Jenner at Houston Ulta Beauty to promote the exclusive launch of Kylie Cosmetics with the retailer in November 2018.Rick Kern/Getty Images for Ulta Beauty

Forbes just revoked Kylie Jenner's billionaire status, saying she's exaggerated her company's success for years. Take a look at how Jenner built her empire.


Kylie Jenner made headlines last year when Forbes declared her the world's youngest "self-made" billionaire at age 21, thanks to her makeup company, Kylie Cosmetics.

Now, Forbes is saying that Jenner is not, in fact, a billionaire. In a new investigation, the magazine says that Jenner has exaggerated the size and profitability of her business and misled Forbes and other publications since 2016.

Jenner founded Kylie Cosmetics in 2015 and claimed to have brought in $400 million in revenue in its first 18 months, per Forbes. In November 2019, Jenner signed a deal to sell a majority stake in her cosmetics company to beauty conglomerate Coty Inc. for $600 million, which valued the company at $1.2 billion. 

But Forbes alleges that the company has never made as much money as the Jenners claimed, and also that her business has suffered during the coronavirus pandemic. A representative for Jenner did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Despite her disputed billionaire status, Jenner has amassed a cosmetics empire, starred alongside her family in "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" as well as in her own spin-off show "Life of Kylie," started a clothing line with her sister, and made millions promoting products on Instagram.

Here are all the ways Jenner has made her millions.

In March 2019, Forbes dubbed Kylie Jenner, then 21, the world's youngest "self-made" billionaire.

At the time, Forbes estimated that Jenner's company, Kylie Cosmetics, was worth $900 million.

That plus her personal earnings from the company brought her net worth to more than $1 billion, Forbes said.

Many criticized Forbes' decision to call Jenner "self-made," saying she was born into wealth and privilege. Jenner responded to the backlash in an interview with Paper magazine, saying, "The self-made thing is true" and adding that her parents "cut her off at the age of 15." 

But a new investigation by Forbes has called Jenner's billionaire status into question.
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

While Forbes reported that Jenner was still the youngest "self-made" billionaire in the world on April 7, a more recent Forbes report released Friday contends that the 22-year-old is not, in fact, a billionaire. Per Forbes' new investigation, Jenner and her mother and marketing manager, Kris Jenner, have exaggerated the size and profitability of her business and misled Forbes and other publications since 2016.

But Forbes concedes that Jenner is still a multimillionaire, now pegging her true net worth at just under $900 million.

Jenner took to Twitter to slam Forbes' new report once she woke up and saw it. "I thought this was a reputable site... all I see are a number of inaccurate statements and unproven assumptions lol. I've never asked for any title or tried to lie my way there EVER. period," she tweeted, also questioning Forbes' "proof" of the claim that tax returns "were likely forged."

"I can name a list of 100 things more important right now than fixating on how much money I have," Jenner tweeted.

Jenner's first job was on reality TV show "Keeping Up With The Kardashians." She was 9 years old when the first episode aired and the show is now airing its 18th season.

Source: Business Insider

People reported in 2017 that the family collectively earns about $30 million per season of the show, according to their most recent contract, but it's unclear exactly how much each family member makes.
Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner on "Keeping Up With The Kardashians."E!

Source: Business Insider, People

Jenner also briefly starred in her own spin-off show, "Life of Kylie," in 2017.
E Entertainment/YouTube

Source: Insider

In 2013, when Jenner was 15, she and her sister, Kendall, launched a clothing line called Kendall + Kylie for PacSun.
Kendall and Kylie Jenner at a 2015 launch party for their clothing line.Getty Images

The brand has since expanded to be sold wholesale to 390 locations in the US, including Nordstrom, Topshop, Amazon, and Bloomingdale's, and 975 worldwide.

Jenner has made the bulk of her fortune through her makeup company, Kylie Cosmetics.
Kylie Jenner models her products on her website, kyliecosmetics.comKylie Cosmetics

The company originally launched as Kylie Lip Kits, not long after Jenner admitted to getting "temporary lip fillers," in 2015.

The company claimed to have sold more than $630 million worth of makeup in its first two years, including an estimated $330 million in 2017.
Kylie Jenner/Instagram

Source: Forbes

The manufacturing, packaging, and sales of Kylie Cosmetics products are all outsourced to private companies, including Seed Beauty and Shopify.
Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Source: Forbes


And the financial and public relations aspects of the brand are handled by Kardashian-Jenner matriarch and Kylie's mother, Kris Jenner, in exchange for a 10% management fee.
Kris Jenner and Kylie Jenner in 2016.Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SinfulColors

Source: Forbes

In 2018, Jenner claimed that Kylie Cosmetics was on track to bring in more than $300 million in revenue, partially thanks to an exclusive distribution detail with beauty retailer Ulta.
Jenner at Houston Ulta Beauty to promote the exclusive launch of Kylie Cosmetics with the retailer in November 2018.Rick Kern/Getty Images for Ulta Beauty

Forbes now says that in reality, financial documents show that the company sold closer to $125 million.

In November 2019, Jenner sold a majority stake in Kylie Cosmetics to Coty Inc. for $600 million, giving the company a $1.2 billion valuation.
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Huffington Post

Jenner announced at the time that Christoph Honnefelder would assume the role of CEO of Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin. Jenner was previously CEO.

Per Coty's press release announcing the deal, Jenner and her team would continue to lead "all creative efforts in terms of product and communications initiatives," while Coty would lead the portfolio's "overall" development.

Much of Jenner's work on Kylie Cosmetics takes place on social media. She frequently promotes the brand on her personal Instagram account.
i’m pretty good at this makeup thing


"Social media is an amazing platform," Jenner, who has more than 178 million followers on Instagram, told Forbes last year. "I have such easy access to my fans and my customers."
what lip is your fav 👀 tap for details! @kyliecosmetics

Source: Forbes

Jenner also has lucrative endorsement deals with Puma and other brands.
Jenner at a Sugar Factory event in Las Vegas.Star Max/IPx

Source: Forbes


She often endorses products on Instagram from brands including Fashion Nova ...
on wednesday’s @fashionnova


... SugarBearHair vitamins ...
Blue for my hair + pink for my body! @sugarbearhair has the most delicious vitamins #ad #sugarbearhair


... and Adidas.
Office days in my #SUPERCOURT available now. @adidasOriginals #adidas_Ambassador #createdwithadidas #HOMEOFCLASSICS


A 2018 report from social media insights firm D'Marie Analytics found that a single Instagram post by Jenner was worth $1 million in advertising.
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Source: Insider

Although she has since shut it down, Jenner previously made money from her personal app, which launched in 2015 and made $105,170 on its first day.
Jenner charges for exclusive content on her app.Scott Barbour/Getty Images

The app offered "an exclusive mix of free and premium paid content from Kylie's world, bringing you closer to her than ever before," according to its description.

But at the end of 2018, Jenner announced she would stop posting to the app in 2019.

Despite agreeing to sell the majority of the company last year, Jenner told Forbes back in 2018 that she envisioned herself working there "forever."
let’s get away 💚

She told the magazine she would perhaps pass the business on to her daughter, Stormi, one day.