Living in a male-dominated world is something women have had to cope with since the dawn of time. One industry that has seen women turn this notion on its head is the beauty industry.
The turn of the 20th century saw, the likes of Helena Rubenstein and Florence Nightingale Graham (Elizabeth Arden) dominate the beauty and cosmetics industry and later on Estee Lauder. Since then many more females have used their entrepreneurial spirit to leverage their beauty businesses to new heights.
Women setting the bar high in beauty:
Who would know better than a woman, when it comes to what a woman wants in a skincare product. Hence, some of the most successful skincare brands in the world have been started by women. South Africa has a number of very successful skincare brands that are founded by women and have definitely set the bar when it comes to top-notch skincare.
Beauty may be a global business but climate and lifestyle count when it comes to skincare. Well-known brands pioneered by South African women include Africology, Lulu & Marula and Placecol, to name a few. They all saw the gap in the market and realised what women needed wasn’t necessarily available.
South African women have specific skincare needs and it’s a gap that Croatian chemist Mirjana Brlečić also saw and believed she could fill with her Nikel Cosmetics range. “Our active plant ingredients are perfect to help combat the ravages of the sun, which is so prevalent in South Africa,” explains Brlečić.
Women have had to create their own opportunities and crack the glass ceiling that pushed them back.
Starting your own business takes a lot of hard work and drive. In 2004 after many years of research and practising pharmacy, phytopharmacy and cosmetology, Mirjana Brlečić launched Nikel Cosmetics, an all-natural skincare range.
Launching an all-natural skincare range has its challenges and Brlečić had to put many hours in developing the most beneficial combination of ingredients in a way that also used natural preservatives.
Her hard work paid off and she received the 2012 EU Award for Business Woman of the Year.
Giving women their confidence back
A women’s skin has its own unique attributes. Collagen density, collagen loss, menopause and UV exposure alter and age the skin. Many women turn to make-up to hide the signs of ageing and aren’t confident enough to reveal their skin.
“We as women need to get our confidence back and this can be done easily by using the right natural skin care products,” explains Brlečić.