WHO IS MIX COSMETIQUES
Hello, I am Lanae Rhoads owner of Mix Cosmetiques, your makeup custom made in Duluth, and maker of all things. Anything that contains the word handmade shouts to me, “Can you do this, try me, make me, figure this recipe out!” And of course I have to see if I can do it better. There are a lot of things that I don’t make well and I will leave those to my friends. But, soap, skincare, lotions, makeup, or anything to do with caring for your skin naturally is my passion. I started making skincare (soaps and lotions) in 2005 after I had been fighting with my skin for years. A friend gave me some handmade, goat’s milk soap from a farmer’s market and it changed my life. Within a week my skin was cleared up and within a couple months I thought, “If they can make it so can I”. I was off and running and haven’t slowed down since. If you can imagine a cosmetic or body care product I probably make it or am in the process of trying to make it.
In 2012 I began the journey into natural, mineral makeup. I know that most people have one story of how they got started or how they were inspired, but I have two. Let me tell you about them… The first part starts with frustration. Perhaps the same frustration you feel. I couldn’t find the right eyeshadow color. Ten thousand shades and none were right for me. How is that possible? I tend to be that person who thinks if I can’t find the right thing I will just make it myself. This isn’t as far fetched as it seems. I had been making my own bodycare products for years. When I looked at the ingredients in eyeshadow I realized they were the same pigments I used to color my soap. Well, if I already had the ingredients nothing is stopping me from trying it for myself. So I did! And I made the right color! The formula was terrible. It was sticky and didn’t blend, then it crept into my crease halfway through the day, but I had begun. And from there it was simply a question of playing with the formulas and bringing my friends into the process. There is nothing more fun than playing makeup with your friends. I don’t care if you are 8 or 80 playing with makeup and having your friends around is fun! That is what led me to the party and kit idea. A group can get together to play with makeup, explore colors and give opinions (cause who doesn’t want to do that) all in a fun and relaxed setting.
More Than a Business
What keeps me going in this endeavor is a different story altogether. In January of 2015 I was at a conference in Florida. There I met a woman who owns a cosmetics store….In Uganda. As we were talking she found out that I make cosmetics. This was a match made in heaven. We talked for hours and came up with a plan. I would come over to Uganda to teach her and a group of women she gathered how to make soap. That they could then begin to sell and start their own micro businesses. After that I would teach them to make more complicated products, and their businesses would be able to expand. This was such an exciting opportunity with so much potential I couldn’t believe it had fallen straight into my lap. What’s even more exciting is that Prossy (that’s her name) runs an orphanage as well as the cosmetics shop. The cosmetics shop is in fact how she supports the orphanage, so everything she sells goes to support 20-40 orphans at a time. The more she can cut the overhead at her cosmetics shop the more she can make to support the orphanage. This is something I want to be a part of!
Since that day 10% of everything Mix Cosmetiques sells goes to teaching women in Uganda how to make cosmetics and start their own businesses. That 10% pays for startup supplies, research into where we can source materials and for my teaching trips to Uganda. As much as we can we try to source the materials and supplies in Uganda so they can support their own economy while they build their businesses.
The BIG, HAIRY, AUDACIOUS goal at some point in the future. Is that they will start their own plantations to source their own ingredients in the future and they will possibly even become a sustainable source of palm oil for the USA because palm is such an important product in the cosmetics industry and is really hard to source sustainably right now.
What Do We Value?
Cosmetics should be fun and great for your skin. What is more fun than getting to choose your own colors and mixing them yourself? Is there any better way of knowing what is in your cosmetics than making it yourself or watching it be made? And if you want to add extra beneficial ingredients in each of your products that is your choice, too.
Other people matter! That is why 10% of all sales from Mix Cosmetiques go to help women in Uganda learn to make cosmetics and start their own businesses.
Just because Mix Cosmetiques is fun doesn’t mean it can’t be great for your skin too. We have chosen the best ingredients to use in your products. They are pure minerals, free from harmful chemicals, and full of age-fighting compounds.