Speaker Series

The Speaker Series events address the topics that are shaping the future of our industry and provide unparalleled access to industry influencers and thought leaders. Each event is made up of one hour of informal networking and a second hour of top leaders sharing their insights on career and business.

Thursday, April 18, 2013
Speaker Series
The Estée Lauder Companies’ Dream Team: Beauty Product Innovators
Jennifer Balbier Jennifer Balbier
SVP, Global Product Development, Artistry Brands,
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
Read Bio
“I had my own little makeup kit,” says M•A•C Cosmetics’ Senior Vice President/Global Product Development, Jennifer Balbier, recalling her teenage years in the small coal-mining town of Bentleyville, Pennsylvania. “And I did hair, too,” she adds. “I had teasing combs, a can of Aqua Net and lots of lipstick. Everyone was always telling my mom I should go to beauty school.”

Since joining the company in 1998, Ms. Balbier has used her intuition, artistry and flair for the dramatic to help grow M•A•C from a company with annual sales in the tens of millions to a multi-billion dollar creative colossus copied the world over. "I planned to go to Carnegie Mellon for drama because I was in all the school plays. My mother worried because we didn’t have any money, so she said, 'Don’t you want to be a teacher?'" Ms. Balbier's uncle, the high school guidance counselor, suggested a fashion school. “I was always a little fashion queen…wearing lashes before anyone. Major hair, the bigger the better. I would have been in Pink Nouveau forever.”

Ms. Balbier attended Drexel University, majoring in fashion merchandising with a minor in textile chemistry. “You know, between the gossip with the boys in the costume department, the art history and the textile chemistry, college was so fun.” A mischievous smile curls Ms. Balbier’s lips. “To tell the truth, Drexel was an engineering school –there were hardly any girls. I really went for the boys!” Now, perhaps fatefully, she creates products that attract All Ages, All Races & All Sexes to men and women around the world.

After graduating, Ms. Balbier moved to New York City and went to work in the fashion departments of two major retailers. “One of the buyers noticed I was always playing with makeup and suggested I look for a job in cosmetics. Coincidently, I had an opportunity with Coty at the time. So, it worked out.”

Before long, she was learning to mix pigments and develop fragrances at Coty, and then at Helena Rubinstein, where she worked in marketing and product development. She honed her skills by moving to Max Factor in Hollywood. After returning to New York City from the West Coast, Ms. Balbier opened a consulting firm, The Pink Jungle, specializing in conceptual marketing and product development. Ms. Balbier was responsible for all original products for Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret for almost 10 years. Other clients included Frederic Fekkai, Ralph Lauren, Jane, La Prairie, Calvin Klein, Tova, and one of her personal favourites, the legendary Omar Sharif. “I always had an entrepreneurial spirit; I had no intention of coming back to the corporate world, but then Leonard Lauder called me at home,” Ms. Balbier pauses, “while I was watching Boogie Nights and I’ll never forget what he said: ‘I’ve heard from people that you like M•A•C…why don’t you come have breakfast with me?’”

After that particular breakfast, Mr. Lauder invited Ms. Balbier to join The Estée Lauder Companies specializing in M•A•C as its product development guru. “The best thing Leonard said was, ‘I want you to be a rule breaker’. That’s what I love about this company,” she says. “The Lauders are total rule breakers.”

Regarding her collaborator, James Gager, Senior Vice President/Creative Director for M•A•C Worldwide, Ms. Balbier says, “The two of us together have this chemistry. He’s very austere and modern, and I’m like super girly, and the combination of the two with the customer ended up working.”

Says John Demsey, Chairman of the M•A•C AIDS Fund as well as Group President of The Estée Lauder Companies: “Jennifer’s communicative, she’s persuasive, a bundle of fire and joy – she’s part Goldie Hawn, part Madame Curie. She’s mentored most of the great product development teams for the past 25 years. She’s brought me the wackiest of ideas and I always know that if she feels strongly about it, it’s going to be important and successful. She’s in tune, she’s forever 18.”

To reflect on her proudest achievements at M•A•C, Ms. Balbier pauses for a moment. “Being a member of the M•A•C AIDS Fund Board and serving on the CEW for six years,” she responds proudly. “Product-wise, it would be our Mineralize category, which has grown from a collection of nine Eye Shadows to a business that includes products from all categories with global retail sales in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Also, I’m very proud of Lipglass. When I started, we had the 7 Deadly Sins and one clear gloss, but we had over 100 Lipsticks. I said to John, ‘We’re sitting here with so many lipsticks; why don’t you just let me take a shot at glosses?’ And he said, ‘Okay.’ John gives us the freedom. He always says, ‘Break any rule you want here; don’t listen to anybody. Try anything.’”
Anne Carullo Anne Carullo
Senior Vice President, Global Product Development,
Estée Lauder & Tom Ford Beauty
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Anne Carullo is Senior Vice President of Global Product Development for Estée Lauder and Tom Ford Beauty. Anne’s industry-wide reputation as knowledgeable, articulate and highly creative is matched by her passion, energy and love for the beauty industry and developing great products. For the past twenty years, Anne has focused her creative energy into the Estée Lauder Companies, where she currently leads the innovation initiatives to develop prestige skincare and beauty products for the flagship brand, Estée Lauder, as well as Tom Ford Beauty.

Since 2002, Anne has been a driving force behind the development of cosmetic and skincare products globally for Estée Lauder, such as the new Pure Color franchise, where she worked closely alongside Estée Lauder Creative Makeup Director Tom Pecheux, and the highly successful Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator and Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator. Her latest product for the Estée Lauder brand includes Invisible Fluid Makeup, a technologically advanced intuitive liquid makeup that perfects skin without leaving a trace.

Anne has also been instrumental in creating the Tom Ford Beauty brand, and her unwavering commitment to its growth over the last few years has contributed to the brand’s enormous success. Working closely with Tom Ford, Anne has spearheaded the development of the brand’s highly successful skincare and makeup collections, which have recently been unveiled at Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Anne joined The Estée Lauder Companies in 1992 as Vice President of Corporate Creative Product Planning, where she was part of a team to drive innovation by looking outside the beauty industry for inspiration and technology. Moving to Prescriptives in 1994, she not only developed product, but was also responsible for global marketing efforts. Anne began her career in 1979 at Revlon, and has also held positions at L’Oreal and Max Factor.
Karyn Khoury Karyn Khoury
Senior Vice President, Corporate Fragrance Development Worldwide,
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
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Karyn Khoury, Senior Vice President, Corporate Fragrance Development Worldwide for The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., has been with the company for 31 years and began her career in the fragrance industry more than 35 years ago. Karyn currently oversees fragrance development for seven brands of The Estée Lauder Companies. Most recently Karyn was honored as one of the most influential and indelible fragrance developers of our time at the 2012 Visionaries! Gala and Awards Ceremony by the Museum of Modern Arts and Design in New York.

Karyn began her fragrance career at Norda, an essential oil house in East Hanover, NJ which subsequently became part of Quest and then Givaudan. She was fortunate to be trained by a seasoned evaluation team who gave Karyn her first opportunity in fragrance development. The perfumery team at Norda was integral in both her acceptance of the career opportunity and in the development of her olfactive skills.

After five years with Norda, Karyn joined The Estée Lauder Companies as Assistant Product Manager for men’s and women’s fragrances. A series of promotions followed over the years, during which Karyn became Product Manager for Aramis men’s brands, Director of Fragrance Product Development for the Estée Lauder and Aramis brands, Executive Director and then Vice President of Corporate Fragrance Development Worldwide. She was appointed to her current position as Senior Vice President of Corporate Fragrance Development Worldwide in 1998.

Karyn’s tenure at The Estée Lauder Companies has been one of incredible experiences and opportunities, working first with Mrs. Estée Lauder and then with Evelyn Lauder and Leonard Lauder on new fragrance creations and products. Her key accomplishments include: Beautiful, Knowing, pleasures, the Private Collection fragrances developed in collaboration with Aerin Lauder, Sensuous, Sensuous Nude, Wood Mystique and Amber Mystique for Estée Lauder; Unforgivable Men and Unforgivable Women for Sean John; Calyx for Prescriptives; DKNY Be Delicious for Donna Karan Cosmetics; Coach Signature and Coach Poppy for Coach; Tom Ford Black Orchid, Grey Vetiver and the Private Blend Collection for Tom Ford.
Location Harmonie Club
4 East 60th Street
New York NY, 10022
Registration will open soon.

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Sponsoring CEW events is an effective way to show your support of current and future women leaders of the cosmetics industry. As a sponsor, you’ll benefit from the multi-channel marketing power of the CEW brand. To participate, contact us at sponsorship@cew.org.

Onsite event photography by Juergen Frank

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