Axiology Lipsticks: a Review and Interview

Confession time. When I learned that one of my ANFGB brands was going to be Axiology Beauty, I was a little taken aback. It’s not that I wasn’t excited to discover a new brand or that the products didn’t look decidedly gorgeous. The problem was that I am not exactly a lipstick person. Sure, I love makeup, but as you can probably tell by this blog, this love takes a second seat to my obsession with skincare. And though I love the iconic sexiness of a slick tube of lipstick and fully appreciate the seductive power of a strong, red lip, I often feel that lipstick ages me. To make matters worse, my features are fairly strong and, coupled with my dark coloring, my beloved red lipstick can make me look (and I quote my mother here) “like a prostitute”.  Still, although 9 times out of ten I will go for a smoky eye rather than a bold lip, I think lipstick is incredibly fun and, thanks to green beauty, I managed to amass an arsenal of gorgeous and flattering colors. Of course, this meant that these new lipsticks had an even bigger hurdle to overcome: I hardly ever wear lipstick and when I do, I am spoiled for choice. Or so I thought…

Axiology packaging

The first thing that struck me about Axiology lipsticks was their packaging. The cool triangular outer packaging in textured paper houses a sleek, matte gold tube and the lipstick pops out by pressing on the bottom. It’s original, sexy and functional – no more lipstick tops popping off in the bottom of a purse. What? Does that only happen to me? Whatever, my purses are really, really messy. The formula on these lipsticks is also on point: they are vegan, completely clean and full of nourishing oils like avocado, castor, coconut and grape seed, as well as mango butter and a few other fab ingredients. With all that, it’s no surprise that they feel super gentle and very hydrating on the lips.

When I checked out the colors, however, my heart sank a little. All of the shades had a fair amount of shimmer and I do NOT like shimmery lipstick. Gloss, sure! But I always felt that in lipstick it reads a little old lady-ish. You guys. I was so, so wrong.

The three colors I have are Fundamental (a dark, orange-leaning red), Intrinsic (a gold nude) and Noble (a shimmery pink). I figured that there might be a chance that Noble would look good on me and boy, did it! Although it looks like a bright-pink in photographs, it’s actually a very soft, natural-looking pink; the classic “your lips, but better” color. My mother who pretty much hates me in all lipstick and is most likely the source of my lippie shyness (I should probably address this in therapy) oohed and aahed for a few minutes before telling me that I should make sure to repurchase it when it runs out. Now, you must understand: these days my family basically threatens to disown me whenever I buy any beauty product, so this isn’t just big. It’s huge.

Axiology lipsticks, swatched in daylight. Left to right: Fundamental, Noble, Intrinsic.

Axiology lipsticks, swatched in daylight. Left to right: Fundamental, Noble, Intrinsic.

Intrinsic is pure Ursula Andress: sexy, gilded/bronzy with a Swinging 60s beach babe vibe. It’s absolutely perfect with a tan and would suit a variety of complexions, though I don’t quite agree with the description on the Axiology website that says it would “look naturally beautiful on everyone”. Although it looked sexy and summer-perfect on me, it made my mother look like a zombie. By the way, I posted a picture of me in Intrinsic on Instagram if you fancy seeing it in action.

Swatched with Flash to show shimmer. L to r: Fundamental, Noble, Intrinsic.

Swatched with flash to show shimmer. L to r: Fundamental, Noble, Intrinsic.

As for Fundamental, I worried that it might be too dark/orangey to suit my skin tone, but lo! the Englishman absolutely loved it. As for me, I adore its slight 90s vibe and think that for my skin tone it’s the perfect alternative to a classic red: still strong and bold, but not quite as “hey there, sailor!” I feel like it does make my lips look a tiny bit thinner, but that’s really a dark lipstick issue, rather than one inherent to this particular color and I think most people who don’t have my hangups about lipstick wouldn’t even notice it.

It’s funny, but writing about these lipsticks actually makes want to put them on. They are just that lovely. I think they might just turn me into a girl who always has a tube of lipstick in her purse. Oh and by the way, if your tastes lean towards the edgy and the gothy, Axiology is, as far as I know, the only green brand to make blue, black, and purple lipsticks. My clubkid teenage self is absolutely swooning.

I bet you want to know more about the super-cool and totally brilliant woman behind this awesomeness, right? Well, you’re in luck! I was able to ask a few questions of the fabulous Ericka Rodriguez and her answers are just as great as you’d expect. So here, without further ado, is Ericka.

I am a bit of a design obsessive and your lipstick packaging is amazing: unusual, gorgeous and functional. Those gold tubes look fabulously elegant and luxurious, but they are also quite different from anything on the market. I’m not the only one who thinks so either. Pretty much everyone who has seen my Axiology lipsticks have swooned over those tubes. What was your inspiration and motivation for designing the tubes and the packaging? Was it only to make your product stand out or was there other reasons?
Aw, thank you so much! While designing the packaging, I kept in mind that people gravitate towards beautifully designed products. I imagined Axiology at a boutique and designed from an aesthetic vision. In reality, people are more likely to fall in love with a product if the packaging speaks to them. It’s all about the aesthetic and therefore, the tubes and the outer packaging were very much a creative, visual process.
Did formulating all natural and vegan lipsticks pose any challenges? To my taste, the lipsticks feel and look as great as their conventional counterparts, but did you ever struggle to find the right ingredient to replace the synthetics?
I can’t help but smile at this question. Of course I struggled and I still do! I started attempting to make lipstick three years ago in my tiny Brooklyn apartment. In the course of three years I have tried every natural ingredient imaginable. At one point I remember mixing in acai berry powder and sunflower lecithin and all I got was a giant clumpy mess. You name it and I have probably attempted to put it in lipstick and therefore I have made more mistakes then I could have predicted. Even now, I sometimes apply Axiology and think to myself “hmmm should I have added more color?” Truth is, I may never stop improving and innovating Axiology’s formulation.
I have always felt that lipstick is the most iconic of makeup items. The classic red lip, the Mod 60s nude, the brownish lip that pretty much defined the 90s – they all serve as shorthands for eras and icons. So who is your ultimate beauty icon?
I find powerful women to be iconic. The women who create societal change and stand up for what they believe in. Ingrid Newkirk (the founder of PETA), Rosa Parks, and Mother Teresa come to mind. They are beautiful people and I find beauty to be of the heart more than anything.
I can’t not ask this question: I’m sure you love all of the colors that you make, but what is your favorite lipstick color?
I love Elusive on my skin tone. I feel sexy when I wear it. It’s deep, dark and mature.
Lipstick aside, is your beauty routine all-natural? If so, what are your top 5 favorite green beauty products? What about makeup? Any green makeup, aside from your lipsticks of course, that you cannot live without?
My beauty routine is as all natural as you can get. I wash my face with warm water only, apply a bit of Vitamin E mixed with lavender essential oil, apply John Masters sunscreen and funny enough, I don’t even wear a lot of makeup.
I do use 100% Pure’s Black Tea eyeliner (which I love), Au Naturale’s face creme foundation and bronzer,  apply mascara (also 100% Pure), apply Axiology and that’s that. Before making my own lipstick I was inspired my RMS beauty so I have to add her on the list of green makeup mentions.
What’s next for you? Are you planning on expanding the Axiology palette? Are you setting your sights on anything besides lipsticks or are your happy with where you are now?
I am so happy! I am very much an innovative, creative person however, so I always have new ideas that I want to implement. I will definitely be launching new colors again soon and hope to create more lip products such as glosses and balms. There are also some other great things in the works so look out for some wonderful changes!
                                                                                      ***
New things? I can’t wait! And meanwhile, I am looking forward to trying a few more of the Axiology colors during ANFGB. Hey, I might even revisit my youth and give that purple a shot!
Disclaimer: The lipsticks were sent to me for review. Clearly, I will be repurchasing Noble (at least if my mother has anything to do with it) and I will definitely be buying more colors. These lippies are awesome.

5 responses to Axiology Lipsticks: a Review and Interview

  1. Great review! Do you recommend any other lipsticks? Can you check my blog and follow it if you like it? Thanks, and I love your blog by the way, and will check in to see new post! 🙂

  2. I instantly swooned over Axiology’s functional and beautiful packaging. I’m eyeing Fundamental and Attitude (the latter ever since I saw the gorgeous Beauty by Britanie modeling it).

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