In the current political climate, it's not uncommon to wake up to uncomfortable news from Washington, D.C.—news that can make women and LGBTQ+ folks feel uncertain about their future. Ever since last November, a sense of helplessness and confusion about what everyday Americans can do to stand up for what's right has descended over the country. And in its wake, many beauty brands have stepped up to the plate, creating products that donate a portion of their proceeds to human rights organizations. But we often find ourselves questioning whether something as small (and commodified) as a beauty product affects meaningful political change.
Today, in particular, we were hungry for answers, so we reached out to Davida Hall, founder of a brand called The Lipstick Lobby, which the website describes as "a social justice movement for change, progress, and equality." TLL is also a makeup brand that sells a magenta matte lipstick called Kiss My Pink and donates 100 percent of its net profits from the lipstick (yes, all of it) to Planned Parenthood. #LipstickItToTheMan is the organization's hashtag, and bringing accessible support and health care to women, men, and the LGBTQ+ community is its mission.
So can a beauty product really make a political difference? Keep scrolling to find out (and to pick up a tube of Kiss My Pink yourself)!
BYRDIE: What was your original inspiration for creating a lipstick that donates 100 percent of its profits to Planned Parenthood?
DAVIDA HALL: We were hearing from our creators, from within our community, that people wanted to speak out and do something to show their solidarity and their activism given today's climate. Nobody knew what to do, but we shared the sentiment that we had to get involved, roll up our sleeves and make our voices heard to support women's rights. So we decided to create a bold statement lipstick to represent our collective voices coming together and supporting women's right to choose. Planned Parenthood provides vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide, and their funding is being threatened by the current administration, so it was an easy choice for us to want to support them.
BYRDIE: How did you come up with the hot pink shade?
DH: The color pink universally signifies causes for women, so it was an obvious choice for us. The Lipstick Lobby's premiere product Kiss My Pink is a fashion-forward matte pink that is both bold and very wearable. It's vegan, cruelty-free, and trust me when I say it has major staying power. Most importantly, though, it was designed to flatter a diverse range of skin tones and pigmentations. And in my personal style opinion, there is nothing better than a strong lip with a simple T-shirt and jeans. Keep everything else pretty effortless, and let your lips speak for themselves.
BYRDIE: Do you think it's truly possible for a beauty product to be feminist?
DH: Absolutely, and I believe it's possible to be a feminist and wear makeup. The two are not related—people should feel free to express their notion of feminism in their own way. You can wear a bold statement lipstick on your lips, under your eyes like war paint—wear it any way you like, but make it your mark.
BYRDIE: What are your thoughts on President Trump's recent decision about trans rights? What do you think consumers can do to demonstrate their resistance to government actions like this?
DH: Consumers should get involved and support the causes that matter to them. As Gloria Steinem herself said about us on Instagram: "Protest with your dollar…" So whether it's attending a rally, calling a senator, or purchasing a lipstick, we all need to be getting out there to champion the basic human rights everyone deserves.
Shop Kiss My Pink from the Lipstick Lobby below.