Urban Decay & Gwen Stefani Have Some Big News

Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
When it comes to celebrity brand ambassadors, we tend to be a bit on the jaded side. Since it feels like every company has its own famous face to be fabulous and talk about products on its behalf, the whole concept of celebrity spokesmodels has rapidly lost its initial impact. Leave it to Urban Decay to take that notion and turn it squarely on its head. One of our most beloved, boundary-busting beauty brands is teaming up with one of our fave celebs for a philanthropy initiative that will warm even the most cynical of hearts. Urban Decay announced today that it's partnering with none other than Gwen Stefani to spearhead a new global initiative called the Ultraviolet Edge. The initiative will pool together money to “support a variety of organizations that are doing incredible things to empower women.” The brand has committed to donating three million dollars to a variety of women-centric causes over the next five years. How does it plan to do that? With your help: UD has created a brand-new, limited-edition Eyeshadow Primer Potion called Enigma, described by founder Wende Zomnir as somewhere between the Original nude shade and the nude, matte Eden. And, 100% of the $20 purchase price of Enigma will be donated to the Ultraviolet Edge. Zomnir says the first organization UD will donate to is the Women’s Global Empowerment Fund, a foundation started by entrepreneur Karen Sugar that provides micro loans, literacy programs, and business training to women in Uganda to help them rebuild their post-war lives. Says Zomnir, “We love the idea of doing a fund where we can provide grants to different organizations to do different things with the overarching goal of making life better for women. I love the idea that these are micro loans that empower women. It’s not really about charity — it’s about empowerment, and we felt like that was a great fit with our mission.” As for the decision to team up with Stefani, Zomnir says it was a no-brainer: Her fellow SoCal girl will help bring the attention needed to make an initiative like this the raging success it deserves to be. Working with Stefani on the Ultraviolet Edge instead of a pure product launch “makes it really clear to people that she’s doing it to bring awareness, and it’s not about overtaking the brand or just signing someone up to sign on the dotted line and be a face. It’s really about involvement and doing something good in the world,” says Zomnir. We’ve seen plenty of charitable giving in the beauty industry, but we have to say we give major props to brands that make the choice to donate 100% of a purchase price, rather than “a portion of the proceeds” to charity. As Zomnir points out, “proceeds are nebulous, and you’re not really sure how much of it [is actually going to charity]. How do you account for what the proceeds are and what is the profit? When you say it’s the entire purchase price, it makes it really clear." She adds: "And, we’re not just asking our customers to step up: We’re also stepping up. If you come in and buy it...your money will go to charity, and we’re going to basically match it.” To put things in perspective, Zomnir says that the purchase of just three primer potions equals roughly the amount needed to fund a micro loan for one woman, which she says could change that woman's life. The Enigma Eyeshadow Primer Potion is available now on the Urban Decay site. And, we’ve been told there are more good things to come from UD, Stefani, and the Ultraviolet Edge in 2015. We can’t wait to see what they’ve got up their sleeves — if this collaboration is any indication, we know it’s going to be positively epic. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, $20, available at Urban Decay.

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