While most cosmetic labels offer over-the-top promises of glamour, glow, and youth, Hourglass, the L.A.-based makeup brand founded in 2004 by Carisa Janes, promises ease. By bottling luxury, innovation, and integrity into chic brown and gold compacts, Hourglass provides high-performance cosmetics with compelling ingredients and modern technology for women on-the-go. “Like me, the Hourglass woman is busy,” says Janes, a former product consultant and developer. “But she still wants to look her best and seeks out high-quality products with active ingredients that really work.”
Since launching at Barneys New York over 10 years ago, Hourglass has become something of a cult brand. Its name initially passed among beauty insiders who adored its insanely popular Veil Mineral Primer—a white milky liquid that creates the ideal base for foundation and other makeup. “This is our bestselling item, and I can’t live without it,” Janes says. “It evens my skin tone, helps to diminish redness, contains SPF 15, and ensures my makeup lasts all day.”
As word spread about Hourglass, it wasn’t long before influencers began flocking to its other must-have items: the Curator Lash Instrument, the Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick—“gives perfect coverage in seconds, no mirror required”—and the Ambient Lighting Collection, which Janes describes as an Instagram filter for the face. “I use different combinations to play up where light naturally hits the face and create a refined, natural glow,” she says.
And the hits keep on coming. In August, Hourglass launched its Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Refillable Lipstick, a 30-shade collection that provides saturated, long-wearing color with a satin finish. The gold applicator can be used interchangeably with each shade. The brand is also working to continue its Equilibrium skincare line, which includes the Equilibrium Day Fluid, a hydrating and protective emulsion, and the Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum, a nighttime rebalancing serum.
As long as each new product maintains the effortless quality defining the rest of the Hourglass line, Janes is happy to create it. “Makeup is transformative,” said Janes. “We see it on the women we work with every day, and how much happiness it brings them. For me, that’s at the heart of everything I do.”