Every season, when it’s time to spruce up our makeup collections, we like nothing more than to head down to Sephora, where we can stick our fingers in all the pots of fun new creams and colors, and decide which ones will make us look and feel the best. However, what we often don’t realize is that the makeup we purchase may actually be improving the lives of others as well. For example, if you buy Josie Maran’s GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara ($12), Maran Cosmetics will donate mascara to a cancer patient or survivor through an organization called City of Hope. We’re not sure about you, but for us, that would break the tie between two products any day.
Many cosmetics companies go out of their way to be socially conscious. Although the selection of charities is endless, most beauty industry fundraising is targeted at benefiting women. Estee Lauder, which is home to companies like Bobbi Brown, Clinique, and Bumble and Bumble, has raised roughly $35 million since the early 90s for breast cancer research and awareness, while companies like Revlon and L’Oreal have donated money to breast cancer and ovarian cancer research.
Donating big sums of money isn’t the only way the beauty world gives back; there are many opportunities for you — their customers — to get involved in the projects. Who can forget the fierce and fabulous M.A.C. Viva Glam campaign with Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper last year, where the proceeds of two flirty-colored lipsticks went toward their AIDS awareness campaign? There really is a way for us to buy makeup and do a good deed in the process!
Have you ever considered donating your healthy hair? We’ve all heard of Locks of Love, but Pantene has a similar program called Beautiful Lengths, in which they donate hair to make wigs for women who’ve lost their lovely locks from chemotherapy. As long as your hair isn’t too colored and is less than 10 percent gray, you can give your hair to a woman who’s missing her own.
There are lesser known charities as well. The Body Shop donated millions to a missing persons hotline in the UK and is now working on domestic violence initiatives across Europe, and child trafficking in Asia. Proctor & Gamble, which owns CoverGirl, Fekkai, and Clairol, has partnered with the Special Olympics for more than 28 years.
We like knowing that our beauty buys can be charitable, too. Next time you’re in Sephora or the makeup counter at Saks, find out about their latest promotions!