Mix Cosmetiques Brings Custom Makeup to Duluth

Owner Handmakes Soaps, Makeup, and More

DULTUTH, Minn.- Paris has Sephora, New York has Maybelline, and now Duluth has Mix Cosmetiques.

The newest cosmetic store to hit the Northland offers custom, handmade makeup, soaps and lotion.

Walking in, you’re hit with the sweet smells and vibrant colors of all the different cosmetics.

You might even find the owner practicing her chemistry, mixing and testing different solutions to get the makeup that’s just right.

“I didn’t realize that custom cosmetics wasn’t a thing until I started doing it,” owner Lanae Rhoads said.

The store at 15 North 3rd Avenue (and the kiosk at Miller Hill Mall) is the third custom cosmetics store in the nation, according to Rhoads.

“I’ve been making cosmetics for about 13 years,” she said. “I started with soap and lotion and then for the last about 5–6 years I’ve been making makeup. First I started for myself, and then I started for friends.”

“And then my friends said, why don’t you make this to sell?”

But the turning point for her came in a moment many women can relate to.

“I went to the store and I wanted this certain eye shadow color and I could not find it. And I thought to myself, how is it possible that there are 10,000 eye shadow shades and I can’t find this color?”

“So I looked at the ingredients list and realized that those are the same ingredients I use to color my soaps, and went well, I wonder if I could make eye shadow.”

She did, and Mix Cosmetiques was born.

“It was exactly the color I was looking for.”

Not only are Rhoads’s products custom made, they are entirely biodegradable.

“It’s necessary to protect our skin and protect the earth that we live on,” she said. “We all wash our makeup off, everyday, it gets into our water source, and we’re damaging that water with synthetics, with cosmetics that don’t break down.”

The impact of Mix Cosmetiques reaches far beyond the waters of Lake Superior.

10% of all sales go to teaching women in Uganda to make their own cosmetics and start their own businesses.

The woman who leads that over there has a store herself, the money from which goes to a local orphanage.

On top of thinking of the environment, and women in Uganda, Rhoads takes your health into account, too.

“There’s so many instances where they say: we’ll put this ingredient on the market, we haven’t done that much testing.”

“5 years, 10 years, 12 years down the line, they find out, it causes cancer.”

So she handcrafts her products with ingredients you’re used to seeing in the kitchen.

“Olive oil doesn’t cause cancer, coconut oil doesn’t cause cancer.”

Makeup, and ingredients so good, you could probably taste it.

Not that you should.

“You could eat all my cosmetics if you were so inclined. I’m sure they would taste terrible.”

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