I’m not really a big makeup person – if I’m going somewhere nice I’ll put on some lipstick, if its really nice I’ll add some mascara. (Maybe this is why I live in Hawaii.) I usually just apply lipstick at home, since one of my favorite lipsticks has a habit of loosing its cap in my bag, and glosses like to attract my hair with the help of Maui’s tradewinds.
So when I got a proposal to sample Kissed by Maui, a made on Maui lipstick, I decided it was time to start wearing lipstick on a more regular basis. I ordered two shades and did a road test with one in the purse for a week to see how it holds up.
The two lipsticks arrived in beautiful packaging, with substantial tubes (read= you can find it in the bottom of your purse), made out of bamboo. They both apply smoothly and seem more moisturizing than most of the lipsticks that I have tried, without the hair sticky-problem of a gloss. The Pink Passion is a kind of sheer darker pink, great for daily use, and has survived a week in my purse, without melting (I didn’t leave it for long in the hot sun though) and without the cap falling off. Island Girl is a nice reddish brown that is good for fancy evenings. (I was going to post some pictures of myself wearing them but it turns out my face and lips are not symmetrical, and my mother reminded me that most people that post lipstick pictures have professional makeup artists and a lighting crew – this may or may not be true but I get the point)
After passing my road/lip test, I interviewed Robin Kory, the founder of Kissed by Maui, to find out more about her made on Maui creations.
Maui Made: How did you get the idea to go into the lipstick business?
Robin Kory: I became concerned about the toxins in cosmetics and cleaning products so I decided to make lipstick for myself and family and then decided that it would be a great product to share with everyone – locals and visitors. I did a lot of research on the internet and in books regarding how to make natural cosmetics. Kissed By Maui lipstick is 100% natural and made with high quality ingredients, many of them organic, that have not been tested on animals.
MM: What’s the challenge for manufacturing on Maui?
RK: I guess the main challenge was finding all of the ingredients. All of my ingredients come from stores on the mainland, except for the Pikake essential oil that I get from the Big Island. I am going to look into sourcing the beeswax locally once I use up all that I have, but I am not sure if it will be pure enough.
MM: Tell me a bit about your background-
RK: I am originally from Akron, Ohio and we moved to Hawaii about 1 ½ years ago (first Oahu for 5 months and then Maui since October 2012) after our daughter, Maya, graduated from high school. Once she graduated we knew that we wanted to move somewhere warm and beautiful – Hawaii was the perfect place! I have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and have worked as a Registered Sanitarian (Health Inspector) at two local health departments in Ohio. I then became a Paralegal and worked at a large law firm in Columbus, Ohio for 4 years.
RK: Kissed By Maui lipstick is currently available in six stores – Collections in Makawao, Green Ti Boutique & Massage in Wailuku, Biasa Rose in Paia, Maui Ocean Treasures (Maui Ocean Center Gift Store- free admission to gift store) in Ma’alaea, Local Store on Moloka’i and Happy Feet in Kihei. I also have an online store.
MM: What’s next for Kissed by Maui?
RK: I hope to add more retail stores on Maui and other Islands and I hope to increase online sales. I am also working with a business man from Oahu that is going distribute my lipstick to Japan via a Japanese website and directly to stores in Japan.
Mahalo to Robin for sharing her story and her lipsticks! We see big things happening for Kissed by Maui in 2014!
Disclosure: Complimentary lipsticks were provided for this review.