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In Your Face

Cosmetic creators

This story appears in the May 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Baking up cosmetic formulations is nothing new for Kristin Penta. "I used to work on my own formulations all the time [as a kid]," says the 29-year-old. "I was always sending letters to Estée Lauder telling them about my newest formula." Today, she has creative control over and owns approximately 20 percent of Fun Cosmetics Inc., a $5 million Hillside, New Jersey, cosmetics company that sells mass merchandise cosmetics through a wide variety of retailers.

"I wrote to almost every cosmetic company when I graduated from college," adds Penta. "I wanted to work for a company that manufactured cosmetics and didn't just market them." She found her start in the cosmetics industry with pencil manufacturer Pentech International Inc., which private-labeled low-cost cosmetic pencils to a variety of companies. Penta had lots of new ideas for low-cost cosmetic products for teenage girls and started promoting her concepts within her division. When Pentech wanted to focus on writing instruments, Penta helped get her products bought out by investors in 1997, and together they started Fun Cosmetics Inc.

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