Interview with IT Cosmetics Founder Jamie Kern Lima

With Sephora opening its doors in Sydney’s bustling Pitt Street Mall in December 2014, SHESAID joined in on the excitement on press day for the internationally recognised cosmetic store. You may have heard about some of the exciting brands which will be on offer at Sephora Australia, with one of them being IT Cosmetics.

Founded by Jamie Kern Lima, the popular cosmetics brand is perfect for girls, mums, and even grandmothers! SHESAID had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Jamie herself, and get the latest information for the products you need by IT once Sephora finally opens its first Australian doors.

RELATED: What are BB Cream? Plus 3 Of The Best

Congratulations on being one of the makeup brands stocked in Sephora Australia this coming December. Could you tell us a little bit about how IT Cosmetics started?

Thank you! IT stands for innovative technology, and we are a full-colour cosmetic line but we do things kind of differently. A lot of brands are makeup artistry, trend, or colour story, but we are more solutions-based. We won’t launch a product unless we believe that it is really innovative and different. In fact we have an advisory board of plastic surgeons and dermatologists so every product that we launch is super skin-loving, and solutions based.

The Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer, $38 is probably our most famous product – an under-eye concealer but you can also use it anywhere. It will give full coverage but it will never crease and never crack. Our YSBB (Your Skin But Better) CC Cream with SPF 50+ is also very different – it’s starts its life as a moisturiser, has SPF 50 in it (physical sunscreen so no chemical), and is also full coverage! We have full coverage pigments in a moisturiser which is really different because most makeup is sprinkled with a touch of skincare. We don’t launch a large number of shades, just a unique selection of products at a time.

What are some of your all-time favourite products from the collection and why?

What has been really cool is that some women in Australia have been posting about the Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer and spreading the word a little bit, but they can never get a hold of it! And now we’re finally here and exclusive to Australia.

I think Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer is life changing because it gives coverage, but women that usually need the coverage hate using concealers because you can see them.

They always crease!

Yes, exactly! So this product gives the best coverage but looks like real skin. Our YSBB (Your Skin But Better) CC Cream with SPF 50+, $58 is also amazing – we never launched a BB cream but there’s actually not that much coverage with a BB cream.

What is the difference between a BB cream and a CC cream?

Tinted moisturisers have been around forever and they’re basically moisturisers with a tiny bit of tint added into the formula. BB creams are kind of similar but they do sometimes have a few more skin-loving ingredients instead.

In Asia they started Blemish Balms to treat primarily blemish-prone skin, and they’re great but a lot of women need more coverage and more steps. So we wanted to create a product that would be your one and only step – CC stands for colour correcting and not all CC Creams are full coverage either. We tried to create the first full-coverage CC Cream which starts off as a moisturiser, and then has been infused with full-coverage and also a high SPF of 50.

Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50+
Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50+, $58

It really is the one-step product for women who basically have 30 seconds to get ready – you put one pump, smooth it on your skin and you have full coverage, SPF, and skincare in one complete step.

We’ve seen a lot of It Cosmetics products being reviewed by beauty guru’s all over YouTube. Do you think the impact of social media is a good or bad thing for a makeup brand?

It’s great! I truly think that so many women and girls have so much going on in their life, and they do forget that they’re important and beautiful. One thing that’s cool about YouTube is that it makes beauty an experience and it’s definitely fun to watch. I don’t wear goth makeup but I would totally have fun watching someone do it! It just makes it an experience, which is also what’s really cool with Sephora. You can walk into the store and experience everything at once, which is different from any other retailer.

But also I think that social media has also been key to getting the best attention to really special products. When we were a smaller brand we couldn’t actually afford to advertise or anything else, so it was women on social media who recorded these testimonials saying that they really loved the product. Rather than just searching it online, when you see someone else demonstrate, you can really understand how the product applies, what it looks like, and how to use it.

There is something really therapeutic about watching someone else do their makeup..

Definitely, it’s very random!

Could you share just some of your tips for a flawless foundation application?

Use IT Cosmetics! We have a full colour-line, but we are actually most well known for complexion and for products that even if you need a lot of coverage, it will look like your skin.

My biggest tip is don’t use anything that doesn’t look like your real skin. There are a lot of products out there that say they’re full or even medium coverage, but they look like makeup! Even if you need coverage, all of our products will look like your own beautiful skin – not like makeup. The main ingredient in most powders is talc, and as soon as you put them on, you instantly see powder, creases, and cracks. Especially if you have acne, the powder grabs on and draws so much attention to the area, rather than concealing it. A lot of mineral makeup is actually loaded with bismuth which makes women break-out, and you would never think that considering it’s natural and organic-based.

Use complexion products that look like your real skin, skin-loving, and that are the right shade for your skin! I truly think that if a product is superior, then it won’t work for you, I don’t think you need to follow a routine to achieve flawless makeup – it should just look good. That is also the main reason which sets apart our YSBB (Your Skin But Better) CC Cream with SPF 50+ from most products on the market.


3 Korean Beauty Secrets and Makeup Tips For Youthful Skin

So many of the beauty and makeup trends we see today are coming out of South Korea. Just think BB creams: they’ve taken the West by storm and left us wanting in on more Korean beauty secrets and makeup tips.

Naturally, Eastern and Western women share one major beauty and skincare goal: we all want to look younger and more radiant.

While many of us in the West make the mistake of thinking more makeup will hide our age and skin-related sins, South Koreans often embrace a less is more mantra that works like a charm.

Want to rejuvenate your look? Let’s explore 3 Korean beauty trends that you need to try now!


1. CC cream

By the time the West embraced BB Cream, Korea had already moved onto CC cream. What is CC cream? We like to think of it as BB Cream’s trendy younger sister. If you haven’t met her yet, you’re missing out!

The ‘CC’ in CC cream usually stands for colour correction or colour control.  CC cream is a life-saver for the time poor, as it addresses multiple beauty concerns in a single application. Slept late and have to run out the door? Skip your primer and slap on some CC cream to correct and conceal redness and discolouration. Sunscreen? Many CC creams have got you covered and contain a generous amount of SPF.

What else is packed into this beauty super product? Oil control and brightening properties. Some CC creams even claim to address issues such as ageing over time.

CC cream isn’t just a great time-saver. It’s also an easy way to achieve a natural, youthful complexion. While heavy foundation may conceal the first signs of ageing, too much can lead to a cakey look and actually draw attention to fine lines. Meanwhile, CC creams’ weightless quality and bright finish blurs imperfections for a no-makeup finish.

Ready to try CC creams? We love Max Factor’s CC Colour Correcting Cream.


2. Aegyo Sal

Aegyo Sal, roughly translated, means “eye pouches” or “charming fat” (yes!). The expression refers to the pouch of fat beneath the eye. Aegyo sal is not to be confused with the eye bags you get after a couple of late nights and way too much sodium. Instead, think of the puffiness under the eyes that is common in children. That’s what the Korean trend seeks to emulate.

Some people are born with aegyo sal. For the rest of us, if you’re game to try, the look can be created with these easy makeup tips. Simply run a white or cream eye shadow just beneath your waterline to highlight your under-eye area. Then, using a matte brown shade, create a half-moon shape beneath your highlight colour to give the illusion of a shadow. Finally, blend away any harsh lines.

Confused? YouTube makeup guru Michelle Phan has a super easy aegyo sal tutorial.


3. Gradient lips

Ever take makeup tips from Olivia Wilde or hair inspiration from Lady Gaga? In South Korea, pop idol groups and K-drama stars inspire beauty trends. Right now, gradient lips are popping up everywhere.

As with CC cream and aegyo sal, gradient lips aim to make the wearer appear more youthful. Gradient lips do this by creating a flush of colour on the lips that radiates outwards and gives you a ‘I’ve just been eating a popsicle’ look. By focusing colour on the centre of the lips, they appear smaller. Big lips are sensuous. In turn, small lips are associated with youth and innocence. Playing down the lips also makes your eyes appear larger and more doe-like.

Beauty blogger Sparkle Apple has a cute and easy-to-follow tutorial on gradient lips for you to try out.

Would you try any of these Korean beauty secrets?

Bethany Tyndall writes about beauty on her blog Beauty Junkie.