LGBTQ Participation in the Cosmetics and Makeup Industry

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The cosmetics industry has a long history going back to the Egyptians (and probably earlier). However, it was only in the 1920s that the industry became global and entered into the mainstream consumer market. This was followed by the mod look of the 1960s, the supermodels of the 1990s, and today's very scientific approach to the industry.

The LGBTQ community has always been a part of the cosmetics industry, embracing its creative and artistic side. The beauty industry itself is very diverse and inclusive. Makeup has become a tool of expression, including gender expression.

There is also a commercial culture to the cosmetics industry that has greatly aided the LGBTQ activist community. Leading the way was MAC Cosmetics and its MAC VIVA Glam and MAC AIDS Fund projects. Many of today's small cosmetics companies donate a portion of sales revenues to LGBTQ causes.

Makeup can be a tool of resistance and markers of makeup help LGBTQ individuals identify each other, as noted in the article below. Cosmetic brands have always been closely aligned to the transgender community - this has been well evidenced by reality television creator RuPaul and his global success with his Drag Race series.

Over the past few years there has been an increasing emphasis on creating organic cosmetics. Notable among the founders in this space is Gloria Noto of Noto botanics.

We have identified the following individuals as notable LGBTQ individuals in the cosmetics and makeup industry.








The Netherlands



United States

See Also

Further Reading/Research

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