Seconds after Kylie Jenner
launched her first three lines
of lipstick, on November
30, 2015, all three sold out
online. Less than two years
later, Kylie Cosmetics is a full-
beauty brand, with offerings
that include its signature lip
kits (lipstick and liner) plus
eye shadows, blushes, and
tools. The 19-year-old Jenner,
famous for her own perfectly
plump pout, continues to
draw upwards of 10 million
people to her Snapchat
makeup tutorials and has
led the brand to a reported
$400 million in revenue
since its launch.
Why go into makeup? I can’t
leave the house without lipstick.
Everyone was so interested in the
color I was wearing. But nothing
was ever perfect for me. I just
thought, Why not make my own
lip kit with a liner and lipstick?
You sign off on every decision
at your company, plus you’ve
got season 13 of Keeping Up
With the Kardashians and personal social media accounts to
maintain. What’s a typical day
on the job for you? I wake up and
immediately check in—what
orders are coming in, what’s selling the best. My manufacturer
brings me products every day. I
have a spot in my house, my creative room, and we just have
meetings after meetings.
What goes into creating a new
lipstick? I’m always thinking about
what I want, and what I think people want. For example, the smell
of the lipsticks—I knew I wanted
something sweet. I was in the
lab, and they gave me 12 options,
and I picked my favorite. Then we
did the percentage: “Do you want
50% or 75% smell? Do you want
it strong or weak?” It took a long
time. Then on Instagram, I’m on
my Kylie Cosmetics [page] all day
curating it. It has to be perfect.
How has social media played
into your marketing strategy?
I don’t pay for advertisements.
I don’t do commercials. Social
media is the only way I push it:
Kylie Cosmetics products aren’t
sold in traditional stores, but
your pop-up shops draw tens of
thousands of visitors. How do
you prepare to release a new
product? Everyone knows when
I’m releasing a product on Snapchat that I will be MIA for the next
hour and a half. I’m running around
my house, finding the perfect lighting, the perfect swatches. I care
a lot about what my products look
like when people first see them.
What’s it been like to have some-
thing that distinguishes you
from your high-profile family?
I used to ask my mom, “What’s
my thing?” Kendall has modeling,
what’s my thing? And I’m just
so happy that now I have this. It
motivates me every day. I want to
expand into a full cosmetics line—
foundations, concealers, everything under the sun.
FOR INSPIRING LIPSTICK LUST
June 2017 FastCompany.com 83
“I’m always thinking
about what I want, and
what I think people
want,” says makeup
Founder, Kylie Cosmetics