Charitable Beauty Gifts

It's officially December! This means that everyone is either talking about or buying gifts for the holidays. While we live in a consumer society where we are always bombarded with ads and new items to buy, sometimes the best gift is one that gives back. This, in addition to December 1st being World AIDS Day, gave me the inspiration to write about some of the best gifts this season with profits that go to charities and good causes.


The latest campaign features Taraji P. Henson and is another home run. Photo credit:  MAC

The latest campaign features Taraji P. Henson and is another home run. Photo credit: MAC

Have you noticed I'm obsessed with MAC? Rightly so! They have products for every type of skin and type of person, whether you're a newbie to the fashion game or an OG, the products and education at MAC is unparalleled. Even better is that, ever since 1994, MAC has been giving all of the profits from their Viva Glam makeup line to provide resources to people presently living with AIDS worldwide. That's 100% of the profits! Not only are you supporting an amazing cause but you are joining the tribe of "MAC girls" that have long collaborated with the brand for Viva Glam (RuPaul, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Elton John... I could go on but you get it). You get a beautiful lipstick, give to a charity, and then can bring back your used tubes for a brand new lipstick! My favorite is Viva Glam V, thanks for asking!

Photo credit:  IT Cosmetics

Photo credit: IT Cosmetics

I can have the swine flu, go outside looking like a hobo, and I still do my brows. Hey, it makes me feel better! The Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil is one of my favorite products for a quick and flattering brow. The great thing about this pencil is it comes in one shade which is meant to compliment everyone and, quite frankly, it does a damn good job at it. I currently have auburn hair so I'll use this pencil to fill in the shape of my brows and then I'll use a warm tones brow gel to seal the hairs in place and make sure the curtains match the drapes (get it?). The even better part of this pencil is that, with each one purchase, IT Cosmetics sends one pencil to Look Good Feel Better, a foundation helping women look and feel their best selves while undergoing cancer treatment. Talk about a confidence booster!



Photo credit:  Kiehl's

Photo credit: Kiehl's

I have a few holy grail products and the Ultra Facial Cream from Kiehl's is definitely one of them. This is the product that I whip out as soon as my Spidey senses tell me that autumn is here. In the colder months, this cream saves my face (and my whole body) from looking like an iguana. The second best part is that its formula is so subtle and unisex that even my lumberjack of a boyfriend can borrow this and not smell like a petunia (probably his worst nightmare). The first best part is that this Limited Edition version donates proceeds from the purchase of this cream to Autism Speaks, an organization working to provide resources and support to those that are living with autism and their families/caregivers worldwide. This is a biggie, y'all. 

Photo credit:  TATCHA

Photo credit: TATCHA

If you are looking for a luxurious product made of natural ingredients that will make you look like you've just traveled through the birth canal all over again, look no further than TATCHA's GOLD Camellia Beauty Oil. But seriously, this face oil is something of a miracle. It works well on all skin types (even oily and combination) and it will leave your face rejuvenated and glowing, as if you just left a Soulcycle class (but really you left boozy brunch). The cause behind this brand is also one to note: each full sized product purchased from the TATCHA will fund the supplies and resources for a full day of school for girls in Asia and Africa, who would otherwise not have the opportunity to get an education, because of their partnership with Room to Read. #girlpower



Photo credit:  Lush

Photo credit: Lush

When it comes to body care, especially in this colder weather, my go-to brand is Lush. From their bath bombs to their lotions, they help keep my seasonal affective disorder away. One lotion that I swear by not only gives me luxurious skin, but it also give back worldwide. The Charity Pot moisturizer includes natural ingredients for all skin types and gives back 100% of its proceeds to grassroots organizations that support sustainable farming and living.

Bonus: if you want to apply to volunteer with Charity Pot you can go here.

Photo credit: Baxter of California

Photo credit: Baxter of California

Anyone who knows me, knows I have a sweating problem. TMI?  Maybe. I sweat when I'm nervous, hot, excited, or alive. The deodorant from Baxter is one of the only things that keeps me from looking like a hell beast. The body wash is so refreshing that I step out of the shower with the confidence of Tony Stark. The Showe(RED) Kit that is being sold includes both of these two items as well as a shampoo and face wash. Proceeds of this purchase go directly to (RED), the foundation helping people around the world who are living with AIDS. Not only does this organization help fund research into curing the virus but it helps people infected with it who are just trying to get by now. This is a great gift set for any men in your life as Baxter is geared toward a male audience.



Photo credit:  SheaMoisture

Photo credit: SheaMoisture

My clients with natural hair or unmanageable curls swear by this brand (I'm obsessed with their bubble baths) and, specifically, this product: the Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Conditioner. Both manuka honey and mafura oil are some of nature's most sustainable and quality products. This conditioner helps gloss and wrangle any elusive curls or frizz. My clients who gush about this conditioner told me that they also use it as a co-wash and it works amazingly. I use it only on the ends of my hair that are fried from all of the dying and heat I put it through. Either way, this is a home run for the person in your life who always sighs about their hair needing TLC. Another bonus? 10% of the proceeds from this product (and others like it) go to the Community Commerce, a SheaMoisture initiative that partners with organizations to provide women around the world with jobs they may not otherwise have without the production of this line. Count me in!

Photo credit:  Honest Beauty

Photo credit: Honest Beauty

Jessica Alba's baby, Honest Beauty, partners with and Girls Who Code to provide resources and host events that encourage teenage girls to learn more about computer science and technology, ultimately introducing more women into the tech fields. Though you can help fund this with any purchase from the brand, one of my favorites is the TRULY RESTORED Recovery Masque. I have been dying my hair non-stop for over ten years now. I don't mean one color, I mean bleach, out of the box, salon highlights, you name it and I've tortured my hair with it. This hair mask literally gives my tresses life (besides "masque" makes me feel fancy). 

Whatever your wishlist contains or whoever you buy presents for this holiday season, remember that you can always give back with more reach than your immediate network of loved ones. Whether it's a direct donation, volunteering, or buying a product that gives back. Tis the seaon.