Because you’re never too young to start your own makeup empire.

Behind the Scenes With…
Stefanie Moran
by kelly lee

The Vitals

Occupation: Creator/owner of Crucial Cosmetics

Age/Sign: 19/Gemini

Detroit, Michigan

Current Digs:
Detroit, Michigan

The 411:
Stefanie Moran is running her own business at a time when most people her age are adjusting to dorm life and perfecting the fine art of balancing partying with attending classes. At 19, she and her boyfriend/business partner, Jeremiah Di Perna (21), have launched a fresh line of cosmetics, including super shimmery eye shadows and vibrant yummy glosses. To find out what goes on behind the scenes and inside the head of this beauty junkie, read below.

All Up in Your Business

You’re just 19 years old, yet you’ve already started your own cosmetics company. Can you fill us in on your background and how this came about?

I have been a beauty junkie for as long as I can remember! It started when I was 16. I was freelancing as a makeup artist and needed a pink eye shadow. I wasn’t having any luck finding the shade I was looking for, so I decided to create one myself. Jeremiah and I researched ingredients and purchased the supplies we needed. We created different formulations until we formulated “pinky gleam” eYe luster. After numerous compliments on the shade and many requests we decided we should create more shades and from there Crucial Cosmetics was created. Since then we have created many new products such as lip lustrous and skintillation.

I’ve tested your eYe luster products and they’re fabulous! The colors are so vibrant – what inspires you when you’re creating them?

There isn’t really anything in particular that inspires me, I just create the colors and textures that I love to wear.

You’re developing a line of lip products too. Are those available yet, and if not, when will they be?

Yes, lip lustrous (an ultra-glossy lip gloss infused with shimmer) is available. We have so many new products launching soon, Lip glitz (funky flavored lip balm) and sizzle (a red-hot lip serum enriched with vitamin E and B5). Along with the lip products we are coming out with gel-lo (a bronze sparkling body gel) and eYe~ idescents (cream eYe shadows).

What was your first job?

I worked as a freelance makeup artist at the age of 16.

Many people have grandiose ideas, but never put them into action, but you have. Any advice for people out there who might want to do something similar?

Take a chance if it is something that you are willing to put all your time and effort into. Also make sure you do all the research you can so you are always prepared. It will make things a lot easier!

Please walk us through the process you went through to form Crucial Cosmetics…did you contact a lab to make the makeup for you?

It took us a while to learn about FDA regulations and ingredients found in cosmetics. After gaining extensive knowledge, we created a mini lab and started testing out the different formulations we created until we found the perfect texture and shade of the product.

Have your parents and friends been supportive or skeptical?

Our parents and friends have been very supportive.

How did you come up with the name for your company?

Jeremiah [her business partner and boyfriend] came up with it after he realized how important makeup was to me and we both knew it went perfectly with our products and company.

Biggest challenges you’re facing?

It has been hard to stay in our budget. It is so easy to spend extra money on packaging and we just have to remember we aren’t Estee Lauder!

Most rewarding part of your job?

I love hearing feedback on our products and having girls ask when our new products are launching!

Do you think your age is working for you or against you?

I think so far it has worked for us by allowing us to create products that I love to wear and what other girls in their twenties and thirties look for in cosmetics and enjoy wearing.

Any plans for college? Do you think it’s necessary in your field or a non-factor?

We both are concentrating on our company at the moment and that itself takes up all of our time. It isn’t necessary in our field but college is always a plus in every profession…if never hurts to learn more business skills!

How many people work for your company?

Just me and my boo.

I can hear my Dad’s lecture voice kicking in about being cautious about being in business with your boyfriend. What’s it like working with your significant other? And do you get any negativity from your family or others?

It is great working together and it has never been an issue with our family or others!

If you could have any celebrity wear your products, who would it be and why?

I would love for Katie Holmes to wear our products. I think she is so beautiful and I love her style.

Where can we find your makeup?

You can order our makeup at and you can also check to see when we are added to boutiques near you.

You’ve grown up with the Internet being possibly your main source of information and communication. Was it an easy and natural choice to build a Website for your company and sell online?

Yes, the Internet has been such a big part of our research and information into the cosmetic industry. We knew that starting our Website would be the best way to showcase our products and let our fans purchase them.

What people in the beauty industry do you look up to?

There are so many wonderful makeup artists and cosmetic company creators out there but I would have to say Bobbie Brown. She and her company are very successful! I also think that Shalini Vadhera is a very talented makeup artist and beauty expert.

Where would you like to be in ten years?

For Crucial to be a successfully well-known makeup brand in the industry.

Playing Favorites

Favorite website, other than your own?

Sephora has to be the next best website for anyone that loves beauty products as much as I do!

Favorite way to procrastinate?

That’s hard because I don’t like to procrastinate. I’d rather do what I have to do and get it over with so I don’t have to worry about it. If I really don’t want to do it I will suddenly feel sick!

Favorite designer?

I love Juicy Couture! There are a lot of designers I love but it is so hard to pick considering that I like different items from different designers.

Favorite magazine?

Allure, the best beauty magazine! I read every magazine that is full of fashion and beauty so this is the hardest question.

Favorite city?

I’d have to say Pittsburgh. It’s such a beautiful city, at night from atop Mount Washington is a breathtaking vision. From the shopping, the restaurants and architecture to the hard work ethics, the city is filled with class.
I make sure I save about 3 weekends out of the year to visit.

Favorite food?

I would have to say anything with potatoes! My favorite would have to be cheese potatoes.

Favorite word?

I don’t have a favorite word but I seem to say “what” a lot.

Fave color?

Any shade of pink! As you can tell our logo and website are covered in it.

Fave flick?

Coyote Ugly.

Favorite shop?

I love Anthropologie; the shop is full of funky and unique clothing and accessories.

In the spirit of Inside the Actors Studio, your favorite curse word?

I don’t have a favorite, it just depends on my mood that day!

More importantly, Ben or Jen?

Jen, she is so pretty and her makeup is always glowing.

Because We’re Nosy

What are you craving right now?

My mom’s homemade apple pie!

What’s on your Tivo’s To-Do List?

I don’t have TiVo but if I did it would be anything to do with beauty and fashion. And anything to do with General Hospital.

In your CD player?

Stacy Orrico and the How to Lose a Guy is 10 Days soundtrack!

Current Crush?

That would be Jeremiah.

AM or PM?

I hate the morning…we seem to come up with more ideas for products and for our website in the PM!

Friendster – yay or nay?


If you could be anywhere right now where would it be and what would you be doing?

I would be in the Bahamas, walking around the market buying jewelry and other
great items!

Describe your personal style.

I love jeans! Earl Jeans, Seven …… I would say my style is very simple and classy and I love accessories.

I’ve just moved to the Detroit area, which is where you’re located. Any tips and recommendations of places I should explore?

I would recommend for you check out all the trendy boutiques and cafes in Royal Oak, Ferndale and Birmingham. I love going shopping in those areas because you can always find great items.

Anything else we should know?

I think we pretty much covered everything.

Please turn the tables and ask us a question!

Q. I love your handbags and your art, when did you start making them?

A. As for the bags, it all started back last Christmas, when my sister and I had the bright idea to get each other the “Easy Sew” for Christmas — you know, those $20 sewing machines they were advertising on TV. Well, you truly do get what you pay for. Since they didn’t work, we returned them and much to our surprise, a few months later, for Valentine’s Day, our parents had bought us *real* sewing machines. After a few lessons from my Mom, I was convinced I’d pretty much never use the thing since I had a hard time mastering the basics like…threading a needle. But a few months later, I dug deep down and found the courage to try again. Ever since, I’ve been addicted to designing and sewing all sorts of things. Though I must admit I much, much, much more enjoy the designing side than the actual sewing itself — those machines can be so finicky and patience is something I was sadly born without.

As for the art, that started a few years ago. I’d always enjoyed painting growing up, but was always too timid to take a class or do anything to learn or develop any skills. Sad, I know. But a few years ago, I was living in LA, and Klaus (my fiancé) and I were strolling around the Beverly Hills Art Fair. We came across one artist that we really liked, but didn’t want to pay $2000 for the painting. I basically said, “I can do that” and did. My first “real” painting was a gift to Klaus for Valentine’s Day…hmmm, I’m noticing a theme here. Guess it’s quite fitting that our slogan is, “Spreading the Lurve One Buss at a Time.”

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