known for its luxurious daily wear designs, embodying natural silhouettes and neutral colors that bring together a simple yet elegant attire. They launched a beauty line only in the year 2000, in partnership with Loreal and initially began with exploring fragrances.
The perfumes created were entirely Armani’s conception and went on to become one of the most purchased fragrances of the times. Eventually, in the same year after much research they launched a micro-fill technology equipped Giorgio Luminous Silk Foundation- which gained extremely positive reviews and paved a new path for makeup base products. It is still one of the most sought after foundation brands. This particular range of foundations was inspired by silk- the luminous fabric used for one of Armani’s runway shows. Today, the brand has created everything ranging from lip tints, blushers and lacquers to powdered foundations.
Signature : The branding and packaging of Armani beauty products are quite classic and simple. Usually, most products have a glossy black packaging with a sliver rim on the sides. More emphasis is given to the brands logo, which can be found on the packaging and as well as pressed into the products, which adds to the luxurious experience.
3. Christian Dior Beauty
Dior, is a French Luxury Fashion and Beauty establishment founded in 1946 and is one of the world’s top international cosmetic brand. It is also one of the oldest luxury brands and continues to provide exemplary services in design, fragrance, accessories and beauty. After getting incredible success through their fashion line after the launch of Dior, the brand decided to move towards creating premium cosmetics.
Dior launched its first red lipstick called ‘Rouge Dior’ in the year 1955 and continued to explore further an entire line of beauty products after a massive existing demand. In 1958 they launched the first ever powder compact. A number of Hollywood stars made it a part of their contract that they would only use products by Dior, which made the brand even more celebrated. In 1961, Dior launched its first nail lacquer. In the years to follow the brand launched multiple unconventional products like the Rainbow mascara, the first ever blue mascara, lip colors and the revolutionary Dior Airflash foundation.
Signature : Dior has always experimented with a number of different packaging styles, whether it is the hexagonal shape of lipsticks or the changing colors of packaging. Most recently, the brand has invested in the quilted packaging technique made by a Texen industry where the Brand name is indented into the product before molding, which results in the letters standing out from the pressed background.
4. Chanel Beauty
Chanel is a private French company owned by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer that was initially founded by Coco Chanel in 1910. The brand created its first makeup collection in 1924, with a range of face powders and lipsticks.
In 1931, Chanel launched an exclusive range of jewelry which became extremely popular among movie stars. The brand name blew up and Chanel became a part of the most luxurious brands in the world. The cosmetic range is known for its luxurious appeal, packaging, superior quality and inventive formulas. Some of the most popular products by Chanel are their powder blushes, eye shadows, Glossimer lip gloss, mascaras and compacts. Every year, the brand continues to bring innovative beauty products to the market and launches a new range every summer, fall and winter. Most of their collections are inspired by the culture and heritage of different countries and how it can be creatively combined to form a product. Their recent collection was inspired by India and was called ‘Bombay Express’
Signature: Chanel has a trademark packaging in order to align with the customers brand identification. All the products have a very similar appearance yet are unique in their own way. With black and blush pink being the main defining colors, the packaging is clean, crisp and inventive.
5. Elizabeth Arden
One of the oldest beauty brands in the world, Elizabeth Arden was founded in 1910. It was the first of many brands to initiate multiple shade ranges, introduce travel sizes and also the first to offer makeovers in stores.
The brand has not been one to focus too much on the packaging and appeal as it is to provide the best experience through using the products. Elizabeth Arden introduced a cream moisturizer, very first of its kind, that claimed to be a single product to treat any kind of skin concern- from dry skin, acne to dullness. This was known as the ‘Eight hour crème skin protectant’ and is still considered a best seller in today’s time, with the product being sold somewhere in the world every 30 seconds.
Signature : The packaging is very classic and feminine, with hues of silver, gold and pink through all products. The moisturizers being the best seller amongst the rest, is now sold in tube packaging as opposed to a tub and is available in different variants for specific skin types.
Lancome is a French cosmetics and perfume luxury brand that was founded in 1935 by Arman Petitjean. The driving factor behind the launch of this brand was to create products inspired by the French elegance and culture. The name ‘Lancome’ originated from the ruins of the castle Le Chateau de Lancôsme. The roses surrounding the ruins of the castle was mirrored in the brands logo.
It started out with launching five fragrances that turned out to be highly popular and quickly made its way to skin care products soon after. A multi-task skin repairing crème called ‘Nutrix’ was launched in 1936 and is still available today. Two years after launching multiple products in skin care, cosmetic products like lipsticks and blushes were created. A rose scented Red lipstick by the brand went on to become a best-seller for 30 years to follow. Lancome became an established luxury brand and worked with multiple fashion designers and celebrities through runway shows and advertising campaigns.
Signature : Lancome is known for its sleek packaging using innovative and attractive colors that are primarily black, golden or purple. It was one of the first brands to introduce and challenge the cosmetic industry by developing a double ended mascara that could be opened from the both ends of the packaging.
A French owned perfume, cosmetic and skincare brand, Guerlain was founded in 1828 as a house of fragrances. The founder, Pierre-Francoise-Pascal Guerlain was a perfumer and researcher. He was interested in creating regal fragrances for the higher class and gradually as his business started flourishing, when he created a perfume for a wedding within the royal family.
Five generations of the family have been working towards making Guerlain a world renowned luxury brand that continues to create cosmetic and skincare products to fulfill their primary function of celebrating luxury. The company was acquired by the LMVH group in 1994. Inspired by the Indian emperor, Shah Jahan and his incredible gesture of dedicating the Taj Mahal to Princess Mumtaz- Jacques Guerlain created his very first oriental fragrance in 1925 and called it ‘Shalimar’, which was sealed in a luxurious Baccarat crystal bottle.Signature: The Guerlain packaging reflects their brand value, by using deep browns, maroons and gold in order to make the packaging look more luxurious, grand and high end. Some of their most sought after products are the Terracotta bronzer, pearls of powder, shaping crème lip contour and the satin lipstick range.
8. Estee Lauder
Estee Lauder is one of the world’s most renowned manufacturers of high quality cosmetics skincare, perfume and haircare products. The brand was launched by Mrs. Estee Lauder and her husband Joseph Lauder in the year 1946, offering a skincare range of four products that was sold out within seconds of its sale.
Estee was known for her incredible marketing skills and was the first one to use word of mouth slogans like ‘Telephone, Telegram, Tell them all’ even before advertising was popular. Today Estee Lauder products are not just known for their supreme quality but is known to be one of the top premium skincare brands in the world. The brand has built a loyal fan base and the brand continues to create products that are aligned with their brand values and that cater to their customer needs. The Estee Lauder Night Repair crème has been voted to be the best face serum consecutively since its launch and remains to be the number one selling product along with the fill expert serum and anti-ageing range.
Signature : The Company maintains top quality, quirky packaging that looks attractive and is in tandem with the nature of the range. The night repair serum is sold in a brown glass apothecary bottle solving not just the visual pleasing aspect but also serves the purpose of protecting the formulas active ingredients.
9. La Mer
La Mer is a cosmetic brand that translates to ‘Cream of the Sea’ and was founded through a combination of science and business. The brand is known for its miraculous ingredients and healing capabilities. Dr Max Huber, the creator of the brand had suffered burns from a scientific experiment. Over a span of 12 years, he performed nearly 6000 experiments in order to find the perfect healing ingredient for his wounds.
This led to him finding a form of fermentation process that completely transformed sea kelp and other minerals to be combined and form a miraculous broth. It is this cell renewing elixir that is found at the heart of every La Mer product. This was infused into what is known as ‘Crème de La Mer’, the most purchased moisturizer in the world. Apart from creating great skincare, the brand also ventured into creating luxurious makeup that not only looks good, but is also nourishing for the skin.
Signature : The packaging of all La Mer products is rather simple and clean. The cosmetic range has tones of white and gold that represents the purity of the sea. Apart from this, their skincare range is packaged in green and blue with a clear list of the natural ingredients.
10. Charlotte Tilbury
Charlotte Tilbury founded her beauty brand in 2012 and has not only become UK’s leading luxury make up brand but has gained immense global business. After having worked in the beauty and fashion and industry for over 20 years, Charlotte decided to start her own blog and a YouTube channel, where she would give tips and tricks of makeup and also upload tutorials on looks that she may have worked on with various celebrities.
In 2013, she eventually launched her own cosmetic brand with an incredible 200-strong product range along with a wide variety of skincare and cosmetics keeping in mind different shades, skin tones and textures. Her collection was received extremely well and went on to become the number one best seller in under a year. Since then, the brand has launched everything ranging from multiple eye shadow palettes to lipsticks and tints. They have also collaborated with other brands and created limited edition makeup ranges to encourage creativity and satisfy their customer base.
Signature : The packaging is visually exquisite with hues of brown, deep maroon and golden. The magic cream, Airbrush flawless finish foundation, Wonderglow highlighter and Matte revolution lipsticks are some of the best sellers.
Neha Menon is a Post Graduate in Media and Communication from Manipal University Dubai with an immense passion for stories, writing, travel, music and art.Apart from being a Fashion and Brand enthusiast, she's a big believer in the idea of 'follow your heart and live life passionately'. A complete d.Read more..