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One of the first times that Kylie Jenner’s social media clout flexed itself was when the then-teenager was being questioned in the media about her larger lips.

Did she have lip fillers or did she not? Jenner attributed her pout to an over lining technique using MAC Cosmetics’ lip pencil in the shade Spice. That product promptly began flying off shelves across the world. (She later admitted to getting her lips done.)

The young entrepreneur would go on to use this magic trick/phenomenon over and over again to start and grow her brand Kylie Cosmetics.

But it’s not just her 129 million fan following on Instagram and prior riches that have propelled her business forward. It’s just good timing. She launched Kylie Cosmetics at a time when more and more people were eschewing massive, legacy companies for smaller, more personal start-ups… companies with a story and face behind it. And what a story and face Jenner has. It also helps that she’s the sole owner, pocketing the vast majority of profits.

Jenner is also reportedly very involved with the creation of Kylie Cosmetics items and often responds to controversies (of which there have been many) on her social media accounts, a gesture that adds a relatability that money can’t buy.

Kylie Cosmetics products are, for the most part, good quality. The make-up factory Jenner uses, Seed Beauty, also produces Colourpop Cosmetics, another massive start-up success story. Neither brand might be counted amongst world-class make-up artists’ favourites, but that doesn’t matter to the millions of young beauty addicts around the world who live and breathe social media and want a piece of the Kardashian-Jenner pie. Even if that’s in the form of a lipstick.

— Jennifer Barretto is a copy editor at Gulf News. She writes a weekly ‘Beauty Beat’ column for Gulf News tabloid!, out every Sunday.