For mother-daughter beauty pros the Bonofiglios, work and personal life have always been linked. Daughter Liz, senior director, programs and events at Cosmetic Executive Women, grew up immersed in the beauty industry: Her mother, Virginia, now the chairperson of cosmetics and fragrance marketing and management at the Fashion Institute of Technology, was a perfumer for 35 years. “In our family, everything was about sensory experience. If my sister Olivia or I saw an ad on TV for something, mom would say, ‘Let’s go try it. Let’s touch it and smell it,’” remembers Liz. On a recent trip to Sephora, the pair held to that tradition, sniffing and spritzing their way through several scents. “Fragrance is a very personal conversation for us,” says Virginia. “We discuss what we like and what works well on us. I recently discovered Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs. It’s not something I’d wear, but I like it as a part of the collection.”

When they’re not shopping, the pair is still talking shop. “I call her when I’m making a business decision,” says Liz. “We have a great relationship, so we can turn the industry talk off and on—but often it’s on.” Virginia says personal discovery and exploration are necessary practices in an ever-changing business like beauty. “I introduce her to classic products like Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream and she showed me Marc Jacobs color cosmetics. We’re each a professional resource for the other.” And that’s a rarity in mother-daughter relationships, she notes. “We’re lucky to have each other,” says Virginia. “Plus, we get along—most of the time.”

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