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Interview

Meet the Founder of lilah b. Cheryl Yannotti Foland

Like Marie Kondo, but makeup. Each lilah b. product will spark joy–gluten, paraben, phthalate, sulfate, synthetic fragrance, cruelty-free joy! 

Clean. Simple. Easy. This is how Cheryl Yannotti Foland believes beauty should be, and that’s exactly what her brand lilah b. achieves. Largely inspired by her move from a hectic Manhattan to a scenic Northern California, Cheryl was forced to take a step back, slow down her pace, and become more intentional with her purchases and belongings. lilah b. reflects this transformation in every aspect. Think: sleek stone compacts, multipurpose products, and classic colors. This minimalistic philosophy is, of course, applied to the ingredients as well. This means none of the bad stuff– only the good. We sat down with Cheryl to talk about life in the Bay Area and why less is always more.

YOUR BUSINESS
How to be an effective leader…

Listen and be open-minded to unique and differentiated points of view. There is not a day that goes by when I don’t learn something valuable and new.

How to stay creative…

I get outdoors where I clear my head and am spurred by new and exciting ideas. Take a break and pick things up the next morning if you hit a brain block.

Most memorable or cherished moment…

I attended my very first Founder event in 2015 where lilah b. customers approached me and shared how grateful they were for a simplistic color collection. It confirmed that I am achieving what I’ve set out to do: to make beauty simple again.

YOUR CITY
What about it you love most…

I love how easily accessible the most incredible places are from San Francisco. It is less than a mile to the Sonoma or Napa Valley, less than two to Big Sur, and only a bit further to Tahoe. SF is a stunning place to live.

Favorite afternoon café…

I love CIBO in Sausalito, just down the street from our offices. Fantastic coffee (I’m a total coffee snob) and the best homemade baked goods for an afternoon nosh.

A night out on the town…

My husband and I are total foodies, so a hot new spot for dinner is a must. Our current fave is Robin in Hayes Valley for limitless sushi like you’ve never eaten before, and we’ll try to grab a cocktail beforehand at the quaint Fig + Thistle just down the street!

YOUR BEAUTY
Must-have skincare products…

My RéVive Day Moisturizer with 30 SPF: two-in-one fabulousness! I absolutely love multitasking products and have little-to-no patience for a complicated skincare routine.

Favorite makeup products…

Our Glisten + Glow™ Skin Illuminator is the ultimate complexion must-have – a subtle, sophisticated highlighter that is power-packed with skin-beneficial ingredients, our Lovingly Lip™ Tinted Lip Oils are my can’t-live-without lip product I am currently wearing on a daily basis. It’s an incredible hybrid of treatment + luxurious pigmented gloss in one.

Signature perfume…

I’m currently wearing Serge Lutens L’Orpheline fragrance, which I love. I purchased it on a trip to New York with my stepdaughter last month, and it reminds me of the start of summer!

YOUR PHILOSOPHY
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Take the higher road and lead with integrity…. You’ll never regret it.

What does it mean to you to be an empowered woman today?

It’s a wonderful feeling – doing something, creating something, leading something that generations of women before me could never and would never do. I hope to inspire younger women to take risks and live out their dreams.

What would you say to other women about how to navigate the world right now?

Surround yourself with supportive people– particularly a strong circle of women– who will create the network you’ll need to succeed.

Alicia Zhang

Originally from Los Angeles, Alicia lived in Shanghai for 11 years before moving back to the states to attend the University of Miami, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and minors in art and philosophy. Currently residing in New York City, Alicia applies her knowledge of strategic communication and design in her career. She enjoys painting, rugby, exploring, and more often than not, you’ll find her petting someone’s dog.

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