This Is What Your Favourite Beauty Brand Names Actually Mean

Mac, Benefit, Rimmel and Nivea: These beauty brands have a whole lot of history and you'll never guess how some of them got their names.

1. Nivea

We totally heart their old school design.

Trusty Nivea got us through some tough times during our teenage years and it has served us well as adults too. Initially set up way back in 1890, our fave-o pot of creme gets its name from the Latin ‘nix, nivis’ meaning snow, and relating to its pure white colour. #NowYouKnow.

2. Rimmel

Our lives wouldn't be complete without Rimmel.

We’re rarely without our Rimmel foundation or powder, but the brand was original set up as a perfumery in 1834. It’s wasn’t until a year later that the brand’s owner Eugene Rimmel started creating make-up products, including the most popular and useful invention, like, ever: mascara. After the global success of its cosmetics, Rimmel became a fully fledged make-up brand and has now become one of the most successful beauty companies in the world, not to mention a firm favourite in our make-up bags too.

3. Benefit


This international favourite started out as a small family venture, when American sisters Jean and Jane Ford created a modest beauty boutique in Indiana in 1976. The boutique, called The Face Place continued to get increasingly popular, attracting worldwide attention. It wasn’t until 1990, when the beauty brand was expanding globally that the sisters decided to come up with a new name. Dreamed up on a flight home from Italy, Jane wanted to incorporate the word ‘Bene’ (Italian for good) into the brand’s new title, and so Benefit was born.

4. MAC

We're never without our trusty studio fix.

Where would we be without MAC, eh? Probably a lot richer but not as happy. First established in a Toronto salon, MAC started off as a make-up-artist-only brand, with its name simply translating as Make-Up Artist Cosmetics. It was later, in 1984, after winning the acclaim of models, editors, MUAs and photographers, that the brand officially launched to the public. Thank goodness, eh?