Kosas entered the beauty and cosmetics industry scene at the perfect time. The indie company launched in 2015 just as more and more consumers sought “clean” beauty products made from safe, non-toxic ingredients. Founder Sheena Yaitanes came up with the brand concept a decade before she decided to bring it to life.

“I had the idea probably 10 years before Kosas happened, but I was afraid to face it because I knew it was my calling,” she said. “There was only going to be one shot for me; it had to be the right time.” 

Sheena clearly knew what she was doing. Kosas became one of the fastest-growing clean beauty brands, reaching a reported $910K in annual revenue by 2022. 

So how did this lifelong make-up aficionado with a background in fine art, organic chemistry, and business develop a multi-million dollar beauty brand? Read on to explore the Kosas brand story and journey–from four lipsticks on Sheena’s kitchen table to a complete makeup-as-skincare line sold at stores like Amazon, Nordstrom, and Credo (and worn by celebrity influencer Hailey Bieber). 

Plus find out how to get your hands on our FREE million dollar brand building playbook that’ll help you start getting 100 sales a day.

Company Name:Kosas
Year Founded:2015
Founders:Sheena Yaitanes
Valuation:Unpublished; Peak annual revenue was $910K in 2022
Industry: Beauty

What is Kosas?

Kosas is a clean beauty brand with a cosmetics line marketed as “makeup for skincare freaks.” The company sells makeup-as-skincare with products containing nourishing ingredients clinically proven to hydrate and improve the skin. Kosas products are also free from chemicals like parabens, sulfates, silicone, and aluminum.

The brand offers a range of makeup and skincare products, including foundation, concealer, blush, bronzer, eyeshadow, lipstick, serum spray, and sunscreen. Their products are known for their lightweight and breathable formulas, designed to enhance natural beauty while providing a comfortable wear. Customers can purchase Kosas products through their online store, Amazon, and retailers including Nordstrom and Sephora. 

Who founded Kosas?

Makeup lover and artist Sheena Yaitanes launched Kosas in 2015. As the founder and CEO of Kosas, she has played a key role in shaping the brand's vision and its commitment to clean beauty, inclusivity, and sustainability. Yaitanes drew upon her background in fine art and biology and her lifelong passion for beauty to create a line of makeup products that blend artistry, natural ingredients, and skincare benefits.

What is this company’s origin story?

Kosas Founder Sheena Yaitanes grew up surrounded by makeup samples her mother would bring home from her job working at the Clinique and Clarins counters. She made her first makeup product at age 10: a glitter gel highlighter. After studying fine art and biology in college, Sheena decided to combine her education and interests to pursue her true passion: makeup and beauty products. 

Although she had loved makeup for as long as she could remember, Sheena struggled to find cosmetics products in stores that looked and felt good all day long. So she took on the challenge herself by creating her own product line. She also wanted to address the disconnect between the beauty looks of her diverse friends and other people she admired and the products available. 

The brand name Kosas comes from the philosophy of the “five layers of the self,” with the physical layer being just one layer. “There’s so much more to beauty than just how we look on the surface,” said Yaitanes. “I believe makeup should be flattering, easy, and good for your skin…our clean formulas don’t sacrifice performance…this is the makeup I’ve always wanted.” 

When Sheena launched Kosas in 2015, she started with four lipsticks called the Weightless Lip Color Collection. She shipped all the orders out herself from her kitchen table. 

Since its inception, Kosas has gained recognition for its clean formulations, inclusive shade ranges, and commitment to sustainability. The brand continues to evolve, offering a diverse range of products that celebrate individuality and promote self-expression while prioritizing the well-being of people and the planet.

What made the Kosas brand grow?

Kosas quickly developed a cult-following, leveraging social media to elevate their product benefits and effectiveness and to inform their target audience of their key differentiators. As Yaitanes added more products to the Kosas collection, the company focused on cultivating community on social media to establish rapport and customer loyalty. Soon, celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Gwyneth Paltrow were singing the praises of Kosas products, further boosting the brand’s reach and popularity. Within five years from the launch, Sheena had built a $20 million business

How was Kosas funded?

In 2018, Sheena Yaitanes raised $2 million in Series A funding for Kosas through her personal network. In January 2020, she raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding led by Califia Farms and Stripes; and in August 2020 raised $5 million from undisclosed investors. The latest funding for Kosas was a venture round in April 2022 for an undisclosed amount. 

What is the company’s valuation?

As a privately held company, the valuation of Kosas has not been published. However, the company’s peak annual revenue was $910K in 2022. 

What lessons can entrepreneurs learn from this brand’s story?

Entrepreneurs can learn valuable lessons from the Kosas brand:

Identify a gap in the market

Kosas founder Sheena Yaitanes identified a gap in the beauty market, specifically the lack of clean and inclusive makeup options. Entrepreneurs can learn the importance of identifying unmet needs or underserved segments within their industry and developing a solution to fill that gap.

Combine passion and expertise

Yaitanes combined her passion for artistry and her knowledge of color theory with her commitment to clean beauty. Entrepreneurs can tap into the value of leveraging their unique passions, skills, and expertise to create a brand that stands out and resonates with consumers.

Embrace Inclusivity

Kosas has gained recognition for its inclusive shade ranges, catering to individuals with diverse skin tones. Embracing inclusivity and ensuring products or services are accessible and cater to a wide range of customers are powerful brand differentiators. Consider diverse needs, preferences, and backgrounds when designing and marketing products.

Build a Brand with a Purpose

Kosas stands for more than just makeup; it embodies a purpose of celebrating individuality and self-expression. Entrepreneurs can learn the power of building a brand with a clear purpose and values that resonate with consumers. Having a strong brand identity and communicating that purpose effectively can help differentiate a business and create a loyal customer base.


What makes Kosas products unique?

Kosas products are renowned for their uniqueness, driven by a combination of factors. Their clean formulations prioritize high-quality, skin-nourishing ingredients, while their inclusive shade ranges cater to diverse skin tones. The brand's commitment to sustainability shines through in their eco-friendly packaging choices. Additionally, Kosas' emphasis on artistry and self-expression sets them apart, allowing individuals to enhance their natural beauty with innovative, versatile, and comfortable makeup options.

What safety measures are taken for people with allergies and special needs?

According to Kosas, they take safety seriously and make products with sensitive skin in mind. The company rigorously tests products before bringing them to the market. They use safe, effective preservatives and antimicrobial stabilizers to protect against mold, yeast, and pathogens. All Kosas products must pass preservative efficacy testing in accordance with the USP 51 protocol by an independent analytical lab. 

Are there any discounts available for Kosas products?

Kosas regularly updates the Offers page on its website with the latest discounts, deals, and coupon codes when available. Everyday Kosas offers include 10% off the first order and special pricing for specific makeup sets. 

Is Kosas available on Amazon, Credo Beauty, Nordstrom, and other retailers?

Yes, Kosas is available to purchase on Amazon, Credo Beauty, Nordstrom, Sephora, and other retailers nationwide. Customers can use the Kosas Find In Store search engine to find the retailer in their area. 


If you have even an ounce of entrepreneurial spirit (which you do, since you are reading this!), you undoubtedly find the Kosas brand story incredibly inspiring. Company Founder Sheena Yaitanes literally brought her childhood dream to life and now she gets to live out her dream every day, while making a positive impact on the world and a lasting impression on the beauty industry.

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