The Sexiest Beauty is making bold moves to give back during the COVID-19 health crisis. A boutique lipstick brand that was founded on the principles of inclusivity and self-expression, Founder and CEO, Heather Fink, is not only donating funds to relief efforts, but also tackling the recent hand sanitizer shortage by creating her own. The is effort is a large one for an indie brand that generates less than $5 million in annual retail sales. “At my size I can make things up as I go, and execute on decisions really quickly,” said Heather, an industry vet who has previously held roles at Victoria’s Secret, M.A.C, and Agent Provocateur.
Following the news that LVHM, L’Oréal and most recently The Estée Lauder Cos. will mass-producing hand sanitizer, small indie beauty brands such as Erin’s Faces and Skin Probiotics have shifted focus from makeup and skin care to hygiene products. But not all are providing them to customers free of charge, like The Sexiest Beauty. For the foreseeable future, every order will receive a 1-oz spray bottle of the brand’s hand-made Sexy Sanitizer as a gift-with-purchase, in addition to a $5 donation to the World Health Organization COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund made in their name.
Sourcing ingredients for the sanitizer, like rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel, proved challenging especially given current circumstances. “I went around to all these stores and pharmacies to get the supplies, which was so difficult because everything was sold out. Even Amazon had nothing.” But with continued effort, Heather secured enough to produce, fill and package a modest dozen bottles as lipstick orders were placed. The brand is prepared to meet their GWP commitment.
The initiative is philanthropic, said Heather, explaining that after factoring the costs of the sanitizer production, the WHO donation, and the shipping (all U.S. orders receive free shipping) the brand’s margins are nearly non-existent. “I’ve always led with giving back, often at a loss in terms of profit margin. My intent with this initiative is to address the reality, be current and relevant, and be of service to the community in this crisis,” said Heather.
To provide some transparency around the issue of packing and hygiene, the brand has shared the whole sanitizer production process on their Instagram. “I’m using sterile gloves and face masks to pack things up as hygienically as possible, with minimal touching,” said Heather.
They are equally as passionate about information sharing. The brand’s Instagram account, @thesexiestbeauty, underwent a self-proclaimed “WHO takeover” for one day in an effort to disseminate accurate content about the crisis. “There’s so much misinformation out there,” Heather said. “But it’s risky to shift your social media content completely off-brand; that’s not necessarily what followers are looking for. But I felt it was important to at least take a stand, even if it was just for a day.”