The Rule Breakers: Camille Katona and Stephanie Spence

For the founders of 19/99, beauty is ageless.
By: Amber Kallor

The Rule Breakers: Camille Katona and Stephanie Spence
We dream of a generation of grandmas in blue eyeliner and we really feel like that this is where things are headed
says Stephanie Spence, co-founder of 19/99 Beauty, a Toronto-based company that designs cosmetics for people ages 19 to 99 and beyond. The brand was initially born as co-founder Camille Katona’s post-graduate thesis project and has since evolved into a tightly edited range of multipurpose makeup products.

19/99 Precision Colour Pencil

19/99 Sustainable Packaging

In this dynamic duo’s beauty utopia, “you don’t need to change who you are or how you present yourself as you age,” says Spence. A traffic cone-orange lip at 40? Sure. Emerald eyeliner at 80? Hell yes. “We were working with many women older than us that we did not see represented by brands anywhere,” adds Spence, who met Katona at the now-defunct Bite Beauty. With the number of people ages 60 and over expected to reach 2.1 billion by 2060 according to the World Health Organization, it just makes good business sense to appeal to a broader audience—and provide all the tools necessary for coloring outside the lines.
The brand is also looking to the future by developing fewer products that go further. Everything from their cult-favorite Precision Colour Pencils to a universally flattering plum balm is designed to be used on lids, lips, and cheeks. “Instead of a less-is-more approach, we encourage doing more with less,” says Spence. This philosophy extends to 19/99’s ingredients, packaging, and shipping materials, which are sustainably sourced, recyclable, and plastic-free where possible.

19/99 Beauty

19/99 High-Shine Gloss

Age does not dictate who you are, your tastes, or your preferences—and it definitely does not [define] how you feel about beauty
Whether you’re doing the most or simply adding a subtle kiss of bold color, the brand’s only rule is to do it with confidence. “Age does not dictate who you are, your tastes, or your preferences—and it definitely does not [define] how you feel about beauty,” adds Spence. In other words: Life is short, wear the blue eyeliner.
Here, the pair discuss their favorite beauty rebels and the drugstore skincare products they swear by.

19/99 Ageless beauty

19/99 Contour Sticks

Their best business advice: Spence sums it up in one word: “Patience!”

Their proudest product moment: “We are both proud of the Precision Colour Pencils,” says Spence. “They are truly universal and versatile, allowing users to pare down their makeup collection without limiting creativity and expression.”

Their favorite way to break the beauty rules: “Acknowledging they don’t exist,” says Katona.

Their top tips for easing into color: “Try a bright shade you like on your lips first. Dab on a bit of color and blend it out for a sheer application,” says Katona. “If you like it, try a more opaque application or add a line of color across your eyelids.”

Their biggest beauty indulgences: “I almost always have my nails done,” says Katona. “I rarely have beauty treatments or splurge on products, but I do have a monthly manicure.” For Spence, a monthly facial and a good foot massage are musts.

Their best drugstore discoveries:Nivea Creme. My grandmother has been using it since she was 13 years old back in Hungary,” says Katona. “She’s 95 now and still has beautiful skin.” Spence swears by Embryolisse’s Lait-Crème Concentré, a French pharmacy staple.

Their beauty mantras: “Be interesting and engaged in whatever you are doing,” says Spence. “Personality and attitude are everything when it comes to beauty,” adds Katona.

Their go-to beauty pros: “My facialist Asia deFouw is a wealth of knowledge and [her approach] is entirely based on science and results,” says Spence. Katona, on the other hand, looks to Paris-based makeup artist Cécile Paravina for inspiration. “Her makeup is beautiful and unexpected,” she says.

Their beauty icon: Vivienne Westwood. “We love her because she was unapologetically herself and definitely played with makeup,” says Katona.

Their favorite escape: Both brand founders agreed that “anywhere in Europe” will do! “I always travel with a set of 19/99 pencils because they are so compact and can do so much, as well as a good moisturizer,” says Katona.

Their dream vanity raids: “The Olsen twins—but this [raid] would need to extend to their closets, too!” says Spence. “I’d be curious to raid Michèle Lamy’s bathroom because she has such a unique approach to beauty that is about individuality and living life versus suppressing signs of aging,” says Katona.

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