How Kylie Jenner's cosmetic line went from an F to A+ rating despite her controversial 'self-made' savvy businesswoman persona

How Kylie Jenner's cosmetic line went from an F to A+ rating despite her controversial 'self-made' savvy businesswoman persona
Kylie Jenner (Source : Getty Images)

Twenty-one-year-old Kylie Jenner has been in the public eye since she was nine and she's taken the world by storm by bagging the title of the "youngest billionaire" ousting even Mark Zuckerberg, CE0 of Facebook, who became a billionaire at 23.

The inception of Jenner's success can be traced to her famous family, the Kardashians and their reality show 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians.' On its Season 16 run and on for almost 12 years, the popularity of the reality TV was actually just a welcome mat for the youngest Kardashian-Jenner sister, who eventually opened her own doors to colossal success. Stemming from the fact that all her elder sisters were famous models and reality TV personalities, Kylie Jenner took the path untrodden by her famous family and launched her cosmetic line — Kylie Cosmetics in 2016 with only four 'Lip Kits'. 

The sell-out of those lip kits as soon as it launched was historic, it sold out in 30 seconds, and it was a no brainer that in a matter of years her business would take off to meteoric heights, thanks to her adept use of social media. Now, in 2019, the lip kits have over 50 varieties, there are eyeshadow kits called the 'Kyshadows', as well as highlighters called 'Kylighters', but most important of all, Kylie Jenner graced the cover of Forbes magazine and was controversially labeled as the "self-made billionaire."

Kylie Jenner graced the cover of Forbes magazine and was controversially labeled as the 'self-made billionaire' (Getty Images)

According to Forbes, Jenner became the youngest billionaire in the world when her Kylie Cosmetics revenue grew by 9 percent to approximately $360 million, bringing the company's total worth to an estimated $900 million. 

However, the title of "self-made" did not appeal to the masses and she was heavily criticized. Her argument was that her parents Kris Jenner and Caitlyn Jenner cut her off at age 15, and her money wasn't "inherited", she told the Paper Magazine. "My parents told me I needed to make my own money, it's time to learn how to save and spend your own money, stuff like that," she said at the time. "What I'm trying to say is I did have a platform, but none of my money is inherited."


Kylie Jenner's title of 'self-made' did not appeal to the masses and she was heavily criticized (Getty Images)

Fans, however, dismissed the argument saying that her fame was the leverage and appearing on 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians' itself guaranteed a lot of money. So her status as "self-made" was not acceptable.

Besides the self-made factor, Forbes presented her as a savvy businesswoman. With a cover picture of Kylie dressed in a black power suit with a sleek hair bun, the publication detailed Kylie's interaction.

'You guys, imagine this, but all in lip kits," says Jenner, dressed in a black blazer and matching black patent Louboutins with bright red soles. "I think it needs to be a clear vending machine where you see all the colors."


Kylie  Jenner sure sounds smart. The young mother of Stormi has indeed secured her place in the beauty business industry and beyond, and since all the sisters from the Kardashian-Jenner clan now, including Kim, Khloe, Kourtney and Kylie are said to be savvy business personalities, they are growing beyond the realm of reality TV. Hell, Kim Kardashian is even studying to become a lawyer.

However, in the recent interview of the richest Kardashian, it was disclosed that the 21-year-old makeup mogul has very little idea of what is going on in the company she holds 100 percent stake in.

In one of the biggest controversies surrounding the Kardashian fam, the news of Tristan Thompson, Khloe's baby daddy, cheating on her with Kylie Jenner's best friend, Jordyn Woods, made headlines last February. The Kardashians were savage on cutting off the 21-year-old model and a shade was noticed when Kylie Cosmetics slashed the price of a lip kit called 'Jordy' just days after the scandal broke out. 'Jordy' is the lip kit item named after Jordyn Woods which went from $27 to $13.50 on the Kylie Cosmetics website. Fans immediately took to react to what was considered a major hint that Kylie was going 'Thank You, Next' on Jordyn.


Fans immediately took to react to what was considered a major hint that Kylie was going 'Thank You, Next' on Jordyn (Getty Images)

But in an interview with the New York Times following the scandal, Kylie got candid about what had actually unfurled. Jenner revealed that she didn’t know that Jordy lip kit had been discounted, and called an employee as soon as she heard.

"That is just not my character, I would never do something like that and when I saw it I was like, thrown back. Jordyn knows I actually didn't put it on sale," Kylie told the publication.

The real reason for the price slash, she said, was that a couple of weeks earlier, Kylie Cosmetics had decided to switch from white to black packaging. The intention was to discount the discontinued version of the product and restock with the updated packaging.


The immediate question was: How can Kylie not know? She gets all the credit for the skyrocketing success of her brand, and a crucial business decision such as the one involving the sales of her lip kit was an oblivious one to the "self-made" billionaire. 

Recently, Kylie's billion dollar business was awarded as one of the most innovative companies which she took to Instagram Stories to share. "Innovation, for what?" quipped critics. But for those who do not know, Kylie Jenner launched the lip pencil and liquid lipstick as a set and then had creative names for her collection ranging from Taylor Swift's songs to celebrate the birth of her daughter, Stormi, with the palette 'Eye of the Storm'. As innovative as her company may sound to be, Kylie has been accused a number of times of plagiarism.

Starting right from the logo that cemented her brand, to her docuseries logo of 'Life of Kylie', the youngest billionaire has been called a "thief". The beauty baron first picked up artwork from makeup artist Vlada Haggerty, twice, and then later from artist Sara Pope. However, matters were solved in court and nobody talked about it. Kylie's business remained unharmed. 


During the starting days of Kylie Cosmetics, it was revealed that despite the popularity and sellout, Kylie Jenner's lip kit got an F grade from the Better Business Bureau because of customer complaints.

Following media reports about the low rating, the grade was changed to a C, then a B-. The Better Business Bureau stated that "Kylie Cosmetics currently has No Rating" and that it "previously had an F rating due to unresolved complaints as well as a pattern of complaints regarding issues related to the delivery of orders." Shortly, Kylie announced on her website that she is working with BBB to resolve the complaints.

Three years later, when her cosmetics line has been billed as one of the faster-growing companies, The Better Business Bureau national spokesperson tells MEA World Wide (MEAWW): "Like many new companies dealing with a spike in demand, Kylie Cosmetics suffered from customer service issues. BBB began receiving complaints soon after the company began filling orders, while some were related to products, most were about shipping delays. The company had an F rating for much of its first year. However, Ms. Jenner and her company cooperated with BBB and worked diligently to address all complaints, as well as make improvements in their internal procedures to reduce problems. Over time, the number of complaints dropped significantly, the company’s BBB rating improved, and they became eligible for BBB Accreditation. Kylie Cosmetics has been a BBB Accredited Business  since October 2017 and currently has an A+ rating."


Despite all arguments against the youngest Kar-Jen deserving a "self-made" title or not,  or a "savvy businesswoman" persona, the 21-year-old continues to grow her empire and mint money, maybe that is why we fail to keep up. Kardashians know their business and no publicity, bad or good, can go against them.

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