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EXCLUSIVE: Jeanine Lobell, Founder of Stila, Introduces Makeup Brand

It's a subscription model, out in February.

Jeanine Lobell, the beauty industry veteran, makeup artist and creative entrepreneur who founded Stila in 1994 and then sold it to Estée Lauder five years later, has a new venture: Neen (her nickname).

It’s a cosmetic line, launching direct-to-consumer with 11 products, including eye shadow, shimmer, cheek and lip, centered around a subscription model. Each month, for a fee, buyers receive a postcard in the mail showcasing five models with different skin tones all wearing the same color shades in varying makeup looks. The cards include the color samples (which have at least two uses, said Lobell), as well as a QR code for each look. The codes will launch Neen’s app and show a corresponding makeup tutorial video (led and created by the models themselves).

“You can follow the tutorial in a full screen, or you can go into a split screen and film yourself,” explained Lobell. “You can voice command the tutorial. You can say stop, go back, go forward, so that you don’t have to put your brushes down. You can just follow along.”

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It provides ease for the user, who is able to have the exact colors already on hand as they apply, as well as test out new looks during a time when in-store testing is nearly nonexistent due to the pandemic.

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“There’s targets on the face, so you can look at yourself and go, ‘Hmm, I’m never going to wear this lip, because I don’t wear a lip, but I love these eye shadows,’ and you click on the eye and the full-size product pops up,” Lobell continued. “Each month, you get a new card with five new colors, five new faces, five new tutorials.”

Neen
A first look at Neen. Courtesy of Neen

Out in February, the subscription costs $12 a month, or $10 a month for those who subscribe for a year ($11 for six months), with each full-size product priced at $20 (and new releases added monthly). Consumers can sign up now via email on Neen’s site (Weareneen.com) to receive information on the brand and its launch date.

They’re “consciously formulated,” Lobell said of the goods, made in refillable compacts created from silicone — a more environmentally friendly option than plastic.

When you’re done with a product, “you can throw it in your dishwasher and buy a refill,” she continued. “If you decide you don’t like it anymore, I make it really easy for you to send it back to me, and I have an arrangement with a factory in America that will recycle it, and they turn it into playground mats.”

Formulated in a lab in California, Lobell utilized her years of experience to create the colors.

“Because I did fashion shows for so long, where I had to do the same look on every skin tone, I know how to make colors that work for everybody,” she said. “I always work from the darkest skin tone to the lightest, because that’s how it’s going to work the best for everybody.”

Those colors come to life with the Neen models, who make them their own in the tutorials, as they chat about their lives.

“Jordan, for example, she talked about being a model and a makeup artist, and how she’s really committed to mentoring other young women of color,” Lobell said. “We put their Instagram handles and talk about causes….Lily talks about how she started transitioning when she was eight and what makeup meant to her on that journey. Grace talks about being queer in New York and The Trevor Project. And Shea talks about being a vegan and animal activism.”

While raising awareness, Lobell also plans to fundraise for the causes.

“It was really important to find people that we actually connected with in some way or wanted to support them,” she added.