How Kylie Jenner Became a Billionaire from Makeup

21 December 2019

Meet Kylie Jenner But This Time as the Makeup Billionaire!


In the past the cosmetics market has been notoriously difficult to break into, but in the times of ecommerce and social media marketing, things are definitely changing. One person who has taken advantage of that shift in a big way is Kylie Jenner. Kylie’s massive social media following helped ensure her success, but that’s just part of the story. By the end of this video, you’ll know the whole story of how Kylie Jenner became a billionaire from makeup, and you might also be inspired to take advantage of the new ecommerce opportunities, but first a little background.


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Without further ado, let’s meet Kylie Jenner.. The Make up Billionaire

Who is Kylie Jenner?

For many people, Kylie Jenner needs no introduction. From the time she was 10 to the age of 15 she was featured on the reality television show Keeping Up with the Kardashians along with her family members. She also has had a successful modeling career. Kylie is among the most followed celebrities on social media platforms with 27 million followers on Twitter and 141 million followers on Instagram.

She has used this incredible platform to promote various products, including The Kendall & Kylie Collection with PacSun, her shoe and handbag line for Steve Madden, and her line of hair extensions with Bellami Hair. Today, 21-year-old Kylie is the head of Kylie Cosmetics, and she is hoping to build a beauty empire in the years to come, but where did it all start?


Kylie first delved into the beauty industry with the creation of two types of nail polish for the Nicole by OPI nail polish brand in 2013 when she was 16. She was paid 100,000 dollars for her endorsement of the brand. Then Kylie dabbled in clothing and jewelry design along with her sister Kendall followed by shoes, handbags, and hair extensions.

In March 2015, she was named as an ambassador for the skincare brand Nip + Fab, which brought her back into the beauty arena. In June 2015, the Kendall + Kylie clothing line was launched with British fashion retailer Topshop. But all of these ventures were just building up to her launching her own brand with a product that she felt passionate about.

 The Vision

Kylie knew that people looked to her for beauty inspiration, and she had already had great success selling products under other people’s brands. So she had a vision for creating her own product to sell based on insecurities she had about her lip size as a child. This is where the idea for Kylie’s Lip Kit came from.

Even though the concept quickly took off, in the early stages Kylie didn’t have any expectations and wasn’t considering the possibility for the future. She was just concentrated on creating a product her followers would love and finding the most direct path to bring her lip kit to market.

Resource: Kylie Jenner Net Worth in 2019

Building a Brand

In 2014, when she was 17, Kylie partnered with Seed Beauty, a company newly founded by Laura Thomas with a focus on developing and manufacturing global beauty brands. Kylie refined her concept for the lip kit, which included a liquid lipstick and matching lip liner, and with the help of Seed Beauty she manufactured 15,000 kits with a personal investment of 250,000 dollars.

The first day she offered the lip kits for sale, she sold all 15,000 units in less than one minute. Kylie’s manager, her mother Kris Jenner, encouraged Kylie to utilize the e-commerce platform of Shopify to outsource sales.

In February 2016, the company was officially named Kylie’s Cosmetics and production was ramped up to 500,000 units. After the first year she had 302 million in sales and another 120 million in revenue over the following six months, and she was able to pocket a good percentage of that for herself, but how did she do it?

Maximizing Profits

Kylie already had a built in customer base with well over 100 million followers on social media. She leveraged her prominent social media presence to market her business by previewing new items, announcing product launches, and demonstrating her products. Jenner says that the power of social media gave her such a strong reach before she even started. Thanks to her followers, she has never had to have an official marketing campaign.

This is just one way she keeps overhead low. She uses the low-cost ecommerce platform Shopify to handle sales, production is outsourced through Seed Beauty, and her entire operation is comprised of seven full-time and five part-time employees. She owns 100 percent of her business, and her only other expense is her mother’s 10% management fee. Having 100% equity of her business majorly maximizes her profits.

In 2017, Kylie added 30 new products and experimented with moving beyond the digital platform with a month long pop-up event where her products were sold in seven TopShop stores across the US. But the brand really went to the next level when Kylie signed an exclusive distribution deal with Ulta Beauty in November 2018. In the first six weeks her products were offered in Ulta stores in all 50 states, she sold 54.5 million dollars’ worth of products through the chain. This helped launch her to a new tier of financial success.

Youngest Billionaire in the World

The global beauty industry was valued at over 860 billion US dollars in 2018 with about 60 billion of the revenues coming from the US. For a very young, self-run company, Kylie’s Cosmetics claimed a significant portion of these sales. In 2018 alone, the company sold about 360 million dollars’ worth of makeup.

Her company is valued at approximately 900 million dollars, and revenues continue to increase each year. In March 2019, Forbes named her as the youngest self-made billionaire. At the age of 21, this made her the youngest billionaire in the world. She beat out the previous record-holder Mark Zuckerberg, who became a billionaire at the age of 23, but she certainly has no plans to stop hustling any time soon.

Build Up

Now that Kylie has experienced this incredible success, she is looking to the future and is planning on expanding her empire and branching out into new areas. The wide variety of patents she applied for in 2019 offer clues for the new areas that she may be exploring soon. These included patents for Kylie Baby, Kylie Home, Kylie Hair, and additional patents for Kylie-based alcohol cocktail mixes, prepared wine cocktails, energy sports drinks, smoothies, beers, and more.

Also in 2019, Kylie founded her own skincare brand called Kylie Skin, and it’s clear that this is just the beginning.

Resource: 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Kim Kardashian

The Lesson

Kylie has leveraged her fame, popularity, and available resources to build a massively successful business, but you don’t have to have her level of success to ensure your business will make it off the ground. No matter what your background, there are now more resources than ever available online for entrepreneurs who have the passion and drive to build a successful business from the ground up.

And if you’re looking to follow in Kylie’s footsteps, you’re in luck. If you go to alux.com/sell and sign up, by the end of the day you could have your very own online store up and running. Even better, because we partnered with the great folks at Shopify, you’ll get 14 days to try out their platform for free. Launching an internet business has never been easier; you can literally accept payments & sell to people worldwide in a couple of minutes. Go to alux.com/sell and get started on building your empire!

The Quote

While researching his story, we’ve come across this inspirational quote from Kylie we’d like to share with you that goes like this:

“Every time I start to get worked up over something, I just think to myself, ‘Is this really going to matter in my life tomorrow, in an hour, in a year?’ You just can’t get stressed about the little things ’cause it’s just not worth it at the end of the day.”

This is great advice for anyone and we know that it must work coming from such a successful billionaire!  How much time and energy have you wasted by stressing over things that don’t have lasting significance? Redirect that energy in a productive way.


Now that we’re wrapping up this story, we’d like to know: Do you think it’s fair for Kylie to be labeled as a self-made billionaire when she came from such a privileged background? Let us know what you think in the comments.