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Golden Oldie

Happy 100th Birthday, L'Oréal!
Golden Oldie Happy 100th Birthday, L'Oréal!

Behind every great man is a woman—in this case, a whole bunch of them, hankering for a safe and effective way to color their graying hair and maintain their cosmopolitan French beauty. Enter Eugène Schueller, a young Parisian chemistry student and pharmacist's assistant, who thankfully gave up his day job to develop L'Auréale, the world's first safe, mineral salt-based hair dye, and the face of beauty changed forever. He became the now-christened L'Oréal's first CEO in 1909; one century, 65,000 employees, 65 countries and 23 global brands later, and the brand's one billion consumers are still enjoying the benefits of his innovations.

L'Oréal Paris has now grown to a worldwide conglomerate of the strongest beauty brands in the market and boasts of a revolutionary, billion-euro R&D department and an output of more than 4.5 billion product units annually. Aside from L'Oréal Paris and the real birthday centenarian, L'Oréal Professionnel, their Philippine division also holds claim to industry big wheels like Kérastase Paris, Maybelline New York, Garnier, Matrix, Lancôme Paris, Shu Uemura, Kiehl's Since 1851 and the fragrance arms of Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Cacharel, Diesel and Guy Laroche.

And because they stay true to their slogan and believe that we are all definitely worth it, they are also launching 100 citizen projects meant to help several international communities as part of their “100 Years, 100 Projects” campaign, all of them in risky, vulnerable situations, via local support programs. Bigay Daan is L'Oréal Philippines' venture together with their partner, Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), a non-profit foundation that helps give the poor sustainable means of living and better quality of life by initiatives that foster self-reliance. Through Bigay Daan, 30 Filipina women will be given professional training on hairdressing and make-up artistry by local professionals from the country's leading salons; beneficiaries will then be given job opportunities with David's Salon, Reyes Haircutters and Index Salon to help further their personal and economic development.

Beauty is more than skin deep, indeed. What a fabulous way to spend a birthday! Congratulations and best wishes, L'Oréal!

Click on for a fun timeline of the brand's historical milestones.

—Eunice Lucero, Beauty Editor

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