Everviolet Chats: Renata Helfman, Founder & Executive Director of Lipstick Angels
Meet Renata Helfman, founder and executive director of Lipstick Angels and a woman who's both changing the standards of the cosmetic industry and transforming the lives of patients courageously fighting cancer. Lipstick Angels offers complimentary, oncology-sensitive beauty and wellness services to cancer patients with the goal of restoring dignity, hope and self-esteem to their treatment journeys. We had the honor of sitting down with Renata to hear about her background as a makeup artist and what ultimately lead her to create this impactful nonprofit. To learn more about Lipstick Angel's services (pre and post pandemic), what goes into their Angel training programs and receive clean beauty insider tips, check out our latest Everviolet Chats. And stay tuned for updates and announcements regarding our new partnership!
Please share your background as a makeup artist and innovator in the clean beauty industry prior to the inception of Lipstick Angels.
I had a thriving career in film and TV for abut 20 years. It took me all over the country and I was able to really connect with so many amazing people as well as other artists. My interest in natural beauty was awakened when I was having my own personal health issues and wanted to still have lavish, high performance products in my arsenal.
What inspired you to create Lipstick Angles?
It was really quite simple, I was looking for a venue to volunteer my talents as an artist and very much wanting to help the cancer community. Funny enough, when I thought this would be an easy thing to do it actually was not! So “i created it.”
Please tell us about your beauty kits and the services you offered (pre-pandemic) in hospitals.
We are aligned and partnered with tons of clean beauty brands that mostly are housed at Credo Beauty. We offer a spa menu to patients that offers a multitude of offerings, everything to beauty, make-up, facials, aromatherapy and even healing gem stones!
What virtual services are you offering now, and how do they work?
We have a platform that is very warm and inviting. Our patients simply connect with us on a form that describes their coloring, skin concerns, etc. We then personalize their beauty bag and send it to their home. After that, we have an intimate Zoom call and have the best one-on-one session that is catered to the patient's every need.
What goes into your “Angel” training programs?
Our training is pretty serious. We only can invite licensed professionals to be Angles as we are working with patients that are living with cancer. We have new Angles train with managers and observe before they ever touch a patient. We also have extensive training manuals that have been created from our education in oncology esthetics.
What are the most poignant experiences you’ve witness as a result of your offerings to patients?
Gosh, there are so so many. But I think the biggest take away always is seeing a patients feeling more hopeful and leaving the cancer center feeling more like themselves again.
In your opinion, what are three (or more) ingredients we should all remove from our beauty cabinets?
Formaldehyde, parabens, mercury and lead. But go to the Credo website and see the “dirty list” for all of them!
What are three, clean, go-to skin products you swear by?
Well, I have a lot as you can imagine! So, I alternate depending on what my skin needs and my mood. Here are my fall favs today: Saint Jane Beauty Serum, Ta Ta Harper Brightening Serum and Exa Foundation. All of these are from Credo Beauty (of course).
Where would you like to see the beauty industry in the next 5 years?
I am so incredibly impressed as to where the industry is going. Companies like Credo – educating the public about ingredients and holding brands accountable for mislabeling – is absolutely moving the needle. We need to just stay on this path and before you know it, the “ norm” will be beauty that is not loaded with harmful chemicals.
Do you see room for medical centers and beauty companies to work together?
Well, we partner with hospitals so it seems like this already happening. Credo also has a pop-up kiosk in one of our partner hospital gift shop – this is really exciting!
What brings you the most joy in doing what you do?
Hands down, helping people through a very, very difficult time.
How has founding Lipstick Angels changed your or your life?
I have the great honor and blessing to get up every day. I have meaning in a job that fulfills me. I also love that I can employ people who feel that too. I do not take any of it for granted!