Spreading the Beauty Love

Recently on twitter and in all my favourite beauty blogs everyone has been going crazy for beauty boxes. We love the excitement, the fun experimenting, the jubilation at getting a new product and trying out something we'd never normally buy ourselves. As well as the joy there's also frustration when we get products we don't like, or that don't suit us. After a few beauty boxes we end up with a collection of products we like but more than a few that we never use. What do we do with them?

I'd say a lot of us have given them to friends, others have still got them at the back of their make up cases sitting unused. What I'd like to bring to your attention though is that there is another thing you can do with all of these high end products you don't want.  A non profit organisation called Give and Makeup aims to get basic every day essentials into the hands of women and children who need it most. They work with Women's Aid and Refuge, two amazing charities that both myself and my partner have experience with and have supported in the past. They support women and children who are at their most vulnerable and try to create a safe space for them to rebuild their lives.

The statistics are frightening, two women every week are murdered by a partner or ex partner, one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Is it just me or are these statistics unbelievable? 1 in 4 women! I think about my friends, at least 1 or 2 of us statistically will face domestic violence, that is a shocking realisation.

Many bloggers I know have already highlighted this great organisation, but I only found out about it recently, and I thought that if I'm only finding out about it there's bound to be others who aren't aware yet either. I'd been reading the timeline of their twitter presence @giveandmakeup and I was struck by one of their tweets in response to a question:

'...The MU [make up] side comes into play when the women are going back out to work etc... A lot of them need it for interview processes in the first instance. And most of them have never been allowed to use make-up..So it's nice for them to be able to try it out.' [27/10/2011 18.14]

It really struck me, I'm so used to taking it for granted. It is lovely to be able to change how you feel when you pick a make up look, anyone who has worn make up knows the difference in how they feel about themselves when they're wearing a little mascara or the perfect lip stick. For many of these women their confidence has been damaged and to step back out into the workplace is a daunting prospect, so the ability to create a little confidence for themselves by changes the way they look with a little mascara can be invaluable. Also many have come to shelters in the middle of the night having to leave everything, so have nothing. So many people think make up is a frivolity, and in many ways it is frivolous in that it may not be essential but what it does has wider reaching cognitive consequences. Many women feel their make up is what they do for themselves. That new product they've treated themselves to, the age defying illuminator, all things which perk up how they feel about themselves, and more to the point how I feel about myself.

When I moonlighted as a theatre make up artist at university I gained a whole new perspective on the power of make up. The products I was using had the power to make the actor feel and look like another character, it not only visually created the character for the audience and aided the performance but it also aided the actors. Although on a daily basis we don't use theatrical make up the effect is similar. It can be described as 'war paint', 'putting my face on' it has the power to give confidence, often covering blemishes that make us lower our heads, or make us feel beautiful and give us that extra little pep in our step. 

For many of these women to never have been allowed to wear make up is denying them not only the ability to change how they are seen but also the ability to play. As fully grown women we play with our products on a daily basis, experimenting with new colours and creams, it is a source of pleasure for us. Even those who don't use make up very much still have the opportunity to put on a little lip balm, moisturiser or nail polish. It makes us feel feminine and allows us to think of ourselves and focus on us for a few moments. 

Give and Makeup take donations of make up and other products which are either new or very lightly used. They pass on the donations to Refuge and Women's Aid projects which goes toward helping the women that they are assisting. We get all these products in our Beauty Boxes, or when we're out shopping which we don't want or don't use. With Christmas coming up how many of us will get huge gift sets filled with products and only use 60% of them?  I know I will, and I know a lot of you will. Give and Makeup have a list of things they need here and they also have the requirements for the products they accept. 

 I'm going to be picking up a few little products when I'm next buying myself some make up and sending along my beauty box products I haven't used. There's information on where to send them or drop them off here. I hope you guys are also struck by the importance of helping these brave women move forward with confidence. We love our products so lets share the love, let's help others find the products they like. We know that feeling when we have a product that makes us feel lovely about ourselves, let's pass on that feeling.

Much Love

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