With being beautiful comes being conscious.
No, we don’t mean obsessively checking yourself out in every reflective surface you pass by to make sure your cat-eyes are still on fleek!
True beauty radiates outward, manifested best when we consciously choose to touch others’ lives and make them beautiful too. Many of our favorite beauty brands understand this, and they have been taking deliberate steps to bring us the looks we want while also giving back to nature and those in need.
Here’s a roundup of five beauty brand advocacies you can support, so your next beauty choices can be socially and environmentally-conscious ones too!
The Body Shop’s Forever Against Animal Testing Petition
The Body Shop was the first international beauty brand to campaign against animal testing way back in 1989. The brand has since made great strides, resulting in the European Union banning animal testing in its member countries in 2009.
In 2017, The Body Shop set its sights on the ultimate goal. The brand launched an endeavor called Forever Against Animal Testing, which aims to ban animal testing worldwide by 2020. Through efforts alongside their long-time partner, Cruelty Free International, The Body Shop intends to take the cause to the United Nations and push for an international convention to ban animal testing everywhere permanently.
The Body Shop’s cruelty-free advocacy; images by Reina Bambao
Be conscious: Make like the cruelty-free Leaping Bunny logo and hop on to foreveragainstanimaltesting.com to sign the Forever Against Animal Testing petition! Every name counts toward the goal of presenting 8 million signatures to the UN General Assembly in 2018.
Benefit’s Bold is Beautiful Project
Under the Bold is Beautiful Project, all profits from brow waxing at Benefit BrowBar for the entire month of May are donated to a local cause related to women empowerment.
Benefit’s chosen beneficiary in the Philippines is the Mano Amiga Academy in Parañaque, where students from underprivileged families can get quality, international-standard education. Proceeds from a single brow wax service can pay for a two-hour leadership training session for young girls, a four-month livelihood training program for a student’s mother, or three months’ worth of school supplies.
Benefit is in this partnership for the long haul: instead of just being a one-year stint, donations from brow waxing will be made annually to Mano Amiga Academy for as long as the Bold is Beautiful Project continues.
Benefit’s Bold is Beautiful Project
Be conscious: Make it a summer habit to have your brows done at Benefit BrowBar in May to contribute to young girls’ education. Better yet, make it a date with your mom, for a Mothers’ Day treat that benefits other mothers and daughters like you!
Urban Decay’s Ultraviolet Edge
The Ultraviolet Edge is Urban Decay’s global initiative to empower women. As part of this initiative, Urban Decay releases a limited-edition product every International Women’s Day and donates 100% of its profits to a wide array of organizations that champion causes related to women’s rights.
The Ultraviolet Edge wants to address as many women’s rights issues as possible, and has partnered with groups such as: Women’s Global Empowerment Fund, which facilitates education and leadership development programs for women in post-war Uganda; Kakenya Center for Excellence which aims to eliminate female genital mutilation and child marriages in Kenya; Circular Board, which supports female entrepreneurs worldwide by providing mentorship and resources; and Equality Now, which combines grassroots activism with international legal advocacy to enact laws for women’s rights.
Urban Decay’s Outspoken Vice Lipstick
Be conscious: This year’s product is a limited-edition mauve nude-pink metallic shade of Vice Lipstick called Outspoken. Order a tube of Outspoken Vice Lipstick from the Urban Decay website and fund the fight for women’s rights to safety and freedom all around the globe!
Lush’s Charity Pot
Lush’s famous Charity Pot Hand and Body Lotion donates 100% of its profits as grant money to causes fighting for animal protection, environmental conservation, and human rights.
Lush supports non-violent, direct-action grassroots groups with limited resources and funding. While the brand offers help to refugee groups and animal shelters, Lush believes they can make the most impact by backing less popular advocacies that are often overlooked by mainstream funders, and projects that create long-term preventive and proactive change.
The Charity Pot grant program has donated to over 600 nonprofits and charities since 2007, including our own Compassion and Responsibility for Animals (CARA) Welfare Philippines in 2015.
Lush’s Charity Pot; image by Reina Bambao
Be conscious: Extend a hand to those in need by picking up a Charity Pot at your nearest Lush store!
Human Nature’s Pro-Pinoy Products
Last on the list is a local brand called Human Nature, which employs and empowers residents of Gawad Kalinga.
Human Nature is proudly pro-Philippines, pro-poor, and pro-environment. The brand sources their product ingredients locally to promote community development, importing only when necessary and creating ways to locally acquire ingredients in the future. Not merely providing livelihood, employees are given full benefits and are paid 70% more than the minimum wage mandated by law. Most remarkably, the company enforces a No Firing Policy, because Human Nature believes that a person’s potential is worth more than their mistakes.
Finally, bringing the brand’s commitment to the cause full circle, a substantial portion of the profits are donated back to Gawad Kalinga and community farms to promote continuing development.
Be conscious: Charity begins at home. Be pro-Pinoy too by buying Human Nature products and supporting local industries! □
This article was originally published in The Manila Times on March 31, 2018.