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How 1 College Student Turned Lipslut Into the Political Beauty Brand the World Deserves

Katie Sones is the founder of Lipslut, a social justice beauty brand that launched in 2017. Her line of politically-charged lipsticks — including the shades F*ck Trump and F*ck Kavanaugh — have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for nonprofit organizations. She’s sharing, in her own words, exactly what went into Lipslut’s meteoric rise. This story was told to Kelsey Castañon and edited for length and clarity.

Before I created LipSlut, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I was a third-year in college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, studying graphic communications, but I didn’t know where my major was going to take me.

I was sitting on the floor of my dorm room watching Trump’s inauguration, and I knew I had to do something about it. I’ve always been really interested in makeup and beauty, but there weren’t many brands out there that I knew about willing to take a firm stance on social issues or that I felt were genuine, so that was the first thing that came to mind: create a brand that lets you give back to an organization you care about. This was a chance to combine the two to make activism more accessible to everyone.

Once I had the idea, the hardest part was putting it in motion and making it real. I put up a website and I made some product mock-ups, and I started sharing that with my friends at school. I knew I wanted to do a lipstick called F*ck Trump — it’s just everything I wanted to say at the time, and I knew it’s what other people were feeling, too. Maybe having it on a lipstick box would be a little bit easier than saying it out loud.

Eventually, my college wrote an article about me. We were taking preorders for F*ck Trump Lipstick on the website based on the renderings I had made. Then, two months later, Teen Vogue wrote another article, and from there, we just took off. We got even more preorders. It’s been pretty much nonstop from there . . .