In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic canceling summer plans and the continued struggle for racial equality, Pride 2020 has taken on more somber undertones compared to the rainbow studded parades of years past. However social distancing hasn’t stopped this amazing community from celebrating their pride virtually, with digital pride events, online rallies, and even at-home cycling classes honoring Pride Month.
Paradox seeks to empower individuals who dare to embrace paradoxes and amplify voices that are often underrepresented — and this includes the LGBTQ+ community. Members of the Paradox team have personally participated in marches and continue to recognize this special month in different ways amidst cancellations. As June and Pride Month come to a close, learn how the LGBTQ+ community is making an impact on the beauty industry and how you can support LGBTQ+ brands now.
As a queer young person, Isabella Giancarlo didn’t resonate with constrictive beauty standards and wanted to see brands celebrate queer beauty beyond Pride Month. In 2018, Isabella Giancarlo along with Laura Kraber founded Fluide, an all-inclusive makeup brand that defies gender stereotypes, with a “come as you are” ideology. Fluide sells cruelty-free cosmetics, from colorful lipliners to funky body glitters, and names products after different queer spaces. To contribute to the LGBTQ+ community, 10% of the proceeds from Fluide’s Pride collection are being donated to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, a non-profit that recognizes and supports the rights of the Black trans community.
Gloria Noto was a makeup artist and Editor of the queer-focused publication THE WORK MAGAZINE before founding NOTO Botanics in 2016. NOTO Botanics is a gender-fluid skincare and cosmetics brand, with cruelty-free, vegan ingredients and minimalist packaging. An activist and philanthropist at her core, a percentage of the profits from Noto Botanics’ Agender Oil—an all-natural hair care serum—are donated to a range of organizations that support LGBTQ+ causes, including Planned Parenthood, LGBT Youth Center, Woman’s Center DTLA, and ACLU.
Beauty guru and social media star Nikita Dragun boasts millions of followers and made history as the founder of the first trans-owned major beauty brand, Dragun Beauty. Dragun Beauty offers a variety of cosmetics including a signature DragunEgg® TRANSformation Kit, complete with color corrector, brightening powder, and iconic purple egg-shaped packaging. Growing up, Nikita Dragun explored beauty as a means of escape and self-expression and now hopes to inspire others to be unapologetically and authentically themselves.
Courtesy of Hi Wildflower
In 2014, novelist Tanaïs founded Hi Wildflower, a beauty and fragrance brand that sells botanical lipsticks and perfumes. Tanaïs is a proudly queer Bangladeshi woman and hires queer people of color to model products. On her podcast, MALA, Tanaïs recognizes and celebrates extraordinary women and their stories. Hi Wildflower advocates for inclusivity, with gender-free perfumes and has collaborated with organizations such as Girls Write Now, Arte and Resistance Education, and Black Lives Matter.
Before launching W3LL People with college friends James Walker and Renee Snyder 13 years ago, Pinkson worked at M.A.C and eventually transferred to NARS where she became global director. Co-founder and chief product officer of W3LL People, lesbian makeup artist and clean beauty enthusiast Shirly Pinkson was determined to create non-toxic plant-based makeup products. W3LL People sells all-natural cosmetics without any harmful or questionable ingredients, such as parabens or petroleum. On her definition of beauty, “Self-acceptance. To see a person who is confident and comfortable in their own skin is to see beauty,” said Pinkson in an interview with the Cut.
Freckle-obsessed Remi Brixton launched Freck as an innovative faux-freckle passion project that evolved into a full-fledged clean beauty brand. The L.A. based brand offers cosmetics and skincare products, “founded by women and made for everyone.”
Jessica Blackler worked as a makeup artist in film and television before founding Jecca Blac to create a safe space for trans women to play around with makeup. Jecca Blac is a vegan, gender-free cosmetics brand that embraces all beauty enthusiasts. The all-inclusive beauty brand also recruits LGBTQ+ employees and hosted their first London Trans Festival in 2019.
It’s important to stand by the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month but also year-round. Make a difference with your wallet by shopping at LGBTQ+ inclusive brands or by donating to organizations that advocate for LGBTQ+ causes like The Trevor Project, the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, or ACLU. What are your favorite LGBTQ+ beauty brands? Let us know in the comments below!
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