When Carisa Janes was creating Hourglass Cosmetics, the big players took little notice of her ambition to build a modern luxury beauty brand. Carisa, a former member of Urban Decay’s original creative team, was working as a consultant at the time. She waved off the naysayers and in 2004 introduced the Hourglass collection, including Veil Fluid Makeup, a foundation that merged cosmetics with antiaging makeup, at Barneys New York.

“No one thought I could do it. I couldn’t raise any money,” said Carisa, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hourglass. “I was knocking on people’s doors.”

Yet, she was determined to bring a fresh dose of creativity and excitement to beauty and own the luxury performance moniker in the process.

“The products speak for themselves. Our goal is to bring the next generation of products and quality. If it works, the consumer gets it.” Her vision is to fuse cosmetics and skin care, while leaving out old-fashioned extras, such as fragranced formulas.

Now the brand, estimated to reap more than $50 million in wholesale revenue, has a formidable retail presence, which includes Sephora, Nordstrom, a namesake flagship in Venice, Calif. and a growing distribution internationally. Carisa owns 100 percent of the company, and Hourglass is being watched closely by financial investors, one of whom said she seems to be holding onto her brand for now.

Indeed, she’s still in building mode, with an aim to continue to grow the business “as a healthy brand that can stand the test of time.”

“When you are young and you have an idea you’re idealistic. You think it will happen quickly,” said Carisa. “It takes longer.”

This year Hourglass aims to morph into a bigger brand with a bigger purpose via a campaign designed to empower women through lipstick.

In January, Hourglass launched Girl, a 20-shade Lip Stylo collection designed to tout one’s positive virtues. Each shade has a bold, action-charged name, including Activist, Icon, Warrior and Achiever.

Carisa recruited Jenny Shimizu, who rose to fame in the Nineties modeling for Calvin Klein CK1, for the effort. Jenny, who turns 50 this year, is training to be an L.A. police officer.

“She’s such a humble person. She wasn’t considering returning to modeling,” said Carisa.

But Jenny loved the message of the campaign and a week later Carisa was on a plane to get started on the #GIRLFORGOOD social media campaign.

“We’re a small company so if we have an idea we can execute it quickly,” she said — although she acknowledges the pace of GIRL was unusually fast. As part of the effort, Carisa aims to “bring depth and dimension to the selfie” through the use of a social image generator at www.girlforgood.com. There, users can upload a photo of themselves or friends and assign one of the shade names to it. Carisa said users across the globe — from London to Hong Kong — have created roughly 3,000 images since the start of the campaign.

Hourglass has plans to evolve the campaign, but is mum on details at present.

“Digital is a huge and important part of beauty today,” said Carisa. “It is an incredible vehicle to tell stories, and an amazing platform to communicate.”

On the product front, Carisa enjoys developing complexion products, but is eyeing the fragrance category, too, given its reliance on storytelling, design and marketing.

Carisa has little downtime, but that suits her just fine. “I really like what I do so I don’t feel the need to unwind. It is nice to be home and spent time with my three dogs.”