Chatting with Jamie Kern Lima, creator of It Cosmetics

by Vanessa The Beauty Editor on ‎01-21-2011 11:49 PM


I can’t decide what I like more: makeup from It Cosmetics or its creator, Jamie. It’s a toss-up — they’re both pretty awesome. Jamie’s company has only been around for about two years, yet it’s been mentioned in magazines hundreds of times in just the last year alone…so you know she must be on to something. Her innovative and award-winning products don’t just make you appear 10 times prettier; they’re packed with anti-aging ingredients so your skin gets to look younger in the process.

Read on for application tips, the best tricks Jamie picked up while working as a TV news anchor in Portland, OR, and the beauty trends she loves…plus a couple she doesn’t.

Q: Can you explain why you decided to work with plastic surgeons on your formulas and how that collaboration influenced the products?

A: I worked in TV news and a lot of times I’d have to be up at 2:00 in the morning to do the news at 5:30, and I’d have to look awake, and happy, and excited! I would try concealers, one after another after another, and they would always settle into fine lines, they would always make me look older, they would always crease and crack. Some of them would cover, but they’d just add 10 years to how I looked. I thought there’s got to be a better way, so we started meeting with different plastic surgeons working on coming up with better ingredients, and figuring out how we can infuse some of the latest technology into makeup to actually get that full coverage but have it be like a treatment product. I really wanted to use powerful anti-aging ingredients with the latest, greatest technology so women can look pretty, but they’re getting great treatment in their products as well.

Q: Bye Bye Under Eye is so concentrated, I think I’m using too much. What’s the right amount for the under-eye area?

A: So many QVC customers have written me and said that they use a pin-prick amount and I think that’s a really great way to put it. You’d think that wouldn’t cover anything, maybe a tiny freckle, at best. If I’m going to cover my under-eye circles or the inside corner of my nose I will put literally enough to fit on the very tip of a sharpened pencil point. It will just blend and blend. We designed a brush to go with it but you can use your pinky finger or your ring finger and just blend it, and pat it in, and then set it with our silky HD finishing powder. It’s deceiving. A lot of people have written in reviews that they used enough to cover their whole body. The pigmentation is so highly concentrated in it so it’s really different than a typical concealer. Many of our customers have started to use it as a full foundation.

Q: Did you pick up any interesting beauty tips on the pageant circuit or in TV news?

A: One kind of fun tip is when you wear a lip color and it has a blue undertone to it, it will actually make your teeth look whiter. So back in the day, we would actually mix baby blue eyeshadow in clear lip gloss and put it over whatever lipstick we had on, because on TV that subtle blue makes your smile look whiter and brighter.

One more tip that’s kind of fun: if you want to look like you doubled the size of your lips, you can take a teeny bit of white eyeshadow, luminizer, or a white pencil, and if you just put a little bit of that color right in the center of your lower lip — and you can do this right over lipstick even if you have a nice red lip on —  and then right over your cupid’s bow, it attracts the light and makes your lips look a lot larger. I always hear women say they want to get their lips done and I’m like, ‘No, don’t!’ Just little tricks like that with makeup can make such a difference and look natural.

Q: Why do a universal shade for Brow Power? And do you have any tips for making it look like real hair?

A: Having one shade makes it easy. The lighter you press the lighter it goes, and the darker you press the darker it goes. But when you look really close at the pencil itself, it has these micro highlights that kind of grab the different colors of the hair. I think a lot of people are really skeptical…but I’ve tried it on all different hair colors and saw how it can match for all of them and look natural.

When you get your pencil, it comes with this chart that comes underneath the tray. A lot of women don’t realize that where you start and end your brow can make a really big difference, especially on mature women. If the ends are just a little too far out or a little too far in, it will visually droop your eyes, and so it ages you instead of making you look more youthful like brows are really supposed to do.

One of the best tips you can do is use your pencil as your guide and line your pencil up right along the side of your nostril and up to the inner corner of your eye, that’s where you should always start your brow. Then do a diagonal, lining up the base of your pencil with the fattest part of your nose and going right past your iris. That’s where your arch should hit. I think the most important is the last one: line the pencil with the side of your nose and go to the outside corner of your eye. Your brow should always end there. Women are often surprised where that point is. Just ending your brow at that point, it’s amazing what it can do for your overall look.

If you’re going for the look of natural hair you can do either short or long strokes because when you brush through it will give you that look of natural hair. But our tip is different than other products in that it’s oval shaped, so if you use the long side of the oval shape it’s really nice for thicker brows, then you can turn it sideways and do a finer point.

Bye Bye Pore

Q: What about tips for applying your award-winning Bye Bye Pores finishing powder?

A: Using the tiniest bit will go a really long way. When you use the powder, you should never see it. If you see it on your skin that means you’re using too much.

Q: It comes with the most unbelievable brush. But it also comes with a puff. When should you use that instead?

A: We see so many brushes and I’ve never found anything like this. It’s densely packed and it’s so soft. A lot of customers have written in saying they’re using it with other products. You can use it for everything.  

A lot of makeup artists put their ring or middle finger right through the little band on the puff and put a little bit of powder on it. It’s one of the best products if you want a really nice mattified look or you want to set your under-eye concealer or foundation. Just slightly press the puff into your skin with rolling strokes side to side. It just gives a beautiful pressed finish. The brush is great for an airbrushed look all over your face. When you use the puff it sets and mattifies an area, and gives it long wear.

Q: What’s your favorite beauty trend right now?

A: I think my favorite trend is actually brows coming back. Every once in a while everyone is over-tweezing their brows and really pencil-thin brows are in. I think the full brow trend is great.

Q: What beauty trend are you not such a fan of?

A: I am not a huge fan — and I know that people love, love, love this trend — but I’m not a huge fan of the nude lip. That’s a big trend and I think it’s pretty because it can make your lips look larger, but as far back in time as we know, women have used fruit to enhance the flesh of their lips and cheeks. And the reason why is it symbolizes vitality. It makes you look healthy and radiant and attractive to the eye. So when you do the nude lip, it almost erases the color of your lip and I think it takes away that vitality, the healthy flush, that femininity.

Q: Did you ever take part in any beauty trends that you now regret?

A: Yeah, in the ‘80s, curling my bangs under and over and doing the feathery, sky-high wave look with the bangs. I look at pictures, and I’m like ‘oh my goodness…’


You really can’t go wrong no matter where you start with It Cosmetics, but I have to give a special mention to the Naturally Pretty Pearl Luxe Hydrating Eyeshadow Trio and Bye Bye Lid Lines. The anti-aging primer is packed with hydrolyzed collagen, acai, green tea, grape seed, and vitamins A, C, and E. It locks your color on, prevents creasing, and intensifies your shadow so you can use less. The shadow colors look unassuming in the package, but they make your eyes positively smolder. (The golden-sandy shade was inspired by Jamie noticing how the sun, water, and sand made women’s eyes sparkle on the beach in Brazil!) You can even wet a brush and use the dark chocolate color to line your eyes. So pretty!

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