The Scoop: Women often wear makeup to help them feel polished and confident on date night. While some makeup lines test on animals or sidestep sustainability concerns, Axiology ensures its products are ethical and eco-friendly. The company’s lipstick, cheek, and eye products are cruelty-free, vegan, low-waste, and made using only select ingredients.
Ericka Rodriguez started her journey in the beauty industry by making lipstick in her kitchen. She wasn’t a beauty executive or a makeup artist, just a consumer who was upset about animal testing in the industry.
“I’ve been an animal welfare activist since I was a little girl, but I never knew that animal testing and animal-derived ingredients could be found in my makeup,” she told us.
Before creating her own lipstick, Ericka searched for vegan, cruelty-free products and discovered a few possibilities. However, they were all dry and didn’t fit her needs.
She decided to experiment with vegan ingredients to create lipsticks she could wear. Ericka’s success led her to launch Axiology. The mission is to make cruelty-free and eco-friendly makeup products that can give women confidence and peace of mind.
Six years ago, Ericka started selling six vegan lipsticks on Etsy and soon found a loyal following of customers. That meant she needed to expand her team, so she hired a lab lead.
“I hired Chloe on Craigslist at a time when I was still making lipstick in my kitchen. She would come over to my house, and we would work from there,” said Ericka with a laugh.
The other team member, General Manager Jessyka, was once a marine biologist and is also committed to cruelty-free makeup.
“I like to make work fun and exciting whenever I can. I bring in treats, take breaks to hula hoop, and tell stories. And everyone I hire is hilarious, which also makes things fun,” Ericka said.
That positive and compassionate culture makes Axiology a popular choice for ethically-minded women. Anyone who wears makeup on a date can choose Axiology without worrying that it might harm animals or the planet.
A Mission to Create Ethical and Sustainable Products
Less than a decade ago, Axiology only had six lipstick shades available. Now, the company offers 30 shades of lipstick, six crayon shades, and 14 Balmies shades.
Its lipsticks are vegan, cruelty-free, and made of sustainable ingredients, including kokum butter, avocado, and coconut oil. The lipsticks, along with the company’s other products, never have more than 10 ingredients total, meaning that users know exactly what’s in the makeup they’re wearing.
Even Axiology packaging is sustainable. It makes lipstick tubes from recycled plastic, and its shipping boxes are made by a women’s cooperative in Bali that uses recycled trash.
In addition to that sustainability, Axiology offers advice for wearing lipsticks on dates.
“Apply to lips. Swipe once for a light application, swipe twice for bold. Colors are also mixable — try various colors together. A sheer balm is a great layering tool to top a rich cream shade,” according to the website.
Axiology also has a line of crayons, an alternative lip product manufactured similarly to its lipsticks.
One of the company’s most popular skin care products is its line of Balmies made with butters, oils, and antioxidants, including elderberries, that hydrate the skin.
Balmies can be worn on the eyes, cheeks, or lips and come without packaging, meaning the product doesn’t have a cap or a tube. Instead, users store their Balmies in their recyclable package.
“Our Balmies are what we are famous for now, as they are the world’s first zero-waste, multi-use products. They are like little crayons that are completely tubeless,” Ericka said.
The Axiology team is exploring more options for zero-waste products after the success of Balmies. While the company’s lipsticks and crayons are recycled, zero-waste products are the way of the future in the beauty industry — even Oprah thinks so.
“Oprah Magazine named us one of Oprah’s favorite clean things. That was super exciting,” Ericka told us.
Makeup Should Be Fun for Dates, Not a Necessity
Some makeup lines emphasize that women need to leave the house with products on — whether to work or out on a date. In turn, some women may feel that they need to wear makeup to look presentable.
Axiology has an entirely different philosophy. The team thinks that makeup should create a mood or serve to help people feel more dressed up or glamorous.
“Makeup is a way for people to express how they already feel. Similar to clothes. I don’t want any of our customers to feel like they need to wear makeup. No one does. It’s just a lot of fun to amplify your vibe,” Ericka said.
With that in mind, Ericka doesn’t advise customers to stock up on Axiology products, instead suggesting they only buy more when they run out.
“As a sustainable company, we only want you to buy a new lipstick if you already have one that has been used. Only buy what you actually need and will use,” Ericka said.
Axiology also receives glowing feedback online, much of it in the form of five-star product reviews.
“I don’t wear a lot of makeup, and I procrastinate a lot, so I’m always running short on time. Plus, I like to do a monochromatic look, so having a product that allows me to use the same color on my eyes, cheeks, and lips is my dream. I love these colors, they last forever (on lids, cheeks, and lips), and they won’t leave a bunch of guilt-inducing plastic behind when they’re done. This is the perfect makeup product and I love it,” one satisfied customer wrote in an online testimonial.
Axiology: A One-of-a-Kind Line of Makeup
The Axiology team supports women if they don’t want to wear makeup on a date. But for those who want a glamorous look while feeling good about the products they wear, Ericka suggests choosing something from her line.
“If you do need lipstick, ours is top of the line. Our company cares about animals, people, and the planet — not all companies can say that,” Ericka said.
The Axiology team said it believes that makeup lovers can tell how its products are different from other lines. For instance, each product is made by hand by Chloe, now the Chief Formulator, who Ericka said, “measures, melts, mixes, pours, and constructs every one of our lipsticks, crayons, and Balmies.”
Making everything by hand can be better than mass manufacturing because it provides the company maximum control and flexibility. Small-batch makeup sits on shelves for less time than high-volume products, ensuring they are fresher when customers use them on a date.
Further, oversight lowers the risk that something will go wrong with an ingredient or a formulation. That careful production, along with Axiology’s other values, has kept its customers loyal for years.
“My customers are the most caring group of people ever. They are the ones that keep me on my toes and make sure that we stay true to our values. They are educated, conscientious, and super kind,” Ericka said.