Oprah’s Giveaway Financed Beauty Dream

Shannon Farrell
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Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Cinderella may have had a fairy godmother, but Kiley Russell has Oprah. The Chicago-based makeup artist created a makeup line that is now sold at Macy’s, and she couldn’t have done it without the media mogul.

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Remember when Oprah gave away a car to every member of her audience almost eight years ago? Well that was Russell’s saving grace? She worked for years to create her own makeup line, but was always held back because of finances. But her luck turned around when she won one of those coveted cars. The makeup artist sold the car and used the proceeds to start her line, Big Girl Cosmetics. She made a smart move because the taxes on the car were $7,000 alone and many audience members couldn’t keep them anyway.

“I was nervous that Oprah would be upset that I sold the car,” Russell told Allure magazine. “But she knows about the line and is thrilled.”

What would you have spent with proceeds from Oprah’s biggest giveaway?

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