Who ACTUALLY Makes Your Favorite Sephora Products

Since the doors opened to its first flagship store in Champs-Élysées in 1997, Sephora has turned the department-store makeup shopping experience on its head. Where perfume, skin care, and cosmetics were once preserved in glass cases guarded by pushy sales reps who intimidated you into buying shit you didn’t need in exchange for commission, the Sephora model encourages the opposite. It wants you to enjoy the products rather than just gaze at them on display — it’s an experience, not just a trip to the store.
But even better, over the last 20 years, Sephora has been home to many of the world's most powerful female CEOs, entrepreneurs, and scientists. Each of the store’s 400+ locations is packed with offerings from companies big and small that are owned and operated by women. Sephora isn’t just for women, it's dominated by them. In fact, the entire beauty industry is — and that's a very important thing.
Among the longtime stalwarts is Benefit Cosmetics, which has one of the most legendary origin stories of all: Twin sisters Jean and Jane Ford, who’d opened up shop in San Francisco’s Mission District in the mid-‘70s, concocted their classic Benetint lip-and-cheek stain after an exotic dancer requested a nipple tint that would leave her looking flushed all night. Then there are the newer additions, like Briogeo, a hair-care line helmed by the youngest African American woman to ever launch a line at the beauty destination.
And if all the brilliant entrepreneurs who started these brands had been told that a woman’s place was not in the chemistry lab where products are formulated, or at the head of the table where they get conceptualized, then the Sephora we know and love would be pretty damn empty. On that note, here's an A-to-Z guide to the Sephora brands we love that were founded by women, as well as our favorite items from each if you choose to support them today. We can't imagine what the store would look like without them — and we honestly don't want to.
1 of 34
Brand: Anastasia Beverly Hills
Founder: Anastasia Soare

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Spicy, $20, available at Sephora.
2 of 34
Brand: bareMinerals
Founder: Leslie Blodgett

bareMinerals Matte Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15, available at Sephora.
3 of 34
Brand: Beautyblender
Founder: Rea Ann Silva

Beautyblender Pro, $20, available at Sephora.
4 of 34
Brand: Benefit Cosmetics
Founder: Jean & Jane Ford

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer in Hoola Lite, $29, available at Sephora.
5 of 34
Brand: Bésame Cosmetics
Founder: Gabriela Hernandez

Bésame Cosmetics Classic Color Lipstick in Victory Red, $22, available at Sephora.
6 of 34
Brand: Bite Beauty
Founder: Susanne Langmuir

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Gazpacho, $26, available at Sephora.
7 of 34
Brand: Bobbi Brown
Founder: Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Corrector, $42, available at Sephora.
8 of 34
Brand: Briogeo
Founder: Nancy Twine

Briogeo Rosarco Blow Dry Perfection Heat Protectant Crème, $24, available at Sephora.
9 of 34
Brand: Captain Blankenship
Founder: Jana Blankenship

Captain Blankenship Mermaid Hair Oil, $34, available at Sephora.
10 of 34
Brand: Drunk Elephant
Founder: Tiffany Masterson

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, $90, available at Sephora.
11 of 34
Brand: Drybar
Founder: Alli Webb

Drybar Velvet Hammer Hydrating Control Cream, $29, available at Sephora.
12 of 34
Brand: Estée Lauder
Founder: Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules, $110, available at Sephora.
13 of 34
Brand: First Aid Beauty
Founder: Lilli Gordon

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum, $36, available at Sephora.
14 of 34
Brand: Hourglass
Founder: Carisa Janes

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette, $58, available at Sephora.
15 of 34
Brand: Huda Beauty
Founders: Huda, Alya, and Mona Kattan

Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick in Heartbreaker, $20, available at Sephora.
16 of 34
Brand: Ilia
Founder: Sasha Plavsic

Ilia Multi-Stick in A Fine Romance, $34, available at Sephora.
17 of 34
Brand: Josie Maran
Founder: Josie Maran

Josie Maran Argan Reserve Healthy Skin Treatment Concentrate, $78, available at Sephora.
18 of 34
Brand: Kat Von D
Founder: Kat Von D

Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette, $46, available at Sephora.
19 of 34
Brand: Kate Somerville
Founder: Kate Somerville

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash, $38, available at Sephora.
20 of 34
Brand: Laura Mercier
Founder: Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder Compact, $42, available at Sephora.
21 of 34
Brand: Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture
Founder: Madam C.J. Walker

Madam C.J. WalkerBeauty Culture Dream Come True Wonderful Deep Conditioning Mask, $32, available at Sephora.
22 of 34
Brand: Make Up For Ever
Founder: Dany Sanz

Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner Pencil in 8C Red, $20, available at Sephora.
23 of 34
Brand: Nudestix
Founders: Ally and Taylor Frankel

Nudestix Skin Glossing Pencil, $24, available at Sephora.
24 of 34
Brand: Ouai
Founder: Jen Atkin

Ouai Wave Spray, $26, available at Sephora.
25 of 34
Brand: RMS Beauty
Founder: Rose-Marie Swift

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer, $38, available at Sephora.
26 of 34
Brand: Stella McCartney
Founder: Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney Stella Eau de Parfum, $72, available at Sephora.
27 of 34
Brand: Stila
Founder: Jeanine Lobell

Stila Correct & Perfect All-In-One Color Correcting Palette, $45, available at Sephora.
28 of 34
Brand: Sunday Riley
Founder: Sunday Riley

Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, $80, available at Sephora.
29 of 34
Brand: Tarte
Founder: Maureen Kelly

Tarte Tartelette In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette, $46, available at Sephora.
30 of 34
Brand: Tata Harper
Founder: Tata Harper

Tata Harper Purifying Mask, $65, available at Sephora.
31 of 34
Brand: Tatcha
Founder: Victoria Tsai

Tatcha The Essence Plumping Skin Softener, $95, available at Sephora.
32 of 34
Brand: Urban Decay
Founders: Wende Zomnir and Sandy Lerner

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Bad Blood, $17, available at Sephora.
33 of 34
Brand: Wander Beauty
Founders: Divya Gugnani and Lindsay Ellingson

Wander Beauty On-The-Glow Blush and Illuminator in Berry Whisper/Nude Glow, $42, available at Sephora.
34 of 34
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!