Urban Decay

About Urban Decay

Urban Decay, an American cosmetics brand headquartered in Newport Beach, California, is a subsidiary of French cosmetics company L’Oréal.

Their story opens nearly 20 years ago, when pink, red and beige enslaved the prestige beauty market. Heaven forbid you wanted purple or green nails because you’d either have to whip out a marker or risk life and limb with that back alley drugstore junk. Flying in the face of this monopoly, Sandy Lerner (co-founder of Cisco Systems) made a bold decision: if the cosmetic industry’s “big boys” couldn’t satisfy her alternative makeup tastes, she’d satisfy them herself.

Products include lip, eye, and nail colors, as well as other face and body products. Its target market is younger women, although it is not limited to this range, and is also designed to appeal to customers who wish to purchase cruelty-free makeup.

Pink, red, and beige tones dominated the beauty industry palette until the mid-1990s. In 1995, Sandy Lerner, a co-founder of Cisco Systems, and Wende Zomnir were at Lerner’s mansion outside London when Zomnir mixed raspberry and black to form a new color, which they named Urban Decay. Then, they decided to form a cosmetics company.

Launched in January 1996, it offered a line of ten lipsticks and 12 nail polishes. Their color palette was inspired by the urban landscape, with names such as Roach, Smog, Rust, Oil Slick, and Acid Rain.Its products are sold at large department stores in the United States such as Macy’s, Ulta, Nordstrom, and from the official website as well as in several other countries such as Mexico and Germany.

Today, Wende steers Urban Decay’s ongoing growth as Chief Creative Officer along with Tim Warner, Chief Executive Officer. Tim (aka “The Zen Master”) perfectly counterpoints the frenzy of activity in the office with his quiet, penetrating approach to running a beauty business. And although they push the teams at headquarters and on the sales floor to new heights, they do occasionally still leave time for old school UD pranks and hijinks.