Makeup Can Be Chaos—But It Makes Me Happy
A brain for science and a lifelong love of makeup create a winning formula for a 25-year-old North Dakota native.
Alexandra Kollman wears false lashes and full makeup every day. What can she say? She's a makeup girl. "I always loved makeup. As a little kid, through my teen years and as an adult. It made me happy." But for Alexandra, 25, makeup isn't just a hobby, it's a business.
In 2014, Alexandra started Powder and Pandemonium (powderandpandemonium.com), a beauty brand with a focus on bold pigments and fewer chemicals. Since then, this North Dakota native has stayed busy creating new products, starting new businesses and taking some time to chat with us.
Alexandra Kollman. Photo courtesy of Alexandra.
A beauty brand in our backyard.
Although she started Powder and Pandemonium from her dorm room at Arizona State, Alexandra is a Midwesterner. And that means she wants her makeup brands to be Midwest businesses. "The community of Fargo, and the Midwest, is a place for growth, and hope, for businesses," she says. "I just really believe in the Midwestern lifestyle and that's how I‘m going to live my life." All of Alexandra's products are designed in Fargo, and her lab is there as well.
She does it all.
Alexandra is the president and lead chemist of Powder and Pandemonium, president of Killa Beauty and a public school teacher. Her secret? "I'm a true workaholic." But that isn't necessarily a bad thing for Alexandra or her students. "I think the drive my kids see in me helps them to be motivated. They can see a real-life example in front of them: if you work hard and get your education, the world is open to you."
Formula for success.
"Once I fall in love with an idea, I go to the lab," she says. "I do all the formulas, all the stuff that is technical and mathematical based."
In college, Alexandra studied science and worked as a research and lab technician but wasn't sure what she wanted to do with her degree. "I went to work every day and it wasn't what I thought it would be. I wasn't happy. What made me feel better was putting my makeup on for the day." So Powder and Pandemonium was born.
Photos courtesy of Powder and Pandemonium/Killa Beauty
The name game.
"My mom (an aesthetician in Fargo) actually came up with Powder and Pandemonium. Makeup can be chaos."
Powder and Pandemonium is known for liquid pigments and lashes. The liquid pigments are safe to use on the skin, lips, or eyes and have no parabens, dyes, gluten or animal products. "I really take a lot of time to look into materials, making sure they're coming from good, cruelty-free sources," Alexandra says.
The success of Powder and Pandemonium's lashes led to Alexandra's newest beauty brand: Killa Beauty, launched in January 2017, which focuses on handmade lashes. "Company growth looks great at the moment," Alexandra says. "There is a movement for indie brands. The quality has to be top-notch because our brand is so small. It just keeps growing."
Photos courtesy of Killa Beauty.
Little lashes, big differences.
Alexandra especially loves being able to help people who have lost their eyelashes for reasons such as chemotherapy, autoimmune disorders or even just stress. "I can really help people with something that I love," she says. "When people wear lashes for the first time, they are amazed by the transformation."