Best Nose (2012)

Christina Carlino, founder of Philosophy

In 1996, Phoenix-based entrepreneur Christina Carlino decided to put her beauty school knowledge and life philosophy to work. The then-34-year-old had had plenty of experience in the beauty industry (she worked for plastic surgeons in Hollywood and developed the BioMedic line that's now sold in plastic surgery offices around the country). As the story goes, the idea for Philosphy skin care came to Carlino while she was hiking Squaw Peak. She was going through a hard time and looked up to see a rainbow. From that rainbow came a book of poems, and from that book came a internationally successful skincare company. Carlino started small, but the business grew quickly. She not only developed the original fragrances, but she wrote the poems on the backs of all her products — a moisturizer called "hope in a jar," a scrub called "deeply superficial," and a perfume called "pure grace," to name a few. And she chose the imagery for each label that you can now pick up at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, and QVC (though in Phoenix, we still have our own standalone stores). Carlino sold the company to the Carlyle Group in 2007, and the brand was acquired by perfume maker Coty Inc. in 2010, though Carlino still vouches for the brand. Her Phoenix-based life now is a little more low-key, with a focus on family and smaller singing and songwriting ventures, which you can hear all about on her website.


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