There’s nothing wrong with putting Kylie Jenner or any reality TV star guaranteed to generate buzz — on the cover of a magazine. But when the publication is Forbes and the photo caption refers to Jenner as on track to becoming “the youngest-ever self-made billionaire,” you better believe the Internet is going to have something to say about it. Especially when less than one week after the Forbes cover was released, WWD reported that Eurazeo Brands, a New York City-based investment company, had taken a $60 million minority stake in Pat McGrath Labs, the eponymous line by makeup artist Pat McGrath. The influx of cash brought the company’s estimated valuation to over $1 billion. By comparison, Jenner’s brand, Kylie Cosmetics, is valued at $800 million, according to Forbes.
The news about Pat McGrath Labs came well after the Forbes cover was a done deal, but the announcement hit just in time to stoke the controversy that was already brewing. It’s true that 20-year-old Jenner is very young and extremely wealthy, however, the “self-made” part of the story is debatable. Even Dictionary.com weighed in by tweeting: “Self-made means having succeeded in life unaided.”
In 2015, McGrath went into business for herself. She launched a limited-edition pigment, Gold 001, the first item under the Pat McGrath Labs label. The metallic dust sold out in six minutes. After teasing beauty junkies into a frenzy with a few more product drops (including sought-after eye kits and lip kits) McGrath launched a full-blown, permanent collection in October 2017 and the internet promptly responded with a collective “yaaaaas!”