We remember Sonia Kashuk’s first advertisement. It was 1999, and for this editor – Teen Magazine was a top read. Like many young women, luxury beauty counters were out of reach and I relied on big box stores for all of my makeup needs. Having caught the “beauty bug” at an early age, this ad caught my eye. Sonia Kashuk, makeup artist to the stars, was going to be selling her own line at Target? It was thrilling and memorable; a glittering beacon of hope in a world of chalky eyeshadows and mauve blush that crumbled after a few uses. It’s safe to say that Sonia turned the beauty industry upside down with the partnership.

Before she became a household name, Sonia arrived in New York City – fresh from the Midwest – and quickly discovered her talents within the fashion industry. After a collaboration with supermodel Cindy Crawford on the instructional beauty workbook, Basic Face, Sonia took on her next big challenge. She approached mega-retailer Target with a bold idea – bring department store quality makeup to the masses. The rest, as they say, is history… and 15 years later, the partnership remains as exciting as that first advertisement that made waves in 1999. 

When you get the chance to hop on a phone call with Sonia, you take it. She received our usual “5 Minutes With” shakedown, but her answers, as expected, were refreshing and inspiring. Get a peek inside her daily routine, and find out what it takes to be a beauty mogul: 

MY LIGHTBULB MOMENT:
“It occurred in 1997 when I approached Target as a partner for a beauty brand. You read so much about direct to consumer […], we were truly the pioneer brand in thinking direct to consumer. Absolutely, hands down, the first before anybody. The first to partner with the retailer.

The quality is [that of] prestige cosmetics. When you’re sold in that environment, you’re grouped in the ‘mass-market.’ The only thing that represents mass for us is the price! We were the first of bringing luxury to mass. Target and I together pioneered.”

I CAN’T START MY DAY UNTIL:
“I walk. It’s either on the treadmill if I’m in the city, or hopefully somewhere I can get outside and be near green. I kind of do this walk/run to get me going in the morning, And definitely a green tea latte!”

SUCCESS IS:
“Having my work be my hobby.”

YOU’LL NEVER SEE ME WITHOUT:
“1. My bun, 2. my tinted aviator glasses, and 3. my illuminating blush bronzer and a nude lip.”

MY DREAM COLLABORATION:
Target is a dream partner, but there’s always collaborations within our partnership. Interesting people or connections to bring to the brand to keep it interesting and unique. Bringing in somebody like Jeff Koons for a compact. The texture of that balloon dog, that would look AMAZING! That would probably be fantasy within my partnership.”

THE ONLY PLACE BETTER THAN NEW YORK CITY:
“Ugh, god, that’s a tough one. It’s a dual rivalship between my home in Connecticut. I don’t know, there’s so many places I love. I love Morocco. I love India. Unique insightful cities. It’s hard for me to pull out one. Connecticut for solitude and peacefulness. For insight and sexiness – Morocco, India, Peru. Places that are stimulating.”

WHEN I FEEL UNINSPIRED:
“I have to say, I mean you know you hear the same thing – you travel, you do this. I think it’s so important to surround myself, and I set up a meeting with people to me who are uber-talented creative types. It just is that jam session of creativity. Just start conversing. It’s amazing what can happen when you’re all sharing ideas.”

ADVICE I WISH I HAD 5 YEARS AGO:
“From my son, Jonah, who has joined us and who runs all of our digital and he has such insight into the whole explosion of digital and social media. Especially for a brand that’s sold in an environment where you don’t have as much interaction. It’s given us the ability to have this incredible voice. The advice of my son who at the time wasn’t old enough to understand it, but today has been a huge advocate in helping us work through the world of digital.”

IN 5 YEARS FIND ME:
“Hopefully continuing to innovate and differentiate.”

ABOVE ALL ELSE:
“Always know that luxury does not have to be a guilty pleasure.”

Learn more about Sonia here. To shop her full line at Target, click here

Shop Rue: Limited Edition Completely Organized & Celebrate Bag // Purple Seductia Body Lotion // Lustrous Shine Lip Crayon // Limited Edition 15pc Professional Set Celebrating 15 Years of Award Winning Brushes // Limited Edition 15pc Mini Nail Colour Set – Painting the Town for 15 Years // Chic Luminosity Bronzer/Blush Duo