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Bella Interview: Cristina Samuels, Co-Founder of Mode Cosmetics

When you're raised around the family business, it only makes sense that you'd follow suit. And for Cristina Samuels and Jennifer Isaac, doing so has been a beautiful endeavor. From the time they were girls, they learned by watching their father, a cosmetic-industry veteran. Now, they're the co-founders and co-owners of Mode Cosmetics, a line of cruelty-free (and reasonably priced!) makeup made in New York.

Just a few minutes with the sisters is inspiring — they're incredibly passionate about their work, and they know their business. If you're interested in a cosmetics-biz career, get some advice from Cristina when you read more.

Your father tried to dissuade you from entering the beauty industry. Why did you decide to go into it anyway?
I was raised in a family which encouraged the entrepreneurial business mindset from a very young age. My parents always encouraged us to pursue and explore any avenue in which we had interest, and I know that the exposure to business and creative arts simultaneously truly had a great influence on me. Ultimately, when I told my father that I decided to enter the industry he wasn’t surprised in the least. He explained very bluntly the realities of the business. I didn’t have a naive attitude going in and my father knew that, I was already well aware of how cutthroat the business is. He told me that he recognized and respected my drive and passion for the business very early on. What can I say? I am my father's daughter.

What kinds of classes should someone take if she wants a career like yours?
Every individual is different and you have to know who you are and recognize your strengths and weaknesses. The cosmetics industry is a science, and beneath the glamour this is a business. First of all, you need the chemical background and business savvy to begin, and I would advise anyone interested to study chemistry and business. You have to have a great deal of knowledge in both of these areas.

What’s the best part of your job? What’s the most challenging?
I absolutely love what I do and the challenges are the best part of my job. Overcoming them is very rewarding and gratifying. With all great challenges lie great rewards!

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