- Associated Press - Sunday, November 8, 2015

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) - In a matter of 12 hours, sales of Brenda Mierzejewski’s homemade lip balms and lip scrubs increased to more than 100 orders around the world. Normally she sells about three to five personal orders a day through retailers.

She can thank Kylie Jenner.

Jenner is one of the most-talked about celebrities along with sisters Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian and supermodel Kendall Jenner. She is the daughter of Caitlyn Jenner.

She’s an active user of social media with more than 40 million followers on Instagram and four million on Snapchat. Her fashion style has been emulated by teens and young adults and some of the beauty products she uses are well known.

On Thursday afternoon, Mierzejewski, the owner and founder of LipLuxe by MIZZI Cosmetics and former Meriden resident of 10 years, received numerous, excited text messages from her friends.

“I’m getting text messages from all my friends saying ‘did you see what Kylie posted on Instagram?’ ” said Mierzejewski. “(Jenner) was talking about what she has all the time in her makeup travel bag and holding my scrub and my lip balm and I just almost passed out.”

As part of a video “Inside My Travel Bag” for her app and website, www.TheKylieJenner.com, Jenner launched a video of her using her favorite beauty products to travel with, including Mierzejewski’s LipLuxe whipped lip scrub and honey kiss lip balm, which starts off the video.

“Today I’m going to show you guys what’s in my travel bag. I like to always go the natural route,” said Jenner as she held two LipLuxe products in her hands.

During the 10-second promotional video, Jenner has the company name LipLuxe in bold big letters, the name of the products, and the words “so bomb” scribbled underneath the product. In 21 hours, the video has nearly 350,000 “likes” and about 11,000 comments on Instagram.

Following the video release, Allure magazine, known for its beauty coverage, wrote an article about the products Jenner used, including Mierzejewski’s LipLuxe.

“I’m in awe,” said Melissa Woodward, Mierzejewski’s assistant. “I’m kind of just stunned but at the same time I think to myself how hard (Mierzejewski) works and how positive she is and it just kind of doesn’t surprise me when I look at it from that angle and it’s amazing and good things happen to her. This is top of the barrel.”

Because of Jenner’s video, there have been orders placed from all around the world including London, Paris, China, Australia, Brazil and around Africa.

In October 2014, Mierzejewski launched LipLuxe, which she runs out of her home in Portland. She’s made lip balm for nearly two years, originally making it for her two children who often have chapped lips.

Her husband, David Mierzejewski, helps her make the lip balm when he can. He was a former teacher and assistant principal at Platt High School and later a principal at Hanover School.

In February, her LipLuxe product was featured at the Roger Neal Style Hollywood 18th annual Beauty & Couture Academy Award Suite at the Luxe Hotel in Beverly Hills for celebrities attending the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood.

Mierzejewski has been working to get her product into the hands of celebrities.

“I try to send my stuff out to any celebrity I know that is into makeup and fashion that may or may not post a little picture about me and that usually doesn’t happen,” said Mierzejewski. “Nine times out of 10 it just doesn’t happen.”

She tried to get the lip balm in the hands of one of the Kardashian and Jenner sisters, hoping that Kylie Jenner, also known for her full lips, would like it. After finding their publicist online, she wrote an email telling her story and asking to send some products.

The publicist agreed, but warned Mierzejewski not to get her hopes up because the sisters receive thousands of products in the mail each day.

Not expecting anything to come of it, Mierzejewski sent a handmade gift set with the lip balm and lip scrub and letter to each of the women, including Kris Jenner, their mother.

Six weeks later, Kylie Jenner was holding Mierzejewski’s product in a video.

“I didn’t even know this was coming, I had no idea. I just went on a limb,” she said. “I’m up against so many competitors. The cosmetic market is flooded. It’s so hard to stand out. I can’t believe she chose my stuff.”

In the full length video, available on Jenner’s website, she talks about the lip balm and scrub in greater detail.

“This a nice one, it’s Lip Luxe,” explains Jenner. “The scrub has pure honey, cane sugar, lemon and grapefruit oils, coconut oils, vitamin e, everything that I love, so that’s nice. Then it comes with a great honey kiss lip balm. I like these.”

“I was beyond appreciative,” said Woodward of Jenner’s video. “I thought it was amazing and generous and we’re very fortunate to have her like it, and not just that but to talk about it as well. The funny thing is, I just keep thinking, we made that in (Mierzejewski’s) house and now it’s in her hand and on her lips.”


Information from: Record-Journal, https://www.record-journal.com

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