When I was younger, I wore makeup for a variety of reasons. It started with the makeup trends I saw in Sixteen Magazine. Following the gold eye shadow look I wore all through freshman year (it was 1988), I eventually wore makeup for attention (I discovered boys!), to look older, to look pretty, to look weird, to look “grunge”, to look hip-hop, to look natural and so on. It was always an aesthetic reason with no real substance. Now that I’m older, I wear makeup because it makes me feel good. I feel empowered. Whether it’s a touch of mascara or full-on drama, it puts me in touch with feeling feminine. Of course, I feel great without it but there’s something about enhancing my brown eyes or adding a little bit of rose to my cheeks that makes me happy.
Come to think of it, the women in my family also showed me how important it was for them to always look their best – even during difficult times. My grandmother lived with cancer for 11 years. She didn’t wear makeup but she sure did love painting her nails once in a while. And no one mastered an up-do quite like she did. She had a very nice collection of combs and pins for her church days. Those daily rituals lifted her spirits, even when she didn’t feel so well.
Two years ago, my aunt had a stroke that left her partially paralyzed. It’s been very difficult. During a recent visit, I couldn’t help but notice that she her nails painted and her hair was colored in the fiery red we know her for, which so matches her personality! I really admire her for taking those moments to teat herself to a little bit of beauty time. It makes her feel like herself again. No matter the circumstance, they found a way to feel feminine and beautiful.
There many makeup lines that get it. They understand that makeup is powerful tool for empowerment for many women. They also recognize that it’s important to use their influence to help make a difference. Think about it – I started wearing makeup in high school. That is over 20 years as a consumer. Collectively, we can all help make a change. Here are 8 Beauty Brands that Give Back.
Estee Lauder Pink Ribbon 1 of 8
For each purchase from the Evelyn Lauder Dream Collection, Estee Lauder will donate 20% to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Mary Kay One Woman Can 2 of 8
Mary Kay turned 50 this year! This special-editionâ€ Beauty That Counts - Mary Kay Creme Lipstick, in the shade One Woman Can is a swirly delight. It's a beautiful color. If you love it as much as I do, you have to act fast. If you're in Canada, Mary Kay will donate $1 from each sale to the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation in support of women living with the appearance related side effects of cancer and its treatments as well as women affected by domestic violence.
If you're not in Canada or if you miss the deadline, Mary Kay has programs all year round to help with these causes. You can help make difference.
Avon Fundraising Products 3 of 8
L’Oreal – Because you’re worth it 4 of 8
L'OrÃ©al Paris has a program called Women of Worth, which celebrates everyday women who make a difference in the world. Every year, ten women are selected and recognized for their extraordinary efforts to serve their communities. Really love this empowering initiative!
MAC AIDS FUND 5 of 8
MAC AIDS Fund's mission is designed to serve everyone affected HIV and AIDS. You can make a difference one VIVA GLAM Lipstick at a time!
Chantecaille Elephant Palette 6 of 8
For animal lovers like me, Chantecaille's Elephant Palette helps raise awareness and funds for baby and orphaned elephants in Kenya. They are refillable and contain four eye shades embossed with an endangered African elephant. Five percent of proceeds are donated to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Sephora Shop Pink 7 of 8
Bobbi Brown Broone Street Academy 8 of 8
I was born and raised in the Bronx so this initiative has a special place in my heart. Since 2001, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics has been working with Jane Addams High School in the South Bronx. With the help of her team, Bobbie has revamped classrooms, provided laptops and offered summer internships. To learn more, check out Bobbi's Causes.