I kick off Breast Cancer Awareness month with a truly inspiring girl, who is helping cancer patients and cancer survivors by taking non-toxic makeup into the hospital to make them look gorgeous. Renata Helfman, founder of Lipstick Angels is the girl of the month, who is also featured this month in Organic Spa Magazine. I got a chance to interview her, and of course, she’s one of those incredible people who lives her life with her hands wide open:
S.U.You started one of the first stunning green beauty boutiques in Los Angeles – what got you into “green” products in the first place?
R.H.I had a hormonal imbalance so i went to see a doctor who told me that the chemicals in my personal products could be affecting my hormones . After that i went home did some homework and up came the EWG my whole life changed that day !
S.U.You’re a celebrity makeup artist – is it tough to find everything you need in the green/natural space? For instance, if you are making up a client for HD TV – would you need to go to a non-natural foundation?
R.H. I try really hard to use the cleanest make up always but sometimes i cant OR i get a client that wants another brand . I do always in fact turn them on to something natural and something to question so it is always a win win .
S.U.What made you decide to create LipStick Angels?
R.H.I have always been of service. I started working with woman in need very early on at a shelter . Later on I started my work at the hospital Cedas Sinai in Los Angeles and I knew with my contacts and reputation and all I had learned from my store VERT, I could direct a program where Make Up artists like me, could change the day of a woman fighting for her life . My goal is too think of everyone when i design a program so its attainable and fluid .
S.U.What exactly does LipStick angels do?
R.H.Plain and simple we bring our light , love and lipstick to woman in need .
S.U.Why is beauty important to someone who is going through treatment in hospital?
R.H. Generally the hospital is an unpleasant place to be for every reason imaginable and usually the last thing on your mind is to take along your cosmetic bag ! Feeling scared, vulnerable and just plain tired is usually what we see. When we greet a patient and do a beautiful eye cream , moisturizer , hand cream etc…… you see a transformation and that’s even before we get color back in their face with make up !! The touch , the smell alone changes the environment and for that moment they are perhaps not thinking about their illness or cancer – they are just a woman getting a much needed beauty treatment . It almost always brings tears to me to see the change we make before and after we visit a patient . They feel human again. It’s just the best feeling in the world .
S.U. It’s obviously important for cancer patients to use non-toxic products, do you find that you are educating as much as “beautifying”?
R.H.It’s funny, I have never been a preacher of what I do because I never really need to be . The products we use speak for themselves you can smell and instantly feel they are good for you and healing . If someone asks I am more than happy to talk about it . I am blessed with sponsors like Odacite, Tarte , Jane Iredale, Amazing cosmetics, Glo etc.. this has been a labor of love and I could not do it without my sponsors and volunteers . My dream is make this a national program. We are needed everywhere !!
S.U.Tell us one of your favorite Lip Stick Angel moments.
Wow there are so many ! But i think my most potent memory was of a girl i wrote about in my last Huffington Post article.