While the 20-year-old may have admitted that life in the spotlight makes her feel “insane,” she’s also clearly using it to her own professional advantage, founding an extremely lucrative cosmetics empire despite not even being of legal drinking age yet. As Women’s Wear Daily reported Aug. 9, it seems Kylie Cosmetics isn’t just profitable, it’s pace-setting — blowing past other competitive beauty brands in the industry to rake in $420 million over the course of the last 18 months alone.
To give that astronomical figure just a little more context, according to WWD, comparable brands managed by major cosmetic companies like the Estée Lauder owned Tom Ford is said to have reached revenues of $500 million after a decade, and it’s considered to be one of the makeup conglomerate’s most successful brands. Likewise, Bobbi Brown, a brand with household name recognition that’s also owned by Lauder, took 25 years before hitting the one billion dollar milestone in just 2016. And even L’Oréal’s Lancôme took 80 years to make that amount by 2015.
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Kylie’s momager Kris Jenner shared these astronomical figures with WWD during an exclusive interview, providing the publication with documentation and explaining that since there was a three-month lag between the first drop in November 2015 and the second in February 2016 they technically don’t count that time in between as there was no product to sell while they developed their production partnership with Seed Beauty. Since the first official drop of products with Seed in February 2016, however, the brand has gone from creating a limited test run of only 15,000 units, to 500,000 units of all six shades three months later, to a staggering 300,000 units of each individual product.
And the teen isn’t done expanding her empire just yet. According to the site, the company is on track to see a 25 percent increase in sales this year alone, putting sales projections for 2017 at $386 million, and if growth continues at that pace Kylie will have a billion dollar business on her hands by the times she’s 25. But considering her latest launch, a special edition birthday collection, made $10 million in just one day resulting in her second-highest sales day ever, that estimate could very well be far too conservative.
While it’s clear that Kris runs the more fundamental business practices of the company as the chief financial officer, it’s Kylie who handles all of the creative aspects. She tells WWD, “What I’ve been into is creating collections; that’s kinda my thing. I like getting in different moods. In the beginning I thought my brand had to be consistent and everything look the same and that was stressing me out. And that’s really not my personality. I like to have blue hair one day and blonde the next…and collections are where I kind of get to express myself. I change everything…I love to switch it up and come out with new products.”
As for what’s next for the brand, the reality star says she wants to focus on concealers and foundation, admitting that while it’s a challenge to create the requisite amount of shades for every skin tone and convince people to make such a difficult purchase digitally, she feels that she’s now, “up for it.” And she clarifies there’s definitely no competition between her and her sister Kim’s new line, explaining, “We’re both really proud of each other – and our brands are also completely different …just visually…there’s definitely enough room for the both of us.”
While she admits that she’s thought about launching brick-and-mortar stores in the future and what it would mean to sell her company one day, she isn’t quite there just yet, concluding, “I want to keep building it and just show people what I can do on my own.”
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