After months of speculation that it would happen, reality TV star and beauty mogul Kylie Jenner has officially become the world’s youngest self-made billionaire ever, Forbes reported. The previous title holder was Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who was 23 when he reached the milestone achievement 11 years ago.
Much of 21-year-old Kylie’s wealth comes from the wild popularity of her makeup line, Kylie Cosmetics, which she launched in 2015 with its signature $29 lip kits. Now, the company, which she owns 100 percent stake in, is worth an estimated $900 million dollars, and offers dozens of products from highlighters to lipsticks to the recently-announced setting powders, which will launch later this week. This, coupled with product endorsements and Keeping Up with the Kardashians, among other things, has led to Kylie becoming the youngest self-made billionaire of all-time.
“I didn’t expect anything. I did not foresee the future,” Jenner told Forbes. “But [the recognition] feels really good. That’s a nice pat on the back.”
A major factor in Kylie’s success is her brand’s newly-inked, exclusive distribution deal with Ulta, which was signed in November of 2018. The move made the beauty retailer’s 1,000-plus stores the only location to purchase products from the makeup line aside from its online shop and the occasional pop-up store.
Within six weeks, nearly $55 million worth of products had been sold, making the move a major factor in the estimated $360 million that Kylie Cosmetics took in last year alone, which was reported to be a 9 percent increase in revenue.
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Kylie herself also credits much of her brand’s success to various social media platforms. The reality TV star boasts 128 million followers on Instagram alone, as well as millions more through Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter.
“It’s the power of social media,” Kylie explained. “I had such a strong reach before I was able to start anything.”
Kylie’s ability to connect with so many people through a simple social media post has been extremely beneficial to her partnership with Ulta, which has not spent any money on traditional marketing for the brand, something the company’s senior vice president of merchandising, Tara Simon, said is “unheard of.”
“[Jenner’s] ability to communicate with well over 120 million people in a snap has a lot of power,” Simon said.
And while Kylie comes from a family that is certainly well off, she truly is the real deal. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Jenner revealed to Paper Magazine last month that her family cut her off at the young age of 15.
“The self-made thing is true,” Kylie said.