On beauty, love and violence

This Valentine’s day our Founder Corinne wanted to share some thoughts with you about why Rare Beauty intends to become champions of a caring approach to beauty.


I’m Corinne, the Founder of Rare Beauty. I’m also a wife, mother, runner, feminist and sometime herbalist. I want to talk to you today about loving ourselves a little more.

Where do I start? We must go back in time as it’s a centuries old tale. From the mass killing of  women ‘witches’ in the 1500s (correction: they were the health professionals of their time) to the invasive medical treatments for a woman’s ‘hysteria’ in the 19th century and the current negative labelling of women’s medical needs: Pre-Menstrual ‘Syndrome’ anyone?

For hundreds of years women have been fixed against their will or simply told to fix themselves (at whatever cost) so that they can properly perform their roles in society – as a wife, mother, worker (and more lately, a consumer).

In the world that many of us have lived in all we have ever known is a Capitalist system which is driven by consumerism. It is supposed to give people the freedom to appropriate the life they wanted, to exercise free will and to have choices. And yet of course it’s not so simple is it. What do women get instead?

A ‘beauty’ industry that is built around it’s ability to make women feel ugly and inadequate. An industry that has created ever more invasive and violent ways to consume ‘beauty’. And the most shocking thing about it?

Women buy into it and willingly perform violence against their own bodies on a regular basis.

Waxing, chemical peels, cosmetic surgery, ‘cosmeceuticals’, skin bleaching, laser treatment, corsets, high heels, extreme dieting and exercise – I could go on and on and on.

Our skin is what makes us a whole person.

It is our largest living breathing, tender, soft and sensitive and responsive organ in our body. It takes in and it lets out. It lives. It breathes. So what do we do with our skin? Our delicate window to our inner selves?

We punish it. We alter it. We abuse it. We strip it. We disrespect it.

Why are we doing this? To please whom? Ourselves? To enjoy the ‘burn’? To punish ourselves for our ugliness or for our ageing skin? To live out the centuries old need to conform as a ‘proper’ woman?

It needs to stop.

How about we talk about love? And most importantly, learning to love and care for ourselves a bit more.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all took a little more conscious and mindful approach to beauty? To self-care?

If we did choose to shave our legs but then also massaged and nourished them with a 100% plant based body butter with no preservative to replace the natural oils we removed.

If we decided to clear out our make-up bags and replace with cruelty-free alternatives (or even go without some days!)

If next time we were tempted to buy a beauty product which promised to alter our skin with chemicals – such as glycolic acid – we really thought about why we are doing that to ourselves.

If we sat down with the younger women in our lives (daughters, nieces, goddaughters) and spoke to them about self-care, health choices and what motivates the mainstream beauty industry and those than champion it. In doing so we may go some way to  empowering them appropriate a more caring approach to beauty for the future.

So, what is Rare Beauty going to do about ‘beauty’? 

We will sell beauty products, that is a fact. We cannot get away from this and the fact that by opening for trading in a couple of months we will become part of the ‘beauty industry’.

But we can also champion another way, a better way, a more humane way of consuming beauty, of feeling ‘beautiful’ in whatever form that may take.

One which harms no animals or people.

One which harnesses the power of plants and natural ingredients to nourish our skin and work in harmony with it’s natural state of being. Not alter it.

One which embraces women for who they are and doesn’t try to change them.

One which celebrates and supports women-led businesses.

One which shows it cares and builds a community that cares too.


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