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Wanting Good, Doing Good: The Finest Philanthropic Magnificence Campaigns of All Time

Wanting Good, Doing Good: The Finest Philanthropic Magnificence Campaigns of All Time

When considering a new beauty purchase this festive season, put your money where it matters by buying those that support a worthy cause.

Although the beauty industry is built on products that go merely skin-deep, there’s a ton of brands so committed to philanthropy it’s weaved into their DNA, which support a wide range of causes, from Aids to animal conservation and welfare.

Behind the most enduring and successful philanthropic beauty ventures today is a founder or CEO whose own personal stories drive their commitment. With a range of products that donate directly to such causes, each one of our beauty buys can become a small gesture with the potential for significant impact. We take a closer look at some of the best initiatives in the industry.

MAC: Empowering lives through VIVA GLAM

MAC’s VIVA GLAM lipstick donates 100 percent of sales towards the fight against aids

Few who lived through the ’80s can forget the image of Princess Diana shaking hands with an Aids patient when she visited a medical unit dedicated to the disease. That was in 1987, six years after the first reported case in the US, when misconceptions and stigma around the disease were still rife and many believed it could be spread through touch.

Seeing at first hand the disproportionate impact of Aids on Toronto’s gay community, the two founders of MAC make-up, Frank Toskan and the late Frank Angelo, set out on a mission to save lives and help restore the dignity of sufferers with the establishment of the MAC VIVA GLAM fund in 1994.

Since then, it’s become one of the most remarkable and generous campaigns in the beauty industry, with 100 percent of the selling price of every MAC VIVA GLAM lipstick going directly to charities that work to prevent infections and support those living with the virus.

Helped by the efforts of spokespeople such as Elton John, Rihanna and Chloë Sevigny, sales of VIVA GLAM have raised more than US$520 million in the fight against Aids. While progress has been made, MAC remains committed to the cause, continuing to campaign, raise funds, and increase awareness of the virus that still affects 39 million people around the world.

ESTEE LAUDER: It all started with a pink ribbon

The Estée Lauder limited-edition pink products created or Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Given the awareness of breast cancer today, it’s hard to imagine the reality was once vastly different. That change is partly due to the efforts of Evelyn Lauder, wife of Leonard Lauder and daughter-in-law of the company founder, who in 1992 established what’s now known as The Estée Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Campaign, a time when breast cancer wasn’t openly discussed and even considered an embarrassing subject. It was Evelyn who helped change that narrative by creating the first pink ribbons – now the universal symbol for breast-cancer awareness – which were initially distributed at the brand’s beauty counters.

As well as encouraging collective action during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the initiative has funded more than US$118 million globally to support education and research towards finding a cure. In Hong Kong, where breast cancer cases have tripled in the past two decades, with an average of 13 women diagnosed daily, the campaign organises annual fund-raising activities for two organisations, the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation and the Hong Kong Hereditary Breast Cancer Family Registry.

Harnessing the influence of its portfolio of brands, which includes Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Jo Malone, La Mer and, of course, Estée Lauder, the company releases limited- edition pink products each year, with proceeds going to Hong Kong charities that provide free mammogram examinations, as well as support for patients and their families.

HOURGLASS: Pioneering cruelty-free and vegan beauty

The Hourglass philanthropic Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Glow Palette

Since its inception in 2004, Hourglass has never tested its beauty products on animals. But in 2017, founder and CEO Carisa Janes reevaluated the true meaning of cruelty-free and took the commitment further by exploring the possibility of reformulating all its products that contained animal-derived ingredients. By 2020, Hourglass had achieved a milestone, transitioning its entire collection to wholly vegan formulas.

Aligning with this ethos, Hourglass partners with the US-based Nonhuman Rights Project which advocates for animal rights. This includes special cases campaigning for the respectful and dignified treatment of zoo-kept animals, as well as circus elephants and chimpanzees forced to work in poor conditions. One percent of the brand’s annual profits go to the organisation, with five percent of profits from its globally distributed Unlocked products. The evergreen Unlocked collection includes the best-selling lipstick Unlocked Satin Crème and the Instant Extensions mascara. For the festive season Hourglass also released its limited-edition Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Glow Palette, which features a beautiful animal design created in collaboration with the illustrator Katie Scott.

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CHANTECAILLE: Natural luxury, philanthropy and conservation

Chantecaille’s philanthropy cheek shades donate to conservation charities

Equally committed to animal welfare is Sylvie Chantecaille, whose luxury skincare products are based on botanical ingredients. Chantecaille’s altruistic commitments began after she noticed a decline in the number of monarch butterflies in her garden, which made her aware of the knock-on effect this would have on the entire ecosystem.

It led her in 2006 to establish a long- standing commitment to safeguarding the natural world through donations to a wide range of conservation groups. Since then, Chantecaille has released 29 philanthropic collections and donated more than US$3 million to the protection of species such as wolves, gorillas, bees and horses.

The brand’s hugely popular philanthropy cheek shades come in six versions, each stamped with an image of the animal or species in helps, and thus integrating the cause into the user’s daily beauty ritual. Shades such as the peachy pink Coral Laughter donate to the Marina Conservation Science Institute, while the apricot shade Turtle Grace gives to the Widecast Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network. For products bought online, the Chantecaille website transparently displays how much each purchase donates to the charity, creating a sense of direct impact

CHARLOTTE TILBURY: The power of lipstick for good

Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips collection supports female conflict survivors

Although better known for her Hollywood glamour approach to beauty and pretty rose-gold products, make-up artist and entrepreneur Charlotte Tilbury hasn’t shied away from supporting serious causes. After meeting the executive director of Women for Women International, the non-profit organisation that helps female conflict survivors, Tilbury heard first-hand accounts of the power lipstick has for women in war zones, as a source of strength and a representation of their womanhood.

In 2016, she launched her now-bestselling Hot Lips lipstick collection, naming shades after female trailblazers, such as the nude-colour Super Cindy, inspired by Cindy Crawford, or the pale-pink Liv It Up in homage to Liv Tyler. From each sale, US$2 or £1 is donated to Women for Women International, directly benefitting those in countries such as Iraq, Nigeria and Sudan by providing essentials, including food and water, as well as education and upskilling. The collection has proved such a success that in 2019, Tilbury released Hot Lips 2 with extended shades in covetable cases, along with an additional pledge to donate £1 million to the charity to continue its important work.

Source: Prestige Online

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