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Industry leader still blazing new trails

Born Josephine Esther Mentzer, Estée Lauder began her business by selling skincare products developed by her uncle, a chemist, to salons and hotels.

Her husband, Joseph Lauder, became her partner in the business in 1930 and in 1946 they launched their brand with just four products: Estée Lauder's Super Rich All-Purpose Creme, Creme Pack, Cleansing Oil and Skin Lotion.

The first Estée Lauder counter went into Saks Fifth Avenue, New York, in 1948. Other top American department stores soon followed, and in 1960 the company opened its first international counter at Harrods, London.

The innovative spirit still thrives in the brand, which is now in more than 120 countries.

The Estée Lauder brand has been responsible for a number of industry firsts. Idealist Skin Refinisher was the first non-acid skin refinishing serum, Perfectionist Correcting Serum for Lines/Wrinkles was the first retinol-free line and wrinkle corrector and TurboLash All Effects Motion Mascara was the first power-performing, vibrating mascara.

In November 2009, Estée Lauder appointed Tom Pecheux as creative make-up director. He has been credited with the brand's growing reputation for on-trend make-up, with impressive colour collections each season.

The latest launches, due this month, are the Pure Color Long Lasting Lipsticks, Pure Color Crystal Lipsticks and the Pure Color Nail Lacquers which, we can report, have truly impressive shine and staying power.

The fans: Gwyneth Paltrow, Carolyn Murphy

If you buy one product: Advanced Night Repair (from €50) has an amazing effect.

The price: The make-up collection starts at €14.

Where to get it: At counters around the city including Arnotts, Brown Thomas, Boots, Debenhams and Harvey Nichols. For a full list of stockists, call 00 44 870 034 2566.

More info: www.estee lauder.com