Lipslut Has Raised $40,000 for Charlottesville Victims With "F*ck Trump" Lipstick
Did we mention the company is run by three college students in California?
In just four days, Lipslut — a beauty brand launched by three college students in San Luis Obispo — has raised $40,000 for the victims of the horrific violence in Charlottesville.
"Lipslut is already a political and philanthropic brand, so we already have a big platform for this, and I just thought, 'How could we not donate in the face of this tragedy?'" Katie Sones, one member of the company's three-man (or woman, as it were) team, told The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday.
Lipslut launched shortly after President Donald Trump's inauguration, selling one shade of matte pink liquid lipstick called "F*ck Trump" for $20. When customers check out, they can cast their vote for one of nine charities (including Planned Parenthood, She Should Run, the ACLU and the National Organization for Women) and at the end of the initial F*ck Trump campaign, which will conclude in a few months, 50 percent of all sales will be donated to whichever charity has received the most votes. (Excluding the money raised for Charlottesville, the brand has raised $20,000 from the lipsticks since the launch.)
However, when the team saw the events unfolding in Charlottesville, where 32-year-old Heather Heyer died and 19 others were injured when a car plowed through a group of activists counter-protesting the neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups, they decided to switch things up.
The team added a "Charlottesville" option to their check-out process and vowed to donate 100 percent of the proceeds from each sale to help victims of the ordeal. "I was really disturbed and horrified to see that," she added. "I just wanted to help however I could, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity." In addition to donating to the victims' medical bills, the company will also donate to BLM Charlottesville and the Albemarle-Charlottesville chapter of the NAACP.
According to Sones, Lipslut received about 450 new orders since announcing its plans to donate to Charlottesville, almost 10 times what is typical for that timeframe. While her classmates may be readying themselves for the back-to-school season, Sones — a soon-to-be fourth-year graphic communications major responsible for the pop art-like packaging of the brand — and her team will be piled in a room to pack and ship the new orders.
"We get them manufactured abroad," said Sones, adding that the product is ethically produced and cruelty-free, "and then we wrap them in bubble wrap, stick on the labels and haul them to the post office in Ikea bags."
The option to donate to Charlottesville will be open through the end of August. In the meantime, the Lipslut team is working on coming up with ideas for new campaigns and products (lip glosses appear to be on the horizon), that adhere to their company's tagline, "50 percent towards charity, 100 percent against tyranny and, of course, 100 percent cruelty free." And yes, the names of the forthcoming products will be just as provocative as "Lipslut" and "F*ck Trump."
"We like to spark a conversation," said Sones.
Lipslut isn't the only beauty brand birthed in reaction to the Trump presidency. Beautiful Rights, a cosmetics label touting lipsticks with names like "Pantsuit Pink" — a wink-wink nod to Hillary Clinton — and "Politically Pout," also makes donations to various organizations with each purchase, including the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.
12:45 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18: Edited to reflect updated number of funds raised as of Friday.