This Dad Founded A Makeup Brand To Encourage Authentic Beauty & Empower His Daughter

When you think of products that empower women and girls, makeup may not necessarily be the first thing that comes to mind. The beauty and fashion industry has been well known to do the opposite, in terms of perpetuating very narrow standards and ideals of beauty, and reinforcing the notion that for women, value is determined by appearances.

While the love of fashion and makeup isn’t the antithesis of empowerment in itself, it’s often the message that it carries that has made many a feminist shun aspects of the industry. Today we are seeing numerous disruptive voices celebrating natural body hair, plus sized bodies, and generally advocating for a much more diverse ideal of what “beauty” is (hint: it’s individual!).

And it’s not just women who see the way the beauty industry can have a negative effect in society. Founder and feminist Bill Xiang is the mastermind behind RealHer, a makeup line that was designed with his young daughter, as well as other women and girls, in mind. On the brand’s website, Bill, who has been working in the cosmetic industry for 10 years, explained how it wasn’t until his daughter Yarie was born that he started to realize the importance of being a feminist.

“It was striking to me how complicated it is for a girl to grow into a woman in this society, and how society affects a woman’s life. When she was born, that was the moment I realized I am a feminist, and I want to be a feminist. I want to do whatever I can to make as much difference as possible, as quickly as possible, to help more women. RealHer started as a way to create a better social environment for my little girl,” he said.

The line of lipsticks, eye shadows, makeup brushes, and more come in a range of popping colors to suit a range of skin tones and tastes. There is somewhat of a 360-degree empowerment aspect embedded into the core of the brand, which is really cool. Each product is certified natural, cruelty-free, and 20% of all gross profits to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), a non-profit organization that advances empowerment, self-fulfillment and actualization for women and girls through leadership programs, advocacy, education, and research.

With each product, the user gets to visually be impacted by powerful and motivational phrases and sayings, such as “I decide my destiny”, “be your own kind of beauty”,” and “yes I can”. The idea is to flip the script on the typical narrative often given to women when they buy makeup, thinking they need to change themselves somehow to feel beautiful or accepted.

“Brands have for so long told us that we’re not good enough; not poreless enough, skinny enough, tall enough, conforming enough. RealHer was built on the idea that the thoughts we imbue to our daily makeup rituals can have a profound impact on our confidence and well-being. RealHer was founded on the idea that, with each application, it can help to inspire the wearer: to be herself, to love herself, to be powerful, to rule the world,” states the brand’s website.

“It doesn’t ask us to be perfect, to be a mother, to be a CEO, to be the perfect beautiful doll, but rather invites us to continue being ourselves, and that which defines us as an individual—and it’s liberating.”

Coupling positive affirmations with a daily beauty and makeup routine can make for a formidable combination, much like other methods such as repeating positive phrases to yourself in the mirror to start your day, or placing motivational sayings on sticky notes around the house. This isn’t about getting rid of flaws or hiding those imperfections, it is about embracing them knowing they are a unique and important part of who you are. Bill told in an interview that this was a very deliberate aspect of the creation of RealHer.

“Putting a motivational quote on makeup imbues her morning routine with affirmation. At RealHer, we have this notion that each application helps to reinforce the words of the quote on the product. Each quote is embedded with a meaning and all of these quotes help represent our goal to empower women and bring daily positivity into her life,” he said.

“I want to do something that can help make a difference: I want to empower women, to inspire women to be themselves, to fight for the equality of all women — including my little girl. Women should feel powerful — not ashamed,” he added.

It’s easy to think of makeup as something that can disempower women, but that is usually only the case depending on the message and ideal it is attached to. In 2014, supermodel and business mogul Tyra Banks told Elle Magazine gave a completely different perspective on what it can actually do.

“Makeup is the great beauty equalizer. You can transform what you’ve got into what you want. That is such a powerful thing,” she said at the time.

Bill Xiang and RealHer have been able to take this one step further, using makeup as a vehicle to allow women to empower themselves and bring out their best. By using these products they will know makeup is about more than just aesthetics or fashion.

Having a young daughter and wanting her to grow up in a world without being held back by negative messages around her appearance has certainly become a powerful catalyst for him wanting to create change in the lives of other young women and girls also.

“I created this brand for my daughter. I want to be her role model; I want to work hard for our brand to give her the best influence from a father. I try to build the brand to influence women the way I would want any company to inspire my daughter: inspire her to become independent, successful and fulfilled, without telling her she isn’t enough,” said Bill.

To purchase an item from the RealHer collection (for a limited time they are offering free shipping on all US orders!) click here to find your inspirational product.


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