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As Mainstream Beauty Brands Redefine Girlhood, These Companies Offer an Alternative

October 18, 2022

Ulta’s attempt to broaden the conventional definition of gender and beauty backfired, resulting in calls for consumers to ditch the company for making a “costume” or a “feeling” out of womanhood. By featuring a transgender-identifying person on their podcast to discuss “The Beauty of… Girlhood,” many accused the beauty brand of being out of touch with its consumer base by choosing a biological male to represent women.

Some have bemoaned the lack of ideological diversity present in the beauty industry, such as makeup influencer and CEO Amanda Ensing, according to The Daily Wire. Ensing was quickly dropped by Sephora last year for a tweet voicing her political views. Despite insisting that Sephora’s accusations were false and defamatory, the company cut ties with Ensing and her YouTube platform of 1.4 million subscribers, prompting the influencer to take legal action.

Having since started her own makeup brand, Elevate Beauty, Ensing has become more vocal about her politics and her faith, even directly responding to the Ulta controversy. “Women: stop spending money with companies that want to erase you to appease a narrative. Womanhood is not a costume or feeling,” she tweeted. “You can’t be for women’s rights but also say there’s no definition of a woman. You can’t be for women’s rights while denying the truth of what a woman is.”

While Ulta Beauty is taking heat from women swearing to #BoycottUlta for not representing their values, several beauty brands bring an alternative set of values on girlhood and beauty to the industry.

One faith-based beauty brand, Hope Beauty, was created with a vision to “combat the ugliness in the beauty industry,” founder Hope Harvard told The Washington Stand. “Our mission extends far beyond our retail arena. We won’t stop until every woman has heard who made her and who saved her. The gospel is beautiful and desperately needs to be shared.”

Harvard’s young company aims to bring a breath of fresh air into a dark beauty industry that capitalizes on everything “from airbrushed and over-filtered models distorting self-image, to companies drawing inspiration for their product names from pornography and sin, and even directly funding abortions.” Through her lines of biblically-branded eye, cheek, and lip makeup, Harvard takes every opportunity to share her faith.

“The darkness in the beauty industry desperately needed the light of Jesus,” she told TWS. “Your makeup should enhance the natural beauty God designed you with. When we put on products that don’t represent true beauty, we’re putting on a mask of someone we aren’t. While the mainstream beauty industry pushes vanity, we remind women that their beauty is a gift from God made of His physical design and the loveliness of Jesus in their heart.”

Another woman-owned company, Nimi Skincare, offers beauty consumers a chance to divert their money towards “pro-feminine, pro-womanhood, and pro-traditions” alternative, providing clean, cruelty-free skincare products.

“If you disagree with the stance that Ulta is taking, Nimi is your safe haven,” the company told TWS. “We are here to provide an outlet if you are looking to align yourself with brands that support your values and worldview.”

Nimi representatives told TWS that girlhood goes beyond wearing a dress, heels, and makeup, but is rather an “expression of the true feminine self that all women are naturally born with by the grace of God.”

“We can and should be sympathetic to people that suffer from gender dysphoria, and find ways to support them in their search for a fulfilling life,” they explained to TWS. “This does not include redefining ‘woman’ or marginalizing the role that women have in our world. By fudging the lines between what is and what is not, we are destroying reason and truth.”

Editor’s Note: To connect with more small businesses who share your values, check out the PublicSq. app.

Marjorie Jackson is a reporter for The Washington Stand.