Maybelline vs Lakme – All You Need To Know

Maybelline vs Lakme - All You Need To Know


Maybelline vs Lakme is one of the argumentative topics among beauty shoppers, especially for Indians. It is understandable because both companies have many things in common, leaving the audience with the task of deciding what the best product is. This article will analyze both brands’ similarities and differences, alongside everything you need to know. Hopefully, you will be able to decide on the best brand choice for you at the end of the article.

  • Similarities Between Maybelline and Lakme
  • Maybelline vs Lakme – Origin
  • The Evolution of the Maybelline and Lakme Brand
  • Maybelline vs Lakme – The Major Influencers
  • The Differences in Marketing Strategy
  • Maybelline vs Lakme – Criticism
  • Maybelline vs Lakme – Awards and Certifications

Similarities Between Maybelline and Lakme

Maybelline and Lakme are both readily available in Indian stores. They have retail outlets in central cities and local stores. When you visit an outlet or store, you will find Maybelline vs Lakme products beside one another. This is why it is essential for buyers to decide what brand is best suited for them before entering a beauty store. With the wide range of options available, you may be confused about making a choice. For example, both brands’ mascara, that is, the Iconic and Colossal Kajal, are identical. Although the Colossal Kajal from Maybelline is darker, it is closer to some shades of the Iconic Kajal. 

Maybelline and Lakme have similar products available for customers. This makes it more difficult for people to choose their preferred products between the two. The competition between the brands is tight, and it is safe to say there is great rivalry between them in cosmetics production.

Maybelline and Lakme – The Origin

Maybelline has an American origin, launched by Tom Lyle Williams. This was until the transfer of ownership took place. Maybelline has a strong portfolio consisting of about 200 products therein. The company focuses on creating new makeup kits with several color shades. Hence, you can find your magical color pop from the varieties available at Maybelline. It has its central office in New York but has grown globally, reaching about one hundred and twenty-nine countries.

Maybelline was inspired by a lover girl trying to get her man. Her brother, Thomas Williams, a chemist, devised a makeup method by mixing petroleum jelly and carbon dust in 1913. The result turned out beautifully on the sister’s brows and lashes, and she was able to get her man in 1915. That year, Thomas introduced Maybelline Cake mascara, which sold globally.

The 19-year-old chemist successfully built a company by naming a brand after his sister.

Lakme was created in 1952, while Maybelline was officially launched in 1915. This implies that Maybelline had existed in the market long before Hindustan Unilever bought Lakme. Fortunately, Pushkaraj Shenai is a business expert and understands marketing strategies perfectly. Even so, Maybelline experienced massive growth in 1996, after its ownership was transferred to L’Oreal USA. Both brands have received several awards for producing brilliant cosmetics.

The Evolution of the Maybelline and Lakme Brand

It seems incomplete to discuss the Maybelline vs Lakme origin without explaining how both brands have evolved over the years. Maybelline grew by collaborating with brands worldwide. In January 2019, the company produced a Maybelline X Puma limited edition, collaborating with the German fashion brand. The limited collection included five products, which got more requests than expected by the company. Additionally, Adriana Lima, a top influencer, represented the company as a global ambassador.

Lakme has built top platforms across India, seeing that it started as a brand dependent on international brands. After India got its independence, the economy became fragile. However, the beauty company thrived to survive regardless. During this period, the middle and elite class depended on foreign cosmetics, which inspired the Prime Minister of India to create a local cosmetic brand. The country named the indigenous brand after the goddess of beauty called Laxmi. However, Lakme had some challenges reaching every household in India. 

It was assumed that only promiscuous women would wear dark eyes and red lip makeup. Hence, the company needed a strong marketing strategy to change this mindset about women wearing makeup. Then, Simone Naval Taya scaled the evolution process by representing the brand with exotic makeup and elegant attires. Thereafter, Lakme became acceptable through this direct marketing strategy and affordability. The brand took it upon itself to educate Indians on the importance of body and beauty maintenance. With the faces of famous Bollywood actresses, Lakme was able to break the restriction.

Maybelline and Lakme – The Major Influencers

Maybelline and Lakme have similar marketing campaigns, which are common among other beauty businesses. This strategy is the use of influencers and celebrities. However, their choice of influencers differs for the two brands. The recent Lakme lip balm advertisement featured Shraddha Kapoor, while Maybelline used Alia Bhatt, as they are big influencers in the Bollywood industry. The lip balms gave the same simple effect on both actresses. Thoughtfully, beauty analysts identified that both brands picked influencers that match each lip balm shade.

Maybelline had its first Ad campaign in 1916, with the Photoplay magazine. It also featured in the Pictorial Review and Like Delineator magazines. Additionally, the brand has many influencers running ads on television and social media platforms. This includes Lynda Carter, who is a pro beauty fashion coordinator. Other celebrities that have been a part of Maybelline campaigns include Deepika Padukone, Fasha Sandha, Gigi Hadid, Kristin Davis, Josie Maran, Julia Stegner, Zhang Ziyi, Jessica White, Jourdan Dunn, and Miranda Kerr.

The Differences in Marketing Strategy

Maybelline has strong distribution channels, including supermarkets, specialty stores, cosmetic stores, hypermarkets, drugstores, and discount stores. In fact, discounts are a great marketing tool for the brand when targeting people that cannot afford high-end makeup prices.

Lakme’s target audience is those in the upper class who want to feel proud of their skin and beauty. Contrarily, Maybelline is targeted towards students and the middle class, making it more affordable. Lakme has a strong marketing strategy, despite the existing competitors that want to beat it out of the market. Lakme is able to acquire 20% of its sales weekly with strong social media engagement. The salon store, makeup, and skincare work hand-in-hand to give customers a pleasant experience.

Lakme organizes a fashion week show, where the brand shares its values with the viewers. The event is held twice in Mumbai, contributing more to the brand’s publicity. The brand’s portfolio is in different categories, pushing out more specific customer selections. A top marketing strategy that has worked for Lakme is its enlightenment programs. They educate viewers about body care and hygiene in their salons and websites. People from less civilized areas are now open to taking care of their bodies and looking good. 

The supply chain in the Maybelline vs Lakme comparison is another exciting point of view. Lakme Lever Private Limited (LLPL) manages 60 salons out of the 360 salons owned by the company, as the other salons operate as franchises. Meanwhile, its distribution pattern is similar to that of its parent company, Unilever. Lakme targets customers between 35 and 55 years old in its retail chains. Moreover, Lakme is more expensive; thus, the staff reviews how to reduce operational costs at every production stage.


How you pay attention to your body & makeup influences your daily lifestyle. If you are worried about your skin, understanding the top two brands that produce great makeup will be an added advantage for you. Although the Maybelline vs Lakme comparison highlights various differences, you can consult beauty experts for recommendations and customized products. Also, do not focus on the slightly higher prices of Lakme products. Instead, choose products based on the benefits you are acquiring from them.

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