Y et Beauté was conceived with a simple principle in mind: lipstick is powerful. Because it is transformative; able, with a single swipe, of sparking a total visual metamorphosis. Because it is emboldening; a confidence boost in bullet form. And because it is, most importantly, democratic; both accessible and inclusive.

For founder Esther Sutjiawan lipstick also marks the culmination of a distinctly personal journey. After resigning from her corporate beauty job some years ago, she set off to Mysore, India to spend months practicing ashtanga yoga. “I needed a time-out and a chance to gain some perspective,” she says. “Devoting myself to a strict daily yoga practice gave my life clarity and direction.” It also granted her peace and, by virtue of that, strengthened her bond with nature. “In a beautiful sunset or an ocean wave I saw something greater than myself,” she adds.

Through yoga you create and radiate beauty and when Sutjiawan returned to New York after her mind and body reset she was determined to find a way to give that sensibility a glamorous spin. The result is Y et Beauté, the Y a subtle nod to the practice that spurred on her own personal transformation. “I wanted to bridge the gap between the luxury department store beauty lines and the organic beauty brands you might find in mass markets,” she says. And her premiere collection of ten lipsticks (all of them non-nano and paraben-, cruelty-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free) has a best-of-both-worlds appeal: meticulously sourced organic ingredients, a tightly curated array of stylish shades with significant color pay-off, and posh packaging, all of it made in Italy. “I wanted each lipstick to feel like a little jewel,” she says.