As hair and makeup artists, you know the influx of products you receive. Sometimes, that can include multiple packages a day being sent to your home or salon. Likely, you know you will never use all of it, nor do you need to hold onto each and every item for yourself or your clients.
This cycle of excess supplies inspired celebrity stylist Andrew Fitzsimons to give the products to people who couldn't afford them themselves and who would really benefit from them. He brainstormed with friends in the industry and asked them, “Why don’t we pool all of our resources and create a program where we can reach out to trans and gender non-conforming people who are in need of some hair products and cosmetic products?” That’s when he reached out to the LA LGBT Center and the Trans Economic Empowerment Program (TEEP) to launch the Trans Cosmetic Donation Program. TEEP at the Los Angeles LGBT Center offers a wide range of services to help transgender people find employment and to help make workplaces more welcoming to trans people.
“Being a feminist and working in the beauty industry, I thought for a long time about how I could give back to make a difference,” Fitzsimons tells the Los Angeles LGBT Center. “I receive boxes and boxes of self-care and beauty products every single day—never knowing what to do with them. I decided to create this program and pool our resources because your appearance can empower you and make you feel confident.”
Trans Cosmetic Donation Program accepts unopened, unused beauty and wellness products as donations, and distributes them to service organizations that work with trans women and gender non-conforming people. Professionals simply send the products to the program, and then it sends them to shelters, empowerment programs and more.
“Transgender and gender non-conforming people need these products to look their best and to shine as their authentic selves, particularly at job interviews, professional networking events, and in the workplace,” said Drian Juarez, program manager of the Center’s TEEP, on the Los Angeles LGBT Center website. “I urge the many brands, stylists, influencers, and editors who are part of the multibillion-dollar beauty industry to help trans and gender non-conforming people thrive!”
Fitzsimons, whose clients have included Adele, Kourtney Kardashian, Ashley Graham and more, kicked off the initiative with a cocktail party at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, where close friends and family of Fitzsimons gathered in support of the program. Attendees included Guy Tang, Hrush Achemyan, Alex Faction, Ashley Holm and more.
Hair and beauty companies, among them Alterna Haircare, Mane Addicts, Bioré, and L’Oréal, have already committed to donate products to the program.
Donations of unused personal hygiene and cosmetic products may be brought to the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Highland facility located at 1220 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood during business hours. Donors are encouraged to notify Center staff members that the products are for the Transgender Economic Empowerment Project. If you are outside of the LA area, visit lalgbtcenter.org/TCDP for more information.