BWB Beauty Awards: How These Warriors are Spreading Positivity Through the Pandemic
When the world comes together to give back.
Here we are in March, exactly one year since the US declared the coronavirus pandemic as a national emergency. COVID-19 has added the words “quarantine,” “lockdown,” and “social-distancing” into our everyday vocabulary. It feels like just about everything has changed as we settle into the new normal. Looking back, the past year has given us plenty of challenges, but also glimmers of breakthroughs. Many brands have been helping to flatten the curve in creative ways. From creating face masks to hand sanitizers and more, these are just some of the many warriors, fighters, and kind souls who are spreading positivity in a time of crisis.
Pretty Connected Nikki Gold Face Mask Chain Strap
The invention of the original mask chain started with Lara Eurdolian. This fashion & beauty expert, on-air talent, and editor of Pretty Connected launched a line of signature chains in 2018.After the pandemic began, she reimagined the product with a newfound purpose.
Like many businesses, she temporarily closed her office for two months during the start of the pandemic. Lara focused mainly on giving back to charities by hosting beauty sales. Then, her friend experienced an aha moment. Why not wear her multi-use chains (popularly worn as camera straps, water bottle holders, necklaces, and more) as a mask chain?
“The mask chain has given me a bigger way to spread that message [of wearing masks], to revive my line with purpose and give back,” she wrote in her social media caption after hitting record-breaking sales last May. “Now is the time where most of us need to pivot, and you never know where inspiration will strike.”
Aside from being stylish accessories, the chains serve a sanitary purpose. Instead of throwing your mask in your purse or tucking it in your pocket, it can hang on your chain. Really, what can’t these chains do? The Nikki chain comes in a mini and long length, which you can wrap around your neck. There are plenty of other styles and colors like gold, silver, including an iridescent “mermaid” hue. Recently, stars like Sarah Jessica Parker have toted the designs out and about on repeat.
Simple Satch Rose Gold Leopard Foil Face Mask
Browse through the site and you’ll find more chain styles and fabric face masks by another female-founded brand: Simple Satch. In 2020, Pretty Connected donated 10% of its sales COVID-19 relief efforts, such as No Kid Hungry. Right now, $1 from every sale goes to Black Girl Ventures and $1 goes to The Armenia Fund.
Beautyblender x Pretty Connected Mask + Chain Set
It’s 2021 and most of us are in pandemic fatigue. There couldn’t be a better time for the launch of an optimistic pick-me-up: the Beautyblender x Pretty Connected mask and chain set.
The black jersey cotton mask features a bright pink lip motif that serves as an instant mood-booster. Plus, you’ll get the look of lipstick without actually having to apply (or smudge) it! “What better way to spread happiness than to literally put a smile on people’s faces,” says Eurdolian, who created it with Beautyblender founder, Rea Ann Silva. Another perk? They’re donating one dollar of each sale to Black Girl Ventures, which helps fund black and brown women founders.
As for another timely launch, Beautyblender recently launched its new Bio Pure Makeup Sponge. From day one, sustainability has been one of Beautyblender’s top goals in creating a reusable sponge. This new version is also recyclable, but it takes sustainability to the next level. It’s made from a 60% plant base of renewable sugarcane—all while offering the same bounce and softness. Plus, the canister is made via an eco-efficient process that creates less water waste and offsets CO2 emissions. All in all, it’s good for you and good for the earth.
Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream
This French company was one of the first to provide 1,350,000 bottles of much-needed hand sanitizers to healthcare workers. Additionally, the skincare brand donated 30,000 tubes of hand creams and 30,000 facial moisturizer samples to hospitals worldwide.
Further, Clarins is also big on environmental responsibilities when it comes to beauty. The brand prioritizes ethical farming, working closely with people on the ground who use traditional farming techniques and minimal equipment. This practice ensures the best quality plant ingredients and preserves natural resources. As for its upcoming goals? By 2025, the brand aims to double the percentage of organic ingredients in its products.
Dial Complete Clean + Gentle Foaming Hand Wash
Somewhere between now and the past year, “wash your hands” has become a mantra. Keeping your hands clean is key during the time of COVID-19. For more than 70 years, Dial has been creating soaps and body washes that families know and love. As leaders in this category, the brand stepped it up to work with FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which supports communities during disasters). The result? Their #IWashMyHandsFor social campaign. The online community came together to share who they wash their hands for and what that person means to them. This sparked an uplifting virtual connection across the country.
Recently, the brand launched its Dial Complete Clean + Gentle Foaming Hand Wash, which comes in grapefruit, aloe, and fragrance-free versions. Look no further if you’re on the search for an ultra-gentle hand soap. The dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic formula delivers moisturizing conditioners, while killing 99.99% of bacteria encountered in household settings.
Sephora Collection Clean Cleansing & Gentle Exfoliating Wipes
Beauty wonderland, AKA Sephora, launched Project Care in May 2020. This effort aimed to give back to those affected by the pandemic. The company donated more than 65,000 beauty goods to healthcare heroes, as well as those dealing with domestic violence across the US.
Corporate employees also had the chance to nominate 500 deserving individuals to receive beauty kits. Think: cleansing wipes, an eye mask, a face mask, and Super Matte Moisturizer). Each of the 500 nominees received 100 of these kits to share with their colleagues. In total, 50,000 received a dose of self-care with this thoughtful selection of products.
And it didn’t stop there: Sephora donated 15,000 Play! Beauty boxes to 150 women’s shelters. These beauty boxes landed safely in the hands of domestic violence victims who had undergone life changes due to stay-at-home orders.
Currently, Sephora is doing its part to flatten the curve by implementing safety measures in stores after its re-opening. For example, Sephora requires employees to take their temperature twice a day, sanitize shopping baskets and checkout areas and wear face masks. In addition, all stores require physical distancing, limit the number of people in stores and update the testers for display only.
Knee-High Compression Socks
LA-based wearable wellness brand, Comrad recently restarted their COVID-19 donation program. Originally launched in April 2020, the company donates a pair of compression socks to a healthcare worker on the frontline for every pair purchased.
What makes these socks different? Firstly, their ability to promote blood flow leads to better circulation overall. Secondly, they can reduce the production of lactic acid post-training and workout. It’s like an energy boost for your feet (or legs, depending on the style of the sock). Slipping on these cozy compression socks can help combat everyday fatigue, whether you work a desk job or are constantly active. The socks are unisex and come in knee-high and ankle versions.
With so many doctors and nurses working tirelessly on their feet day and night, this charitable initiative is made for the front line. Supporters including model, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Karlie Kloss were vocal about the donation program via social media upon its launch. To date, Comrad has shipped more than $400,000 worth of socks to over 100 hospitals. The brand has set a goal to reach 10,000 socks by July.
THE PIERRE FABRE GROUP
Eau Thermale Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray
What do the haircare and skincare brands Klorane, Glytone, Avène, and René Furterer have in common? They are all part of the Pierre Fabre Group, which ventured outside their usual production practices to create a hydroalcoholic gel in 10 out of 11 of their production plants. These brands delivered their products to French hospitals and pharmacies (to sell at a fixed price determined by the French government).
Last April, the gel became available to the European countries hit hardest by COVID-19. Later, it expanded to Brazil and the U.S.
Also, the Pierre Fabre Group worked closely with Eau Thermale Avène to donate skin-loving products to hospitals in the Occitania region of France. As the constant use of hand sanitizers and hand-washing can lead to dry skin and irritation, they donated Eau Thermale Avène Cicalfate Hand Cream, Thermal Spring Water Spray (for irritation caused by wearing a face mask), and TriXéra Cleansing Gel (for daily bodily cleansing).
As a whole, the company constantly spreads positivity through their commitments to protecting biodiversity, developing safe products, and acting ethically. The company has undeniably stayed true to its motto: “Taking care, living better.”
Wendy Sy is a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle writer based in New York City. In addition to her editorial website, Style Meets Story, her work has been featured in Allure, Avenue Magazine, InStyle, and more. When she’s not brainstorming ideas for upcoming articles, you can find her spending countless hours searching for lost treasures at vintage shops. Photo by Sophie Elgort.