This week marked a monumental milestone for two Vancouver women.
Gathered inside a luxury consignment store in Yaletown on an early May evening, Elly Seddon and Cera Neima-Stewart welcomed friends and locals who have come to celebrate the launch of Bulletproof Cosmetics.
Their debut product is a sleek silver or gold bullet pendant sheltering a detachable lipstick.
Although the newly launched brand simplifies on-the-go glam, the lipsticks, which double as a stylish necklace, were created with a different intention.
From the legal system to a lipstick
At 16 years old, Seddon found herself in a physically abusive relationship. When she did tried to get out of it, the legal system was the most daunting part. "I didn't understand it, and it was complicated. I didn't know what to do or where to go," she tells V.I.A.
Now a practicing lawyer, Seddon wanted to prevent her teenage sister, and other young girls, from having to go through the same experience if she found herself in a similar situation.
"I didn't tell a single person," she says. "The idea of her going through something like that and not being able to tell anybody really made me feel distraught."
The duo came up with an idea that would help teenage girls and women trying to get out of abusive relationships; a cool, trendy product with a powerful message.
That product is lipstick.
The lipstick, which Bulletproof has dubbed "Ammo" for lips, is tucked inside a bullet-shaped pendant and can be easily swapped out for any of six shades.
In time, the founders want to double the range of colours, all of which are made in Canada with carefully selected quality ingredients, including elderberry for its potent anti-inflammatory and vitamin content.
The jewellery-makeup hybrid is only available online and at select pop-up shops. A portion of each purchase goes towards the Bulletproof Foundation, a coinciding project - and purpose - of the brand.
What is the Bulletproof Foundation?
Although the foundation was created together with Bulletproof Cosmetics, the foundation came first.
"We wanted to have a product that would provide funds to the foundation through sale proceeds," explains Seddon.
The money will be used to create a database of lawyers and resources across Canada and the U.S., starting with Vancouver, and help match women seeking legal help with lawyers and resources in her community.
The founders hope that their innovative lipsticks will attract and intrigue people and will, in turn, lead them to the Bulletproof Foundation. "There's a ton of resources out there but people don't know how to find them," says Seddon.
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