By Sara Radin
Can a lip gloss inspire a movement? A new makeup brand called Lipslut has set out to prove just that. The label is here to help consumers put their money where their mouth is by shaking up the cosmetics industry while combating the United States’ faulty political system.
The idea was conceived the night of Trump’s inauguration by Katie Sones, a rising college senior. Sones said, “realizing that Trump’s plans to defund Planned Parenthood and other support channels for women worldwide were likely going to come to fruition, I felt I had to take action. I couldn’t remain passive as the communities around me suffered.” Inspired by the overwhelming outpour of support from the Women’s March, Sones quickly decided she wanted to make something that would directly benefit those in need and be “seamlessly integrated into daily life.” Cosmetics immediately came to mind since makeup is a part of the everyday lives of so many people. She and her friends began sketching out a model, and soon after Lipslut was born.
While the brand came together rather quickly, the design is thoughtful and clever. The packaging itself is a form of protest: the company’s sole product is a pink matte liquid lipstick titled “F*ck Trump” that comes in a turquoise blue box with an Andy Warhol-esque image of President Trump wearing lipstick. The matte lipgloss is a pretty, mauve-toned hue that dries quickly and stays on all day; resistant even while on-the-go. It’s like a dirty little secret, a form of silent protest.
Not only that, each Lipslut lipgloss tube gives back in a big way: Lipslut donates 50 percent of profits to a civil rights charity that is being targeted by the Trump administration. Upon purchasing, Lipslut gives each customer the opportunity to vote for their favorite organization. Ultimately, the votes will be tallied and a charity will be selected by “popular vote, no electoral college baloney,” as their press kit states.
When it launched this spring, the first batch of the lipgloss sold out quickly; already thousands of tubes have been sold and thousands of dollars have been raised. Following the recent Charlottesville attack, the brand is offering a new option in which customers can choose to help the victims. Lipslut is taking their business model a step further, as 100% of earnings from the sales by customers who select “Charlottesville” will go to the cause. In just ten days, the brand has already raised over $40,000 for the Charlottesville victims.
At the heart of Lipslut is Sones' desire to transform her passion for cosmetics into a vehicle that will inspire social activism. With Lipslut, Sones hopes to “integrate philanthropy into everyday life, all the while delivering quality cosmetics to help individuals confidently be their best selves [and] to improve society one face at a time." Back in February, Lipslut posed a question on Instagram: "If companies prided themselves on pushing to improve society, what would they look like?" Sones has taken a simple concept and proven how one can redirect anger and use limited resources to make direct, positive change: “While trends may come and go, I believe questioning the world around us and working towards improving society should always be ‘in vogue’”.
All images courtesy of Lipslut. To learn more and get your own “F*ck Trump” lipgloss, visit Lipslut.com.
Sara Radin is the Youth Culture Editor at WGSN and the co-founder of It’s Not Personal, an inclusive, femme centric dating collective and growing anthology of art and writing about dating, sex, and love based in New York. You can see more of her work via sararradin.com and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.