Do-Gooder Gift Guide: Beauty Products That Give Back

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In October, Lancôme announced the return of its National Génefique Day, a company-wide initiative that donates $7 for every bottle of Génefique products sold to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Last year alone, the project raised more than $200,000 in a single day.

And that’s just one example of how the beauty community is giving back, as a growing number of brands now offer products (both permanent and limited-edition) that donate to worthy causes. MAC, for example, offers a line of lipsticks that benefit HIV/AIDS research; Pantene’s Great Lengths program donates wigs to cancer patients; and Yes To’s Seed Fund helps children around the world learn about nutrition and healthy living. Aside from those, here are our favorite beauty do-gooders of the moment. While we know beauty products can’t necessarily save the world, we’re all for shopping for stuff that makes you (and others!) feel good in more ways than one. Any of these would make a thoughtful holiday gifts, too!

1: Lush Charity Pot Hand and Body Lotion ($22.95)
The tagline for this much-loved, luxurious moisturizer is “Give generously. Use generously.” And that couldn’t be more apt! The Charity Pot was launched six years ago, with 100% of the purchase price donated directly to different charitable organizations. Since then, it has added up to more than $4 million of contributions for 350 grassroots organizations in 31 countries. Beneficiaries have run the gamut from Acid Survivors Trust International, a human rights initiative, to Grey2KUSA, which advocates and offers adoption services for greyhounds that were used for racing, to NOLA Green Roots, a non-profit that teaches New Orleans residents how to grow produce at a low cost. The product itself is made with Fair Trade organic cocoa butter, plus natural soothing ingredients like almond oil and ylang ylang.

2: Laura Mercier Shop for a Cause Lip Glacé ($24)
In 2012, renowned makeup artist Mercier launched the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund (LMOCF) to raise awareness and support research, education, and treatment for those with the disease. It’s a cause near and dear to Mercier, who has both friends and family members who’ve been diagnosed. How it works: all proceeds from a selection of products go to LMOCF, including our favorite, the high-shine Rose Hope and Kiss of Hope Lip Glacés, which last long and give lips a slight plumping effect.

3: Clinique Happy Hearts Collection ($16–$63)
The department store counter giant has shown its big heart with a special-edition fragrance, nail enamel, and T-shirt in partnership with the Happy Hearts Fund. Started by model Petra Nemcova, a survivor of the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, Happy Hearts helps children affected by natural disasters by rebuilding schools, offering supplies, and organizing sustainable programs. Clinique has donated $250,000 to the organization so far, which, according to its website, has helped restore communities in 14 countries and benefitted more than 40,000 children, including New Orleans residents affected by Hurricane Katrina.

4: FEED Guatemala Cosmetic Pouch ($35)
Yes, you can help feed the world, one bag at a time. That’s the motto of the organization founded by model and activist Lauren Bush (and yes, niece of George W.) After launching in 2005 with a single burlap and cotton bag, FEED’s variety of apparel and accessories has expanded and has raised more than $6 million in donations, and funded 60 million meals, for people in need around the world. For $35, an oversized FEED pouch will hold all your essential cosmetics and help deliver 70 packets of micronutrient powder to children in Guatemala.

5:Sephora Values Inside Out You + Sephora Cosmetic Collection ($20)
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, and the massive beauty chain is taking a big step to help. For every online purchase of the limited-edition Values Inside Out You + Sephora Cosmetic Collection, Sephora is giving $13 of the $20 purchase price to the American Heart Association. In the kit, you get a collectible cosmetic bag with three mini products—a pink shimmer lip gloss, gold glitter liquid liner, and metallic nail polish. And if you buy the kit in store? That also does good, with proceeds going to a local charity chosen by the store manager as part of the program.

What are your favorite products that give back? Share in the comments.

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