Luxury Cosmetics Brand: Revlon

Revlon has been a leading name for over a century in the cosmetics business. After its founding in 1932 by Charles Revson, his brother Joseph, and a scientist named Charles Lachman, Revlon became widely known for its innovative nail polish and lipstick formulations.

Over time, Revlon introduced more products, including powders, foundations, and skincare items. The company has recently been well-known for its dedication to quality and its collaborations with several A-list celebrities.

History of Revlon

Revlon claims that its history can be traced back to Elizabeth Arden, the founder of the Elizabeth Arden Company. She is a well-respected beauty expert who set out to change the world’s view of cosmetics from something unpleasant and immoral to every woman’s fundamental right and strength. Around the turn of the century, Arden established more than 40 of her famous beauty salons all over the globe.

A rise in the number of plays, TV series, and publications devoted to cosmetics for the face and body led to a surge in the market for these products. Revlon made its debut in the beauty industry in 1932, following the pioneering steps of Arden. It began with three young men: scientist Charles Lachman and the brothers Charles and Joseph Revson.

The original name for the merged firm was “Revlac,” an anagram of Revson and Lachman. But this wasn’t clever enough, so they went on “Revlon,” with the “L” honoring Charles Lachman.

Elizabeth Arden in 1939

The Start of Revlon During the Great Depression

When the market for cosmetics generally plummeted during the Great Depression, the firm opened its doors. Revlon was aware of this, and the company’s inaugural offerings were nail polishes. Amid this economic downturn, manicures were one of the few aesthetic treatments that retained any of their former popularity.

Lachman managed the supply of nail polishes, and the three collaborated to develop a novel formula. When it came to nail polishes, Revlon was among the first to develop opaque formulations that would completely cover the nail instead of the more common transparent options. By using pigments instead of dyes in production, the firm was able to develop new colorways, providing it with a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Profits of about $70,000 were raked in during the company’s first three years of operation. In 1937, the firm began focusing on pharmacies and department shops as distribution outlets. By 1937, Revlon had amassed a staggering $2.7 million in sales because of the popularity of its high-quality, long-lasting, and shiny cosmetics.

Revlon During the World War II

In 1940, Revlon expanded its beauty range to include lipsticks and its already successful manicure offerings. Fire and Ice was the brand’s original lipstick, so named for its unique ability to stay on during passionate kisses. When the United States joined World War II, Revlon began producing cosmetics and other supplies for the armed forces, such as first aid kits and dye markers. The business received the 1944 Army-Navy Excellence Award for its meticulous work.

Revlon’s Rise to Success

In terms of sales volume, Revlon had already become the United States’ No. 2 cosmetics brand by 1946. The sky was the limit from then for Revlon’s success and fame. Since other companies were reluctant to invest in advertising, Revlon developed its own marketing plan and began appearing in major publications like The New Yorker in the 1950s.

When the popular television show “The $64,000 Question” was sponsored by Revlon in 1955, business skyrocketed. With product sales increasing by a factor of 500, it was clear that the initiative had succeeded. The company’s annual net sales that year were above $51 million.

Over the following decades, Revlon split into seven sub-companies, each with its own marketing guidelines. The business has also grown through several acquisitions, the most notable of which was the US Vitamin Pharmaceutical Corporation and the Mitchum Company, which were acquired relatively recently. Billionaire businessman Ronald Perelman paid to make the firm a wholly-owned subsidiary of MacAndrew & Forbes in 1985.

Revlon’s Current Status

Over the years, Revlon has been associated with several famous models, such as Suzy Parker, Lauren Hutton (the company’s first brand ambassador), Iman, and the incomparable Cindy Crawford. A year later, in 2016, Revlon paid $870 million to acquire Elizabeth Arden.

The charitable efforts of several organizations are coordinated by Revlon as well. Over the past few years, Revlon has contributed over $150 million to help end cancer and reproductive health problems among women. The Revlon Run Walk aims to educate the public about breast and ovarian cancer. With the company’s Employee Volunteer Program in the United States, workers can donate eight hours to charity in 2018.

Revlon counter at New Zealand department store Farmers in Dunedin in 2013

Revlon’s Unmatched Range of Quality Beauty Products

Revlon stands apart compared to its rivals in the cosmetics and toiletries market for a few main reasons.

First, the choice of cosmetics offered by Revlon is second to none. The brand caters to a large demographic because of its extensive cosmetics, hair care, skincare, fragrance, and personal care product offerings. 

Second, Revlon has a reputation for being an innovative and high-quality company. The firm employs state-of-the-art equipment and premium materials to create its goods. It regularly releases innovative new items to satisfy consumers’ ever-changing wants and demands.

Third, Revlon has a solid reputation and brand recognition. The company has been around for quite some time, and its reputation for excellence in the cosmetics market has earned it a dedicated following of customers. Because of its well-known brand, Revlon has an edge in the market.

Lastly, Revlon is well-known for its dedication to ecological sustainability. The firm has taken many measures to lessen its adverse environmental effects and ensure that it uses only sustainably sourced components and supplies. Revlon’s dedication to sustainability helps the company stand out from the crowd as a differentiating aspect.

Tram with Revlon advertising in Hong Kong, June 2007

Types of Products that Revlon Sell

Revlon is a major player worldwide in the beauty, skincare, fragrance, and personal care industries. Revlon offers a wide variety of products, some of which are:

  • Makeup: Revlon sells a wide range of cosmetics for women and men. These include primers, concealers, powders, blushes, bronzers, eye shadows, mascaras, eyeliners, lipsticks, and glosses.
  • Hair care: Revlon is a hair care brand that sells a variety of shampoos, conditioners, styling aids, and hair colors.
  • Skincare: Cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums, and face masks are some skincare goods that may be found in the vast Revlon catalog.
  • Fragrances: Perfumes, colognes, and Eau de toilettes are just some options for men and women that can be found at Revlon.
  • Personal care: Revlon sells various personal care items, including soaps, shampoos, and deodorants.

For more particular needs, such as anti-aging, sun protection, or acne-prone skin, Revlon has a wide selection of products outside the above categories. New products are introduced often, and the company combines cutting-edge technology and premium components to create existing ones.


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In conclusion, Revlon is a well-known beauty brand that sells a variety of high-quality cosmetics, hair care products, skincare products, fragrances, and personal care items across the world. Revlon has distinguished itself from the competition and established a dedicated consumer base via its dedication to innovation and environmental responsibility. Revlon features various cosmetics for any need, from the greatest hair care products to potent skin care remedies. It’s no surprise that Revlon has dominated the cosmetics market for so long, given the diversity of its products and the high standards to which it adheres.