Meet the Lippy Chick
This style maven got her stilettos firmly fixed in both the fashion and beauty industries long before creating her own brand empire with Purple Lab. Specializing in “double duty beauty,” Purple Lab’s Huge Lips Skinny Hips glosses have become something of a cult favorite. Coupled with her publishing credits that include the titles “How to Become FAMOUS in Two Weeks or Less” and “The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-Inch Heels and Faux Pas,” Karen has branded herself a pop culture “lifestylist” — and she seems to be loving every minute of it. She chats with Beautyinthebag.com about the ultimate fantasy, girl power, Twitter, and what she’s got in her bag.
You have a strong academic background in science, particularly in biology. How has this helped you develop beauty products for Purple Lab?
I spent a lot of time in college in the chemistry lab and no matter what kind of compound we were supposed to make, I would always wind up with some kind of sweet smelling soap! I think my teachers knew the road I was supposed to take before I did. So really, it taught me a lot about experimenting and understanding compatibility issues with componentry. It enables me to speak to the chemists and sound like I know what I’m talking about, even if I don’t! Plus, I’m comfortable in a lab coat!
Huge Lips Skinny Hips seems like the ultimate fantasy for any woman. How did the brand as we know it come to life?
I was at a fashion soiree with my husband, who runs the company with me, and I ate all of the hors d’œuvre. After twenty minutes, I was so full, I had to go home. Not even my Herve Leger bandage dress could hold my belly in! I jokingly said to my husband, “If my lip gloss could plump my lips and not my hips that would be my dream.”
An idea was born. My husband looked at me and said, “Do it! Make this product yourself.” Two weeks later, I found a chemist. A business was born!
Are you, personally and professionally, very much in favor of female empowerment?
Everything I do, every message I have, is about female empowerment. I grew up with a career oriented mother who always showed me that women can be strong and successful, earn a good living and be amazing with her kids and her husband. When I was coming up in my career and new in NYC, I didn’t have a mentor or a guide. So I swore that when I got to a place where I could empower and impart my knowledge to girls, I would give them everything I could. I want women to feel sexy, smart, encouraged, and like the world is theirs.
Many of your products are multi-functional. Is this a mainstay of your brand mission?
Every product is multi-functional and that is the core of Purple Lab’s DNA – double duty beauty. I want makeup that mixes science and sexy, glamour color and skincare benefits at once. I want the best quality and to have to buy less of everything else!
What is your personal beauty philosophy?
If you don’t feel good inside, nothing else matters – not even your lip gloss color. But a great gloss and blush can certainly help!
What are the most important contributions social media has made to your business?
I think it has really just allowed me to be social and communicate openly and honestly. It is an amazing way to share your message and passions because the messages don’t get watered down. I can show that I am a real person doing this, and that everyone can do whatever they dream. And I get to know people through Twitter and Facebook and other social sites, which personalizes everything. I like to remove the velvet rope and show the true makings – ups and downs – of Purple Lab and hear what consumers want and don’t want, in order to make sure I am giving them the best thing on the planet. I could not breathe without Twitter!
What are your desert island beauty products?
- Purple Lab Cheek Implants in Six Inch Heels – a yummy pink, perfect for the sun!
- Purple Lab Silk Sheets foundation in light – for evening my skin tone if I get too much sun!
- Purple Lab Lashionista Modelista for the eyes
- Huge Lips Skinny Hips in Worship Kate
- Kate Somerville SPF
- Devachan No Poo and Conditioner – the only thing I use for my curly hair
- IntelliWhite for whitening my teeth
Are you a mom?
My baby is Purple Lab right now – ask me again this time next year and I could have a different answer! But I’m almost an aunt/godmother to Levi Jacob Robinovitz, my brother’s soon to be son!
What’s your favorite bag?
Devi Kroell silver python oversized hobo. Wait… it’s Proenza’s messenger bag in olive green. No… it’s Balenciaga’s quilted gray nylon with chain link handle. Or is it Lanvin camel leather with a python front pocket and chain link handle? It’s all of the above!