Tuesday, August 01, 2000

Old Makeup? Trash it!

Local cosmetics artist debuts new line with expiration date

By Shauna Scott Rhone
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Nationally known makeup artist Jeni Lee Dinkel is interested in trash.

        Women's trash, specifically. The Villa Hills resident, who launches her multicultural makeup line today in New York, believes women hold on to their cosmetics too long and it ruins their skin.

        “All food has an expiration date, but no other line pays attention to date their makeup,” Ms. Dinkel says. “From the time you open it, the life span and effectiveness of the product decreases and bacteria grows.”

        Enter Jeni Lee, a new line of makeup and accessories blended by the artist using her years of making some of America's best faces look glamorous.

        Her talents can be seen in a variety of hit movies, including The Shawshank Redemption, Bad Boys, Forrest Gump and Wild Things. She kept President Clinton looking cool during a national town hall meeting in Kansas City. Now she brings her expertise to the general public, hoping to help women take care of their appearance and improve the health of their skin.

        Every makeup product in the Jeni Lee line will bear a hand-written expiration date. When the written date arrives, Ms. Dinkel strongly suggests users throw away the unused portion of makeup. Her ad campaign features a silver trash can to remind customers of the importance of not holding on to a cosmetics product too long.

        “People don't think twice about throwing away milk when that date comes,” she says. “It should be the same with makeup. Foundation gets absorbed in the skin, lipstick enters the mouth when you eat. The makeup you use should be as fresh as the food you eat.”

        Carrie Bonner, senior consultant for Kline and Co., a firm that monitors beauty care trends, thinks Jeni Lee's fresh angle is different.

        “(Using expiration dates) is a generally observed standard in the industry,” Ms. Bonner says, “but it's mostly used on skin care products like those with vitamins in them.”

        While the Jeni Lee line is similar to other makeup artists' lines, like Bobbie Brown and MAC, the use of expiration dates on each product sets hers apart, Ms. Dinkel says.

        “I appreciate the other artists' lines. They took women to the next level in skin care and really educated women on what's going on in the cosmetics industry. Women are very savvy. They're starting to ask questions about skin care and demanding answers.”

        Ms. Dinkel's entrance into the business of beauty began almost two years ago. She decided to offer her skills and share her secrets with women who were not cover girls or movie stars. Using a small cadre of experts to handle the uglier side of beauty (chemistry and the bottom line), Ms. Dinkel created a line of 243 products.

        The line includes 32 foundation shades and six pressed powders with an SPF of 15. The shades provide a multicultural palette that enhances the beauty of women as fair as porcelain and as deep as mahogany.

        Each of her 40 lipsticks, eight glosses and 10 lip-liner pencils have names representing her years in the film industry, like “Blockbuster,” “Wrap Party” and “Body Double.”

        At one point, Ms. Dinkel's cosmetics lab was located on her family pool table. Today, she will unveil her “pretty baby” at the prestigious New York store, Henri Bendel.

        Every step of the way, Ms. Dinkel says, her target audience was her hometown neighbors.

        “I'm feel blessed and lucky for the opportunity to launch my line at Bendel's, but I'm really excited about the Tower Place store (downtown) opening here in September (in the old Perfumania location on the skywalk). Like in my dedication in my new book, Makeup Scenes, I did this for the women in Cincinnati.

        “I've consulted with more than 2,000 women over the years and the women in Cincinnati are the ones that inspired me to design this line and make my dreams come true. Some of them said my makeovers changed their lives.”

        The book, which will be sold with her line for $24.95, gives step-by-step tips and hints on how to bring out the glamour in every woman. She divides the 10 application steps into “scenes,” which Ms. Dinkel says can be finished in 10 minutes or less.

        “If you have spent more time than that, wash your face — you have too much makeup on.”

        According to Makeup Scenes, Ms. Dinkel believes blush is the most misused cosmetic.

        “Applying it to your forehead, temple and chin defeats its purpose. Your whole face ends up looking the same.”

        She also believes the one cosmetic no woman should do without is foundation because of the SPF protection most provide.

        Ms. Dinkel wants to maintain an active hand in the stores carrying her line. She plans to appear from time to time and offer makeup tips and personalized service to her customers. The Tower Place store also will sponsor “girls night out” events to talk about makeup and health issues.

        Jeni Lee will have a philanthropic arm as well. Ms. Dinkel schedules special consultation sessions with women dealing with life-changing illnesses such as lupus and cancer. Preparing for the launch of her line has caused her to cut back on these one-on-ones, but she plans to resume the service soon.

        Also scheduled is a December fund-raising event in New York to benefit the Boomer Esiason Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, one of Jeni Lee's official charities.

        “I'm anxious about the launch in New York, but I think I'll know that I've succeeded when my store opens here in Cincinnati, and the women here, my peers, accept the line and come to see me. I'm doing this for them and I want them to know that.”

        Product expiration dates start the moment a consumer uses a product. After they are opened and with general use, all products lose their effectiveness.

        Treat makeup products with care. Keep them in a dry, cool area and remember: Anything that looks, smells or tastes bad, is bad! Trash it!

        Products once opened Expire at

        Liquid foundation 6 months

        Cream foundation 6-8 months

        Concealer 6-8 months

        Pressed powder 1 year

        Loose powder 1 year

        Shimmer powder 1 year

        Eye shadow 1 year

        Mascara 30-45 days

        Blush 1 year

        Lip gloss 1 year

        Lipstick 1 year

        Cleanser 6 months

        Toner 1 year

        Moisturizer 6 months

        Eye/lip pencils 1-11/2 years

        From Makeup Scenes


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