The Lipstick Lobby supports the causes you care about with each purchase
If you’re addicted to beauty products, you might start to feel a little guilty for dropping so much cash on something so appearance-oriented.
But a new company called The Lipstick Lobby is making ethical, social-justice-focused moves. Every purchase you make benefits either the ACLU or Planned Parenthood, depending on which shade you choose.
Kiss My Pink costs $19 and 100% of its net profits go to Planned Parenthood. Outrage is Lipstick Lobby’s red, and $5 from each purchase benefits the ACLU. Both colors are vegan, cruelty free, and reinforced with vitamins to make sure they won’t dry you out.
“It’s a simple way to speak up and speak out against the threats to freedoms posed by the Trump administration,” TLL’s website reads. “It’s a small thing we can all do right here, right now to create change.”
We spoke to Davida Hall, who heads up the brand, about what it’s like to combine beauty and social justice for a living.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a kid, I wanted to be a journalist. Also, I loved the idea of being “just like Amanda Woodward” the high-power ad exec played by Heather Locklear in Melrose Place. Iconic TV, of course.
How did that end up panning out?
I studied communications at Berkeley and had a few writing gigs for British Vogue online, Genlux, and a few local magazines. As far as “high power exec,” I’m more overalls less power suits, but I do consider my job somewhat similar — making creative decisions in the world of brands and (digital) marketing.
Did you always know you wanted your job to include a philanthropic bent?
Not always consciously, but I think if it’s in you, and it’s who you are, it finds its way into your work somehow.
How do you choose the causes The Lipstick Lobby benefits?
It needs to feel right, feel organic – and be topical. We try not to limit it too much so we can be nimble and flexible and go where the news takes us. The guiding force behind our mantra (and hashtag), “Lipstick it to the Man” is to stick up for the freedoms that our current political administration is threatening.
And, as a woman, I always lead with that. I look for the organizations that directly or indirectly benefit women, girls, families — and help us to move forward.
People think of beauty as a shallow industry that doesn’t do good in the world. We know that’s not true, but can you give us your thoughts on this common misconception?
Like any industry there can be shallow people or values but that isn’t what defines this industry. You need to push the boundaries so that others will follow suit. And overall the beauty — and fashion — industries are slowly shifting towards a more realistic and inclusive portrayal of women and of beauty. For example, in the clothing world, apparel brand Aerie saw a 4 percent increase in profit after running their #AerieReal campaign, a push for plus-size inclusivity in fashion. Ten years ago, that would never have been the case. But we still clearly have further to go.
Has there ever been a time when someone doubted your ability to make The Lipstick Lobby come to fruition? How did you deal with that?
I think actually we place the biggest limits on ourselves. I was beyond fortunate to have a boss, Studio71 CEO Reza Izad, who saw the promise in this project from the start, saw the good it would serve, and he let me run with it. It’s funny, that same voice of doubt in your head is that same voice that fills you with passion, inspiration and tenacity. It means you care, it means you are thinking intensely, and critically about the work you are doing and the message you’re putting out into the world. Put simply, both doubt and drive can co-exist within anyone, and ultimately that pushes us to be our best.
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Did you ever seriously worry Lipstick Lobby might not succeed? What did you do?
After having a crash course in cosmetics manufacturing and mass scale printing, I can tell you there have been some really hairy moments. You just keep going because when you have days where Gloria Steinem gives you a shoutout on Instagram, you know you must be doing something right.
Do people need rich parents in order to start their own businesses?
Does a fish need a bicycle? That’s what Kickstarter is for. That’s what writing partners are for. Good ideas are priceless and they don’t cost anything to generate. Find the good idea. Then, worry about finding a biz partner or financial investor or a “Shark” to fill in the rest.
How can our readers figure out if their idea for a business is viable or not?
Group think. You can’t have a good idea alone. You need to test it on as many people, as many different POVs as you can find. Don’t be afraid to pitch your ideas out. Don’t be afraid to fail. And don’t expect to be the person who can do it all — if you are a creative, then find your business half — find what you are not and embrace that you can’t do it all. The magic of The Lipstick Lobby is all in the team. I have the best.
What’s your favorite thing about working in the beauty industry?
Redefining the standards of beauty, in real time, every day.