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Meet Sheena Zadeh: The Leading Force Behind Kosas Beauty’s ‘Makeup for Skincare Freaks’

As the founder of Kosas Beauty, Sheena Zadeh is using her scientific background and creative vision to breathe new life into the beauty industry. Since establishing her pioneering brand in 2015, Sheena has expanded the market for skincare-forward makeup with clinically proven products made specifically for improving skin health.

Kosas’ innovative approach is the result of Sheena’s science background and a lifelong passion for makeup that was nurtured by a childhood spent in awe, watching her mother work behind a makeup counter.

In less than a decade, Sheena’s vision has solidified Kosas as a leading clean makeup brand. Through its viral products, global fanbase, and transparent marketing (“good makeup, not no makeup”), Kosas Beauty’s “clean makeup for skincare freaks” has quickly become one of beauty’s holy grails.

Key Insights from Nancy’s Conversation with Sheena

During a candid interview on the Makers Mindset podcast, Sheena reflects on her unique founder’s journey. We explore Kosas’ disruptive approach to beauty, the emotional side of entrepreneurship, and how a search for innovation led Sheena to a powerful discovery. Here are three key takeaways from our conversation:

1. Navigating Duality as a Founder and CEO 

At some point, some founders get caught between two roles: the founder and the CEO. However, one key to long-term success is understanding when it’s time to decide between the two. Sheena says this decision makes the difference between thriving and simply staying afloat. 

“There comes a time when you ask yourself, can I keep doing two jobs well? … It can cause a lot of mental jet lag to try to be running between these two time zones. And it’s not actually great for the business.”

The “mental jet lag” Sheena refers to is a familiar feeling for many entrepreneurs, who operate under a hustle mentality. But if switching between visionary and operational roles affects your business and personal well-being, it’s time to make a critical choice. For Sheena, deciding to bring in a CEO so she could focus on her strengths as a founder was a step toward success. Her strategic choice ultimately positioned Kosas for sustained growth and innovation.

2. Balancing Innovation and Intention to Execute Your Vision

A successful company requires people who pair essential skills with an uncompromising understanding of your core values. Sheena shares that her early search for innovative talent, outside of the beauty industry, actually took her focus away from finding the right collaborators. 

“I was looking for innovation, but what I was actually doing was slowing myself down … What I really needed was to partner with people who knew how to take that ball and run with it as fast as possible.” 

Sheena’s realization empowered her to embrace her unique ideas. That acceptance created space for team members who could nurture her vision, rather than create a new one from scratch. Achieving that synergy between her ideas and her execution laid the foundation for Kosas’ viral success.

3. Investing in Personal Mastery for Professional Success

Kosas Beauty is an extension of Sheena’s mindful approach to beauty. She believes that self-knowledge is key to creating a beautiful customer experience. 

“I have a deep understanding of what makes me feel uncomfortable and what makes me feel good. And when I create products truly for myself, those are the ones that resonate the most.”

Bringing her authentic self to the forefront has been instrumental to Kosas’ success. Through a deep understanding of her unique preferences and triggers, Sheena defined Kosas’ brand identity and, ultimately, connected to its core audience. 

Sheena’s masterful approach to science-driven beauty has positioned Kosas as a leader in clean beauty Her bold authenticity and deep self-awareness offer an important lesson for every entrepreneur: trust your ideas, embrace your vision, and value your people—the rest will be history.

What did you take away from Sheena’s episode of Makers Mindset? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.