THE STORY: Libertyville residents Sue Katz and Lisa Thurman were friends and both had young children when they decided to start AmazingCosmetics in 1999. Katz had spent ten years working at Lancôme and felt that concealer was a product the large companies weren’t focusing on. Thurman’s background was in retail. Within months of founding their company, their AmazingConcealer became a word-of-mouth success backed by stars such as Demi Moore, Nicole Kidman, and Kim Cattrall. “It got into the hands of certain Hollywood makeup artists,” Thurman says, “and the celebrities loved it so much they told other makeup artists.”

The concealer was recently given an editor’s choice award by Allure magazine, and it has been Sephora’s top-selling concealer since January 2004.

THE PRODUCT: “It’s highly concentrated and emollient while still being waterproof,” Thurman says. “We call it the magic eraser-rather than cover up in a cakey way, it erases.”


EDITOR’S COMMENTS: “AmazingConcealer didn’t budge off a chin blemish even after it was moistened by a steamy tea spill.”

SPRING BEAUTY TIP: “Change your foundation,” Katz says. “Living in Chicago, you need two different colors of foundation, whether you suntan or not. We all lose color in winter.”

(; Sephora, 845 North Michigan Avenue; and other locations)

Maven Cosmetics

THE STORY: In 2000, Noreen Abbasi and Sandi Hwang Adam left their well-paid consulting jobs in marketing and management to create a makeup line that was user friendly to women of all colors. “We knew from research and from our own experience that women of color didn’t want to be limited to certain brands,” explains Hwang Adam. “When you buy cosmetics, you’re buying a dream, and if you can’t find a product, you’re shattering the dream.”

THE PRODUCT: In addition to covering all skin tones, Maven’s Visage Mirage Foundations can be used after a facial treatment or microderm-abrasion. “They’re mineral based, so they’re good for the skin,” says Hwang Adam. “Most mineral foundations are powder, but we made one that’s liquid so you won’t get a color change halfway through the day.”

THE PRICE: $29.50.

EDITOR’S COMMENTS: “Redheads with a clam chowder pallor (like me) have foundation difficulties even with titan brands like MAC. Maven’s foundation in Kara-Kum was perfection.”

SPRING BEAUTY TIP: “Blush is the most underrated part of somebody’s makeup routine,” says Hwang Adam. “If you put it on, it really brightens up your face and makes you look healthy. Try using our Apple Picking for a milk maiden–like flush.”

( and Marshall Field’s State Street and Water Tower Place)

Morpho Cosmetics

THE STORY: When Janine Greff, a Streeterville resident, was working as the lead makeup artist at Sephora on Michigan Avenue, people were always asking her for a lip-gloss that lasted. “My coworkers and I would laugh,” she recalls. “I’d say, ‘People, it’s lip-gloss!'” But in 2004, when she started her own business, she knew what they really wanted-Morpho Super Staying Lip Gloss.

THE PRODUCT: “I’ve created lip products that last without any sealers and look great on all skin tones,” Greff says, “which is really hard to do.”


EDITOR’S COMMENTS: “Lip-gloss is by nature ephemeral, but this brand has superb staying power.”

SPRING BEAUTY TIP: “Your foundation and skin will look so much better if you exfoliate and do moisture masks twice a week for three weeks,” Greff says. “As for makeup, try lip pencil topped with sheer gloss. You’ll still have a nice, defined look without having a big lipstick thing happening.”

( and Salon 1800, 1011 West Armitage Avenue)