Lipsticks, eyeshadows, mascaras, and powders: over half of the makeup used by women worldwide comes from Italy, thanks to the excellence of third-party manufacturers. Major international brands like Estée Lauder, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and Lancôme rely on these producers to develop and manufacture not only makeup but also face creams, body and hair products, and perfumes. According to Cosmetica Italia, the export of beauty products reached €4.8 billion last year, up by 3.5%, with a record trade balance exceeding €2.7 billion. France, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Spain account for more than a third of these exports.

Lombardy stands out with six provinces specialized in cosmetic production, including Lodi, Cremona, Bergamo, Milan, Monza and Brianza, and Como. The region shows high added values and labor costs. According to Giovanni Foresti of Intesa Sanpaolo, factors like advanced chemical expertise, creativity, trend anticipation, and attractive packaging have led to the development of a highly specialized meta-district. Lombard companies are characterized by short supply distances, averaging 74 km.

The “cosmetic quadrilateral” between Milan, Brianza, Bergamo, and Crema hosts around 500 companies with steadily growing revenues and export shares above 80%. 


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