Sheena Yaitanes launched Kosås in 2015 with a startlingly simple ambition in mind: to make beauty, well, beautiful. In an industry that often favors complexity (this and that regime, products on products on products), Kosås is a refreshing change. Yaitanes is focused on clean ingredients that work; beautiful, painterly hues that enhance multiple skin tones; and packaging that feels both modern and luxurious. 

Yaitanes is part artist, part chemist (by training as well as passion) and channeled these skillsets to launch the line with a set of just four lipsticks, including now cult classic Undone. Kosås has since grown to 8 lip colors, plus a carefully edited selection of blush-highlighter cheek palettes that provide the wearer with an elevated, but ultimately relaxed approach to beauty.

SHEENA, WHERE DID YOUR LOVE OF MAKEUP COME FROM?  

My earliest memories involve makeup. My mother worked as a rep in the beauty industry my entire life, so we always has a lot of makeup and skincare all over the house. I was in love with not just the makeup, but also the ritual of it. I’m fascinated with rituals. The way people do little things is so unique, like a fingerprint. 

WHY DID YOU LAUNCH THE KOSAS? WHAT GAP WERE YOU TRYING TO FILL?

My approach to beauty has always been casual and lived-in. I love and admire more glamorous looks, but it’s not what I wear day to day. I wanted to create a brand that revolved around my real-life approach to makeup.

HOW DID YOU PINPOINT THE COLOR FOR EACH LIPSTICK?

I get inspiration from a lot of places. Fashion, textiles, paint, nature. I start with a reference, and then layer the color on various skin tones. All of the color tweaks are made by observing the color on skin. 

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IMAGE: COURTESY KOSAS

WHY WAS IT IMPORTANT TO BE TOXIN FREE? WHAT WAS THE PROCESS OF COMING UP WITH THE BEST FORMULATION AND HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO PERFECT?

A lot of toxic ingredients were used before people knew they were toxic. Now that we know, there is no excuse. There are so many options for ingredients that it should be a given that we wouldn’t choose any that are known to be toxic. That part was easy. The effect I was after with the formula was a feeling of weightless comfort. I would shy away from wearing lipstick because I didn’t like how it felt, and I knew I could change that.

WHAT IS YOUR NIGHTTIME BEAUTY AND ‘TO BED’ ROUTINE? 

I like to have options, and I do what needs to be done. I always clean the skin. If it’s dry, I hydrate. If it’s dull, I use an active like retinol or lactic acid. I love certain essential oils before bed too, like vetiver, cedarwood, and sandalwood.

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IMAGE: COURTESY KOSAS

WHAT ABOUT YOUR TOP 5 ESSENTIAL PRODUCTS OUTSIDE OF KOSAS?

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser

Nippon Kodo Deitanseki Soap

Creme de la Mer

Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum

Doterra Hawaiian Sandalwood

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WANTING TO LAUNCH A BEAUTY BRAND?

If you have a point of view on beauty and you want to share it with people, then do it!

LASTLY, WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR KOSAS?

We are applying our real-life philosophy to the whole face. Cheek palettes have recently launched!

 

Kosås

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