We Can Do It! Profiles of Jane Iredale and Carol Shaw


Jane Iredale Profile by: Amy Sciarretto –
Carol Shaw Profile by: Ava Mackenzie

In honor of International Women’s Day, which is celebrated on March 9, we decided to shine a well-earned spotlight on female entrepreneurs who run their own cosmetics companies. We chatted with Jane Iredale, who launched an eponymous line, and Carol Shaw, the force behind celeb favorite LORAC, to get a uniquely female perspective on running one’s own company and creating products that make the rest of us beautiful! Iredale and Shaw are the beauties and the brains behind their respective operations and we found them to be incredibly insightful.

Jane Iredale’s company is marked by the tagline “The Skincare Makeup”: it’s makeup that helps rather than harms your skin. She was inspired to launch her very own cosmetic line because she wanted to offer quality cosmetics after dealing with less than ideal products when she worked in show business. Iredale incorporated her company in March 1994 and never looked back. She started off with just five colors of loose minerals, positioning herself at the forefront of the mineral make up movement that is massively popular nowadays. Iredale’s first account was The Oaks at Ojai, which put her into the professional marketplace. “It was the perfect niche for us because we were with people who knew how to educate the consumer before mineral makeup was known. That became an important component of our growth,” she admits. While owning her own company is a challenge, Iredale handles it with aplomb. She answered our key who/what/why questions, revealing how she had to learn not to micromanage, her favorite product and what every woman needs in her make up bag!

Why she started her own line:
“I didn’t think of it as starting my own line,” Iredale offers. “I had show biz burnout and I was looking for something I could do that would enhance the lives of women and have some healing aspect to it. I’d seen the bad affects of makeup when I worked with actresses and models as a producer, so it suddenly occurred to me that there was a place for makeup that was good for the skin. I started out with a loose powder made from minerals and developed the line from there. We’re still developing.”

The hardest yet not-so-obvious part of running her own business:
Separation anxiety! Iredale is hands on, saying, “It’s hard to let go. Because it’s my line with my name on it, I want to be involved with everything that goes on but that’s impossible now. I still do all the product development but I’ve had to let go of most areas of marketing, which used to be my baby. Now, instead of creating ads, I just approve them. I still do tinker with the writing because I can’t resist.”

The greatest reward of owning her own company:
“The sense of satisfaction I get when customers tell me what a difference our products have made to their lives,” Iredale says. “This ranges from people who just love it because they’re makeup junkies to people with challenges like scarring and birthmarks. The emotion is so genuine that it spurs me on to do more and more.”

Thinking of starting your own line? Grab a pen and write down this advice from Iredale!

“Find your niche and know it very well,” the seasoned veteran admits. “There’s so much competition today that you must do your homework before you invest time and money.”

Her favorite product that she created and developed?
“There are a number but the one I wear every day is our Pressed Base. It works in all climates, day and night, and never lets me down,” she reveals.

The #1 Jane Iredale product necessary for every woman’s handbag?
“The Pressed Base followed by Just Kissed Lip Plumper.”

What’s not in Jane Iredale’s make up bag?
“I don’t have a single foreigner in my makeup bag,” she says.

Would she do the whole thing over again?
Iredale is emphatic that if she had the gift of hindsight, she would most certainly follow the same path, saying “Yes, [there is] no question that I would do it over again. I suppose the most important thing I’ve learned is that passion and hard work will make up for all kinds of gaps in your education. For example, I didn’t know anything about the cosmetics business when I started. I’ve never taken a business course, don’t know one phrase of corporate jargon, and I’ve never had a business plan. I just ploughed ahead believing in my product. There hasn’t been a day since I started the company 15 years ago when I haven’t done something to move the company forward. I don’t think that will ever change.”

BeautyNewsNYC.com’s Favorite Jane Iredale Products?
We are partial to Iredale’s Sugar & Butter Lip Exfoliator, a convenient, two-applicator tube that sloughs off dead skin cells, plumps, moisturizes and adds a hint of sheer color in two quick swipes! Slick the sugar crystal exfoliator on your lips, wipe (or lick) it off and then apply the plumping color and your lips will be supple and sexy. Iredale’s light reflecting Liquid Minerals foundation is also incredible. It comes in 18 shades and is formulated with anti-aging serums, aloe vera and pigment capsules, all of which mingle to offer weightless yet complete coverage. Available at http://www.janeiredaledirect.com.

Loved by celebrities and real-folks alike, LORAC has quickly established itself as a red carpet authority. With A-list celebrity clients like Nicole Kidman, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Rachel Bilson as walking advertisements, it’s pretty obvious LORAC delivers! We stole a few moments from founder Carol Shaw’s busy day to speak to her about her brand, inspiration and can’t-live-without products.

On what inspired her to start LORAC:
When Shaw first started to think about launching a makeup line, it was her goal to ensure it suited all skin types while maintaining luxurious appeal. “When I was younger, I suffered from cystic acne and makeup would aggravate my skin,” she recalls. Shaw created her line to be safe and effective, made only with performance ingredients to ensure that her products would never cause breakouts or irritate her clients’ skin.

On who inspires her to create new products:
She credits her clients as the main motivation behind new launches. Debra Messing inspired the artist to create Color Me Couture, a new palate of five eye shadows. “Debra has the most incredible eyes and skin. She’s also always on the go, so this palate is the perfect product for her.” Each of the five colors in this particular palate blend easily and enhance any eye color.

On her favorite products:
“I can’t live without my Oil-Free Wet/Dry Powder Makeup“, says Shaw. “It’s perfect for all applications.” If you’re looking for lighter coverage, she suggests dampening a makeup sponge first to even skin tone. For a little more coverage, apply the makeup dry. “The coverage lasts all day, without looking caked on. I love it when skin can “glow” through coverage,” Shaw explains.

Top tricks and tips:
“Take 10 minutes before you leave the house to put on a little mascara, foundation, blush and gloss. Women are worth it, but rarely take the time to care for themselves,” Shaw claims. “There’s always something to get done and we so often have difficulty saying no.” She says that taking time to even out skin tone, give cheeks a little lift of color, make eyes look more awake and lips colorful will make a huge impact without a tremendous amount of effort.

Best advice for women business owners:
With a brand that is constantly growing, it has become more important now to Carol Shaw than ever to surround herself with people she trusts, and she encourages other businesswomen to do the same. “It’s so important to work with people you trust,” she says. “If you can’t trust your employees, then why keep them on the team?” Another important piece of advice that Shaw has learned through trial and error is to “butt out of other people’s roles.” She says that women often have a hard time saying no, but it’s important to every business’s success to back out of roles that aren’t yours. As a makeup artist and the face and Creative Director of LORAC, she still has to remind herself that she can’t do it all. By recognizing your role and sticking to it, business can flow as it’s meant to.

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