The Interview: Kosas founder Sheena Zadeh-Daly on the rapid growth of her skincare-infused makeup brand
Kosas was founded by Sheena Zadeh-Daly to create next-level, clean beauty that’s about revealing, expressing and feeling comfy in your skin.
Thanks to a rise in skincare-infused makeup trends, the brand has grown from a small business to a major player in the beauty industry, championing the concept that makeup is a big opportunity to take care of your skin.
Zadeh-Daly speaks to TheIndustry.beauty about the brand's global growth, how it's doing in the UK, the influence behind its product launches and more.
Zadeh-Daly took an interest in beauty at a young age, having spent a lot of time experimenting and playing with the products her mother would bring home whilst working on a beauty counter.
However, as she grew up, Zadeh-Daly struggled to find products on the market that made her feel good. So, she set out to create her own line of easy and effective cosmetics.
"I started Kosas to solve what I felt was missing from my own makeup. I wanted my makeup to function as skincare. I wanted my makeup to feel comfortable on my face, not heavy. I wanted the shades to be flattering and look like me but better," she reminisces.
Zadeh-Daly launched Kosas in 2015 with four lipsticks, each inspired by the earthy blends of neutrals and pinks she made in a portrait painting class.
Fast forward eight years, the brand has experienced rapid growth in the US and is now making a name for itself internationally.
"I’ve always wanted to create a beauty brand and formulate products that are good for your skin and high performing. All that time that I spent playing with different formulas in my garage or at my kitchen table eventually evolved into the brand it is today. My innate passion for ingredients and our product-first mentality is why Kosas has stood out in the beauty space," explains Zadeh-Daly.
"The UK has always been a dream and goal for Kosas. Our community had been asking for this for a long time, so it’s surreal that we were finally able to make this happen. We are happy with the initial results in the UK and very excited for the future," says Zadeh-Daly.
The brand's launch in the UK brought over its bestselling products, including a Revealer Skin-Improving Foundation, Cloud Set Setting Powder, Wet Lip Oil Gloss and Chemistry Deodorant, amongst other items.
Kosas has now further expanded this offer, launching four new products in the UK - a Brow Pop Nano, Wet Stick Moisturising Lip Shine, Weightless Lip Colour and Sun Show Cosy Warmth Bronzer.
Infused with skincare benefits, each product adds to the brand's collection of makeup essentials. "We are so excited to be launching four new products in the UK," says Zadeh-Daly.
"The Weightless Lip Color and Wet Stick offer a whole arsenal of flattering, reliable shades in two different lip formats – a satiny smooth, creamy lipstick and an easy-to-wear, bougie lip balm.
"We are also launching the Sun Show Bronzer for a golden hour filter and my newest favourite, Brow Pop Nano, a tiny 1mm brow pencil that details like a dream. They will all be available to shop at Space NK from September onwards."
With a growing portfolio of products, Zadeh-Daly says the inspiration behind new launches is often down to demand. "Many times, the product ideas are something that’s really missing in my life or something that I need to add to my routine. Sometimes we see our community asking for a certain products over and over and expressing their needs for it, and that really means something to us," she explains.
"Often the products we create are tied to stories that link with my life, so the concepts start there. When developing products, we need to achieve two things: the finish has to look alive, and we only use skincare actives that have a lot of data and research behind them.
"Kosas is makeup for skincare freaks. It's rooted in our brand philosophy that every product we formulate not only has to look amazing but also needs to do great things for your skin. We’re always pushing the standards of makeup performance and effective ingredients with clinically proven skincare benefits."
Reflecting on the brand's journey since launching in 2015, Zadeh-Daly is filled with pride. "It’s been amazing to get a foothold in the industry and start to have these hero products that have emerged and become a staple in people’s routines," she says.
"But beyond just that, I set out to shift the mindset of the industry away from hiding and fixing and toward revealing and expressing through makeup. And I really see that across the industry now."
As her business continues to grow, Zadeh-Daly says the future is exciting for Kosas - particularly in the UK market. "I think there’s so much synergy between the creative and experimental energy of the UK consumer and the freedom of expression that is rooted in Kosas. It feels like a very natural relationship and I’m excited to see how it evolves," she enthuses.