RealHer Makeup is a female-empowering beauty brand with a feminist agenda … that is run by a man. This may sound strange to you: how can a brand run by a man really understand how to empower women? And how can a man that doesn’t wear makeup create quality beauty products?
We had these same questions, so we got in touch with Bill Xiang, founder and CEO of RealHer Makeup, to get answers.
Founded on Positivity
The makeup line has vast offerings, from metallic liquid lipstick to an eyeshadow palette and makeup brushes, but every item has one thing in common. All RealHer products have an inspirational saying embossed on them, a decision that Xiang ensures us is more than just “cute.” “When I read about raising a confident daughter, it emphasized the importance of starting their day with affirmations. So we put empowering and inspirational quotes on each of our product packages.” The quotes, like “I LOVE MYSELF” and “I AM UNSTOPPABLE,” have a purpose, as a source of inspiration and empowerment for women. They are meant to imbue positivity on a woman’s daily makeup ritual to impact her confidence and well-being.
Again we pose the question, what business does a man who doesn’t wear makeup have creating makeup? Xiang has a background in beauty. While he doesn’t normally use his creations, he worked in the makeup manufacturing business for 10 years prior to starting RealHer. The combination of his past experience and the birth of his daughter pushed the start of the brand. “My specialty has always been makeup product development, so this makes it much easier to build up this brand,” says Xiang. After developing a product, the RealHer team (all girls) tests its performance to ensure quality. They also work with freelancer makeup artists and influencers to test the products before pushing them to the market.
After finding out he was having a daughter, Xiang started researching and became overwhelmed by the pressures society puts on women. Issues like unequal pay, and societal pressures to be “beautiful” and “slim,” all resonated with him as he contemplated these ridiculous and problematic expectations in relevance to his own daughter. From his instincts as a father to protect and empower his daughter, RealHer was born. He wanted to create the brand to be a role model for her, and influence her to become a confident and independent woman, and one day a successful CEO.
Makeup and Feminism
“Makeup is a vehicle for female empowerment,” says Xiang. He points out how brands have communicated negative ideas that women aren’t good enough, poreless enough, skinny enough, or conforming enough. RealHer set out to be the opposite of these brands, to inspire the wearer: to be herself, to love herself, to be powerful, to rule the world. Bill identifies as a feminist, and instills this ideology in the brand identity. He believes in taking actions to empower, motivate and inspire women. He doesn’t want his daughter to grow up struggling to be valued in a society that’s unfair to her—just because of her gender.
The powerful messaging and sleek black packaging make these makeup products a perfectly Instagrammable beauty moment. RealHer has found social media to be the most successful way to reach their millennial demographic. “We utilize social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat,” Xiang says, adding “We rely heavily on influencer marketing.” Working with influencers that share the brand’s ideals is important in communicating an authentic message to consumers. Their influencer marketing strategy is also a great way to get the word out about the brand, and increase reach.
RealHer is rooted in making a difference to build a better world for women, and charity is a huge part of this goal. Working with charities that carry the same message as the brand creates a meaningful partnership that combines their resources to really make a difference. The ultimate goal of RealHer is to make a better world for women, and Xiang hopes that in 10 or 20 years he can tell his daughter that society didn’t always treat women the way they do now, because the world will really have changed for the better.