Beauty as a Vehicle for Expression & Creativity: Lit Cosmetics Founder Weighs in


After kicking off our Women’s History Month series with UMA Founder Shrankhla Holecek, we’re excited to share our candid conversation with Jodie Perks, founder of our favorite glitter brand, Lit Cosmetics. She’s the perfect person to talk about how makeup provides an incredible opportunity to express ourselves and share our creativity with the world. Here’s her take on expression, the state of the beauty industry, and more.

Why do you think consumers are finally more expressive in their makeup looks?

It’s a combination of access as well as acceptance. We now have greater access to inspiration, like YouTube videos and IG looks, as well as in brands and trends. And, there’s less judgement from others.

I truly think the “Drag Queen” look has seeped into our everyday looks (think: glitter, over pronounced brows, lips and cheek bones). Not to take this lightly—this type of makeup application, including blending, creasing, contouring and shadowing, does take “know-how” and some knowledge and talent.

Personal style is a wonderful thing; otherwise, what a boring place this would be.

Are consumers ready to stand out rather than blend in and follow the status quo?

Well, once again maybe the Queens helped in this movement as well—I angle and sharpen up my brows with a Queen look in mind.

I feel that personal preference is more accepted now, especially in bigger cities. Population and saturation plays a role as well—it’s harder than ever to be different or get noticed. GO BIG OR GO HOME, GO BLING OR GO HOME.

When I was growing up, glitter makeup wasn’t even a thing, and having unique, colorful hair like blue, pink or purple, was a bold move. Now, it’s the norm. Even grannies are getting in on the action, haha!

How do you best express yourself?

I have no filter on the things I say. In my opinion, the truth needs to be told even if it hurts at times!

Of course, I do wear glitter. What you drive and design is always an expression—fashion, sports (snowboarding, skiing, tennis, golf, horse riding, running, yoga), etc.

How do you get out of a creative rut?

I have to clear up my to-do list to clear my mind. I won’t lie, I’m a big-time procrastinator and sometimes leave things to the last minute, so I’m forced to get them done.

Also, taking a girls’ vacation (wine and good food mandatory) is always good for the soul and helps clear my mind.

Why glitter?

I truly feel that glitter is an extension of personality, and with that in mind, it is part of my personality. People that like glitter are usually crazy about sparkle and want to smother shine all over—the more, the better. Sometimes, it makes me giggle when I see our customers' reorders and watch their glitter collections grow—the glitter addiction is real!

Have you always been a fan?

Believe it or not, I’m actually a beauty school dropout, so owning a cosmetics company is far from what I thought were my future plans. I didn’t really get into glitter until my late 20’s while bartending. At the time, I couldn’t find a good product, so I took things into my own hands. A couple of years later, Lit was born.

How would you describe your personal beauty style?

Well I’m a child of the 80’s and 90’s, so anything disco is good with me. I also love Western (a mix of classic Ralph Lauren and Sylverster Stallone in "Rhinestone Cowboy”), classic Marilyn Monroe beauty, rock-inspired looks and casual comfort. I’m a mixed salad.

I really love all fashion styles and dressing up in different outfits for different events—it’s always fun. When going out at night, I think of every possible outfit in my mind throughout the day, then execute the winning combo at the end of the day.

What are your go-to products/looks?

Well, other than wearing my glitter products, I love Sugarpill lipsticks and glosses and Benefit Cosmetics Bad Gal mascara and brow liners.

Who has been the most significant female inspiration in your life?

If you’re lucky, your mom would be one of your biggest inspirations. In my case, she has been. She grew up in a different time with different struggles but remained fearless, funny and hardworking with the biggest heart.

Also, anyone that can go on stage and sing or speak with heart and truth, like Oprah, Ellen, Cher and Dolly Parton. Everybody who has fame has been told “no” a million times. So, people “making it” intrigues and fascinates me—the fight is real. I myself stand on a mountain of “nos” for just a hint of acceptance.

Biggest beauty prediction for 2020?

Well, the 70’s & 80’s are making a major comeback this year so more glitter, baby!

I also predict that smaller companies are going to receive greater support for their realness, authenticity and well-thought-out products. Over-buying will be replaced by smart buying. Ultimately, people want to support good people.

Any advice to other female founders and entrepreneurs that are just starting out?

If someone would have told me how hard it was to grow an indie brand when I first started my company, I think I still would have done it—I’m a glutton for punishment! To be an entrepreneur, you have to have tough skin and push ahead anyway you can, fighting and screaming for air—not in a mean or money hungry way, but in a way with spirit and good intention.

To learn about your company, you have to go through the good times and bad times. “Strive to excel” was my sports team motto in high school, and it really does come to light in my life. The bad times can be tough, but making it out of them provides character and perseverance. The owners of failing companies that make it through bad times grow stronger and receive the reward of knowledge, heart, and a new passion for what they do. It makes your path more clear and streamlined, and it’s worth fighting for.

And remember, friends and family will always support you, because it’s their job, but that doesn’t mean they will understand what you’re going through or trying to do.

Check out Lit Cosmetics high-quality glitter products and check back for more candid conversations with inspiring female founders!

All images courtesy of Jodie Perks / Lit Cosmetics