Not a billionaire: Exactly how much is Kylie Jenner worth?
Kylie Jenner has built a significant chunk of her brand on being a “self-made billionaire.” The internet collectively rolled its eyes when Jenner made the claim in 2019, given the wealthy status of her family, but she’s continued to push the “billionaire” narrative on to her adoring fans. Recent developments have proven that narrative to be false.
Jenner is not a billionaire. Forbes reported that she has an estimated net worth of $900 million, and has grossly exaggerated the profits of her makeup brand Kylie Cosmetics. “It’s fair to say that everything the Kardashian-Jenner family does is oversized,” said equity analyst Stephanie Wissink. “To stay on-brand, it needs to be bigger than it is.”
Jenner started her cosmetics career in 2015. The reality star admitted to getting lip filler injections after months of tabloid speculation, and she decided to flip the news into a marketing ploy. Her first batch of 15,000 lip kits sold out in seconds, and she officially launched Kylie Cosmetics the following year.
Jenner claimed that Kylie Cosmetics generated $400 million over the business’ first 18 months, with a personal take-home pay of $250 million. Forbes confirmed that the stats were enough to put Jenner at number two on the Celebrity 100 List, but they were skeptical of the massive growth reported in a single year.
Jenner’s earnings were given a more conservative read, and she wound up placing at number fifty-nine on the list. Jenner’s mother Kris was reportedly “frustrated” by the placement, but the frustration didn’t last long, as Kylie Cosmetics quickly became an industry phenomenon. The reality star who couldn’t crack the top fifty in 2016 was on the cover of Forbes in 2018, with an estimated net worth of $900 million.
Insiders were shocked by the rapidness of Jenner’s success. “No other influencer has ever gotten to the volume or had the rabid fans and consistency that Kylie has had for the last two and a half years,” a Shopify executive stated at the time. “I think everybody was surprised.”
Jenner crossed the billionaire threshold in November 2019 when she announced she would be selling 51% of Kylie Cosmetics to the beauty company Coty. The deal netted her a whopping $600 million, which meant her business was valued at an estimated $1.2 billion. The Coty deal secured Jenner’s reputation as an industry mogul, but it also shed light on the financial inconsistencies that Forbes previously questioned.
Coty announced that their Kylie Cosmetics revenue amounted to $177 million in 2019, a far cry from the reported estimates. Furthermore, Coty said the revenue total was 40% higher than the year before, meaning the $360 million Jenner previously reported for 2018 was false. It only got worse from there.
Forbes had previously been led to believe that Jenner was notching 44% net margins on Kylie Cosmetics, but Coty’s filings indicated that her profits are closer to 25%. The outlet recalculated Jenner’s net worth based on the information available, and determined that she’s no longer a billionaire.
Forbes chalked up a third of Jenner’s net worth to the $340 million she pocketed from selling Kylie Cosmetics. The rest is made up of “revised earnings” based on her business’ proven revenue. Forbes also accused Jenner of “lying” and having an accountant draft tax returns with false numbers to bolster her image as a success story.
Jenner’s representatives have denied these accusations outright. “The accusations that the Jenners, and/or their accountants, falsified tax returns and then lied about their 2016 revenues for the last four years, are absolutely false,” the rep explained.