Ken Grodin ’13 and Brendan Gallagher ’13 have transformed makeup application into an act of defiance. Reacting to President Donald Trump’s plans to defund Planned Parenthood and other women’s health resources, these alumni founded their cosmetics company the night of the president’s inauguration.
The company, dubbed Lipslut, sells lipstick in the shade “F*** Trump” to raise awareness and funds for women’s charities. Grodin said he and Gallagher settled on lipstick as the idea for their campaign after researching the cosmetics industry and being disappointed by what they found.
“We noticed underrepresentation for the very people we planned to help is rampant throughout the industry,” Grodin said in an email. “Our project was to be a step in the right direction, combating any negative forces acting against the strides our society has made toward social progress.”
Along with purchasing a lipstick, the buyer submits a vote for his or her women’s charity of choice. Money raised will be donated to the charity that receives the most votes by the end of the campaign.
“We couldn’t remain passive as our communities suffered,” Grodin said. “We were glad to see an overwhelming outpour of support at the Women’s March and similar events. However, aside from awareness, we wanted to find a way to direct tangible resources to those who need it.”
Grodin said the company is currently only selling the one product to keep business practices lean and brand visibility high. The founders hope to broaden their range of products in the future.
Developing a stronger social media presence and commissioning campus promoters at California schools such as Stanford, UC Berkeley and UCLA, Lipslut is working to expand its influence nationwide.
“We want Lipslut to be a movement that people are genuinely proud to stand behind,” Grodin said. “With help, we believe Lipslut will become a household name for progressives and conservatives alike, albeit for different reasons. From there, we’ll use our platform to shake things up for the better.”