LAMIK Cosmetics is one of the pioneering brands when it comes to makeup for all skin tones. Its founder, Kim Roxie, is extremely passionate about this mission, and through her hard work, the cosmetics industry is slowly but surely shifting - from white-centered to inclusive for all.
Kim Roxie’s story is also one of the most interesting entrepreneurial stories as well. From drawing inspiration from her mother to being the first black-owned clean makeup brand in Ulta, here’s the story of LAMIK as told by the woman herself!
First Gig With Makeup
Kim’s first job was at the makeup counter in a mall in Atlanta. She worked there to support her studies, and that’s when she discovered her love for the effects makeup can give.
“My manager came to me and asked me what I was telling my clients. I was confused, so I asked her what she meant and she said: ‘You're selling more makeup than anyone else in the store. Including me.’” Roxie told PopSugar. “That's when I realized that I had fallen in love with not just makeup, but making people feel good about themselves.”
The Beginnings of LAMIK
With experience selling makeup, a $500 blessing from her mother, and a fierce determination to make things work, Kim Roxie started LAMIK as a makeup shop in Houston in 2004.
“The store that I opened in Houston was my first real venture into entrepreneurship, and it taught me everything I know today. I operated it in my 20s and early 30s, and I like to say that my clients raised me.”
“Black women were 75 percent of my customer base, so I really got to know my core audience. Because of this experience, I am extremely accountable to my consumers today: their feedback and recommendations are what keep my company operating.”
The LAMIK shop was going strong, but in 2011 tragedy struck.
The Problems with Makeup for People of Color
“In 2011, when my first investor, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, it stopped me in my tracks. I started asking why? How? When I looked at the ingredients in makeup she was using every day, I found parabens, talc, and other known carcinogens.” Roxie says on her website.
“After my mom passed in 2014, it became my mission to give women of color access to safe, natural beauty products. I knew I had to get my paraben-free makeup to every woman who wears makeup routinely. We are a health and wellness brand just as much as we are a beauty company. I started to dream of more.”
She continued, “...when I looked into pre-existing clean beauty lines, it seemed like ‘clean’ was just another word for white; there were, more often than not, no colors that would match people with my skin tone. So it became my mission to make diverse, color cosmetics in the clean beauty space.”
Making a Difference
“With LAMIK, I want people to understand that when I say I make makeup with women of color at the forefront, this encompasses every skin tone,” Kim explained to PopSugar. “Other clean beauty lines use blanket statements that imply inclusivity, then proceed to launch products that could never fit my skin tone.”
“My aim in this space is to not only make the beauty industry more equitable on all levels, but also to make diversity in the clean beauty space so normalized that it becomes something that people don't have to think about, but instead, come to expect.”