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Estée Lauder Companies Inc. was founded in 1946 by Joseph and Estée Lauder. Ms. Lauder gained early experience in the skincare and cosmetics industry under the tutelage of her uncle, a chemist and skin care specialist. With a belief that every woman can be beautiful, and an initial focus on skin care, the company originally offered its products through door-to-door sales. The company opened its first department store counter in Saks Fifth Avenue, just two years later.