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IT Cosmetics CEO on building her billion-dollar brand

IT Cosmetics CEO on building brand
IT Cosmetics CEO on billion-dollar brand built on own skin issue 04:37

A local TV anchor's career leap into beauty entrepreneur has paid off.

Jamie Kern Lima, the co-founder and CEO of IT Cosmetics, has landed on Forbes' list of "America's Richest Self-Made Women." Last year, the world's largest beauty company, L'Oreal, purchased her company for more than a billion dollars.

To show how her cosmetics work, Kern Lima takes off her makeup to reveal her own skin condition that causes redness. She has pitched her products more than a thousand times on QVC.

Kern Lima joined "CBS This Morning" to discuss how she was inspired to start her company and her goals for the future of the business.

She began her career as a TV anchor, a job that requires a lot of time in front of the camera—and a lot of makeup.

"I have hereditary rosacea and hyper-pigmentation and sparse brows so I quickly realized that makeup looks good when you have flawless skin, but when you need coverage, it doesn't. It was creasing, cracking, making me look older," Kern Lima said.  

She thought that if she was having issues, there were likely many other women out there with similar problems. So she and her husband decided to do something about it.

"We started the business in our living room. Didn't pay ourselves for the first three years. We assembled an advisory board of plastic surgeons, dermatologists, chemists that really knew skin. And we started making skincare but put coverage into it. It wears totally different on your skin."

The offer from L'Oreal came later—after a lot of no's.

"QVC said no more times than I could count," she said. But now, according to Kern Lima, IT Cosmetics is the No. 1 brand at QVC.

Plans for the future of the company going forward include expanding globally and the company has already launched its products in Sephora in Southeast Asia.  

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