10 Women-Founded Beauty & Wellness Brands BDG Editors Love Supporting
Pretty much every single editorial publication — including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN — agreed that 2018 was undoubtedly the Year of the Woman. The continued rise of the #MeToo movement and the record-breaking number of women candidates running for office have carried over to 2019, making this year's Women's History Month and International Women's Day that much more significant. Politicians and organizations aren't the only ones finding ways to defend our rights and our bodies or support and uplift us — some beauty and wellness brands are also doing their part, too.
In this day in age, it's hard to just exist without wanting to do more, especially if you have the platform and the opportunity to do so. There are countless makeup, skin care, and wellness companies that are not only creating incredible products, but are also giving back to women and girls in different communities around the world. What's more, a majority of our favorite ones are founded or led by strong, smart, and generous women themselves.
Celebrate this year's Women's History Month and International Women's Day by supporting Bustle Digital Group Editors' favorite women-founded or led beauty and wellness brands that give back to women and girls in some way. While many brands launch limited edition IWD T-shirts or donate a portion of their profits on March 8, the women behind these brands have made it their mission to give back every single day.
First up, my picks.
When Vicky Tsai founded Tatcha, she knew that she wanted to give back in some way. It was important to her to find the right partnership, and four years ago, she did just that. Tsai created the Beautiful Faces, Beautiful Futures program with Room to Read, which helps provide schooling for girls in Asia and Africa who might otherwise end up as child laborers or forced into the sex trafficking industry.
Every single Tatcha purchase has gone towards funding education and literacy for these girls. Since founding the program, Tsai and Tatcha have been able to provide two million days of school.
You've likely used at least one product in your life that's contained the miraculous, skin-softening ingredient that is shea butter. But it was probably nothing like the shea butter that the mother-daughter team behind Eu'Genia Shea creates. First of all, the body moisturizers are made with sustainably-sourced, natural shea butter and includes other soothing ingredients like moringa oil and baobab oil. More importantly, however, the brand donates 15 percent of its profits to its female workers in Ghana in the form of an education fund. Because Eu'Genia Shea not only believes in creating quality products — they also believe in fair wages and opportunities for women.
Beauty influencers and editors alike are all fans of new skin care brand Nuria, Olivia Muenter, Bustle's Senior Fashion and Beauty Editor included. "Nuria is a plant-based skin care brand with products that specifically tackle 'transition skin' — aka that annoying, but common combination of hormones, stress, acne, and environmental aging," explains Muenter. But in addition to the fact that the products are effective and clean, another reason to shop the brand is because Nuria contributes a portion of sales to She’s the First, a non-profit organization that fights gender inequality through education. year-round. Specifically for International Women's Day, Nuria is celebrating with its special Global Beauty Wisdom Set and all proceeds from the sales of this set will go directly to She's The First.
You've probably seen Lipslut's products before on your Instagram feed. You know the one — it's the lip gloss that reads F*CK TRUMP in all caps across the tube. When Katie Sounes founded the company with that one product, Bustle's Executive Editor of Fashion and Beauty Kara McGrath became an immediate fan. "Now [Sounes] has has a couple different lip products, but always donates at least 50 percent of all proceeds (a huge percentage for a new, indie brand) to charity, focusing mainly on civil rights organizations," McGrath shares.
The CBD market is already oversaturated with an abundance of different products and brands. How does one choose between them all? McGrath has a great suggestion. "I think it's very important that Kati Holland's brand [Not Pot] actually donates a portion of profits to people who are incarcerated by partnering with The Bail Project," McGrath shares. "CBD has become the hip, trendy ingredient in basically everything, but I've seen barely anyone who's capitalizing off the trend talk about or try to directly help the people (especially people of color) who are still in jail for marijuana possession," says McGrath.
"I was not blessed with luscious, thick brows. So after the early 2000s, I had to make sure I always had an eyebrow pencil and gel on deck," says Bustle's Fashion and Beauty Features Editor Kayla Greaves. Her weapon of choice? Thrive Causemetics. "There are a ton of brands that sell eyebrow products, but what I love about Thrive is the product works great and they give back to women's initiatives — whether it be to gift a woman who has breast cancer with makeup, donating to people affected by wildfires, or to organizations that help women with reproductive cancers," Greaves shares.
If you haven't heard of DeoDoc, allow Bustle's Associate Fashion and Beauty Editor Katie Dupere to introduce you. "DeoDoc is an intimate skin care company that doesn't pressure women into feeling obligated to shave or wash their vaginas, but provides incredible products for those who wish to do so," Dupere explains. The brand was founded by two sisters — Dr. Hedieh Asadi and Hasti Asadi — and according to Dupere, they both are "so open and knowledgeable about intimate skin care" and as a result, [give] women a safe formula for a sensitive area. "They are genuinely in business to help women who want to shave or wash their vaginas, yet don't pressure women to use DeoDoc products under the guise of 'health,'" adds Dupere.
Dupere uses the Shave Foam on her legs and follows with the After Shave Balm to slow hair regrowth, "even though both are formulated for the vagina," she says. Dupere loves using the Intimate Deowipes before sex, too.
"As a woman who wants products like this in her bathroom cabinet, I am glad DeoDoc exists — and will give me 100 percent vegan and natural products I can use confidently."
"One of my favorite scents is Jo Malone London's Amber & Lavender cologne, which is deep and rich and makes me feel cozy and comforted when I put it on," shares Amanda Chan, Bustle's Managing Editor. But Jo Malone doesn't just create deliciously-scented fragrances— you may not have realized it, but the brand gives back to the community in a wonderful way.
"Jo Malone London, founded by Jo Malone in 1994, announced in 2012 its Charity Gardens initiative to work with charity partners to restore gardens in various cities specifically for people with mental and physical health conditions to enjoy," Chan explains.
In 2015, Forbes called Tata Harper the "Queen of the Green Skin Care movement." Harper founded her line because she wanted to provide women with 100 percent natural, non-toxic products that would not be harmful to their health.
"Aside from continuously providing consumers with quality, natural skin care, Tata Harper has developed a touching initiative for International Women's Day," says Theresa Massony, Elite Daily's Style Editor. The brand will donate 15 percent of proceeds from March 8 to March 10 to Lipstick Angels Foundation, a nonprofit that seeks to lift up those living with cancer in ways that help them feel supported, confident, and beautiful.
Gabby Prescod, Bustle's Senior Fashion Market Editor, has always been a fan of Rihanna's, but became an even bigger one when the singer-turned-entrepreneur launched her makeup brand. Fenty Beauty's arrival was so impactful (do we need to remind you of its 50 shade range foundation?) that it changed the way both creators and consumers of makeup thought about diversity and inclusivity in the beauty industry.
In 2012, Rihanna founded the Clara Lionel Foundation to raise funds for global education, health and emergency response programs. In 2014, she launched the Diamond Ball to raise money for her charity. One of her Killawatt Highlighters is named "Diamond Ball-Out" and 100 percent of the proceeds go towards her foundation. Customers can also choose to make a donation at checkout, with or without purchasing a product.