The American Dream: Understanding the Charismatic Capitalism of the Beauty Industry

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This thesis aims to gain understanding of the reasons behind makeup being one of the most resilient products of consumer culture. It consists of a detailed analytical study of the makeup industry in the American marketplace with a focus on two innovative business strategies developed in the last decade and in the 1950s respectively. Two case studies were carried out. The first case study examines the concepts of community and consumerism within YouTube beauty videos and their influence on the audience’s purchasing aptitude. The second case study explores the selling methods and distribution channels of the beauty company Avon which benefited the makeup industry in the post-World War II period. This project will conclude with a discussion of the lipstick effect that will help to scientifically break down the reasons behind the conspicuous consumption of makeup products. This thesis is devoted to the exploration of the social and cultural forces that affected and created business techniques in the makeup industry, where product innovation and its marketing strategies are the leading factors to its ceaseless success.
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