Jun 21, 2012 12:38PM

Beauty With a Conscience

You'll be surprised just how far a tube of lipstick can go.

It isn't novel for a cosmetics company to encourage us to have a heart as big as our make-up bag. And, I mean, it only makes sense that if we spend so much time beautifying ourselves, we should do the same for the planet and the lives of others.

Way back in '94, legendary make-up brand M.A.C kicked off their philanthropic efforts with the M.A.C AIDS Fund. All revenue from M.A.C Viva Glam lipstick and lip glass goes toward people of all ages, races and sexes living with HIV or AIDS. Eighteen years on and the Fund is still going strong, having been endorsed by stars including (non-lipstick lesbian) K.D. Lang, Boy George and, of course, Lady Gaga.

NARS also launched an AIDS and STD-awareness campaign a few years ago, this time with a comedic angle: they sold a 'Safer Set' which included a Multiple cream blush in Orgasm (of course), a couple of custom NARS condoms, and little black book of ways to say "No". Proceeds went to sexual-awareness organisation Amfar.

  

The Body Shop and Neutrogena are two other long-time devotees to ethical causes. The Body Shop's latest effort gives all proceeds from 'Get Lippy' lip balm to HIV and AIDS awareness, and Neutrogena have a whole range of products that contribute to their very own Wave of Change charity, which is involved in various education and environmental protection programs around the world.

Along with gaining a cult following for their sweet-smelling products that do not leave you smelling "like a baby prostitute" (thank you Mean Girls), naturally-derived skin care brand Jurlique has built a pretty solid reputation for environmental awareness (they even have their very own farm in South Australia). Now they can add 'society' to the list of stuff they're aware of, with the announcement of the Jurlique Ideas of Beauty Fund, which donates cash to organisations that help to change the lives of women globally. Their first move has seen them become a national partner — and the first ever female Mentor Sponsor — of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), a program which pairs Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids with uni students, ultimately increasing the chance for Indigenous kids to kill it academically.

You can help by purchasing a extra-special deluxe edition (above) of one of Jurlique's most famed products, the Rosewater Balancing Mist, on sale July 15. A delicious mix of aloe vera and essential rose oils, the hydrating spray leaves your face smelling of marshmallows (yes, marshmallows) and your skin feeling refreshed. Every purchase will contribute to the fund and help make a difference to heaps of girls and women around the world.

Words: Jerico Mandybur and Dijana Kurmurdian