Breaking Down Barriers: 5 Women Who Inspired Us This Month

sideview of Selena Gomez

As we wrap up Women’s History Month, we want to focus on some of the victories women are enjoying—in the beauty space and beyond. We’re highlighting just five of the many, many creators, change-makers, and executives who are blazing trails for others.

Selena Gomez, Actress, Singer, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

Selena Gomez’s ability to thrive in every project she tackles is dizzying. Last month, she once again became the most popular woman on Instagram—with more than 400 million followers—while also showing off make-up free realness, filming a new season of her hit show, and championing mental health and kindness. Her transparency and advocacy are woven through all of her projects, including her Wondermind platform for mental health, the Rare Impact arm of her wildly-popular Rare Beauty cosmetics line, and her Apple TV+ documentary, My Mind and Me.

Melissa Butler, Founder and CEO, The Lip Bar

Headshot of Melissa Butler, founder & CEO of LipBar

Former Wall Street analyst-turned-beauty entrepreneur Melissa Butler got a “no” from Shark Tank, but a “hell, yeah” from customers. She created her first brand, The Lip Bar, in her kitchen in 2012 because she saw a void in the marketplace for hyper-pigmented, vegan beauty products for women of color. Last year, she closed a $6.7 million funding round to grow the company—which now includes both The Lip Bar and Thread Beauty. Today, her brands are carried in more than 1,000 stores nationwide. In February 2023, The Lip Bar became the largest, Black-owned beauty brand in Target.

Carrie Strom, President, Allergan Aesthetics

Carrie Strom headshot

Carrie Strom is the first woman to serve as SVP at AbbVie and President of Allergan Aesthetics, and she’s taking steps to ensure that she won’t be the last. Last year, Allergan Aesthetics announced its fourth-consecutive year of partnership with Girls Inc.—an organization Strom is deeply involved with—to engage high school-aged girls interested in STEM careers. “The long-term mission is gender parity in the workplace. I hope my work with Girls Inc. inspires girls to believe it can happen, because ‘if you see it, you can be it,’” she said.

Alba Rueda,Argentine Foreign Ministry Advisor and Trans-Rights Activist

Image of Alba Rueda smiling in a black blouse

Alba Rueda, was one of 11 women from around the world to receive an International Woman of Courage award at the White House this month. As the first openly transgender lawmaker in Argentina to hold a senior political position in the country, she was recognized for dedicating her life to the protection and promotion of human rights. Rueda was the driving force behind Argentina’s Transgender Labor Quota Act, and she has been a tireless advocate for historically marginalized populations.

Michelle Yeoh, Oscar-Winning Actress

Headshot of Michelle Yeoh smiling with black glasses and a black blouse

Michelle Yeoh started her career as a model, winning the Miss Malaysia pageant in 1983. This month, 40 years later, she won her first Academy Award for her role as Evelyn in Everything, Everywhere, All At Once—making her the first Asian woman to win a lead actress Oscar and only the second woman of color to ever win that award. Accepting her trophy, she said, “This is proof that dreams — dream big, and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you are ever past your prime. Never give up.”

Women’s History Month is an opportunity to honor women’s often-overlooked contributions to society, but, in the aesthetics industry, we’re lucky to have women leading the way every day. March may be (almost) over, but the impact our dynamic colleagues and clients make in the world is something we celebrate all year long.

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