Who Owns Maybelline? Makeup Brand History Revealed

Maybelline is a successful makeup company with a rich history. Women have been wearing the makeup for generations. So, who owns it?


Apr. 26 2023, Published 8:02 p.m. ET

Maybelline is one makeup company that has stood the test of time. Trends change in a flash, new brands challenge older ones, and some products seem to fade away. Maybelline is arguably one of the most popular drugstore makeup brand and is known for being simple and affordable.

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So who owns the iconic beauty brand? Here's what we know about Maybelline.

Maybelline started as a concept that later became a brand.

Maybelline wasn't always a brand but began as a concept. In 1913, a Chicago chemist named Thomas Williams used his knowledge of mixing ingredients to enhance personal looks to help his sister win over the partner she was pursuing romantically. He would mix powders with petroleum jelly to create makeshift cosmetics to help his sister appear more attractive. By 1915, Williams's sister landed her relationship, he launched the brand, and Maybelline was born.

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Williams was responsible for introducing mascara, eyebrow pencils, eyeliners, and eyeshadows into drug stores after the demand for mail-in orders required him to upgrade his business model. During the 1920s, Maybelline greatly influenced how the flapper culture evolved, being the makeup brand of choice for young people. In 1932, Maybelline took the crown and became the first makeup brand to launch advertisements through radio. Since then, the company's sales have boomed.

Over the years, Maybelline has dominated the makeup scene. Its humble beginnings pioneered how modern-day makeup users shop for cosmetics. The company has stuck by its core mission. Maybelline's mission statement is "to offer innovative, accessible, and effortless cosmetics for every woman," using different campaigns to support young women, femme-presenting people, and others who use the brand. The brand has raised awareness of mental health issues and discrimination in the video gaming community.

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Who owns Maybelline?

Maybelline started as a standalone company but has since been acquired by a conglomerate with an equally significant reign over affordable makeup. L'Oréal, the incredibly well-known French cosmetics company, has coveted Maybelline as a subsidiary brand since 1996. L'Oréal's headquarters currently reside in Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, France, following its initial founding in 1909. L'Oréal has a long history of manufacturing luxe and consumer products for hair, skin, fragrance, makeup, and more.

Alongside Maybelline, L'Oréal owns sought-after brands like NYX Professional Makeup, CeraVe, Garnier, and Redken. In total, 36 brands fall under the L'Oréal corporate umbrella. The company operates under four divisions overseeing production, marketing, and audience engagement, each upkeeping its reputation as the world's largest cosmetic company. L'Oréal's main competitiors are Estee Lauder Companies, Chanel, Revlon, Dior, Lancome, Clinique, Lamke, and Avon.

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You may recognize some of Maybelline's competitors.

The rise in demand for makeup that's accessible to all while remaining to be budget-friendly has opened the floodgates for competitors to challenge Maybelline for consumers. While it's common that makeup users have a preferred brand or favorite product, a makeup collection rarely consists of only one company name. People who wear makeup may reach for Maybelline, but other brands in the industry have set out to best the brand at their own game.

Lamke has been named Maybelline's top beauty competitor and has established itself as a reliable brand when hooking loyal consumers. bareMinerals, MAC, and L'Oréal have also been noted to compete with Maybelline, even though Maybelline and L'Oréal will generate revenue for the same company at the end of the day. Although they may look like competitors, L'Oréal and Maybelline work toward the same goal.

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