Carisa Janes is the founder behind one of our favorite beauty brands-Hourglass Cosmetics. We have been fans since day one and are never without the Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation, Vanish Flash Highlighting sticks, and Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. Well-known celebrities who are fans of Hourglass Cosmetics include model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Jessica Alba, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jennifer Aniston who all have one thing in common–flawless makeup. Aside from the celebrity following, Hourglass Cosmetics is almost completely vegan and already 100% cruelty-free. To find out more about the philosophy behind the brand, we finally got the chance to chat with her about how it all started.
How did your interest in makeup begin?
I’ve had an interest in makeup for as long as I can remember. As a child I’d watch my mother’s beauty routine, mesmerized by the transformation–with a smoky eye and a swipe of lipstick, she became a completely different woman. Because of that, makeup has always held a sort of magical power in my mind.
Do you remember your first ever makeup purchase? What was it?
When I was a teenager, my mom took me to the Chanel counter for my first makeup application with a woman named Victoria. It was powder, light eye makeup, and some lip gloss but it’s an experience I’ll never forget.
Where did the idea for Hourglass Cosmetics come from?
In 2004, I had the idea for a brand with innovation and integrity at its core. I envisioned cruelty-free products that instantly make people look great and are great for the skin–a balance of science, beauty, and purpose. There was a gap in the market and I knew I could fill it.
What is Hourglass Cosmetics’ philosophy?
Our philosophy is simple: I want to empower women by making beauty effortless. Makeup should be instantly transformative, easy to use, and good for your skin. It shouldn’t take hours to feel like the best version of yourself.
What do you love most about running your own business?
The best part of running a business is seeing ideas come to life. We’re collectively orchestrating our vision to bring high-performance, cruelty-free makeup to our customers, and we’re working together to make our common goal a reality.
What is your proudest accomplishment so far?
My proudest accomplishment is creating a brand that makes people feel good. Seeing the love and trust our customers have in us–it’s difficult to put into words how meaningful that is.
What advice can you offer budding entrepreneurs?
Do your research. Test your idea. Get feedback from experts in the industry. Once you’ve done that, be absolutely sure you’re bringing something innovative and unique to the market.
Who inspires you and why?
I really admire Jane Goodall and how she uses passion, strength, and empathy to have a positive impact on the planet. She proves that there are many ways to do good in the world, and even small acts can have a major ripple effect.
What’s the best beauty or makeup advice you ever received?
The best advice I’ve received is sweeping the Ambient Lighting Edit Brush across the Ambient Lighting Palette to pick up all three shades. I dust the trio over my entire face as a finishing powder–it gives the most incredible, natural glow.
Which Hourglass products can’t you live without?
It’s impossible to pick a favorite, but some of my must-have products are the Vanish Airbrush Concealer, Ambient Powders, and Veil Setting Spray. Together they give my complexion a soft, blurred, and radiant effect that lasts all day. Whenever I wear all of them together, I get so many compliments on my skin!
You have mentioned that you plan on the brand being completely vegan by 2020, how is that going?
We’re really excited about the transition. In the process of making the collection entirely vegan, we ended up making some interesting breakthroughs. World Vegan Day on November 1 will be significant for us this year, so stay tuned!
Beauty-wise, what do you think will be trending in the coming year?
I think people will continue to seek out brands that align with their values. We all want to know that our purchases have a positive impact on the Earth and living beings. We want to feel good about the brands we support.