Ericka Rodriguez founded Axiology Beauty with a passion for vegan, cruelty-free makeup and a vision for a sustainable future, specifically in the beauty industry.
“I was in my mid 20s when I discovered that all of the makeup I was using was tested on animals,” Rodriguez told the Source Weekly. “I was like, ‘OK, no problem. I’ll just buy vegan makeup and cruelty-free makeup.’ But it turned out to be a lot harder than I thought. All of the vegan makeup at the time was super dry and didn’t perform well. I was like, ‘I’ll just make my own vegan lipstick for fun.'”
After 200+ formulations and hundreds of hours of work, Rodriguez hit the perfect combination of organic oils, Earth-derived micas and antioxidants. In 2014, she launched six shades of her first 10-ingredient lipstick on Etsy, and it was a hit. Rodriguez and her team have expanded the Bend-based company, and its products are sold at retailers around the world, including Ulta Beauty.
Axiology focuses on two products—Lip-to-Lid Balmies and Multi-Sticks. The Lip-to-Lid Balmies are smooth, creamy crayons that come in two-, three- and 14-packs. Balmies are made with nine ingredients—ingredients people can easily pronounce and recognize, like castor seed oil and sunflower seed oil. With two colors and one highlight, the three pack is designed to provide a full-face look, Rodriguez said. Each Balmie is hand-rolled in recycled paper and stored in a recyclable carrying case.
According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, the beauty and personal care industry produces 120 billion units of packaging waste every year. This fact and a trip to the landfill inspired Rodriguez to push toward plastic-free packaging, and on Earth Day 2022, Axiology officially became plastic-free.
When Rodriguez was formulating the Axiology recipe, she was living in Bali. There, she learned about a company that was turning paper trash into packaging. “The woman-founded-and-run business on Bali collects 100% post-consumer recycled paper from offices, hotels and schools around the island and sorts and shreds it,” according to Axiology’s blog. Axiology partnered with the women’s coalition to create Multi-Sticks and Lip-to-Lid Balmie boxes.
The Multi-Sticks are bigger and are sold as singles. Multi-Sticks are packaged in recyclable push-up tubes made from 100% FSC certified paper and contain 10 ingredients. Multi-Sticks offer a dewier look and a smoother glide than the OG Balmies, according to Axiology’s website.
“Our target customer is more of a minimalist,” Rodriguez said. “They care about the environment. They’re a little bit less polished. They like nature. They want one product that does more, with less [ingredients].”
From eyes to cheeks to lips, Balmies and Multi-Sticks were created to simplify morning makeup routines. Roriguez said Axiology worked with a makeup artist/color specialist to create and focus in on colors that perform well on all skin tones, all textures and all parts of the face.
“I definitely feel happy with having a strong mission, and then being able to express that through beauty products,” Rodriguez told the Source.
Axiology’s website serves as a space for consumers to shop products and doubles a resource for visitors to learn about plastic waste, landfills, recycling and how to build sustainable habits to help the Earth.