Fashion Forward - Kerri Bender and Smashbox Cosmetics

Kerri Bender, B.S.’03

“A New Way to See the World”

By Amy Halloran, B.A.’90

Kerri Bender develops color cosmetics for the Smashbox Cosmetics brand. Some of her favorite projects include the Be Discovered eye shadow palette, which is new for spring.

Kerri Bender, Smashbox Cosmetics

“I started my career in cosmetics as a formulation chemist,” says Bender. “It was my degree in biology that got me in the door to the lab, but it was the variety of arts and humanities courses that I took that really enabled me to transition to the more dynamic role I have now and be part of a global product-development team.”

UAlbany’s diversity, in terms of student population as well as curriculum, has served her well.

Working in a field that requires constant creativity and innovation can be challenging. One course in particular – Professor Helen Ghiradella’s Biological Architecture – was useful in fueling, and refueling, Bender’s inspiration. “It taught me a new way to see the world,” she recalls.