Posted on March 04 2021
LET YOUR MONEY TALK: 10 WOMAN- OWNED BEAUTY BRANDS THAT GIVE BACK.
According to the White House, women earn only 78% of what their male counterparts make. That’s right, 22% less than men for the exact same job. In addition to this travesty of a fact, women are also falling victim to gender-based price discrimination. We pay more for clothing, haircuts, dry cleaning, and even cars. For example, a 2001 study in the American Economic Review revealed that car dealers offer better deals to white men than white women, and considerably better deals to white men than black women.
This - in addition to the “pink tax” or “woman tax” on essential feminine hygiene products - makes it more important than ever for us to talk with our money by supporting brands and companies that are supporting us.
Here is a list of woman-owned, badass beauty brands that have inclusivity, diversity, and compassion at their core:
1. Beautiful Rights
Beautiful Rights use their makeup to inspire, empower and gain momentum to challenge the global status quo. 20% of all sales go directly to supporting women’s rights initiatives and organizations. These include Planned Parenthood, Lamba Legal (the oldest organization fighting for the full recognition of LGBTQ+ civil rights), and March for Our Lives. As previously stated, 20% represents the pay-gap between men and women in the US.
They are created and owned by women beauty professionals who are united in their mission to redefine beauty as an act of resistance and liberation, whilst simultaneously fueling women’s rights. And the cherry on top? They are fully vegan and cruelty-free. With lipstick shades like ‘#ENOUGH’ and ‘Gloss Ceiling’, what could be more alluring?
2. Beauty Bakerie
Beauty Bakerie is a black woman created, owned, and lead brand. They are renowned for their re-imagining of foundation shades which are ordered from dark to light (rather than the white-normative light to dark). The creator of Beauty Bakerie, Cashmere Nicole, also created Sugar Homes. This foundation supports female-led orphanages in Uganda through donations of food, clothing, and school fees.
Their website has a section dedicated entirely to the Black Lives Matter movement and lists a range of charities who are conducive to supporting black lives and rights. Beauty Bakerie cosmetics are cruelty-free. Plus, they have a killer range of products, from metallic lip-glosses to quad highlighter palettes.
3. We Are Fluide
It’s time to ditch the perfunctory pro-LGBT marketing campaigns! They solely arise during pride month and are abandoned during the other eleven months of the year. We all know they are a monetized pink-washing scheme, wherein the LGBTQ+ community are commodified to make a profit by slapping a pride flag on a bottle of lotion and calling it a day.
Give to companies that support queer-rights all year round! Start buying from We Are Fluide. The ethos of “makeup for him, her, them, everyone” is pervasive across this company’s entire marketing campaign. Their models are primarily queer, trans, or people of color. And they’re committed to queer, trans, and non-binary inclusivity and representation within the beauty industry. On top of this, they are also planet-friendly, with a range of biodegradable glitters and glass packaging - so you can ditch the microplastics but still stay extra.
4. Fenty Beauty
Created and owned by Rihanna, Fenty Beauty is one of the most prominent inclusive make-up brands. With a whopping fifty foundation shades, Fenty caters to the diversity of their consumers. All their products are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, and you can purchase refills to minimize unnecessary packaging.
Fenty Beauty doesn’t just offer an expansive range of makeup (from lips to eyes, to skincare), they also use their platform to engage in global advocacy. The Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) was founded by Rihanna in 2012 and aims to fund and give momentum to education initiatives around the world.
“We believe in the right to education as a weapon against injustice and inequality, and the right to health as a necessity for happiness and productivity”
By 2021, the CLF will have impacted 7,500 girls in Malawi in partnership with The Campaign for Female Education. The CLF, guided by Rihanna, has also responded to disasters around the world from Hurricane Sandy in the United States to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
Since its launch in 2017, Billie has always provided affordable, natural razors, and beauty products to women everywhere. They have reclaimed a business that has historically only cared about men and donate 1% of their revenue to championing womankind. Recently, they donated $100k between Black Lives Matter and the NAACP.
They have a range of products - from razors to dry shampoo - that are all made from natural ingredients without any nasties. All their razors are priced in line with men’s, so you can kiss goodbye to that gender-based price discrimination that usually accompanies shaving products. What’s more? They have a Pink Tax Rebate program, which gives you cash back when you refer a friend.
6. Hi Wildflower
Hi Wildflower was founded in 2014 by novelist Tanais. They offer perfumes and lipsticks that are “inspired by the everyday muse of wildflowers.” Their work is “multi-disciplinary, dynamic, intersectional, inclusive, and feminist” - which is perfectly demonstrated by their models, who are primarily queer and/or POC. Hi Wildflower’s botanicals are ethically sourced and are intended to nourish you with a sense of luxe and affinity with the natural world. They also work with previously incarcerated women to create scents based on their stories.
Not only are they earth-conscious, but they also support organizations like Girls Write Now, Black Lives Matter, and offer entrepreneurships to survivors of domestic violence. Hi Wildflower are definitely on the more lavish (read: pricey) side, but their powerful ethos and commitment to intersectionality earn them a place on this list.
7. Bopo Women
Bopo Women outline their feminist philosophy as:
“We’re an intersectional company deeply committed to unravelling how all elements of identity – race, class, sexuality, gender and ability – relate to body positivity”
They refute the idea of “fixing” our bodies with beauty treatments. Instead, they promote self-love and using their products as reminders of your body’s inherent worth and magic.
After recovering from an eating disorder, their founder created this company to address and challenge the toxicity of the beauty industry. They advocate for body-positivity at every size and implore their customers to reconnect with themselves, each other, and Mother Nature. And as with many of the companies appearing on this list, all of their products are free from parabens, SLS, and cheap fillers.
They are also currently campaigning against Facebook to stop the censoring of feminist art. You can sign the petition here
8. Trixie Cosmetics
Created and owned by the queen herself, Trixie Mattell, Trixie Cosmetics are cruelty-free and devoted to giving you a chance to express your most sensational self.
Trixie uses her experience as both a drag queen and makeup artist to provide affordable, high-quality cosmetics to drag queens and makeup novices alike. The packaging is adorable and conjures up images of childhood nostalgia, perfectly intertwined with Harajuku Barbie femininity. The brand also regularly uses its social media presence to encourage donations to Black Lives Matter and donate a portion of their sales to The Bee Conservancy.
9. Dragun Beauty
“Unleash your fantasy within” is a prevailing message on the Dragun Beauty website, which illuminates the importance of being your most authentic self. Founded by trans YouTube star, Nikita Dragun, Dragun Beauty is one of the first trans-owned cosmetic lines and was designed with transgender people at its heart.
Nikita brought to light commercial transphobia in 2018, when she reprimanded the chief marketing officer of Victoria’s Secret for his refusal to cast plus-size or trans models in their annual fashion shows. In a public statement, he claimed that such a decision would “ruin the fantasy”. And Nikita responded in the most glorious way: by shooting her own Fantasy Bra advertisement, adorned in lingerie whilst wearing wings, alluding to Victoria Secret’s quintessential ‘angels’ look. It took Twitter by storm, captioned:
“Dear Victoria’s Secret, you said trans women can’t sell the ‘fantasy’, so here I am as a TRANS WOMAN selling the FANTASY!”
She is a fierce advocate for trans people, and her makeup exudes that same ferocity.
If you thought politics had no place in your makeup bag, think again. Lipslut was created in a response to Trump’s inauguration in 2016, to bridge the gap between beauty and activism. Their products are completely vegan and cruelty-free. But their main appeal? The F*ck Trump lipstick. The F*ck Trump lipstick was created to support organizations that have been affected by the Trump administration, with 50% of all earnings going directly to charities fighting for women’s rights. They also have shades like Fake News, Locker Room Talk, and Cofveve.
Lipslut has donated over $200k towards women’s issues that have taken a hit since the beginning of Trump’s presidency. They’ve also raised funds for pro-choice charities and donated to Black Lives Matter.
Residing in Bristol, Cleo is an English Language and Linguistics student with a keen interest in sociolinguistics and the intersect between gender, sexuality, and language. Outside of academia, she enjoys rollerskating, true-crime, radical feminist literature, and vegan junk food.