We first heard about Kosås lipsticks on wellness blogger Geri Hirsch’s Snapchat (back when we used to use Snapchat:) Then, we started to see them popping up on our favorite clean beauty site:, Hi, The Stell, Hi Credo! As we fell down the internet rabbit hole, we simultaneously fell in love with the brand, and the brand founder, Sheena Yaitanes. Yaitanes is an artist and painter by trade. Hence, the perfectly curated selection of colors that flatter just about everyone. We met up with her a couple of weeks ago at her beautiful home in Los Angeles so we could bombard her with questions on how she got started, what it’s like having your own beauty brand, and get the details on her new, just-launched highlighter and blush duos. Read below to get inspired:
The Moment: We are huge fans of Kosås lipsticks. Tell us how you decided to launch a lipstick line.
Yaitanes: Thank you! I had this pull about 10 years ago. I loved beauty, but I felt that all brands were overwhelming, and I wanted to bring a fresh, minimal take to it. Zero waste. I started with lipstick because I love color-play, and it was the category I felt most disappointed by.
The Moment: Can you tell us a little bit about what goes into launching a brand? How did you get started? What were your first steps? What were the biggest challenges?
Yaitanes: It’s about creating a world where one didn’t exist before. I took it one step at a time, which is still what I do. The first step was finding a manufacturing partner who understood my vision and was open to letting me come into the lab and work side by side with them. Then finding a creative partner to build that world with. I’ve been lucky on both fronts. The biggest initial challenge was finding a name. It’s surprisingly hard to find a name that isn’t taken already!
The Moment: Have you always been an entrepreneur at heart? Do you like running your own company?
Yaitanes: I think I was born one. I love running my own company and not one minute of it feels like work.
The Moment: When we were doing our research for this profile, we found out that you are also a painter. How does your background affect the colors you choose to have in your line?
Yaitanes: The way the colors are created is based in color theory. I think about the color of each part of the face, and create colors within that context. I always start with primaries because the end result is much richer and more nuanced.
The Moment: We’re so excited to get our hands on your newest launch, highlighters. Can you tell us about them? Why did you decide to have that be your next product after lipsticks?
Yaitanes: They are blush and highlighter duos in two formulations. One is a cream formula that is extremely user friendly. We packed the formula with botanical oils, which not only nourish the skin, but also leave behind that perfectly hydrated finish. The other is a powder that is also infused with botanical oils so that it has a very unique, silky texture. The colors are subtle and refined. Each blush is paired with a low-key highlighter that brightens the face without any visible shimmer. It was really important to create blush, because once you increase the color of the lip, you need to bring the cheek up to balance it. When you do both, it’s like increasing the saturation in photoshop, and the result is very natural and alive.
The Moment: Do you have any brands or business women/men that you look to for inspiration?
Yaitanes: I love athletic brands like Adidas and Nike, because their products have to nail function perfectly, but they also manage to elegantly incorporate form.
The Moment: Speaking of inspiration, what are your favorite instagram accounts?
Yaitanes: I follow at least 10 different meme accounts. I love a good meme.
The Moment: Your lipsticks are some of the only clean, non-toxic lipsticks out there. What’s your philosophy behind clean beauty?
Yaitanes: They ended up being clean because I care about choosing ingredients that perform amazingly and also feel wonderful, and those ingredients tend to be clean or botanically based. It just doesn’t feel good to slather cheap fillers all over your body. That’s why the products in my routine tend to be clean. I don’t say “what’s the best non-toxic cleanser.” I just say “what’s the best cleanser,” and it turns out that it’s non-toxic.
The Moment: We’d love to get your full beauty routine, but for now, can you give us a sneak peak into your skincare routine?
Yaitanes: I take inventory of my skin and face each day, and I use what I need. My skin is oily but can be dehydrated, so I usually exfoliate gently before I cleanse. I love the Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser. I follow that up with a Japanese clay and charcoal soap. I just got Dara’s Oil from Ayla Beauty and I love that. It really penetrates and hydrates at a deep level. [Fo Yaitanes full routine, click here].
The Moment: On The Moment we talk a lot about beauty food. For us, food is just as important a beauty element as products are. How does food play into your beauty routine?
Yaitanes: I totally agree. Skin reflects a lot about what’s going on inside. I eat more for health than for beauty (as they say, if you feel good, you look good), but I’ve found a little lemon or orange oil in my water helps me drink more and stay hydrated, a piece of fresh fruit a day helps impart a glow, and 1000 mg of liposomal vitamin C a day tightens everything up.
The Moment: You’re also a mom. We would love to hear any advice you have for women on being a mom and balancing work, how do you do it all?
Yaitanes: I don’t do it alone! I find it helpful to take a long view, especially when it comes to parenting. It keeps you from constantly criticizing yourself.
The Moment: And lastly, how do you stay in the moment?
Yaitanes: By taking it slowly.
Special thanks to Sheena Yaitanes!
Photo by Kristine Lo