Luxury Cosmetics Brand: CoverGirl

CoverGirl is a well-known American cosmetics brand based in Maryland. It was founded in 1961 by the Noxzema Chemical Company, later known as the Noxell Corporation. CoverGirl is known for featuring “cover girls,” or high-profile and influential figures in the fashion industry, in its advertising campaigns and is committed to promoting self-expression and diversity through makeup. The brand is also certified as cruelty-free by Cruelty-Free International and has recently opened its first flagship store in New York City. CoverGirl is currently owned by the global beauty company Coty.

The Origins of CoverGirl: The Noxzema Chemical Company

During the 20th century, the Noxzema Chemical Company was primarily known for its popular Noxzema Skin Cream. However, in the 1950s, the company decided to diversify its product line and began offering makeup products in addition to its skincare offerings. This eventually led to the creation of CoverGirl, which has since become a successful and well-known makeup brand.

The Noxzema Chemical Company launched its first makeup line in 1961 under CoverGirl’s brand, Clean Makeup. The initial line included two types of medicated products: a compressed powder and a liquid makeup. CoverGirl ran advertising campaigns to promote the new cosmetics on television and in magazines, targeting teenage and young adult women. The launch of Clean Makeup marked the beginning of CoverGirl’s journey as a well-known and beloved makeup brand.

In its first year on the market, CoverGirl was nominated as the best American cosmetic brand of 1961. This was a significant achievement for the brand, as it was the first makeup line launched by the Noxzema Chemical Company, which had previously only produced skincare products. The success of CoverGirl in its first year demonstrated the brand’s potential and set the stage for its continued growth and popularity in the years to come.

Noxzema Skin Cream, a product of Noxzema Chemical Company

Jennifer O’Neill: CoverGirl’s Iconic Spokeswoman and Model

Carolyn Oelbaum, a junior copywriter at Noxzema Chemical Company, came up with the name “CoverGirl.” Given that the CoverGirl team chose the famed Brazilian-American actress and supermodel as the company’s first 15-year-old ambassador in 1963, the name seemed fitting.

Jennifer O’Neill’s partnership with CoverGirl lasted for an impressive 30 years, which was a significant factor in the brand’s success and its rise to the status of a top-selling makeup company in the US. O’Neill was one of the first models to represent CoverGirl, along with Cybil Shepherd. In addition to these well-known figures, the company also hired several brunette models to promote their cosmetics. This diverse group of models helped to establish CoverGirl as a brand that was inclusive and accessible to a wide range of consumers.

CoverGirl recognized the importance of television advertising and used it extensively to promote its brand, with Cybil Shepherd making multiple appearances in TV ads for the company. CoverGirl also often featured blonde models in their advertising, as they believed that these looks conveyed a sense of youthfulness and wholesomeness. CoverGirl was a pioneer in using models to promote their cosmetics, and by showcasing them on various media platforms, including radio, TV, and magazines, they helped to turn these models into well-known figures in the public eye. CoverGirl’s use of models transformed the traditional perception of models as faceless figures on the runway and made them more recognizable as individuals.

O'Neill circa 1982

CoverGirl’s Success and Influence on the Fashion Industry

CoverGirl made a significant impact on the fashion industry and is credited with popularizing the term “supermodel.” The company was a pioneer in featuring diverse models in their advertising, and in 1992, Lana Ogilvie became the first black model to be featured by a makeup brand. CoverGirl also had a long-standing relationship with Christie Brinkley, who modeled for the brand for 25 years, which is a record for the longest modeling contract in history. Overall, CoverGirl’s use of models played a key role in shaping public perception of the fashion and beauty industries and helped to promote diversity and inclusivity in these fields.

Throughout its history, CoverGirl has been endorsed by a wide range of celebrities, including Tyra Banks, Rihanna, Keri Russell, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Dania Ramirez, and Ellen DeGeneres, among others. These celebrities have all expressed their admiration for the brand and its cosmetics. In recent years, CoverGirl made headlines by featuring James Charles as the first male model for the company, further expanding their representation of diverse beauty. These partnerships with well-known figures have helped to strengthen CoverGirl’s reputation as a chic and sophisticated brand.

Brinkley in 2008

CoverGirl’s Global Expansion and Acquisition by Coty

CoverGirl primarily enjoyed popularity in the United States and Canada exclusively until the 1970s. CoverGirl first opened its doors in the United Kingdom in 1977, when Noxell Corporation was founded. Noxell’s quick international expansion saw CoverGirl, among other products, marketed in nine European nations and Japan that same year.

CoverGirl gained widespread recognition in North America in the 1980s and experienced rapid expansion. In 1988, Procter & Gamble, an American company, recognized this success and acquired the Noxell Corporation and its subsidiary CoverGirl for $1.3 billion. CoverGirl and approximately 40 other P&G brands were sold to Coty in 2016, although P&G continued to manage the company until the sale was completed. This transition marked a new chapter in CoverGirl’s history, as it became part of a larger cosmetics conglomerate.

Coty company logo


CoverGirl’s Philanthropic Efforts and Advocacy for Animal Welfare

In addition to being endorsed by many prominent celebrities, CoverGirl has also earned the loyalty of millions of beauty enthusiasts around the world through its charitable initiatives. In 2010, Procter & Gamble launched a program to provide clean water to underserved communities globally, and CoverGirl has supported this effort through the sale of their Clean Makeup line. To date, the brand has raised over $500,000 for this program, demonstrating its commitment to making a positive impact in the world.

Previously, CoverGirl was one of the largest international brands that did not prioritize cruelty-free practices. However, in 2012, the company announced that it no longer conducted tests on animals and became Leaping Bunny, approved by Cruelty Free International. This means that CoverGirl is now strictly cruelty-free in all locations. CoverGirl has demonstrated a commitment to animal welfare by declining to sell its products in China, where animal testing is legally mandated. In addition, CoverGirl has taken a stand against animal testing worldwide and has actively advocated for the end of this practice.


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CoverGirl’s Wide Range of Makeup and Beauty Products

CoverGirl is a leading cosmetics brand that offers a wide range of makeup and beauty products to suit the needs and preferences of a diverse customer base. The company’s product line includes foundations, powders, blushes, bronzers, eye shadows, eyeliners, mascaras, lipsticks, lip glosses, and nail polish. In addition to traditional makeup products, CoverGirl also offers a range of skincare items such as cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and serums.

One of the standout features of CoverGirl’s product offerings is the diversity of shades and finishes available. The company’s foundations, for example, come in various shades to match different skin tones and undertones and offer liquid and powder formulas. CoverGirl also has a wide range of eye shadows in multiple colors and finishes, from matte to shimmery, allowing customers to create a wide range of makeup looks.

In addition to traditional makeup and skincare products, CoverGirl also offers specialized lines for specific needs or occasions. For example, they have a line of products specifically designed for sensitive skin and a line of long-lasting makeup products suitable for active or outdoor use. CoverGirl also has a range of professional-grade makeup products that are suitable for use by makeup artists and other professionals. Overall, the brand’s wide range of products and shades allows customers to quickly find the right products to suit their unique needs and preferences.


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Early on, CoverGirl recognized the value of celebrity endorsements and the power of advertising to change people’s perceptions of a product. They have been at the forefront of employing models to market cosmetics and developing them as well-known public figures. CoverGirl has maintained its position as a successful and innovative brand in today’s market due to its focus on customer satisfaction, the quality of its products, and a commitment to staying ahead of trends.