Jamie Kern Lima is Co-Founder of IT Cosmetics, a top-selling makeup and skincare brand at QVC, ULTA Beauty and Sephora. In 2016, IT Cosmetics (named for “Innovative Technology” and developed with plastic surgeons) was acquired by L’Oreal, for more than a billion dollars. It was L’Oreal’s largest acquisition to date, making Jamie the first female CEO in L’Oreal’s 100+ year history. Prior to launching IT, Jamie was an award-winning TV news anchor with beauty challenges including sparse brows and sensitive skin, and she could never find products that truly worked. She graduated valedictorian from Washington State University, and received her MBA from Columbia University, where she will be receiving the 2019 Medal of Excellence. I conducted an exclusive interview with Jamie, right after she gave a riveting, motivational and inspirational presentation at Beaches Resort in Turks and Caicos, at the “Social Media On The Sand” conference, where she discussed the trials and tribulations of being a successful innovator and entrepreneur.
What trip did you take when you first realized that you had “made it” in your industry and were a success and had extra money for a trip? Tell me about that.
OK – these are the “realest” answers but they are not what you expect. Almost every trip I’ve taken in the past 10 years was for work. The first trip I took after selling my business to L’Oreal was still for work. It is still mostly work-related trips. Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. But it’s so fun. Couple of places I love – Miraval in Tucson, I love going there. I’ve taken a whole team there for a product-development retreat. It’s peaceful and restorative. A Miraval, I love the fun stuff they do with the singing bowls. And a floating meditation where you swing in a cocoon (silk hammock) and you’re in the position of a caterpillar. I love morning hikes and walks. I get up really early in the morning. I also love the spa at Ojai. I love a great deep-tissue massage.
Tell me about your favorite hotels.
Beaches Resorts here in Turks and Caicos is so beautiful. The white sand. Everyone is just wanting you to have a good time. Seamless and so much food everywhere. So many bars and restaurants. The villa we’re in has a hammock……and I haven’t been in a hammock in 20 years. This was a moment. I’m grateful to be here. It’s great for families and for couples, and even on a girl’s trip!
I love Tumi. My husband started me on that. A lot of people gift me luggage. I love a great Tumi. It’s tough enough to not get destroyed, my stuff is protected, and I’m not worried if it gets scraped or scuffed. I want it to be amazing, but I don’t want to worry.
What do you never travel without?
I swear by this wrap by Barefoot Dreams. They make cardigans and shawls and wraps….they just make you feel happy. I always travel with IT Cosmetics’ Confidence in a Cream, worn as a mask or treatment. I also like a good dry shampoo by Drybar.
What’s your diet and beauty routine when you travel and are on the road?
One of the hardest things about traveling is sticking with your routine. I try to stick to my morning routine. I get up at 4:30 or 5 AM every day. It has changed my life. I hated it the first two months. Now, it sets the rest of my day. And I just feel better and even if I indulge. My goal is to get 5,000-12,000 steps in from a walk in the city, or here at Beaches on the property. I also pray and meditate. Then I can go out and party, as I feel centered and grounded.
What do you to make your travels easier?
Sometimes some events put you on a private flight. One of the best tips: A friend taught me how to roll dresses and blouses….military style…so they don’t wrinkle. She rolls designer dresses in a carry-on. You save yourself from steaming. It’s been huge. You save so much space. Plus I take multitasking products. And I just started traveling with a sound machine — it’s been life-changing. My one-year-old loves it. It helps me sleep, especially when switching time zones.
How do you treat yourself when you travel?
A great glass of red wine, cabernet. Followed by a nice massage.
What’s your best general travel tip?
If it’s even just a thought in your mind – take the trip. If you can, you should. Traveling changes your life and your perspective, and it’s such a gift to do it. Many people put it off. Just do it.
How do you deal with jet lag and fatigue when you’re on the go?
That’s so tough. Hydrate, hydrate. I drink way too much coffee, and I could drink it and go right to bed. Hydration is so important. Just knowing my room number at my hotel ahead of time also eliminates stress, and reconfiguring all of your plans. Always call ahead and figure out as many details as you can. Also, always trust your gut. It’s better than anyone else’s advice. If you want something in life, the best way to get it is to give it. Do everything from a place of “How can I serve?” when you’re traveling, to give someone an honest compliment, to offer them grace when they mess up your ticket. You can change the world by literally how you treat people, and increase joy in your own life.