Who Owns What In The Beauty Industry?

who owns what in the beauty industry

Did you know that L’Oreal owns Lancome, Shu Uemura and the Body Shop? And that Estee Lauder owns 29 brands including MAC and Clinique?

In our fast-paced world, beauty brands change ownership fast, and they mostly end up in the hands of a few large corporations. Why is it important to know this?

Well, if you want to boycott a particular brand, it’s useful to know whom it belongs to, and what other brands you should stay away from as well, lest you accidentally break your resolution.

But there’s also another reason. Large corporations, just like everyone else, love to save money. So, to save on production costs, they use the same active ingredients in both their high-end and low-end products. Then, they add different scents and texture to differentiate them.

That’s why, for example, Lancome Eau Micellaire Douceur and L’Oréal Paris Skin Perfection 3in1 Purifying Micellar Solution are almost exact dupes. Same owner, same active ingredients, different details to differentiate the brands in the eyes of the consumers.

True, sometimes high-end products are made using more expensive ingredients and innovative technologies, but the truth is they usually cost more because people expect expensive products to work much better than inexpensive ones and are therefore willing to pay more for them.

So, before you spend lots of money on luxury product, compare its ingredients to those of their less expensive sister brands. Here’s a list (it’s not complete, but will give you a little insight) of who owns what in the beauty industry:

walgreens boots alliance

No 7


Avon Color
Anew And Solutions
Liz Earle


La Prairie


Calvin Klein
Jill Sander
Rimmel London
Also owns lots of brands of perfume including Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Kylie Minogue, David and Victoria Beckham, Marc Jacobs and Chloe


American Beauty
Bobbi Brown
Bumble and Bumble
Daisy Fuentes
Donna Karan
Estee Lauder
Eyes by Design
Good Skin
Jo Malone
Lab Series Skincare for men
La Mer
Lab Series
Michael Kors
Sean John Fragrances
Smashbox Cosmetics
Tom Ford Beauty
Tommy Hilfiger
Tory Burch

johnson and johnson

Ambi skincare
Clean and Clear
Piz Buin
Shower to shower


John Frieda
Molton Brown


EM Michelle Phan
Giorgio Armani
Helena Rubinstein
L’Oréal Paris
L’Oréal Professionnel
La Roche-Posay
Maybelline New York
Ralph Lauren
Roger & Gallet
Shu Uemura
The Body Shop
Urban Decay
Vichy Laboratoires
Victor & Rolf
Yves Saint Laurent Beaute


Acqua di Parma
La Brosse et Dupont
Make up for ever
Ole Henriksen
Perfumes Loewe

procter and gamble

Head and Shoulders
Herbal Essences
Infusium 23
Max Factor
Also owns lots of fragrances including Boss, Hugo and Valentino


Sinful Colors
Ultima 2


Bare Minerals
Clé De Peau
Majolica Majorca
Serge Lutens


Kate Somerville
St Ives
Tony & Guy

Can you think of any other brand not mentioned here? If so, and you know who owns it, let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it to the list! :)

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  1. says

    I’m glad you did this! I worked in an Executive Search firm and I learned all those as well. It was funny because I was headhunting people from Maybelline to work for L’oreal before..can you imagine how stupid i look? lol :)

  2. says

    That’s really interesting. I learned a couple of these because I have a friend who works for Estée Lauder but gets MAC discounts and a ton of others (obviously!).

    It’s interesting to see who Sephora is owned by, considering they push a lot of Benefit products on their website, and it’s the only place to buy Make-Up Forever online (that I can find).

    I really hate Clairol’s new advertising campaign for Nice ‘n’ Easy, so I’m tempted to boycott their other sister-brands now! (I’ve always hated Herbal Essence’s advertising, so I’ve never bought them, either)

    Mind if I link to this post on my blog?

    Thanks for your comment about the EOTD, too =] I spent hours doing it, and now I’m really annoyed because I woke up this morning and had a sty on my eyelid, eww! It hurts, too =[ No more EOTDs for a while. ;_;

  3. beautifulwithbrains says

    Sab: I knew some of them, but I didn’t realese how many brands Estee Laudr owned until I started researching for the article. What are your fav brands?

    Nikki: lol. That’s funny. :) I’m glad you like the post.

    fabulessbeauty: you’re welcome :)

    Anastasia: Of course you can link to the post. :) Your friend is lucky, I wanna work for them too now lol. I don’t like Clairol new ad campaign either, but I don’t really like any ads at all. I only Collistar ads in magazines. They have a picture of the model, one of the product with its description and price. Works much better than just a picture and a slogan in my opinion. At least you know what you’re getting and if you can afford it.
    I’m sorry you have a sty, that’s nasty. Hope it goes away soon!

    Alyssa: yeah, L’Oreal owns way too many lol

    Lydia: I’m glad you enjoyd the post :)

  4. says

    WOW!! good info. I’ve heard estee lauder owns other high end names but didn’t know they own these much!!! I’m gonna bookmark this page for future reference. Thanks

  5. says

    Great info! I work part time in the beauty industry so I have been under some of the brands. But over here the brands are all under local companies so even though internationally some of the brands are under a big company but they are separately owned by companies here. Eg. Benefit in Malaysia is owned by Starlight Cosmetics where the owner used to be in LVMH and LVMH in Malaysia now no longer carries Guerlain and MUFE. *shrugs* Stila used to be under Estee but now no longer and in Malaysia, Stila’s under Luxasia alongside La Prairie, NV Perricone, YSL, RMK and I can’t remember the rest.

  6. beautifulwithbrains says

    Cinthia: you’re welcome. I was suprised by how many brands ste lauder owns, too!

    Connie: I didn’t know that. That is some interesting info! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Lindsay says

    I think it s shame that the big companies take over all the brands that are very good, for instance sebastian products were brilliant particularly potion 9. Wella took them over and now they are just good. The content seems to change in products when companies are taken over by the big boys. I do not know whether theusual decline is purely to save on costs or to also to maximise profit, giving us products that do not work; if they can make the product so that it really does not work then people will buy more different products to find one that does – given thiese lists of ownership it would more than likely be a round trip around all the lines they own without the customer even knowing it. As for all these beauty products for eyes nothing works better than plain old touch of vaseline- lets see them change that !!!

  8. says

    Hi Lindsay, it’s really sad when that happens. I really like MAC, but since Estee Lauder bought it the prices have been increasing, the sizes of products are getting smaller and the quality isn’t as good as it used to be. I guess they do it to make the highest profit with the smaller cost on their party, but it’s a shame to see great brands go downhill. Companies would make lots more money by releasing great products in the first place.

  9. anana says

    man, that’s stressful. I only just started thinking recently about animal testing, and knowing that loreal owns body shop? that stresses me out. Why can’t all of Loreal’s businesses have ethical treatment of people, the environment, and animals?!!!
    Now I have a huge list of places I can’t buy makeup from because they all test on animals etc :(

  10. beautifulwithbrains says

    Anana, that of animal testing is a delicate subject. I don’t like animal testing at all, that’s just cruel but I understand why some companies do it. If you include a new ingredient in a product without any or very few testing someone could have a serious or even deadly reaction to it. On the other hand, testing the same ingredients lots of times during the years is not only cruel, but useless as you already know what the results are going to be.

    But unfortunately, trying to avoid products tested on animals is not so easy. That’s because even if a company doesn’t test the finished products on animals or does no tests on animal at all, each ingredient the company uses has been tested at some point by someone else.

    But the good news is, scientists are developing new ways of testing ingredients and products that in the (hopefully very near) future will replace animal testing once and for all.

  11. Antonia says

    Anana, it IS stressful and disconcerting. You are right to feel that way. The real good news is that there are plenty of amazing beauty products that are made by companies that do not rely on animal exploitation as a way to cut corners and get away with putting cheap caustic chemicals into our cosmetics. Try Urban Decay, Kiss My Face even Revlon just for starters. Their products are great! It’s easy to find cruelty free products, in fact it is your moral obligation to do so and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise:)

  12. says

    You can add Pureology to the L’Oreal list. I work for them as a video production contractor and they are a sister brand of Redken 5th Ave. Thus indirectly a L’Oreal company.


    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Sandra, Sally Hansen is owned by Coty, while Physicians Formula is owned by Physician Formula INC.

  13. Heather says

    Thank you, it was interesting to learn more about this subject. As a drugstore employee, I knew quite a few (I also live near the L’Oreal manufacturing plant here in Kentucky, which also has advertisements for their other brands). Being a makeup enthusiast, I wanted to look into what other brands are owned under same big brand.

  14. terry givens says

    Estee Lauder also owns Smashbox Cosmetics. Just wanted to add that one. I had no idea that Estee Lauder owned so many of the cosmetic lines really makes you rethink the cosmetic line that you are buying. thanks.

  15. Dianna Gattone says

    I just found out that I’m allergic to all I gradients in all shampoos , conditioners and make ups ! The big ingredient is Balsam of Peru, never listed in any ingredients ! Love to find a site I can discover more ingredients in such! Help

    • Gio says

      Dianna, I’m sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, that’s a nasty allergy that prevents you from using so many ingredients. How can I help?

  16. says

    Thanks so much for posting this! I was so distressed by Estee Lauder’s choice of Kendall Jenner as their new model that I’m changing brands — your blog helped me to avoid selecting another of EL’s brands that would just continue to support their bad choices! Found a super-great replacement on leapingbunny.org — a great site for your readers with allergies, sensitive skin, and ethical issues with the cosmetic industry!

    • Gio says

      Bedhead, you’re welcome. I’m glad it helped. I though Kendall Jenner was a very weird choice for Estee Lauder. It must upset a lot of its fans.

  17. says

    CND (first creators of soak off gel polish aka Shellac) is owned by Revlon. I am a cosmetologist and this revelation blew me back considering CND is a “professional” line only, meaning they DO NOT sell to the general public. Revlon also owns many companies like the Sinful polish line and Almay.

    • Gio says

      Kat, thanks for sharing. I would have never guess CND was owned by Revlon for the same reason as you. Very interesting.I will add them to the list.

    • Gio says

      Judith, thanks for sharing. Unfortunately, more and more small brands are getting bought by the big giants.

  18. MIMI says

    Bedhead – why does it upset you that Kendall Jenner was selected for Estee Lauder? Lauder seems like a brand for older folks so maybe they’re targeting the younger people. I like her so I will buy the products, especially since they are so generous with their promotions.

  19. rachelle greene says

    you are behind on your information. Unilever bought Cosmair which used to own Lancôme and L’Oreal. they also now own Clarisonic. Unilever owns a frightening amount of the market now. much of what you have here is out of date.

    • Gio says

      Rachelle, thank you for your comment. I’m sorry some of the information is out of date. Beauty brands change hands so quickly these days and it is hard to keep up with all that stuff when you already juggle blogging with real life. But I’ll try to update this post more quickly in the future.

  20. rachelle greene says

    …also, i do not think you dig deeply enough, because MacAndrews and Forbes (yes, the FINANCIAL INSTITUTION) OWNS REVLON. this information was found in ONE Google search. i put in the terms “who owns revlon?” and the first thing in the list is MacAndrews and Forbes.

    really…you guys are using very old information, and it is not as useful as one might imagine–but i do appreciate your letting me know that Estée Lauder owns a couple of brands i was unaware of; i am on a lifetime boycott of that company–harder and harder as the anti-trust laws in this bassackwards nation mean nothing any more. Smash box, MAC and Bumble and Bumble are sadly out of my life forever.

    • Gio says

      Rachelle, I’ve updated the post now and will dig deeper as soon as I have some more time. I’m sorry you have to boycott those brands now. :(

  21. Cynthia says

    I think Philosophy is owned by COTY but used to be owned by Carlyle Group after Christina Carlino sold it.

    • Gio says

      Nicole, I believe Topshop belongs to the Arcadia group and Burberry to L’Oreal, but I’ll double check, just to be sure.

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