Pioneering for women with her lipstick brand, Gina Keller is a woman that speaks and breathes empowerment. By uniting politics and cosmetics, she made her lipstick brand Nasty Woman a beacon for women that want their voices to be heard and rights acknowledged. With her red and purple lipsticks, she is creating the impact on our society. We had the honor to interview her and ask her about what and who inspires her most and what plans she has for Nasty Woman cosmetics in the future.
What was the motivation behind starting Nasty Woman Cosmetics?
I have always been interested in politics and in makeup. Finally after the last presidential election I thought of a way to marry the two. I was so infuriated by the outcome of the election that I felt like it was my time to make a contribution to women’s rights and I knew i could do it while also making high quality cosmetics that women could wear and feel empowered in.
Tell us about your partnership with Emily’s List
We donate proceeds from all of our sales to Emily’s List because we truly believe the only way we can make significant changes to our political landscape is to have more pro choice democratic women represented in government. Without more women in charge and making policy our country can’t advance. Emily’s List is a political action committee dedicated to helping Democratic women become elected to all levels of government. They seek to put women into office who can make significant contributions to education, health care, economic and gender equality, and reproductive rights.
Why is red lipstick such a powerful symbol for women’s equality?
At the beginning of my process of imagining Nasty Woman Cosmetics I read a story that really resonated with me. It was the story of Elizabeth Arden handing out red lipstick to the women marching past her shop during the sufferage movement. These women were marching to protest for the right to vote and wearing bright red lipstick. That was a powerful image in my mind. It turns out women throughout history have always used lipstick as a way to show the world they were the only one in charge of their destiny. I recently published a blog post about this. There have been so many instances throughout time where women have worn lipstick as a way of showing they will not conform to patriarchal standards.
If you could name three women who’d you love to wear Nasty Woman who would they be and why?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She has always worked on projects to protect women’s rights and further gender equality throughout her career. She has been quoted as saying “The government has no business making that choice for women”, regarding abortion. She is our best ally in government right now and I would be so honored if she wore my lipstick!
Tarana Burke. I believe she helped to usher in a new wave of feminism for women who otherwise would not have found their roles. With the “Me Too” movement women found strength in each other. Almost a safety in numbers type of mentality and once we realized how significant those numbers were, we couldn’t help but all stand up and scream.
Emma Watson. I think she has helped to teach younger women the importance of gender equality and does so every time she is afforded a platform to speak. Whether it is on the red carpet or on the floor of the UN she always uses the opportunity to put a spotlight on gender equality.
Who is your favorite style icon, and how did she inspire you?
Jacqueline Lee Kennedy Onassis. She is the definition of grace and stye to me. I love her pill box hats.
If you could name three women leaders that inspire you the most, who would they be and why?
Malala Yousafzai comes to mind, how can she not. I think she is the leader in global activism for the education of girls and although she is only 20 years old she has proven to the world that she is a powerful force. I think she will change the world.
Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor She is leading the country that drives the European economy, and is in charge of the fate of the greatest refugee surge since WWII. Her drive and moral compass with humanitarian needs and climate change are inspiring.
Michelle Obama. She has such self confidence, grace and style. I think the American people had a first lady that spoke her mind, was an amazing advocate for women and girls and is someone we could all look up to.
What’s next for Nasty Woman Cosmetics?
Expanding our line and continuing to promote women’s issues. RIght now we are focused on having more pro choice progressive women represented in government as we move towards the mid term elections in November. We would love to continue our work to further gender equality. It is something we are really passionate about.
World is definitely in need for more women like Gina Keller. Women who are not afraid to pursue their passions and at the same time use their creations to speak up and support social causes. Empowering women to be who they really are - graceful yet strong, independent and beautiful is a way of creating the better future for all of as and Gina is strongly paving the way.
Check out Gina's a amazing line of vegan and cruelty free products on her website and choose your favorite lipstick! Proceeds from the sales on her website will benefit Emily's List, a political action committee dedicated to helping progressive Democratic women become elected to all levels of government.