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An Interview With Makeup Artist Renata Helfman, Founder of Lipstick Angels

An Interview With Makeup Artist Renata Helfman, Founder of Lipstick Angels

It’s officially International Women’s Day, and the UN theme this year is “Invest in Women, Accelerate Progress.” As a female-founded brand, investing in others isn’t at all a foreign concept to us. We believe that the best investment comes when you #EmbraceEquity across the board; and that when you invest in women, you inspire them to be their best selves. We like to think that here at RMS, we do that on the daily. But every year when International Women’s Day rolls around, we take this time to be a bit more intentional, and infuse the UN’s global theme into everything we do; from campaign messaging to beauty tips and tricks to the charity work so near and dear to our hearts.

This year, we’ve partnered with Lipstick Angels, an organization that we’ve done incredible work with in the past, and that we really, truly love. The Lipstick Angels mission is to provide oncology-sensitive makeup and skincare products and services to spark empowerment and joy through the essential practice of self-care. And to help in their efforts, we’ve donated a generous number of our Tinted Daily Lip Balms, an ultra-nourishing and moisturizing product that protects and hugs the lips with a hint of clean, skin-loving color. 

Lipstick Angels was founded by Renata Helfman, a celebrity makeup artist and the granddaughter of a cancer and Holocaust survivor. Renata’s grandmother, Betty Elkes, had a pre-chemotherapy ritual of always applying her favorite lipstick prior to treatment. 

Because of her grandmother, Renata volunteered at Los Angeles’ Cedars Sinai Hospital. The patients she worked with had profoundly unmet needs for human touch and connection, as well as wellness and beauty services. Being in the industry herself, she knew she had the power to change that. 

So she had an idea. She could bring clean, chemo-safe skincare and makeup to those who really needed it. And she could do it in honor of her grandmother. 

And so, in 2012 after a year of collaboration with the Epidemiology Department at Cedars Sinai, Lipstick Angels—and the glow it brings to women going throughout treatment—was born. 

We sat down with Renata to ask her how she invests in herself and others—and to discover what makes her glow, every day.  

 

Tell us, in your own words, why you’re passionate about Lipstick Angels.

Lipstick Angels is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing oncology-sensitive, customized clean beauty, skincare, and wellness services to anyone affected by cancer. Our goal is to create a space for each person to feel pampered and to spark empowerment and joy through the essential practice of self-care. Our services are done at participating hospitals or clinics while they are receiving treatment, or virtually in the comfort of a patient’s home.

It’s our mission to meet those needs and offer these courageous people a bedside visit, providing wellness, makeup, and skincare services using clean beauty products. 

Ultimately, I am just passionate about helping people. And I am blessed that I figured out a way to do it with what I love most; making people feel beautiful.

 

Is there an activity that you do that encourages you to take time to invest in yourself? What is it about this activity that brings you joy?

I love Pilates. I started about 4 or 5 years ago. I feel like I am dancing when I am working out and it never feels like a chore. It was such a gift when I was introduced to it as I really am not a big “workout person”.

How important are self-care rituals in your life?

The older I get, the more important they become. I tend to take care of everyone before myself, but I am happy to say I feel that that is shifting. Self-care/self-love has become a priority and a joy.

 

What’s something you do in your daily routine that feels like an investment in your self confidence?

This year has been so huge for me on so many levels. I have broken through some big barriers in my personal and professional life. I think the best thing for self-confidence is to not listen to the voices in your head. It is a never-ending journey to stay out of fear, but it is the only thing that brings me closer to peace and success.

What makes you glow on your best days?

It always makes me glow when I read a letter from a grateful cancer patient that Lipstick Angels has helped.

Is there a woman in your life that has invested in you by encouraging you to follow your dreams?

Yes. My friend, Gayle Baigelman, who is actually the chair of the Lipstick Angels Board of Directors. It was a cup of coffee with her that changed my whole life! I will always be grateful for her.

Click here to learn more about or to donate to Lipstick Angels.

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