Of all the perks of being rich and famous (24/7 assistants, Fast Passes to every line on Earth, the power to shift the economy with a single tweet), the best is by far all the swag. Anyone with over a million Instagram followers snags 12-day trips to Tanzania, jet skis, and bundles of beauty products no amount of Sephora Beauty Insider points could ever get you. Celebs even have a special place to go just to be showered in freebies; they call it a "gifting suite." But among the mountains of free stuff celebs took home this award season, there's one that's making headlines for a very special reason: Blush & Whimsy's lipstick.
Never heard of Blush & Whimsy? You’re not the only one. Up until last week, this independent, two-year-old brand kept a low profile, mostly because it only sells one product: a color-changing lipstick. Then, the brand was invited to participate in this year's awards season and feature their product in the poshest of gift bags for some of the biggest names in Hollywood. But Blush & Whimsy isn't on our radar because Frances McDormand and Allison Janney have now likely held or tried it, or that it changes color based on your pH. It's really worth bringing attention to because of its work with Adelante, a nonprofit organization that provides supported living spaces, meals, and employment opportunities for people with physical, mental, and developmental disabilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
According to Blush & Whimsy founder and CEO Michaela Brown, all orders placed on Blush & Whimsy's website are immediately sent to Adelante's warehouses, where its employees package and fulfill every single tube. And this kind of philanthropic initiative is built into the company's mission. Brown tells Refinery29 that her father is a disabled veteran and through his volunteer service at the Disabled American Veterans Charity (DAV), she's witnessed the sort of challenges people with disabilities often face in regards to finding employment. For her, it only made sense that when she founded Blush & Whimsy in 2016, she would also use her platform to work with and promote organizations like Adelante. "I think it’s a missed opportunity for so many companies, and I wanted to ensure I did not miss out," Brown tells Refinery29. "From the warehouse all the way to the guest that receives their package, I wanted everyone to feel empowered, feel essential, and feel important."
Brown explains to us that while there are plenty of product fulfillment warehouses in her area, she chose Adelante to do something greater with beauty. That's a warm and fuzzy feeling you just can't put a price on — even inside a $100,000 swag bag.