LAMIK Founder Redefines Natural Beauty With Black-Owned, Eco-Chic Cosmetics Line
A woman’s beauty shouldn’t have to sacrifice her health. For Kim Roxie, she knows first-hand just how much weight this statement carries after witnessing a close friend develop lung deficiency due to the poly(iso)butene found in lip gloss. As a result of her friend’s diagnosis, Roxie knew she had to create a line that was healthy for the skin and body.
While mineral makeup is popular because it does not block the pores nor cause the face to feel as if there is a heavy ‘mask’ on the skin, it is generally not made with organic materials. With the current movement to be ‘green’ and environmentally conscious in all aspects of life, Roxie took it upon herself to create what is known as the first eco-chic cosmetics brand. In 2004 at the age of 21, Roxie launched LAMIK Beauty, a line that features products with all natural ingredients packaged in recyclable containers.
“Eco-chic make-up means ecofriendly, glamorous and natural,” explains Roxie, who opened the first LAMIK store in Houston, TX. Because of LAMIK, it is now easier for people to make a healthier choice when it comes to their make-up options because the line’s ingredients consist of water, vitamins E and C, minerals derived from the earth, Aloe Vera and green tea, not harsh and harmful ingredients like talc, lead, fragrance and poly(iso)butene.
Roxie is also a licensed aesthetician, so she is familiar with which ingredients are best for the face. Along with her chemist, a former 25-year Estee Lauder employee whom Roxie met during a chance meeting in New York in 2003, Roxie “experimented with different abstracts to create a footprint [for the make-up]. We ultimately decided to use antioxidants that would stop cancer causing free radicals,” she says. The cosmetics line features an assortment of foundations, eye shadows, lip gloss, facial care and beauty enhancement products, such as custom eyelashes and an eyebrow sculpting bar.
“We do everything in house with labs in two states,” she explains. “We purchase all ingredients for our formulas to make the product. I can press and seal powder into the tubing…knowing and understanding this process was important to me.”
Launching a niche cosmetics line required strict discipline on Roxie’s part. “I could only spend $4 per day on food,” she says, so in order to stay within the boundaries of this budget, Wendy’s was her go-to menu. Within seven months, she was able to invest $10,000 (part of it was a $500 contribution from her mother) to manufacture products and open her store.