Founders Sue Katz (left) and Lisa Thurman
When two moms befriended each other at a play group 15 years ago, they did not imagine that they would one day own an international cosmetics company. Sue Katz and Lisa Thurman started Amazing Cosmetics at their kitchen tables in Libertyville in 2000; now their products, which are beloved by celebrities and makeup artists, sell nationally at Ulta and Sephora.
In February, the duo plan to open their first storefront on—where else?—Libertyville’s main drag. For the interior design, they hired a local, Matt Lorenz, the winner of Bravo’s reality competition Top Design. The space sits adjacent to their corporate offices, but you’d never know it to look inside: In Lorenz’s hands, the wall that separates the office from the shop has been redesigned to look like the front of a house; a green grid of carpet tiles and a stylish Lucite table re-create the look of a patio.
The store will stock the brand’s pressed and loose powders, eye shadows, lip-glosses, and bronzers. But the item to splurge on is the Amazing Concealer ($40), known among makeup artists as the “magic eraser.” Made with 60 percent pigment as opposed to the traditional 10 or 12 percent, the concealer is so effective that it has sparked a guerrilla word-of-mouth campaign among Hollywood makeup artists such as Joanne Gair (who famously body painted Demi Moore for her nude Vanity Fair cover). Celebrity devotees now include Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman, and Cindy Crawford.
Besides makeup, the shop will sell Belle Fleur candles, Antica Farmacista fragrances, one-of-a-kind makeup bags from Chicago handbag designer Diego Rocha, and exclusive pillows made by Lorenz. Says Katz: “Everything in the store is something celebrities like and endorse, and you can get them in Libertyville.”
Photograph: Selena Salfen