Karin Mayer, a University of Mississippi senior graphic design major from Gulfport, discovered the latest makeup trend sweeping the Ole Miss campus via Facebook.
“I had no idea what LipSense even was,” Mayer said. “My sister showed me Evelyn’s page, and we decided to try it out. Now we are obsessed. I’ll never go back to regular lip gloss.”
Mayer, 22, is one of hundreds of students who have purchased LipSense. Though the company has been around nearly two decades, Evelyn Ray, 19, of Columbus, Mississippi, promotes LipSense on the Ole Miss campus.
The sophomore elementary and special education major started her business “Envious Lips By Evelyn” about four months ago. Since then, she has made over 400 sales.
As one of the most prominent college towns in the South, Oxford residents follow fashion trends. From high-end shopping on the Square, to the local thrift stores and jewelry shops, UM students often sport the most popular styles. LipSense is just one of the many products made by the global cosmetics company “SeneGence International.”
According to their website, SeneGence was founded in 1999 by a woman named Joni Rogers-Kante. Rogers-Kante’s passion for makeup led her to develop the company and the product.
“Joni traveled to the other side of the world with a team of scientists and botanists to find different ingredients than those available in the U.S. for the unique formulas in SeneGence products,” the website reads.
Aside from the product’s formula, SeneGence uses independent distributors, who create their own small businesses and make their own profits buying and selling SeneGence products.
“SeneGence International was created to provide an opportunity for independent distributors to build a business as large as they dream,” the website reads, “to make as much money as they deserve by selling products that truly work through a global network opportunity, all from the comfort of their own homes and within their own communities.”
Ray became a distributor a few weeks before Christmas. “It was an ideal time to start, considering everyone was doing last-minute Christmas shopping. I am glad I took that leap of faith, because I now have a team of almost 100 ladies working under me, and I wake up excited every day to work with them.”
LipSense comes in hundreds of different colors, and the collection package includes a moisturizing gloss for $20, a colored gloss for $25, and “Oops!” remover for $10. Though Ray sells other SeneGence products, such as eyeshadow and eyelash extenders, she said LipSense is the most popular.
Ray’s decision to bring her business to Oxford was largely based on her passion for the community and her desire to network with students and local residents.
“I have loved this town and campus since I was a little girl,” Ray said. “Oxford has always been a place that stands out to me, and I always knew that I would love living here. But through my new business, I have made connections and friendships with so many people, which I’m sure will benefit me in the future.”
“Envious Lips by Evelyn” uses social media to promote the product. Ray’s Facebook page has been her main promotion source. Her Facebook group has more than 1,000 members and is gaining more each day.
“Social media has been so helpful for my business as a whole, in so many different ways,” Ray said. “It has been an exceptionally fast way to reach friends and family, especially those out of state. I use various giveaways and games to make the page much more interactive with my clients. I have no idea where I would be without [social media], sales wise.
“Based on the number of invoices I have sent out, I have made approximately 400 sales since I started. It is crazy how popular this product is, but that is because it works so well.”
Ray said she is amazed how well-received her business has been, and she hopes to continue selling LipSense as long as the consumer interest remains.
“Things come into your life at a certain time for a certain reason,” Ray said. “I was not interested in starting this business, but it has impacted my life in so many ways. Consider every opportunity you stumble upon, because you never know how much of an impact it can and will have on your life.”
For more information on LipSense, visit “Envious Lips by Evelyn” on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.