Ebony S. Muhammad (EM): I would like to congratulate you on such an amazing line of cosmetics and services. I was already familiar with LAMIK, and I believe I was first introduced to the line at a hair show. You definitely have something that stands aside from a lot of other cosmetic lines that I’m familiar with such as MAC. We’ll get into that a little bit later.
If you could, briefly share with the readers the origins of LAMIK, what is the significance of the name and what particular event and circumstance brought about its inception.
Kim Roxie (KR): The meaning of LAMIK is Love And Makeup In Kindness. All of the products are made with love, we deal with our customers in love and to be loving to someone you definitely have to be kind. It’s a reconstitution of beauty. We’re being kind to the customer with the ingredients and the way we show people how to apply the makeup. The reason why we say “makeup is essential” and all these different dynamics involve us being kind to the customer first, and second being kind to the environment. This includes our packaging. We have recycled paper packaging we have and the reusable rubber bands we use to keep the products together. We use ingredients that are inspired by nature. Hence, the name Love And Makeup In Kindness.
When a lot of people get a hold of LAMIK they’re like, “Oh, finally you can go Green with your makeup”. With us we realize that going Green is not a trend, it’s actually a lifestyle and it’s something that is here to stay. I believe that making a permanent change in your life is important.
EM: What a beautiful meaning (pun intended)!
I know that there was a very unique circumstance that brought the idea to mind to begin an all natural, non-toxic line of cosmetics just from what was shared at the One Woman Conference this year. Could you touch on that as well?
KR: There are a couple of different things that happened. Sometimes you get a few alarming signs before you act which is what happened with LAMIK. One of those alarming signs is regarding someone I know with Left-Lung Deficiency. She would talk about how she was a lip-gloss junkie, which means she used lip-gloss a lot. A contributing factor was the poly-isobutene, and it’s already known that poly-isobutene can negatively affect your lungs. It can cause Left-Lung Deficiency. It can cause upper respiratory problems. Therefore, for me to know someone firsthand that actually had it, yes it’s a very alarming sign.
Also, I had the experience of going into a high-end department store and to be able to find certain colors that matched deeper skin tones was an issue for me. It was alarming how makeup was so segregated and based upon race.
I would hear a lot of people say, “I break out from this or that…”, and really it’s the parabens, which are preservatives in makeup that causes breakouts and those kinds of reactions. That was alarming to me. What do I do about that?
There were several factors when it comes to our services. In regards to some of the services we provide in our boutiques, we did that out of a need for women to stop having the same complaints all of the time. For instance, with our Celebrity Brow Kit, when I was in high school I used to get my eyebrows done by people who were not professionals at these nail shops, and the end of my eyebrows don’t grow anymore. What do I do? I’m a makeup artist, I’m someone who is very in tuned with the look you should have, but I can’t accomplish the look because my brows don’t extend to the end. That’s why I created the Celebrity Brow Kit; by trying to find something that would efficiently fill my brows out without them looking as though they’re fake. Now it’s our number one seller and our hero product.
Therefore, when those things happened to my friend and I, you become an advocate for that and in that aspect you actually create a solution rather than always stating the problem.
EM: Thank you. That definitely sends an alarm for me, because I too am a lip-gloss collector. I have four different glosses in one little bag in each of my purses (laughing).
KR: Well you don’t have to stop using gloss. That’s where we come in!
EM: Oh I’m not going to stop using gloss now that I know there is a solution to that problem (laughing)! However, it just makes one more conscientious of what you’re using. I look for certain ingredients such as dyes and animal by-products in my makeup and to hear of more ingredients that I need to be mindful of sets off an alarm.
KR: One of our famous quotes is “Don’t sacrifice your health for beauty and don’t sacrifice your beauty either”. I tell the beauty experts, “I’m not trying to lose my man. I’m not trying to look like Homey the Clown (laughing) or look super simple”. I’m trying to preserve myself. Don’t sacrifice you health for beauty and don’t sacrifice your beauty either. Just learn to make a better choice.
We have a program that’s also on our website called “Re-create Your Lips” where you can send in your lip-gloss and your lipstick to have it re-created in a healthier manner. Therefore, if you’re in love with a particular color we will match it, and if we don’t carry the color we’ll make it for you. That’s how much we are committed to women using healthier products.
EM: That’s amazing!
You’re really getting me excited, because I’m a Muslim and you’re talking about having a healthier lifestyle, which is what we’re committed to as well whether if it’s our food or products we put in and on our bodies. That goes for a lot of people who may not be Muslims but just want to live a healthier lifestyle. You’re right, as a woman, you don’t want to look super simple and you still want to maintain your individuality, your love for fashion and to feel beautiful. To have an alternative is something that I greatly admire about your line and it is most certainly needed.
I want to talk to you about whether or not it was challenging for you to create a line with healthy ingredients and to be eco-friendly, because there are so many other lines with a great deal of toxic ingredients.
KR: Yes it was. It’s so much easier not to have to think about that. It’s so much easier to ignore it. Isn’t it easier to be ignorant sometimes? You don’t have to do all of the research and all of the work and all of those different things. You don’t have to separate yourself. You can just compromise. Therefore, it is more difficult because you have to be more cognizant of the different things that are going on and stay abreast to various changes in cosmetics. Makeup is just like technology. Things change all of the time. We have anti-oxidants in some of our products and we’re looking to include them in all of our products, so the updates never stop.
Yes it is difficult, and it’s a continuous struggle because you never know it all. You rejuvenate and re-strategize. It may be easier to say, “Just give me the cheapest ingredients over there in another foreign country and just make it happen”, instead of saying, “I want to know exactly what’s in this”. It’s totally different.
EM: I would think that the exchange between what you’re able to provide for your clients to be service-based and the work that’s involved would be very rewarding. When you have the people and the environment in mind and with deep consideration, I’m sure it balances itself out. You can sleep with a clear conscience knowing you’re not selling death to people. You don’t have to worry about someone coming back to you complaining about a cancer or skin condition that your product gave them.
KR: Right. It’s all based upon your ethics and your values. That’s the reason why LAMIK means what it means. We recognize that. No other brand is doing that. You mentioned a line earlier, and I’m a licensed esthetician and I work with dermatologists who tell people not to use that brand. However, people continue to use it and they continue to have skin conditions. Are they going out of business? No. As a consumer and as a person who is more competent and wants to see the world in a better place, we have to make the choice to support the brand that lines up with what we believe in so we can see more of them and more from them.
As the Creative Director of LAMIK, from the time you had this idea to this very moment, what other challenges have you encountered with such a unique line and how were and are you able to overcome and conquer them?
KR: During the Youth Explosion at the One Woman Conference this year, I shared with some of the groups a few challenges that you go through as a person who creates something into an actual business. One of the challenges I shared was just getting the message out and making people take it seriously. Even though it sounds simple to us to buy a product that’s healthier, with the same colors it’s not that easy. We have to steadily coach women and inform them. It’s something that we have to continually do. That is a part of the challenge.
I tell some people that we’re more like a non-profit organization than anything (laughing) just because of the way we’re trying to get a certain message out. Non-profit organizations have many awareness campaigns just to get a message out. That’s a lot of what we do. Therefore, advertising against some of the larger companies encourages us to be very creative with our marketing tactics and our strategies. That is a challenge in itself.
We’re competing against some companies that are running 24-30 commercials in a day on Television and radio. However, with social media and blogs it makes it much more competitive. It makes every company open to subjective information about them whether positive or negative. That levels out the playing field as well, because you’re able to get the real core people who love your brand to really talk about it and really get the message out for you. We do it in a way that is organic in that they are able to express the way they feel about something and they share it. Word of mouth goes around a little faster now because of social media.
So those are some of the challenges that we come against and that we will certainly triumph over.
EM: I can completely relate to you and those challenges with publishing Hurt2Healing Magazine and what it stands for and having to compete against longer established publications with multiple commercials. So I completely understand what that’s like.
By this time I can only imagine the mood and excitement of the readers hearing about this line of healthy products. I know they’re sold by this point (laughing)! LAMIK can match my colors and show me how to properly apply my makeup to my face and so much more! Where are your various locations?
KR: For people all over the world, we make it easy for them as it lines up with your digital magazine with our website and online store. We’re at www.LAMIK-beauty.com. At this web site you’re able to go shopping in the comfort of your own home. We actually have a tab where a live customer service specialist can shop with you, assist you and offer suggestions. If there is a color or foundation that you’re unsure about and whether it will match your skin tone, you can send us an email with a picture of yourself and we will easily be able to tell you which color to use. Our match guarantee program is awesome, because even if there is a question about the color suggestion we’ll send you two different samples to ensure a perfect match. This makes buying foundation online worry free. It’s like going into our store, but more V.I.P. treatment since you’re in your home.
If you’re in Houston, you can definitely visit our flagship location, which is at 2610 Greenbriar at the corner of Westheimer. If you are in Atlanta you can set up an appointment with our beauty experts there, because they stay very busy. We’re in New York as a vendor inside of the Georgia Boutique, which is one of our newest retail locations. We also do an ongoing beauty tour that goes from city to state. We were just in Biloxi, Mississippi Saturday. We do these beauty tour stops all across the country. A few weeks ago we were in Detroit. We also have a retail location in Cleveland, Ohio. We have a new location opening in Los Angeles at the end of this year. That is going to be very exciting! We are just making very aggressive moves so that everyone can have access to LAMIK products.
We continue to do workshops across the country as well to really inform and educate women to help them make a better choice. The other part of that is due to the fact that I am an eyebrow loving, correct makeup applying freak (laughing). Another situation of mine being a licensed esthetician and with a lot of our beauty consultants being licensed as well, we understand that a lot of women are not applying makeup correctly. That’s one of the main issues, however, that’s what we help with. We assist the women apply their makeup correctly and we tell them the truth. That way we can stop walking in darkness. If I’m going to the doctor and I’m doing something out of line, I would want him to tell me instead of trying to preserve my feelings. With LAMIK we tell the truth in kindness. We tell you that wearing black lip liner on your lips is not cool or putting a pencil on your eyebrows is not cool. Again, we don’t just state the problem we have solutions and we pride ourselves on that.
EM: Kim you went straight into my next question. The quote that just bounced right off of the screen for me was, “LAMIK believes simply beauty is revealed, not applied”. A number of years ago, I attended modeling school, and one of the classes we had to take was how to properly apply makeup, which I still appreciate to this day. So I share the same sentiment as you do when I see women who just don’t know how to wear makeup in a way that will flatter their natural beauty. A lot of times we are over the top with our makeup, and really it’s just a lack of know-how. So I’m happy that you all take the time to sit with women and provide workshops like that. I think it’s the spirit that you come to a person that makes a world of difference.
KM: It’s not only what you say but how you say it! Once we show you something beauty revealed, women are good with that. The problem is if you don’t tell them the truth and you leave them out there.
The beauty revealed quote came about when hearing the saying that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, and I personally believe that. I believe that if people shouldn’t have this one dimension of what beauty is supposed to be.
Everyone holds a certain beauty that is unparalleled to the next person and cannot be repeated or duplicated.
Beauty is revealed. Sometimes I think we distract it. We take away from it. If you wear a mink coat with some tennis shoes you take away the value of the mink coat. It’s the same thing with your face. If you do certain things that are out of line that doesn’t compliment your beauty and doesn’t reveal it you’re taking away from it. Beauty is revealed not applied, so every time you wear LAMIK products it’s not something applied or made up. That’s something I feel that men do when they put on makeup; they’re applying some type of makeup. However, for a woman, it’s definitely beauty revealed, because those different attributes that you have, and those features that are exclusively on your face they are revealed when you use LAMIK.
If I don’t go out with my Celebrity Brow Kit, nobody is going to give me compliments on my eyes, no one, because my eyebrows aren’t complete. Yet, once I put on the brow kit then beauty revealed, now they can see. I definitely believe that there is so much inside of that quote. Our beauty is revealed.
EM: Thank you so very much for your time and for sharing LAMIK and what the brand stands for! LAMIK is absolutely amazing; cruelty free, non-toxic, eco-friendly and glamorous!
KM: It was my pleasure Ebony! Thank you! Your readers can follow me on Twitter @KimRoxie and follow LAMIK @LAMIKBeauty We’re also on Facebook as well. Visit us at www.LAMIK-beauty.com