Estee Lauder: As Good As It’s “Made Up” to Be


Tucked away in a nondescript building on a nondescript street in Markham, Ontario, is an innovative Canadian company. This company hires Canadian workers in its manufacturing plants, exports 80% of its product, and has been busy acquiring and scaling up small enterprises since the 1970s.

The company is Estee Lauder. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Founded by Josephine Esther Mentzer in 1946, Estee Lauder is the foremost Canadian makeup company. It has acquired and manufactures MAC Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown and Smashbox Cosmetics, among many others.

The interns were lucky enough to take a guided tour of the company’s lipstick manufacturing line, and even had the opportunity to make a sample lipstick ourselves. We were impressed by the dedication to quality and safety displayed by everyone working on the floor. One employee, John, even read us a poem about safety that he had recited on the company’s PA system earlier that day.

The interns got to try their hand at colour matching to see how good their eye for colour was (congratulations to intern Alex for being the only one with a perfect score!) and came away with a much better understanding of how this important sector of Canada’s manufacturing industry contributes to Ontario’s economy. Everyone we met at Estee Lauder  inspired us to embrace the values of cooperative learning, social engagement and sustainability in our work, as they do.

Thank you, Estee Lauder, for showing us around, and for your continued sponsorship of the Ontario Legislature Internship Programme. A special thank you as well to Lorinda Loftonbrook, Campbell and Karim for their informative presentation.

We’ll leave you with a quote by Leonard Lauder, Chairman emeritus of The Estee Lauder Companies Inc., that is displayed proudly on a wall at Estee Lauder:

“In good organizations, every role is essential to mission success, and every individual can be great by shining in his or her role. When people share a mission and know how much they matter, they will strive for excellence and distinction, up and down the line.”


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