Jamie Kern Lima, Co-Founder and CEO of IT Cosmetics, calls for change and rallies industry leaders to rethink the images of beauty they put out to the world, while being honored today by Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) with the prestigious Achiever Award at the Hilton Midtown in New York City.
“We did something at IT Cosmetics that has never been done before in luxury beauty—we became a top-selling brand by using real women of all shapes, sizes, skin tones and skin issues,” says Kern Lima. “Our success is proof to the beauty industry that you don’t need to use unattainable images of aspiration for women to buy your products. I think women are tired of seeing images that don’t look like them. When it comes to the images of beauty that we see as women, I believe IT Cosmetics is proof that the power of the people is greater than the people in power! It’s time for change.”
Kern Lima started IT Cosmetics™, a luxe makeup and skincare company, in her living room and recently sold the company to L’Oréal. The purchase was L’Oréal’s largest acquisition to date and made Kern Lima the first female CEO in L’Oréal’s 100+ year history.
Prior to launching IT Cosmetics™, Kern Lima was an award-winning TV News anchor with beauty challenges including sparse brows and sensitive skin, and could never find products that truly worked. She felt there must be other women out there like her, who want clinically proven, skin-loving, problem-solving makeup and skincare products that truly work! And that’s when IT Cosmetics™ was born. Two years after launching the brand, Kern Lima went on air at QVC with Bye Bye Under Eye™ Concealer and in 10 minutes, it sold out completely. Today IT is QVC’s top-selling makeup line, and a top selling brand in ULTA Beauty and Sephora. IT Cosmetics™ has received more than 30 QVC Customer Choice Beauty Awards, and was also honored with the WWD Beauty Inc. Prestige Brand of the Year.
Kern Lima graduated valedictorian from Washington State University, and received her MBA from Columbia University. She was recently named on the 2017 Forbes Magazine’s Most Successful Self-Made Women List, the Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs, WWD’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Beauty and is part of the Harvard Women’s Leadership Forum. She also received the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Award. Kern Lima is energized by an unremitting passion to inspire and empower women and has been featured on Good Morning America, TODAY Show, CBS This Morning, NIGHTLINE, Joel Osteen and in The New York Times, Marie Claire, SHAPE, WWD, GLAMOUR, COSMOPOLITAN, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and many more.
When Kern Lima’s not appearing live on QVC in many of IT Cosmetics 200+ shows annually, she works passionately with many philanthropic partners including Look Good Feel Better®, where IT Cosmetics has donated over $27 million in product to date to help women face the effects of cancer with confidence.
CEW is the premier organization for cosmetic industry professionals and the Achiever Awards ceremony is held annually to celebrate the accomplishments of women leaders in the cosmetics industry, and serve as inspiration for future leaders and companies to support women’s advancement. This year’s other CEW Achiever Award honorees include Barbara Calcagni, President, NARS Cosmetics; Maureen Kelly, CEO and Founder, Tarte Cosmetics; Gemma Lionello, Executive Vice President, GMM, Accessories and Beauty, Nordstrom; Loretta Miraglia, Corporate Senior Vice President, Global Brand Product Development and Innovation, La Mer; and Kelly Vanasse, Vice President, Communications, P&G Global Business Units.