Photo Credit: bareminerals.com
2014 has been a very good year for Leslie Blodgett, the global beauty powerhouse and Creator of bareMinerals. She was recently awarded the 2014 WWD Beauty Inc Visionary of the Year Award in recognition of how she transformed Bare Escentuals into one of beauty’s biggest success stories of all time. Earlier this year, Blodgett was also named by WWD Beauty Inc as one of ‘Beauty’s Big Ten,’ further recognition of her amazing success in transforming a fledgeling Bay Area-based bath & body retailer into a global cosmetic empire.
As the first woman to receive this prestigious award, this honor is a testament to the indelible mark Blodgett has left on the industry at large through the introduction of her breakthrough brand, bareMinerals, now entering into its 20-year anniversary. Through her trademark leadership style, she pioneered a new age of direct selling, unconventional marketing tactics, and invented the idea of community with her unique bond with real women around the globe. Today, countless makeup-wearing women have learned some tips on how to cover up flaws and create a natural, ‘no makeup’ look from Leslie and her loyal disciples.
Blodgett’s success story is one of perseverance, passion, and sheer talent. Raised by a single mom with her siblings in Smithtown, NY, she attended FIT in New York City to follow her love of the beauty world, and soon found herself behind the cosmetic counter. She moved into product development at Max Factor and Neutrogena, before joining Bare Escentuals as CEO in 1994. Launching bareMinerals the following year, Blodgett set out on a mission to educate women on the benefits of healthy makeup alternatives through unconventional marketing, grass roots selling tactics, and a unique distribution model that quickly took off. Her friendly, relatable style and down-to-earth demeanor paid off with a loyal following of women who worship her beauty expertise.
She took the company public in 2006 in one of the largest cosmetic IPOs in the last decade. Fast forward to 2010, Bare Escentuals was acquired by Japan-based Shiseido for $1.7 billion, making it one of the largest mergers in the history of cosmetics.
Pete Born, Executive Editor of Beauty for WWD, said, “Leslie Blodgett is a pioneer in the beauty industry who ushered in the age of mineral makeup and envisioned the future concept of community based selling. She is a true visionary whose strategic insights of 17 years ago continue to reverberate today.” WWD Beauty Inc 2014 Visionary of the Year Award is an annual event hosted by WWD, a leading trade journal covering fashion, beauty and retail news published by Penske Media Corporation. The prestigious “Visionary of the Year Award” now in its fifth year celebrates a forward-thinking leader for their exemplary leadership and significant contributions to the beauty industry.