They call themselves the small brand with the big heart. Twice chosen by Oprah for a coveted space on annual Oprah’s Favorite Things list, beauty brand 2.4.1
Cosmetics, founded in 2018 by California-based twins Feven and Helena Yohannes, has a mission. Firm believers that women than inner beauty empowers, the Yohannes twins not only bring consumers a high quality, easy to use, remarkably clean makeup line, but imbue every product—from lipstick to eyeliner—with manifestations, mantras and supportive, empowering thoughts sure to recharge the soul.
HL: Your concept of beauty celebrates the inner spirit. You want to help your customers
be aware of that. Tell us about that.
Helena: We’ve always believed that beauty is soul deep. And one way to re-enforce that was
through words which is why we were very intentional with each product description and the
name of each product. We like to say non-toxic ingredients and non-toxic messaging.
Feven: Our makeup brand’s ethos is not trend-driven. We are focused on enhancing a woman’s beauty and not concealing it. Because we believe that it doesn’t matter how much makeup you apply — if you don’t feel good inside – none of it matters. So in addition to clean ingredients we wanted the messaging to inspire and empower our customer in an authentic and supportive way.
HL: You decided to not just sell lipstick or eyeliner but to put a positive message into each package. Why do you do this and why is it important?
Helena: When we started looking more closely at the beauty industry, we noticed a common
theme: major brands were profiting from manipulating consumers with unrealistic airbrushed
photos and encouraging overdone makeup. The subtext was always, “you need this product”
and never “you deserve this.” We like to think that every product is a reminder of the beauty that currently exists. To us, makeup is a meditative process. The stories we tell ourselves are powerful. The name and descriptions behind each product were intentional because words are magic if we use them in the right way. Names like: “Role Model”, “Honor”, “Class Act” are a practice in daily affirmations. We are not just here to sell to confidence – we want to instill confidence as well.
HL: What are some of the messages you send out with each item–and why did you
Feven: As twins we are constantly compared to each other – but we learned early on the power of unity and sisterhood. So we wanted to create a brand we didn’t see in the world of beauty. A brand that reminds us of our collective power – a brand – that really spoke to us and said the things that we wanted to hear! A company that encourages us to be the best version of ourselves. So when you wear QUEEN velvet lipstick know that: you have the power to crown
yourself. And when you wear DOUBLE TROUBLE mascara remember this: I am brains and I am beauty. I am DOUBLE TROUBLE.
HL: Your products are clean, uncomplicated, glamorous and confidence building. Why did you choose the line up you did? Which product do each of you love most of all?
Feven: Sometimes life can be complicated – but your makeup drawer shouldn’t be! And while
we are huge advocates for self-love we also believe in practical and reliable beauty solutions for everyone. We aren’t big on contour sticks and looking forward to expanding our line-up – but for now we provide customers with the key products that will REALLY enhance their already beautiful features. For example, a nude (pinkish) lipstick like MUSE OR HONOR.
We love all our products but we can’t live without our liquid eyeliner: WING IT. Also an
intentional affirmation to work hard, hope for the best and just WING IT.
Helena: Absolutely. Wing it or Black Caviar eyeliner is our war paint! It prepares us for the
HL:You have spoken of your mother as your muse. What traits does she have that you try
to embrace each day?
Helena: Our mother is the sun, the moon, the stars! Joy emanates from her! She leaves the
best Instagram messages for us and she has practically converted her own Instagram account
to a 2.4.1 fan page. A trait we love about her is her unwavering optimism, something you need
as an entrepreneur. We often say that you may not have control of what happens to you, but you have control on how you respond. Growing up, we would watch our parents navigate a new country, a new language with 4 children with very little, but with a lot of humility and a profound faith. Often we would notice our mother getting ready for her late night nursing shifts, hugging us goodbye with a gentle look on her face. Exhausted, she never left the house without her red lipstick. It was like her armor of courage, and later symbolized a calm knowing that things, no matter how overwhelming, we’re going to be alright.
HL: You both believe that mind, body and spirit come together to enrich our beauty. What
advice do you have for us on how to enhance and build these parts of ourselves?
Feven: There’s so much unlearning we have to do and this idea of perfectionism forced on us
by society is unhealthy. We wrote in our beauty affirmation that for Role Model lipstick: “YOU are the most influential person you will ever meet.” So it’s important you pour that love into yourself. And when we wrote those words – as a reminder to ourselves.
Helena: Something I would recommend is unplugging. Spending time in nature and working out. We love to run in the morning because it helps us work out thoughts and gives us energy.
HL: Some last thoughts?
Helena: We launched our business with our own money. Sometimes you have to block out the
noise and just watch as miracles unfold when you’re aligned!
Feven: When you purchase our products, we hope you feel loved, respected and cared for.
Because if you think we are just selling you beauty…you have missed the mark. Pun intended.
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