About Urban Decay
Sandy Lerner, co-founder of networking giant Cisco Systems, was so frustrated by the lack of choice in the premium make-up ranges that she decided to start her own company.
She wanted green and purple nail varnish without going to the bargain basement items she was convinced were full of toxins and would not give her the look she wanted, so she joined forces with Wende Zomnir more than 17 years ago and today Urban Decay has grown into a global force.
Urban Decay started small in 1996, with a line-up of 10 lipsticks and 12 nail varnishes. They chose deliberately provocative names like Roach, Oil Slick and Acid Rain, which aren't traditionally associated with beauty. It's first advertising campaign was aggressive, too, asking:ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¨Does Pink Make You Puke?ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¨
The campaign and the idea struck a chord and the timing was right, as the 1990s brought the grunge era and a greater tendency to experiment with make-up. That time has been and gone, but Urban Decay still thrives and is stocked in Macy's, Ulta and Sephora in the US as well as a number of retailers around the world.
Urban Decay has stuck by its original philosophy of offering different colour palettes, as well as using natural ingredients, and its eyeshadow range is a brave blend of purples, greens, blues and more.
Inevitably Urban Decay has started to sell merchandise, too, including bags, clothes and, somewhat unusually, a surfboard. The make-up remains the main attraction, though, and with each new line the brand attracts a new wave of followers.