SHOULD MAKE-UP COMPANIES GET INVOLVED WITH POLITICS?

Recently, Illamsqua, Dove, LUSH and new brand on the block Lipslut have all spoken out against Donald Trump in their own way. Illamasqua published its bold anti-fascism pledge which you can read more about here, Dove poked fun at America's new President with their #AlternativeFacts ad campaign and LUSH made headlines when they brought out two new products with the tongue-in-cheek names 'Yuge' and 'Make Your Derriêre Great Again.' Lipslut took it one step further, with 50% of the profits from their only product, a liquid lipstick called ‘F*ck Trump’, going towards a women’s charity. Read more about it here

While these initiatives have been well-received for the most part, they've also received some criticism, with people accusing the companies of discriminating and virtue-signalling- which is when someone expresses an opinion just to prove that they’re good or virtuous. 

"There is little that is positive about Trump’s presidency." writes Izzy Lyons in an article on Spiked.com "[But] jumping on the virtue-signalling bandwagon isn’t challenging these policies, it’s just venting its [the companies] own hatred."

Speaking about Illamasqua’s pledge, Izzy went on to say: “Stopping someone from buying your products because you disagree with their politics is small-minded and needless.”

A source who wishes to remain anonymous, said that she didn’t think make-up brands should get involved with politics and that some brands like LUSH were going against their own beliefs. “They [LUSH] stand for being inclusive […] they’re all about equality.” She said. “It’s both disappointing and ironic that they’re going against that by discriminating against people with different political views.”

“Why should I have to make my political views align with someone else’s to buy their products?” She said.

However, beauty blogger Shanqiua of @fleekedbyniq had other ideas. “I don't see it as being involved in politics, I see it standing up for the demographic that their products typically are targeted to. For example, Dove has built their brand on empowering and uplifting women of all shapes and sizes." She said. 

“When you have a president who makes comments about women being fat and needing plastic surgery, it goes against everything that brand believes in. I personally like to see companies who speak out because they have privileges and platforms that not every person has.”

Twitter users generally agree with Shaniqua, with one user, @happysara89, who was interviewed as part of Illamasqua's campaign, chiming in to say that “people argue expression w/out [sic] understanding it’s against rhetoric of hate.”

What do you think about this? Should make-up companies be involved with politics?

Beauty Brands Accused of Misleading Terminology on their Packaging

Beauty products being falsely marketed as ‘green’ or ‘organic’ are causing a stir in the UK, with new campaigns coming forward to combat the rise of so-called ‘greenwashing’ beauty products. 

Come Clean About Beauty (which is also known as the Campaign for Clarity) is turning on the pressure and demanding companies back up claims that their products are made with all-natural or organic ingredients.

The campaign was set up by the Soil Association, the UK’s leading independent certifier of organic products. Their seal of approval can be found on millions of household products nationwide, including foods, drink, clothing and agricultural products. 

For beauty products to be certified by the Soil Association, they must contain at least 95% organic ingredients.

A report published by the organisation called out various products for having ‘misleading’ terms, such as natural, in the title. Boots’ Beautiful Hair Moisture & Nourish Shampoo with Added Organic Argan Oil was the most highly-ranked in terms of misleading labelling. There were an additional twelve beauty products on the list that were ‘uncertified and potentially misleading’, according to the report. 

In a survey carried out as part of the report, 72% of participants said they lost trust in brands that misleadingly claimed to be organic. 

Although cosmetics giant LUSH’s name was nowhere to be found on the list of offending products, the company has come under fire recently for promoting itself as all-natural, organic brand. In reality, LUSH’s products contain a plethora of chemicals, many of which have been proven to be toxic or harmful to humans. It’s possible it avoided making the list because the products themselves generally steer clear of marketing buzzwords like ‘organic’, choosing instead to market their storefronts and website with such terms. 

The EU laws that govern cosmetic marketing are clear; ‘When environmental claims are made, cosmetics companies shall respect the principles of truthfulness, clarity, accuracy, relevance and scientific substantiation. If the environmental claim being made is not literally true or is likely to be misinterpreted by consumers or is misleading through the omission of relevant facts, this environmental claim shall not be made.’

Abroad however, the laws that control how companies market cosmetics are much tighter. In Canada, the Natural Health Product Regulations oversee the labelling and advertising of cosmetic products, and have taken on a role that was previously carried out by Health Canada. 

China goes a step further, banning all unnecessary words in the titles of beauty products. The law states that the name of thecosmetic product should be concise and it must not contain any content which may mislead or deceive the consumers. The Cosmetics Naming Guidelines prohibits the use of phrases such as; powerful effect, extraordinary, skin renewing, wrinkle removing, anti-bacterial and any expression that falsely claim a product is ‘absolutely natural’. 

What do you think about this? Should brands be more responsible about potentially misleading terminology on their packaging?

Five Philanthropic Cosmetics Companies

After posting about up-and-coming brand Lipslut’s promise to donate half of it’s profits from sales of their ‘F*ck Trump’ liquid lipsticks, I wanted to look at other beauty brands who are also doing their bit for charity. 

1. A firm favourite among fake tan junkies like myself, Bondi Sands offers more than just a year-round sun-kissed glow, with 25p from the sale of each bottle going towards terminal illness support charity Marie Curie.

2. The MAC Viva Glam campaign donates 100% of it’s profits to the MAC Aids Fund. The range includes lipstick and MAC’s much-coveted Lipglass, and a dedicated section of the MAC website shows users what the purchase of one product will fund in the ongoing fight against AIDS.

3. Every year on World Sight Day, L’Occitane releases it’s Solidarity Soap, with the profits from each shea and apricot scented bar going to charities that aim to prevent blindness in third-world countries.

4.Neal’s Yard Bee Lovely honey-infused range has raised over 60,000 for charities dedicated to saving and conserving the UK’s dwindling bee population.

5. Beauty tycoon Laura Mercier launched three new products under the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer scheme in 2012 and donates 100% of the profits to the treatment and prevention of ovarian cancer. The products are a fan-favourite and have all become bestsellers. 

 

 

LIPSTICK VS TRUMP

With big-name brands such as Dove, LUSH and Illamasqua speaking out against Donald Trump and his values, it should come as no surprise that smaller, independent beauty brands are following suit. Enter, Lipslut. 

image courtesy of Lipslut.com

image courtesy of Lipslut.com

The brainchild of American college student Katie Sones, Lipslut was created with the sole intention of campaigning against Trump. It’s tagline: ’50% towards charity, 100% against tyranny’.

In light of the many issues that women will face during Trump’s presidency, including his promise to de-fund Planned Parenthood, Katie wanted to do something to simultaneously support women and declare her disdain for America’s new President.

The brand currently stocks just one product in one shade; a matte liquid lipstick in a dusky-nudepink which has been aptly named ‘F*ck Trump’. The shade was chosen via straw poll on Twitter.

"We aren’t too pleased with our current socio-political landscape," Reads a statement on the Lipslut website. "Chances are you aren’t either. Rather than complaining, we’re putting our money where our mouth is."

With each purchase of a liquid lipstick, the customer is given one vote for which women’s charity the profits should go to. Popular vote will decide which charity the money goes towards. 50% of the profits from the sale of each $19.95 (roughly £15.90) lipstick will go towards an as-of-yet undecided women’s charity. 

Katie is a graphic communication junior at California Polytechnic State University. Speaking to me in an interview, Katie said; "While we want to donate as much as we can upfront, we feel that by growing Lipslut into a fully-fledged makeup company we will be able to have a substantial impact on society for years to come."

When asked about the controversial name of the lipstick, Katie said; "While I don’t necessarily forsee [sic] all of our product names being this loud, I don’t want to write off that possibility either. One thing is certain: don’t count on us losing our attitude our edge as we expand."

But some people don’t support the brand’s contentious political standing. "While I’m sad to see many people have turned their backs to Lipslut and our philanthropic goals I am excited by discussions that are starting to form." Said Katie. "Lipslut first and foremost is meant to be a catalyst for societal change. We feel confrontation is simply part of the process. 

"People are going to buy lipstick either way, so if you could do that and have the money go somewhere that you support, that would be perfect." 

Frontrunners on the charity list currently include Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign and the National Organization for Women. 

Will you be pre-ordering F*ck Trump?

ILLAMSQUA PUBLISHES PLEDGE AGAINST DONALD TRUMP

British cosmetics corporation Illamasqua is taking a stand against America's new President, Donald Trump. Last month, the company's website published a statement urging customers to sign an 'anti-fascism' pledge before buying their products, and went as far as rejecting customers who support Trump. 

The statement opens; "Illamasqua believe in the freedom of expression, equality and diversity. That’s why we are horrified by President Trump’s actions to date. We refuse to remain silent while extreme right-wing populism gains momentum… wherever it is happening."

Comments below the pledge were predictably, positive, but the bold political move amassed mixed reviews elsewhere on the Internet. Twitter users accused the brand of discriminating, with the hashtag #BoycottIllamasqua emerging.

I decided to reach out to Illamasqua founder and writer of the anti-fascism pledge, Julian Kynaston, to find out more. 

Tia: Hi Julian! What prompted you to publish your anti-fascism pledge?

Julian: "The vast majority of our staff and our customers (they call themselves the Illamafia) are from minority groups and subcultures . We have a large following from the Muslim community too. We are champions of our customers and share their beliefs. Illamasqua is a mindset - it's not just about selling make up."

T: Illamasqua is the first cosmetics corporation to publicly stand up against Trump. Do you think other companies will start doing the same?

 J: "Yes, we have already seen the likes of Dove and LUSH follow suit, all be it in very different ways. As brands, we need to take responsibility and use our platform to highlight key issues and encourage change."

T: What do you think of the hashtag #BoycottIllamasqua on Twitter?

J: "We knew some people would not like our statement and we accepted that. The hashtag came from fanatic Trump supporters and really didn’t pick up that much momentum."

T: Some people have claimed anti-fascism pledge is a publicity stunt and grassroots blog chicksontheright.com said it was 'nothing more than a pathetic attempt to cash in on all this anti-Trump sentiment'. Can you comment on that?

J: "We are genuinely horrified by President Trump’s nationalistic agenda and the way his policies are inherently putting minority groups at risk – something we cannot stay silent about. Illamasqua is a brand that speaks it’s opinions confidently and openly. Yes we’ve gained publicity but this wasn’t the main objective."

T: Comments on the anti-fascism statement on the Illamasqua website have been generally positive. Do you think Illamasqua will gain customers for standing up for it's beliefs?

J: "Yes, standing up for our belief’s is something that is integral to Illamasqua. We saw a positive uplift of both sales and social followers following our pledge which was an added bonus to this campaign."

T: A Twitter user said Illamasqua is being 'discriminatory'. Do you think you'll lose any customers from publishing your anti-fascism pledge?

J: "We knew we’d lose some customers, however supporting a man that openly mocks disabled people live on TV is something that needs to be challenged."

Thank-you, Julian.

What do you guys think about the anti-fascism pledge? Does it make you want to buy from Illamasqua more?

 

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About the 'News' tab

My regular readers may have noticed the new addition to my menu bar; the 'news' tab.

This is where I'll be posting beauty-related news content.

As part of a module for university, I've been assigned to find unique, original news stories in my area of interest- in my case, beauty journalism- and post them on a blog. Since I already have this blog, I decided to incorporate my uni work with my blogging hobby.

The stories should be impartial and balanced and have a 'newsy' feel, rather than the more personal, chatty voice that my usual blog posts favour.

I also need to find my own, fresh angle, which aren't necessarily my own views or opinions.

I just thought I'd let you all know since the stories published here won't be my usual style, but I hope you like them anyway!

If you have any story ideas then please let me know in the comments or by EMAILING me.