Jouer Cosmetics: Makeup You Can Play With

When Nordstrom calls, you answer.

And when Christina Zilber, founder and creator of Jouer Cosmetics, puts down the phone, having made a deal to place her makeup line in the chain of high-end retail stores, you get excited.

Zilber, Neil Scibelli, national makeup artist for Jouer, and Meg Young, the line's PR representative, met with a select group of writers over breakfast at Philippe last week to celebrate the arrival of Jouer Cosmetics in the Houston Galleria's Nordstrom store on August 1 and to preview its summer, fall and holiday collections.

Zilber launched Jouer Cosmetics in 2008 in Henri Bendel stores. The makeup line has since become an award-winning brand, being featured in Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Allure, Real Simple, People and more. Jouer is your favorite makeup brand's favorite makeup brand, beautifying the runways of fashion shows, like Kate Spade and the faces of stars, like Sex and the City's Kim Cattrall. But even with its success, the former model continues to model her line of foundations, tinted moisturizers, highlighters, neutral-shaded eyeshadows, lipsticks and glosses on a simple, three-point philosophy:

First, says Zilber, Jouer is all about "effortless beauty."

"Our makeup is easy, approachable and fun," she said.

Makeup counters can be intimidating, with overly caked "makeup gurus" spouting imprecise tips and spreading unflattering shades onto hapless beauty newbies. Instead, the self-proclaimed "beauty junkie" and "makeup stylist" tailors each piece in her line to fit the customer's skin tone, lifestyle -- even their personality. The name Jouer, in fact, means "to play" in French, and Zilber mentioned that fact many times throughout breakfast.

"That's what my line is about," Zilber said. "It's really about playing."

Next: "Everything in the line has skincare benefits." Her products are hypoallergenic and include ingredients such as shea butter and jojoba oil to both enhance and condition skin. "We use a soft, creamy formula," said Scibelli of the makeup's makeup.

"It's not sticky, no bubblegum, no mint," Zilber emphasized. "I'm grown up, and I don't want bubblegum-flavored lip gloss."

Finally, the buildable palate packaging beats playing Russian roulette with prepackaged palates that only have a few usable and/or desirable colors. Each piece in the Jouer line comes equipped with snap-on, snap-off grooves that allow you to customize your own dream palate with all your favorite colors. Fancy Jouer's Luminizing Moisture Tint? Snap it on. Need a highlighter? Snap it on. Lips hungry for Jouer's new "Hamptons" and "Malibu" glosses? Snap them on. You can literally build your very own makeup kit from Jouer's 133-piece collection. "It's like Legos," said Zilber, snapping various pieces together over her French toast.

Jouer's kid-at-heart approach to makeup and devotion to high-quality customer service is the reason why partnering with Nordstrom was such an easy choice.

"They have such a warm, inviting atmosphere," said Zilber, mentioning the store's book, The Nordstrom Way: The Inside Story of America's #1 Customer Service Company. "I love their philosophy."

Everything's not all posh gloss, either; Jouer is the line that gives back. Every quarter, Jouer's Global Giving gives away 100 percent of the proceeds from its Lip Enhancer -- a smoothing lip conditioner -- to a different charity.

"I'm so thrilled," she said. "You have to tell all your friends."

Visit jouercosmetics.com to get your beauty on.

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