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Sheena Yaitanes Kosås Los Angeles

FEATURES

Beauty in Balance

By Jane Sung

Photography by Kimberly Genevieve

02.21.18

Sheena Yaitanes’ modern cosmetics line concentrates on the effective pairing of performance and luxurious, clean ingredients.

“I started with lipstick because [you] can have the most fun with color,” says Sheena Yaitanes, founder of L.A.-based clean beauty brand Kosås. “[Lipstick also has] a sensory experience [to it]: you taste, feel and smell it, and oftentimes that experience is offensive.”

While pregnant with her first daughter, the now-mother-of-three set out to formulate something fresh. “I wanted to create the richest, most flattering and modern shades, but also a [pleasurable] experience, which I achieved by harnessing the power of botanicals,” she explains. Yaitanes, who studied biological sciences, found her niche with nontoxic, high-quality formulas that work with the skin instead of masking it. “Beauty products have to work, and every maker should feel a responsibility to achieve [performance] without using harmful ingredients,” says the California native.

Devotees of the brand—which recently expanded to include blush-highlighter duos—herald the rich, universally flattering colors, something Yaitanes credits to her fine arts background (having apprenticed under L.A. artist Stephanie Pryor). “When I was studying portraiture and how to mix skin tones for paintings, I learned to start with primary colors rather than browns or earth tones, and the final result was alive and human,” explains Yaitanes. “I knew that if I brought this perspective to color cosmetics, I could create flattering, spot-on shades.”

Today, the focus on all-natural, highly effective products has permeated the local beauty scene. “L.A. women tend to wear less makeup, [and seek] multipurpose products instead,” says Yaitanes. “[That] lines up perfectly for Kosås because we don’t have an overwhelming selection. One compact, one lipstick, and you’re done.” Credo, L.A.