The idea to launch the new Girl Lip Stylo and its user-generated #GirlForGood campaign came naturally to Hourglass CEO and industry leader Carisa Janes, and finding the face of the campaign was just as instinctive. Each of the 20 shades of nourishing and vibrant stylo lipsticks are named for an affirmative, enabling noun, like Activist, Inventor, and Leader. “I knew I had to have Jenny [Shimizu] as the face of this campaign because she checks every box and captures all the names: She’s a Warrior, Icon, and Innovator,” gushes Janes. “The list goes on. I couldn’t have imagined a better fit for this. She’s ageless, timeless, and so unique.” The #GirlForGood component of the campaign encourages people to upload photos of themselves or others and tag them with one of the affirmative shade names.
Below, we sat for a conversation with Janes and Shimizu to discuss the path that brought them together, as well as how a simple concept can inspire unity.
How did you guys meet, and how did you come to collaborate for the Girl Lip Stylo?
Carisa Janes: I’m actually friends with Jenny’s wife, Michelle. We were catching up over lunch, and I asked how Jenny was doing. (I was such a fan of her modeling in the ‘90s.) Michelle told me that Jenny was moving to L.A. to become a police officer. I was so impressed! I knew I had to talk to her and get her to do this campaign. I reached out right away.
Jenny Shimizu: I am not really modeling anymore, so this was a great exception! I had just moved to Los Angeles, and the timing was perfect. It was a real honor to be asked to take part. Spreading positivity has always been important to me. We as humans have the choice to be negative or positive, and I always think positive wins. I said yes before Carisa even finished the pitch.
How did Girl Lip Stylo and #girlforgood come about?
CJ: It happened so organically. I think that it felt fresh and unique. I’m surrounded by a lot of inspiring women, and as we worked on this collection, the concept popped into my head—“Girl.” It’s so simple, but we are all connected and share these qualities. With social media, we can bring these stories to life. You have such a large platform to tell your story. Then there’s Jenny and her story, and it was just the perfect fit.
What about Jenny’s story makes her a perfect fit?
CJ: First of all Jenny is so amazing, cool, authentic, strong, and inspiring. I also thought it was neat that Jenny was just living her life. She wasn’t broadcasting her career change or anything. It just happened that I asked her wife about how she was doing, and she told me Jenny was training to be a police officer. When I asked Jenny about this major career change, she said, “I just want to serve my community.” I just thought that was so cool and generous. To become a police officer in today’s age is amazing. She’s my warrior.
Jenny, since you’re not really working much in the industry anymore, what made you decide to be the face of this campaign?
JS: We’re all surrounded by information on social media from an early age, and instantly these young people have to BE these things before they even have time to do them. That’s why I thought this idea was so genius. It seems simple, but it’s so empowering, with the ripple effect it creates. You give it to one person who gives it to someone else. It’s funny to think of selling someone on the idea of a compliment, but that’s what it is. It’s complimenting something that you already are. It’s a pass-it-on thing, which I really love. And I love that it’s purely positive, like the Women’s March. We need unity right now.
Jenny, what’s your relationship with beauty been in the past?
JS: I didn’t understand the amount of reach the beauty industry has. I grew up as a girl who was not involved in cheerleading or wanting to wear makeup. I was an outsider, even when I became a model. But I did start to understand the power of the business. It caters so much to women and young girls, and it has the power to uplift. Many women and girls feel like an outsider until they find something that makes them feel good, and they can educate. I’ve worked with many beauty brands in the past—all the big companies—but until this collection came along, I’d never felt anyone had made it as simple and inspiring as this. Why wasn’t this idea used since lipstick was being made? Beauty is about something small and inexpensive that can make you feel good, so if it makes you feel good—why not name it something that’s positive? I immediately jumped on board for this concept.
CJ: Although Jenny isn’t a big makeup wearer, another reason I knew she was a fit for the campaign is because she looks incredible in lipstick! With minimal makeup and the red lipstick in the campaign—it was just beautiful.
JS: I only have ever worn chapstick day to day, but these feel the same way—nourishing—and you can put as much or little pressure as you want to control the color. The texture and hydration are so great, and I like that it feels natural and has healthy benefits.
Tell us about the process of choosing the names of the 20 shades?
CJ: It was on the back of a piece of paper in my office! I just started writing down these different names, and it came really quickly.
Which words stick out to each of you? Which words would you assign each other and why?
CJ: This is so hard! Jenny is a Protector. She’s a Warrior. She’s an Icon. She really represents so many of these names, which is again why she is perfect for this campaign.
JS: It’s hard because they all fit! She’s the Inventor, the Influencer, the Innovator. She’s also really courageous. She runs her own beauty company, and it’s not owned by any big company—it’s hers. You take chances when you have a small company, and to do a campaign that’s against the grain is a risk. People attach these names to really big people like Steve Jobs, but we all have every single one of these facets inside ourselves. It’s all-inclusive. You don’t have to be the best of the best and make a million dollars to be an explorer—an explorer can just walk to a new community and meet new people.
Have there been any touching moments since launching the social media component?
CJ: When we launched Girl for Good, we wanted to find a way to get the word out, beyond just the names of the shades. We created the image generator on the website so people could upload their own picture and choose a name and share the picture. It’s been amazing how many people have shared across social media. The stories women are sharing behind their selfies are incredible. I love seeing people recognize themselves and their friends in these names. Some of these words are ones we don’t always assign to ourselves.
What makes this lipstick special? Is there anything you can share about the formula?
CJ: It’s the combination of balmy texture that also has the ability to give great pigment, which you don’t always get with a lightweight lipstick. It’s a great pop of color and an easy-to-use stylo format. It has lots of hydrating ingredients like jojoba oil, sunflower oil, and shea butter. You feel that richness and hydration with great color pay off.
Jenny, what’s your favorite shade?
JS: I like Futurist, because it’s very neutral! It’s perfect because it gives me just enough color for going out to dinner. I put on less in the day and more at night. I do love the packaging too. When I see Hourglass at Barneys, I’m attracted to it.
What do you hope women take away from this campaign?
CJ: I hope it worked! We are only a few weeks in, but seeing the image generator and #girlfordgood campaign take off with some great press. Like Jenny said, it’s a simple idea, but positivity can strike a chord so quickly.