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4 Apr

The Inspiring Story Behind the Founder of $1.2B Makeup Brand, IT Cosmetics

The story behind the insanely-popular and beloved beauty brand IT Cosmetics is one that mirrors a modern-day fairy tale—a story filled of hurdles, risks, dedication, passion and ultimate success. In less than a decade from its conception, the beauty company that’s aimed at “real women” is now on everyone’s beauty radar, with many processional makeup artists not able to get enough the brand’s amazing products.

The reason behind the billion-dollar beauty brand’s overwhelming success is rooted to Co-founder and CEO Jamie Kern Lima’s personal magnetism and her problem-solution approach to beauty. Before the conception of IT Cosmetics, Lima—a long-time suffer of rosacea and hyper-pigmentation—had a career as a local news anchor in Studio City, California. For years she struggled with finding makeup that could contend with the new fancy HD lenses the TV cameras were using.

With no success in finding products that delivered the results she desired, Lima decided to leave her news anchoring job in 2009, and instead focused all her attention and talents towards creating a makeup brand that wasn’t about artistry or how many shades of lipstick it could make, but rather about solving real world problems that women have when it comes to finding and applying makeup.

On the flight home from her honeymoon, Lima started crafting a business plan for her idea of creating a beauty company for real women, with products the delivered real results. The business plan consisted of assembling a board of plastic surgeons and dermatologists who could help create effective makeup products that also provided a strong skin-care element. With these ideals in mind, Lima named the company Innovative Technology Cosmetics.

The first product that really put IT Cosmetics on the map was the brand’s Bye Bye Under Eye concealer, which was developed to resist creaking or cracking, and also to be as a foundation or a cover-up for blemishes, in addition to under the eyes. After presenting the product on shopping network QVC in 2010, it sold out in just minutes.

In addition to offering a remarkable product, it was also Lima’s presence on QVC that helped the brand skyrocket. Unlike most other presenters who demonstrate their products on younger models, Lima wanted to show how her concealer worked on people of all ages—as well as herself. As such, Lima bravely wiped off all her makeup while on the air, exposing her rosacea and hyper-pigmentation, and them demonstrating how the product successfully covered it up.

It was Lima’s realness and authenticity that launched IT Cosmetics into becoming one of the most-loved beauty brands on QVC. Fast-forward seven years later, and Lima’s insanely popular makeup company has experienced a level of success rarely achieved in the saturated beauty industry—a level of success that caught the attention of the L’Oreal in 2016, who bought the company for a whopping $1.2 billion.

Despite the company now being worth $1.2 billion, success didn’t happen overnight. The first three years were a real struggle for Lima, who spent every dollar made on further research and development, while being rejected time and time again by some of the biggest names in the industry. However, Lima never gave up, and eventually she started hearing “Yes” from the top companies.

Although IT Cosmetics has been racking up beauty awards for years, last year was a particularly honorable year for the beauty brand, with the cosmetics line winning a dozen QVC Customer Choice Beauty Awards:

Sources: Allure, Biz Journals, New York Magazine

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