While no one can deny the impact that Coco Chanel and Estée Lauder have had on the beauty world, there are few names in cosmetics that are able to evolve and innovate like Jerome Alexander. From his teen days working for Larry Mathews hair salons to the development of the first retail cosmetic brushes that established him as a leader in the cosmetics industry, there aren’t many beauty avenues Jerome hasn’t explored! But how did Jerome manage to transition from hair, to makeup brushes, to a household beauty name? Introducing Jerome Alexander: the man behind the makeup.
The Early Years
From a young age, Jerome was intrigued and inspired by the style and sophistication of the women who frequented the country club where he was a lifeguard. Larry Mathews, a member there, took an interest in Jerome and offered him a job at one of his salons. Without any background in hair, he became something of a sponge, soaking up all the information he could by watching stylists transform women’s hair. Around this time, wigs were growing in popularity as a solution for the time in between salon visits. Jerome’s experience with hair lent itself perfectly to this endeavor, and with that, the beauty and hair care brand of Jerome Alexander Beauty was born.
In working with models and actresses on film and television, Jerome quickly realized that the average woman was not comfortable with application techniques and didn’t have the tools to expertly apply her own makeup. In 1976, Jerome Alexander was a frequent beauty educator in department stores, showing women which products to buy and, more importantly, how to use them. He came to realize that while women were starting to have access to quality cosmetics, they didn’t have the tools they needed for application in the comfort of their own homes. He then developed the first line of professional quality retail cosmetic brushes. Back in the 1970’s, Jerome Alexander was doing what the powerhouse MAC did in the 1990’s: revolutionizing the way women view and use makeup.
Nowadays, every major beauty brand has an accompanying line of brushes, sponges, and applicators, a nod to the forethought of Jerome Alexander and the importance of proper tools in a woman’s makeup routine. Jerome’s philosophy for innovation involves taking staple beauty items and improving upon them, endowing every woman with the power to be her own makeup artist. He is the first to say it was never his goal to be the best makeup artist; he simply wanted to bring the experience of expert makeup application to every woman, everywhere.