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skyn ICELAND President and Founder Sarah Kugelman

Behind the Bottle

A Q&A with the insiders behind your favorite brands.

Sarah Kugelman
President and Founder


skyn ICELAND is the only skin care line specifically formulated to counteract the detrimental effects of chronic stress on skin. Since stressed skin is damaged skin, what it needs most is to be soothed, healed and replenished to regain its natural health and radiance. Inspired by Iceland's abundant and unspoiled resources, skyn ICELAND seeks out natural ingredients to help create the perfect stress antidote for skin.

1). How did you get started in this industry?

When I got out of business school, I really wanted to work in the beauty industry but no one would give me a break (several companies said I could intern for free but I had school loans to pay-off so that was out!). About 6 months after graduating, I ended up at a dinner party with a lawyer who was representing the buyer for Caswell-Massey. I asked him to give me the buyers contact information and I wrote him a letter telling him why he should hire me and what I thought I could do to grow his company. He called me in for an interview and then hired me as Director of Retail Marketing. That was my foot in the door!

2). What is your star product or biggest breakthrough?

Our star product is our Icelandic Relief Eye Cream. When I was developing skyn ICELAND, I really wanted to create a great eye cream because I've always been obsessed with eye creams (your eyes show stress and aging first!) and have tried EVERYTHING without satisfaction. During the development process, I was presented with two options for our eye cream. Everyone recommended I go with the more 'accepted' traditional option. It was creamy and rich and felt like what you would expect from an eye cream. However, the other option had this cool aerated technology, it was bouncy to the touch and felt really light on my eyes even though it had incredible, powerful technology in it. I thought it was different and unique so I took a chance, went out on a limb and said "I'm going with this one." It has been our most successful product to date and people LOVE it. We have become known as the eye cream brand! Who would have thought? We have a tremendous celebrity and makeup artist following for this product and recently shot before and after pictures of women's eyes after 30 days of use, and the results were PHENOMENAL. This product does it all: Helps decrease/smooth lines and wrinkles, diminishes dark circles and reduces puffiness. It has a cooling sensation and a wonderful, light texture so you can use it on your eye lids. It's amazing with a concealer too!

3). Who/What inspires you?

Children, great teachers, selflessness, empathy, passion, beauty (art, nature, music, architecture, design, scent, fabric), Iceland, Paris….so many things! As for people, my mother (who's in school and launching her second career), my sister (teaches 4th grade), my stepmother (former CEO and Vice Chairwoman of a top global advertising agency and now board member of several global, high profile companies), my 104 year old grandmother (who loves me like no one else) and my 3 yr old daughter!

4). Be honest, what beauty products do you use regularly other than your own?

I'm obsessed with lip gloss, my favorite is Smashbox, YSL mascara, Lancome waterproof eye makeup remover, John Masters shampoo and conditioner. I am always on the hunt for great natural products but there are so few good ones!

5). Imagine the future of the beauty industry and give us your prediction of what's to come.

Surgical results that can happen without a knife or anesthesia, stem cell technology in skincare to reverse aging, hair growth solutions for women losing their hair or dealing with cancer, ways to change eye color (better than fake looking contact lenses), makeup that makes skin look poreless and like a retouched photo, a way to get rid of stretch marks and cellulite!

6). Give our customers a beauty insider tip:

To alleviate stress and its signs of aging in the eye area, put our Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels in the refrigerator! Place them under eyes for a 10 minute, cooling firm-up and de-puff. You will be amazed at the results and how relaxed you feel! For an extra boost, apply the Icelandic Relief Eye Cream after using the eye gels and spritz with Arctic Face Mist (both can go in the fridge too). You will feel like a new person and ready to take on the world!

6.5). In 140 characters or less, give us a beauty tip to Tweet and tell us where to follow you.

If you want to get rid of lines and wrinkles, try skyn ICELAND's botanical botox-like Stress Defense Cream. Smooth on trouble spots and within ten minutes see the signs of aging melt away!! @skynICELAND on twitter.

7). Extra Credit: Write personal reviews for some of the individual products in your line.

Oxygen Infusion Night Cream is my favorite product in the line. It is like a face lift in a jar. After only ONE night's use, you will see a noticeable difference in your skin. This oxygen infused cream, literally boosts skin's own renewal process at night - helping heal, rejuvenate, restore - in the morning skin is glowing, translucent, even toned and younger looking.

Iceland Relief Eye Cream is the one weapon you MUST have in your skincare arsenal. It does it all: reduces lines/wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles. The light, cooling sensation relieves stress around the eye area and when combined with a concealer keeps both under-eye and lids smooth, hydrated and crease-proof all day. This is our #1 seller nationwide and is a cult item among celebrities and makeup artists.

Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels are the perfect partner product to the Icelandic Relief Eye Cream. Use them first…place under eyes for 10 minutes and you will instantly see eyes de-puff, de-line and brighten-up! These are miracle workers that deliver immediate gratification. They are used by makeup artists all over Hollywood on TV and movie sets to get actors prepped and ready for their close-ups!! (They are a favorite of Jessalyn Gilsig from Glee and Hollywood stylist Rachel Zoe).

Pure Cloud Cream is the BEST moisturizer for dry, depleted, sensitive skin. It is never heavy or greasy and has cutting edge technology to hydrate (5% Sodium Hyaluronate), soothe (Peptide technology which releases Endorphins on skin to relieve stress and irritation) and fortify (Hydrolyzed Rice Protein to preserve skin's healthy collagen). This product is arctic tested and approved (Gaby Finn from the UK used it on her 340 mile trek to the Arctic!! And it saved her skin!! Read her blog posts on the skyn ICELAND site).

Glacial Face Wash is like no other cleanser. It's both creamy and nurturing while foaming and deeply cleansing. This product is for all skin types and never leaves skin tight, filmy or tacky. This will hold up to any white towel test…removing dirt and face makeup so there is not a trace on your towel. Oxygen brightens, willow bark naturally detoxifies and Cylindrica Seed Oil helps repair skin's lipid barrier. Plus it has a natural oat and amino acid based surfactant system (no SLS!!). Tori Spelling is a fan! And, use Glacial Cleansing Cloths when you're on the run, at the gym or too tired to wash your face! These foaming cloths DO NOT NEED WATER…and don't need to be rinsed off. They remove makeup and dirt while caring for tired, stressed skin! (Christine Hendricks from Madman uses them when she's busy on the set!).

The Antidote Quenching Daily Lotion is the perfect daily moisturizer for normal, combination or oily skin. It goes on with a cooling burst of moisture which quickly absorbs into skin without a trace. It makes an amazing primer and contains willow bark, a natural anti-bacterial to decongest skin and keep pores clear. Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, along with arctic cloudberries and cranberries, create a light lotion that delivers intense hydration without being greasy or heavy. (We've been told that Johnny Depp stole it from his makeup artist and wouldn't give it back!)

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skyn ICELAND President and Founder Sarah Kugelman Products

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Diminishes the symptoms of chronic stress around the eyes.
0.49 oz | SI003
A feather-light, fast-absorbing brightening serum formulated to recharge and rejuvenate stressed skin.
0.5 oz | SI050
The best-selling Icelandic Relief Eye Cream formula is available in a convenient, travel-friendly pen.
0.14 oz | SI031
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