By  on February 11, 2011

With a roster of high-profile clients (Michelle Williams, NataliePortman), a long list of editorial projects and her recent appointmentto revamp Kevyn Aucoin Beauty, Jeanine Lobell has kept plenty busysince selling her first cosmetics company, Stila, to the Estée LauderCos. in 1999. “[The industry] was easier in some ways when I startedStila, because there was less competition than there is now,” says Lobell,“but it was also harder, because it was practically impossible to getmanufacturers to work with you in smaller quantities. Now, they’re moreopen because they’ve seen smaller brands succeed.” As the interviewproceeds, Lobell is sorting through a box of 300 makeup pigments thatshe ordered “just to play around with.” Many of her best-selling creationsat Stila—such as Kitten and Oasis eye shadows—were born of suchexperimentation. “I didn’t do private label,” she says. “I put on a lab coatand mixed it myself. In the past, if you had a gold shadow, you’d have ayellow base and gold mica. But because I was in there messing around,I’d say, ‘Why don’t I add pinky gold and goldy gold to the base and seewhat happens?’” Revamping Aucoin’s namesake line—launched justa few months before his May 2002 death—is “a privilege,” says Lobell.“He was my idol when I first got into the business. I was 23, and reallywanted to meet him. He spent hours hanging out with me, and that wasjust incredible—he wasn’t this jaded guy, even with all his success. Hewas incredibly supportive all along the way. When I started Stila, he’dalways recommend it in interviews. My most important goal for his lineis to channel him into this point and time.”

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