This is the story of how Jamie Kern Lima secured the future of her then two-year-old company, IT Cosmetics, in 10 minutes.

It was 2010. Lima had been offered a coveted spot on QVC (the United States’ version of The Shopping Channel). It was a make-or-break opportunity: She had 6,000 of her Bye Bye Undereye concealers to sell during her brief segment, and if she didn’t succeed she would have to eat the loss—a huge blow for a small, cash-strapped company.

Lima removed all her makeup on camera (years before you had your pick of barefaced YouTubers doing the same). Her vibrantly red rosacea was on show for all to see—and to note how well the brand’s concealer had been covering it. “I thought, ‘If nobody buys my products, I at least want to leave knowing women saw another woman who looked like them on TV,’” says Lima.

She needn’t have worried: The products sold out and the company grew, and six years later L’Oréal acquired it for $1.2 billion. Now, IT Cosmetics is set to launch its most requested product: an oil-free matte version of its wildly popular CC+ cream. The formulation was redesigned from scratch, starting with a skincare base that reduces shine and the look of pores. It was then infused with a mineral sunblock and makeup pigments for a finish that is certainly more matte than the company’s other offerings but still vibrant-looking.

Lima has had time to refine her pitch over the years; we were sold in two minutes—exactly how long it took us to apply. 




IT Cosmetics CC+ Oil-Free Matte Pore Minimizing Full Coverage Cream SPF 40 ($49)

This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of ELLE Canada.