Estée Lauder was the American co-founder, with her husband Joseph Lauder, of Estée Lauder Companies, a pioneering cosmetics company.

Born Josephine Esther Mentzer, Estée Lauder was raised in Corona, Queens, by her Hungarian mother, Rose, and Czech father, Max. The name Estée was a variation on her family nickname, Esty. Always interested in beauty, she was mentored by her uncle, chemist John Schotz, and began her business by selling skin care products to beauty salons and hotels.

Mrs. Lauder's leadership inspired thousands of people. She received scores of honors, including the United States' Presidential Medal of Freedom and France's Legion of Honor. However, Mrs. Lauder was happiest advising women during her in-store appearances. One of her favorite quotes was "Telephone, Telegraph, Tell-A-Woman," because she knew that once a woman tried an Estée Lauder product, she would love it and share it with her friends.

When the company began to advertise, Mrs. Lauder insisted that its images portray beauty that was both aspirational and approachable. Over the years, supermodels Karen Graham, Willow Bay, Paulina Porizkova—and now Elizabeth Hurley, Carolyn Murphy, Hillary Rhoda and Gwyneth Paltrow—have represented Estée Lauder.

She married Joseph Lauder in 1930. They created the company together. They had two sons, Leonard and Ronald. Estée divorced Joseph in 1939, and re-married him in 1942. The couple remained married thereafter until his death in 1982. The Estée Lauder company was created in 1935. Her older son, Leonard Lauder, was chief executive of Estée Lauder and is now chairman of the board. Her younger son, Ronald Lauder, is a prominent philanthropist, a Republican political appointee in the Reagan administration, and developer of property in Berlin, among other endeavors.

Lauder died of cardiopulmonary arrest, aged 97.


1953 Youth-Dew (W)
1968 Estee (W)
1969 Azuree Pure (W)
1972 Aliage (W)
1972 Aliage Sport (W)
1973 Private Collection (W)
1978 Cinnabar (W)
1978 Pure White Linen (W)
1978 White Linen (W)
1985 Lauder for Men (M)
1985 Beautiful Sheer (W)
1986 Beautiful (W)
1988 Knowing (W)
1991 SpellBound (W)
1992 Tuscany Per Donna (W)
1995 Pleasures (W)
1996 White Line Breeze (W)
1997 Pleasures For Men (M)
1998 Dazzling Gold (W)
1998 Dazzling Silver (W)
2000 Intuition (W)
2002 Pleasures Intense (W)
2003 Intuition for Men (M)
2003 Beyond Paradise (W)
2004 Beyond Paradise For Men (M)
2004 Intuition Summer In Bloom (W)
2004 Pleasures Exotic (W)
2005 Pleasures Intense (M)
2005 Youth-Dew Amber Nude (W)
2006 Pleasures Artist`s Edition (W)
2006 Pleasures Gwyneth Paltrow Limited Edition (W)
2006 Beyond Paradise Blue (W)
2006 Emerald Dream (W)
2006 Beautiful Love (W)
2006 Beautiful Precious Drops (W)
2006 Beautiful Summer Bouquet (W)
2007 Beautiful Summer Fun 2007 (W)
2007 Pleasures Delight (W)
2007 Pure White Linen Light Breeze (W)
2007 Azuree Soleil Eau Fraiche Skinscent (W)
2007 Beyond Paradise Summer Fun (W)
2007 Mustang (M)
2007 Pleasures Exotic 2007 (W)
2007 Pleasures Summer Fun (W)
2007 Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia (W)
2008 Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang (W)
2008 Bali Dream (W)
2008 Beautiful Summer Fun 2008 (W)
2008 Bronze Goddess Eau Fraîche Skinscent (W)
2008 Pleasures Artist`s Edition 2008 (W)
2008 Brasil Dream (W)
2008 Pleasures Summer Fun (W)
2008 Pure White Linen Summer Fun (W)
2008 Sensuous (W)
2009 Brasil Dream for Him (M)
2009 Beautiful Spring Veil (W)
2009 Pleasures Baie Rose Peony Splash (W)
2009 Pleasures Jasmine Violet Splash (W)
2009 Pleasures Sandalwood Amber Splash (W)
2009 Private Collection Jasmin White Moss (W)
2009 Pure White Linen Pink Coral (W)
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