Real Money, Real Help: Beauty Steps Up to the Plate
Dana Wood - Beauty Steps Up - The Robin Report

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In the dark, murky sea of literally 62,377 emails in my inbox, I almost skipped over one because it had the words \”Hand Sanitizer\” in the subject line.

I\’m not hardened and cynical. I\’m just busy. And like so many other beauty journalists, I\’m not exactly hurting for emails about hand sanitizer right now. Many, many companies – up and down the annual turnover ladder – have followed LVMH\’s lead in shifting production-line capabilities from creating miracle creams, blush and lipstick to the life-saving liquid gold that is hand sanitizer. This is a good thing. No, make that a fantastic thing.

Kylie to the Rescue

Still, I was flat-out delighted when I read further on that email I initially thought to ignore. It seems Kylie Cosmetics founder Kylie Jenner, in concert with her \”momager\” mother Kris, and Coty, the cosmetics behemoth that now owns a majority stake in her brand, have combined forces to produce – yes – hand sanitizer. But it also mentioned a factoid I\’d somehow managed to miss in the last 10 days or so: Kylie Jenner has already donated $1 million for masks and other protective gear for coronavirus first responders.

If that\’s not a good use of Jenner\’s vast makeup and skincare spoils – at the time of Coty\’s $600m acquisition of 51 percent of Kylie Cosmetics, the brand was valued at $1.2b – I don\’t know what is.

A Different Spin on PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

Other beauty companies are doing their bit to make the lives of the country\’s extraordinarily brave COVID-19 workers easier. When Rochelle Weitzner, the founder of Pause Well-Aging, a year-old menopause skincare brand, saw images of healthcare workers with distressed skin, she sent care packages of products to hospitals in New York City and Virginia. Specifically? A serum to fight acne, and a hydrating facial cleanser and mega-moisturizer to soothe mask-chafed skin. (Full disclosure: I help manage Pause Well-Aging\’s blog content and also pitch-in with newsletter copy. But I\’d be impressed with the brand\’s coronavirus efforts even if they were not a client.)

L\’Oréal-owned The Body Shop is also in care-package mode, delivering skincare to U.K. hospitals as well as 30,000 units of cleansing products to U.S. shelters and senior communities.

And here\’s something else that lifted my spirits this week. While researching contenders for a \”chic body oils\” story I\’m writing, I spotted this bold declaration on the landing page of Brooklyn-based Highborn\’s website: \”Times are weird, sales are great. Your support will be paid forward & 10 percent of this sale will be going to NYC food banks.\” In addition, every product on the site is 20-percent-off right now.

[callout]Many, many companies have followed LVMH’s lead in shifting production-line capabilities from creating miracle creams, blush and lipstick to the life-saving liquid gold that is hand sanitizer.[/callout]

Cool, right? I need another chic body oil like I need a hole in my head, but as soon as I wrap up this piece, I\’m plunking down my plastic for a bottle of Highborn Défumé Aromatic CBD Body Oil. Not only is it laced with 200mg of full-spectrum CBD, it also boasts the wildly trendy ingredient palo santo, and is charged with Reiki crystals. \”Reiki\’s energy flows through all living things,\” the product description tells us. \”Charged crystals amplify the blend, helping us heal from within.\” Sold.

And so Much More Food Bank Help Is at Hand

Along with Highborn, there are multiple other beauty brands helping out on the food bank front.

Last year, the plant-centric cult skincare line Dr. Hauschka kicked-off a customer loyalty program called The Giving Garden. Created to donate fresh produce to local food banks, it\’s structured so that across all three membership tiers – The Potter, The Beekeeper and The Master Gardener – every purchase made on results in three to nine meals served to those in need.

In light of what\’s happening in the U.S. right now, Dr. Hauschka has stepped-up its food bank efforts, delivering 10,000 meals in the past few weeks alone.

Happily, Feeding America has been the recipient of several beauty brands\’ largesse. On March 18, Farmacy announced it would provide 10,000 meals a day for the next month and would also match donations made by customers through a dedicated page on its website. Also, in March, Grande Cosmetics offered 15 percent off all orders for just shy of two weeks, and also donated 15 percent of all orders to Feeding America.

Elsewhere, shaving brand Billie – a company I\’m ashamed to say I\’d never heard of – pledged $100,000 for local food banks. And a brand I definitely had heard of, Lady Gaga\’s Haus Labs, donated 20 percent of one week\’s sales to food banks in New York City and Los Angeles. Let\’s hope millions and millions of the Oscar winner\’s makeup-loving \”little monsters\” ponied-up for such a worthy cause.

Pulling together the info for this column has lifted my spirits greatly, and I hope it will do the same for your spirits, too. I\’ve always been insanely proud of the beauty industry for its constant focus on giving back. But to watch it step up to the plate during this particular crisis – a time in which its own fate may very well be hanging in the fiscal balance – has been deeply heartening.



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