Girl Power: The Beauty of Haughty CosmeticsBy Shahada Karim | October 14th, 2011 | Category: Beauty | No Comments »
It’s always a treat to discover a company that makes great products. It’s an even bigger treat to find a company that also raises social awareness and empowers women. You’ll find such a rare combination in Haughty Cosmetics. The company produces a collection of lip glosses that are fast approaching cult status, while emphasizing the beauty of confidence and control. If that’s not impressive enough, half of all proceeds from company products are donated to help to raise awareness about Domestic Violence.
Owner Michele Coyle Edwards was kind enough to indulge my curiosity about the brand, and explain her mission to do more than just sell lip gloss.
-Why did you create Haughty Cosmetics?
I’m a big believer in creating your own happiness; so when I lost my cubicle job last year, I viewed it as an opportunity for a fresh start. I couldn’t think of anything cooler than starting my own makeup company, so I did. Haughty officially launched with the release of our first product, Perfect Finish Lip Gloss, in March of this year.
-What’s in a name? Why choose the name “Haughty”?
“Haughty” is a name that’s tongue-in-cheek on one level and serious on another. For instance, I think a $21 tube of lip gloss is a pretty “haughty” cosmetic. Why not call a spade a spade, right? I just love the idea of my customer walking into a store one day, seeing Chanel, Dior, and then Haughty, and just cracking up. I also really like the double entendre.
On a deeper level, “haughty” is about extreme confidence, which is what I want to inspire in women who use my products. I just turned 30 this year, and there’s something so freeing about finally reaching an age where you have a natural self-respect that comes from within. In a big way, it’s about independence. I’m not talking about thinking you’re better than other people, but about holding your head high and realizing that you are awesome and deserve great things, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
-Tell me more about your lip glosses.
I am so proud of my glosses, and am so touched and humbled by the reception they’ve gotten so far. I make and fill them and cap them by hand in my studio, so they are really like my babies. The formula is designed to feel good, while having staying power. Before this lip gloss, I used to use balm under lipstick under gloss. Who has time for that? Not me or my customers. So, I set out to make something that would do the job of all three products while improving the condition of lips. As a result, Perfect Finish Lip Gloss is highly pigmented to give lasting color, is highly moisturizing without being sticky, and has Vitamin E and Provitamin B5 to soften lips long-term. Plus you get the shine of a traditional gloss.
-You have an amazing company policy of donating 50 percent of all sales proceeds to domestic violence awareness and prevention.
Domestic violence prevention education is a cause that’s highly important to me on a personal level, and I knew that I could raise more money to help by selling a product than I ever could on my own. I also got tired of seeing companies donating “a portion” of proceeds and then finding out the portion was two percent. I mean, come on, at that point it costs you more to advertise that you are donating to charity than what you are actually donating to charity! It just seemed disingenuous. So I wanted to donate the maximum amount I could and still keep the company afloat.
The organizations I work with are focused on prevention education, which involves talking to young people about healthy vs. unhealthy relationships. It’s great that so many resources are focused on helping domestic violence victims after the fact, but I think there’s a lack of emphasis on preventing it in the first place. Right now Haughty is actively working with Becky’s Fund and Leave Out Violence (LOVE), and we hope to begin working with Break the Cycle in the near future.
-As you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and the official color is PINK. Just in time, you’ve released a selection of pink glosses! Tell us a bit more about them.
October is also Domestic Violence Awareness month, which is where Haughty’s focus is. The brand isn’t tied into breast cancer awareness at all, so the release of pinks a few months prior is purely coincidental. But if buying and wearing pink products bring more awareness to that cause as well, great!
I created and released these pinks in response to customer demand. I tried to include a pink for everyone: brights and neutrals, some with cool and some with warm tones. So, no matter your skin tone or beauty personality, there’s a pink in this collection for you!
-Which is your favorite “pink” color?
That’s like asking me to choose between children. Live Free or Die is a favorite, because I love bright colors, and this one looks good on everyone. I also love Inspire, because it’s my perfect everyday color. But Choose Happiness is particularly close to my heart . . . I named it after my dad, who always taught me that one can do just that.
*Haughty Cosmetics Lip Glosses can be purchased at www.haughtycosmetics.com