As part of a school project, Bloomington fifth-grader Luna Frank sent a letter asking about how lipstick was made to Mound resident Jessica Mae Koza, founder and creative director of beauty company WarPaint International. In response, Koza not only sent a personalized letter—complete with requested autograph—but she arranged for Luna to spend the day with her touring Elixery, a local cosmetic house that creates lipstick.
Over the course of the day, Luna and Koza went through a series of stations demonstrating how the lipstick formulas were made, set, molded and put inside the tube.
“Luna brought her notebook and was taking notes; it was really cool to watch her eyes light up and soak in all of this information,” Koza says.
Luna is interested in science, and since the owner of Elixery, Karoline Wells, is a microbiologist, Luna met with her to learn about the scientific process behind making lipsticks.
The experience was enlightening for Luna, but it struck Koza, too. “It was just one of those moments where, as an adult, life comes full circle and you realize what you are doing really does impact our youth. Something I am really passionate about is working with them and instilling what the true meaning of beauty is,” Koza says.