Get Gorgeous/ Cosmetics
Kristin Booker • April 20, 2010

Beauty Maven Spotlight: An Interview with Karen Robinovitz of Purple Lab NYC

Many of you know that I’m obsessed with the beauty brand Purple Lab NYC. What many of you don’t know is that the brains behind the operation, Creatrix Karen Robinovitz, is also a personal friend. Writer, fashionista, beauty maven, social media maverick, television personality: whatever you want to call her, anyone in her presence can feel her creative energy and powerhouse personality. I figured it was time for all of you to know a little bit more about the tiny creative power plant we all know and love, so when Karen agreed to let you in on the woman we all know and love, I jumped at the chance. Here is the fabulous, amazing braintrust behind the Next Big Thing In Beauty in all her glory:

FSB: So, we all know how Purple Lab was created but what were your inspirations for the new products? Do you actually have a mood board? If so, what’s on it?
Karen Robinovitz: My mood board is full of chic, glamour and fun. A little Jeff Koons, Marilyn Minter, Anselm Reyle, some Dita and Kate and Cowboy Kate; images that conjure style, succulence, deliciousness and fabulous which really represents the DNA of Purple Lab as a whole. I attached an image of it! 

FSB: Who is the Purple Lab customer?
Karen: Purple Lab has a psychographic, not a demographic. It’s any woman who wants effective, science-forward products with a pop of cheeky fun and glam. There is no age – it can be a 14 year-old girl who responds to color and personality or a 65 year-old woman thinking of anti-aging makeup. The kind of girl who likes products that multitask to save time, energy, and money and wants to feel empowered, fun, and fierce.

FSB: You are a self-described fashionista and one of my own personal fashion inspirations. Describe a day in your life and how your cosmetics work with your busy schedule and fabulous wardrobe.
Karen: There is no one typical day because every day is different, as I’m “balancing” (in quotes because I have no real balance) Purple Lab with a day job as a social media consultant. Because I’m always running around, I love having products that are double duty beauty because I can get my skin care and my color at once.

I’m up by 7a.m. and probably online before I even use the loo.

My day typically starts at 8:30a.m. with a breakfast meeting at Pastis. I never leave home without Huge Lips Skinny Hips lip gloss in Worship Kate and Goji Berry Smoothie (a new shade, due end of April) and Luvah lip stain and gloss in Mama’s Boy (the most perfect nude).

Horrible dark circles under my eyes are taken care of, thanks to Luxury Squared which has beta glucan, a good anti-inflammatory. It helps me look way more fresh than I feel!

I usually have about 3-5 back-to-back client meetings, peppered in with desk side meetings with magazine editors.

More often than not, I’ll have a lunch meeting and if I’m lucky, it’s at Fred’s at Barneys, which is good because it’s always nice to do a quick spin on the 4th floor shoe department. Too bad I have no product to help curb my sartorial cravings!

By the end of the day, I’m back in the home office to go over things on the Purple Lab front, look at new products and components, and blog.

6 or 7p.m., I’m likely off to an event that I’m planning for a client and if not, I’m working on newsletters for Purple Lab, brainstorming new products, or going over business budgets with Todd (my least favorite thing to do).

9p.m., Try to relax… while blogging!  And my makeup lasts all day! No smudging of mascara, thanks to tubing technology! Love that Lashionista Modelista, I have to say!

FSB: The line is now available on HSN. What’s it like being on television? Spill!
Karen: It’s amazing and scary at once. So much is going on and the pressure is out of control. While I’m doing my thing, I have to be aware of the flow of it all. There is a very short, designated amount of time per product. So I may have three minutes to get out ten minutes worth of information on one product! I have an earpiece in and the producer gives me cues – when to look at a certain camera, when to go to the before/after shots or an animation, when someone is calling in, etc. And there are three screens on view at all times – one shows what viewers see, another shows what’s coming up and a third shows the sales. I try not to look at the sales – too scary and distracting. It’s live so I cannot mess up. I have to be aware of the models, when I talk to them to show how products look on their skin and when not to do so. There is so much to think about! My heart is racing and I fear I am going to break out in hives every minute. It’s a total rush, though. I love it!

FSB: What has been your greatest moment so far in your career? Describe your greatest accomplishment.
Karen: It is, without a doubt, creating Purple Lab and getting it off the ground in a down economy, when all odds were stacked up against me. I never put the dream aside, not when thirty-thousand components came damaged and I had to start over. Not when I was approaching personal bankruptcy. Not when I was trying to raise money after the stock market crash. Getting to HSN was the culmination of it all, everything I have always dreamed of doing and hoped for. To do it with my husband makes it even better.

FSB: What are five fun things that people don’t know about you?
Karen: I’m dying to have a home in the mountains with a teepee in the backyard and a massive tree house. Todd and I plan to name our future kids Rossi Wolf Jacob and Sivan Alaia. I love being in sweats more than anything else. Young, Fabulous & Broke Wide-Leg Zen pants are my favorite and I wear them every day. I have a weakness for Truffle Tremor cheese. OMG! Beyond. I have been known to bring it to the movies with spelt pretzels. Love a movie picnic. I’m an Aries with a Scorpio moon and an Aquarius rising. Makes total sense when you know me.

FSB: Actually, that explains a lot to me, believe it or not. 😉 What’s the next move for the Purple Lab empire?
Karen: The focus is on new products and steadily growing the company. All of our energy is on HSN at the moment and we just want that to be the biggest success we can imagine. And I have a HUGE imagination so there are high
standards to live up to.

Be on the look out for Pearlesque Show, a silicone-free primer with crushed pearls, honey, and kiwi at the end of the month along with a new shade of Lashionista Modelista called Modern Classic (navy) and four shades of Huge Lips Skinny Hips. I’m also working on two new eye products for July.

Look for Karen and Purple Lab to go back on HSN live next week on April 29th and 30th, where you can learn all about her and Purple Lab’s fabulous products! Be there, people!


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