“REVLON DISCOVERED it first. 1,000,000 women discov- ered it next. Now makeup will never be the same. Neither will you,”said an advertisement for Blush-On
by Revlon in 1964—the year HAPPI debuted (as Detergent Age).
Touted as“instant health,” this SKU was just one of many innovations in the history of the color cosmetics category.
“Revlon created and named the category, ‘Blush-On.’ Women
took to it immediately because it provided a natural, glowing
look. It was easy to apply and hard to make a mistake,”said its co-creator and former Revlon product manager, Suzanne Grayson
(née Bomse), who, along with her husband Bob, co-founded
Grayson Associates a consulting firm that’s based in San Juan
Immediately upon its initial success, Revlon launched a portable Blush-On, a compact containing a rectangular, flat cake,
with a smaller squirrel brush, recalled Grayson. The industry followed with other blush launches, and a new category exploded.
And this is just for the face; not to mention what else was in
development for eyes and lips!
According to Carrie Mellage, vice president of consumer prod-
ucts at Kline & Company, dominant trends change each decade
and so do the brands that lead these cosmetic innovations (see
chart on p. 52). For example, in the 1960s, there was an increase
in the number of working women and women wearing makeup,
and Avon and Revlon were leaders in this era; in the 1970s, the
days of disco, heavy makeup and shiny lips were prevalent, with
Maybelline Great Lash leading the way in the eye category.
Color cosmetics trends may have varied over the past five de-
cades, but the growth trend has not—sales have risen from $200
million (manufacturers’dollars) in 1963 to $8 billion in 2012 (see
chart on p. 52 as well).
One of the largest players in color cosmetics, Mary Kay, is also
celebrating its golden anniversary this year. According to Sara
Friedman, vice president US marketing, Mary Kay, Dallas, TX,
“For 50 years, Mary Kay has offered innovative and irresistible
products, while making a positive impact on the community and
enriching women’s lives. Mary Kay has colored the world with
cosmetics women love. Mary Kay works with trend houses and
monitors catwalks across the globe to predict the best new trends
in beauty and fashion— and it shows—with the latest innovative
Friedman told HAPPI that in the past 50 years, one of the
Melissa Meisel • Associate Editor
Painting the WORLD
The past 50 years of cosmetics has been colorful, to say the least,
according to industry insiders.
Mary Kay then (at left), in 1966, and now (at right), on display at Neiman Marcus.