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Cheryl Yannotti Foland has spent more than 10 years advising various beauty brands. So it wasn't a big leap when she launched her own natural-beauty line lilah b. several months ago. The products are all about simplicity, as are the slick, white pebble-like compacts that have quickly become a company signature. (Who knew makeup could be so luxe and so Zen at the same time?)
Photo: Kerrie Chappelka
Of course, the company HQ in Sausalito (situated nearby the home Foland shares with her husband) also adds to the chill vibe of the brand. "Sausalito is an absolutely magical place, and the peaceful and relaxed vibe of our town is very much in line with our philosophy," Foland explains.
As for the name? Lilah pays homage to an inspirational woman in Foland's life and the b. stands for beauty, which is cleverly worked into shade names—b. fearless, b. sassy, b. original, etc.
Recently, we had a chance to sit down with the company founder and chat about all things, well, lilah b. Here are the highlights...
What inspired you to start lilah b.?
I was immersed in a cluttered world of beauty products. There were so many products, but few that I really loved and fewer still that looked great by midday! What was missing was a minimalistic, sophisticated color collection that made beauty simple for any woman. I set out to to create an innovative, high-performance line that would allow women to achieve a finished look with fewer products. It was early on in the creative process that I coined our tagline: With less, you are more. It really says it all.
Tell us more about how you came up with the Zen compact design?
I wanted something sophisticated and beautiful that would complement the overall aesthetic of the lilah b. brand. Reminiscing about walks along the beaches of Southern Italy — one of my favorite places in the word—I sought to create a package to mimic those gorgeous stones I would collect. I love that they have an organic feel, and there is something so satisfying about the weightiness and the shape that fits perfectly in your hand. Women can't seem to put them down! ['Tis true.]
There is quite the movement for healthier beauty products these days, especially in the Bay Area. Why are so many commercial cosmetic products bad for us?
Many cosmetics use chemicals and ingredients that are not only harsh on your skin, but can be absorbed directly into your body. Parabens, for example, are great in preventing bacteria in cosmetics, but they can be disruptive to the endocrine system. Natural and plant-based preservatives can be substituted here to offer a healthier, cleaner product. The continuous challenge within the color category is how to maintain a high-performance, long-lasting collection with gorgeous pigmented color, while also being conscious of harmful ingredients.
lilah b. is focused on healthy, good-for-you formulations. All our formulas uniquely combine natural and raw sources of aloe and agar (sea algae) for superior hydrating and moisturizing benefits. I wanted to offer products that would feel great on the skin while providing a flawless, long-lasting finish without the use of parabens, sulfates, synthetic preservatives or phthalates.
We have a long no list for our formulations, and our brushes are all synthetic and hypo-allergenic. It is important for consumers to do their due diligence and be aware of what ingredients are being used in their cosmetics. Thankfully, there continue to be more and more options for healthier products, which is so refreshing to see!
What is your personal beauty routine?
The lilah b. philosophy is pretty much in line with my own. It couldn't be any simpler. I have sensitive skin, so from my teen years I have always used Dove soap (surprise!) for cleansing and Darphin moisturizer and eye cream. On the weekends, you'll find me on a bike, running on a trail, or relaxing with just a single stone (one of our Divine Duos) in my pocket for a touch of color on lips and cheeks. For nights out, I'll use our Flawless Finish Foundation and brush Bronzed Beauty over cheeks and the bridge of my nose to look a little sun-kissed (even in the palest of winter days). Next, a bold pout using our b.fearless or b.memorable lip & cheek and I'm done!
What are some of lilah b.'s bestsellers?
Our Divine Duo Lip & Cheek has been a consistent favorite. It provides a healthy and moisturizing lip & cheek color with long-lasting, buildable coverage—perfect for day into night. Our b. true shade (mauve/pink) has been extremely popular. We also just launched two new shades for fall; b. memorable (wine) and b. lovely (nude) and have a limited-edition shimmer (b. dazzling) available as part of our new holiday set.
Our Flawless Finish Foundation has been a close second, paired with its coordinating retractable brush. Women love the light, silky texture of the powders that still offer the long-lasting, buildable coverage they may need.
Can you share with us what new products are on the horizon for next season?
I am very excited to introduce a new multi-tasking product into the line for Spring 2016. It will be a wonderful addition to the collection—and offer another must-have for a beautiful, flawless look. Keep an eye out for it in April.