Behind the Scenes: Lipstick Making at the Elixery
Learning how lipstick is made has long been a dream of mine. What girl doesn’t want to see how they get those shiny, perfectly smooth bullets of color in the tube?! My dreams were realized when I took a trip to The Elixery in Minneapolis, where former microbiologist Karoline Wells whips up lipsticks in a rainbow of colors, from Rollergirl green to a few of my favorite reds. You may have noticed the Elixery line at various local retailers, like June Resale and Ampersand. Elixery’s lipsticks range from so no matter your preference there’s something for you to try.
Karoline and her team spend many, many hours in the lab creating their cosmetics. Knowing I am a red-lip addict, they had set out a few pigments (just to look!) and pre-mixed bases for me to play with. The Elixery’s lipsticks are cruelty-free and vegan; they’re not tested on animals, they’re tested on willing hands like mine. I mixed up a creamy true red and a deep raspberry color, which I got to take home in tiny sample vials. It blew my mind; I felt like I was watching the “Mr. Rogers” episode where he visits the crayon factory, except in lieu of crayons I was watching my beloved lipsticks being born.
Karoline said one of the toughest parts of their job is color matching. They have to remember exactly which pigments and how much of each they’ve mixed up, down to the teeniest drop. They do everything by hand, from creating and developing their colors to mixing and firing the lipsticks once they’ve been placed in their tubes – that’s how they get that brand-new shine.
I was really impressed by The Elixery team’s dedication to their craft; each tube of lipstick has been meticulously put together for you, so no matter which shade you purchase you know it’s of highest quality. They hope to branch out into other cosmetic realms in the future, but for now you can check out their lipsticks ($18-20) online or in various Twin Cities locations. I took home the vibrant red Rockits because, well, it’s an addiction. –Kara