Milestones: Estee Lauder

The woman born Josephine Esther Mentzer didn't put too much thought into acquiring the more glamorous name with which she became famous. Estee was her nickname as a girl; she married into Lauder. But she struggled mightily to travel from her parents' apartment above the family hardware store in Queens, N.Y, to preside over a global cosmetics company. The daughter of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, she was enthralled by beauty and glamour, and her talent lay in convincing other women she could help them attain those qualities. In the 1930s, with a face cream her uncle, a chemist, brewed in...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!