The World’s Most Expensive Makeup Brands

Despite having hundreds of brands, the cosmetics industry only have a few companies that are considered to be the most popular, and the brands handled by these companies would often belong to a higher category of makeup products called luxury cosmetics. While most luxury cosmetic brands would often have high profits thanks to their popularity, there are some cheaper brands that usually have higher profits than luxury brands because of the quantity of products that they sell to consumers, and this creates a balance between the profits of luxury and cheap brands in the market. What are these cheap brands that sell well around the world? And which luxury brands have higher or lower profit than those cheap brands? Let us find out as we take a look at the world’s top luxury beauty brands.

MAC Cosmetics

Most makeup users are probably familiar with MAC (Make-up Art Cosmetics) Cosmetics, a mid-range cosmetics brand that originated in Toronto and was founded in 1984 by Frank Angelo and Frank Toskan. The brand has a wide global presence, as its products can be purchased in outlets and brand stores in more than 100 countries, including the United States, Canada, the Philippines, and India. MAC Cosmetics releases more than 50 collections a year, which is a huge contributor to their popularity since new collections would allow them to get new customers while offering something fresh for their fans. In addition, they would also collaborate with popular artists, with the most recognizable ones being Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Sia, Mariah Carey, and RuPaul.


When someone mentions luxury cosmetics, the brand that will first come to almost everybody’s mind will be Chanel, a company founded by Coco Chanel in 1909. Although the brand was first known for its luxury clothing, it eventually ventured to luxury cosmetics and produced some of the most iconic cosmetic products in history, including the classic Chanel No. 5 perfume. Chanel has hundreds of boutiques around the world, but they also sell their products in retailers like Bergdorf Goodman, Harrods, and Galeries Lafayette. It is reported that their revenues would amount to more than $6 billion per year.

Chanel No 5

Elizabeth Arden

Another popular luxury cosmetics brand is Elizabeth Arden, a company founded by its namesake in 1910, just one year after the founding of Chanel, although the brand was first known as Red Door. Unlike Chanel, Elizabeth Arden started mainly as a cosmetics company as opposed to a clothing brand, and it is mostly known for the color coordinated make-up sets that would be copied by many brands after the products gained popularity. Furthermore, the brand also expanded their lineup to include skin care products, which allowed them to extend their reach globally. According to reports, Elizabeth Arden earns at least $40 million each year from revenue.

Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder is a luxury brand founded in 1946 that focuses on manufacturing and selling high-end cosmetic products like lipsticks, makeup, and perfumes. The brand is particularly known for its iconic indigo packaging found in some of their popular products, but they would also incorporate other colors depending on the product. It is reported that their revenue is at least $12 billion per year, which is achieved through their global reach and unique business strategies like digital commerce.

pink perfume


L’Oréal, much like MAC Cosmetics, is a mid-range cosmetics brand that is able to become successful in the market for bringing quality products at a relatively affordable price. Most makeup users may have probable used at least one L’Oréal in their life, which is a testament to the presence of the brand around the world. Besides the usual cosmetic products like lipsticks and makeup, L’Oréal also produces and sells skincare products, hair color, perfumes, and other items related to beautifying and taking care of the skin. The annual revenue of L’Oréal is estimated to be at more than $30 billion per year, making it the most expensive mid-range luxury brand in the history of cosmetics.

Mary Kay

Mary Kay, a cosmetics brand founded by Mary Kay Ash in 1963, has a different business structure compared to the other brands on this list, as Mary Kay is a privately owned multi-level marketing company that would recruit consultants for them to sell their products while providing commission for those recruits. Through multi-level marketing, Mary Kay became one of the biggest cosmetics brands in the world, and it is estimated that the company received more than $3 billion in revenue per year. The company also became popular for being one of the first to reject testing products on animals in 1989 at their Hangzhou factory in China, but they would soon retract their rejection in 2012 after China implemented laws that required cosmetic companies to test their products on animals first before releasing them in the market. In today’s era, Mary Kay has more than 3 million consultants around the world.

These expensive make up brands based on revenue ranges from cheap to luxury, and their success in the market is brought by their ability to produce high-quality products that customers will buy again and again. Many makeup users would tend to stick to the products that they like initially instead of exploring for other brand and items, which is why brand loyalty is important for most cosmetic companies to be successful. Without brand loyalty, there wouldn’t be any iconic brands that will stay in business for years.