It's Pride Month 2021, y'all! That time of year when we celebrate LGBTQ+ communities, mostly with colorful flags, festive gatherings, and Pride-themed products. In this article, we've even curated dip powder color palettes for rainbow pride nails inspired by Pride flags as well as the top gender-neutral beauty and skin care lines today.
But first things first...
What is pride month?
It's an annual celebration of LGBTQ+ pride, traditionally held in June to mark the 1969 Stonewall Riots led by trans activism icons Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
Parades, concerts, and other festivities are usually thrown not only to honor LGBTQ+ groups but also to draw attention to the issues they face. Memorials are also organized for the LGBTQ+ members who have lost their lives to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.
How to celebrate pride month 2021?
Nearly every in-person pride event was canceled at the height of the pandemic. Since many states are easing back to normal life post-vaccination, some of the cancelled events will stage a comeback this year. Several celebrations will remain virtual, however.
- Check your local news for pride events or peep this list for some of the biggest in-person and online Pride celebrations in major cities.
- Keen to stay home and join in on the fun from your couch? Good for you, networks are marking LGBTQ+ celebrations in June. Refer to the Pride Month Programming list and get your popcorn ready.
- Another fun and productive way to support Pride month is shopping at stores that go beyond adding rainbow hues to their LGBTQ+ products. Choose brands that are either LGBTQ-owned or give back to the LGBTQ+ community.
If rainbow products are not your thing, you can still take your celebratory shopping to the next level by opting for brands that are challenging gender norms in beauty & skin care. And we got just the must-shop list for you.
Gender-Neutral Brands for Pride Month 2021
Ever heard of the 'shrink it and pink it' approach to creating products? It's when manufacturers make the products geared towards 'women' smaller in size yet higher in price compared to the version for 'men'. Hence, the term 'pink tax'.
Also noticeable among gendered products is the cosmetic difference. It's usually pink or purple — add in some sparkles, too! — for 'feminine' products and black or blue for 'masculine' products.
When it comes to beauty and skin care, there are brands that are finally defying tired narratives. Beauty and skin care products are no longer limited to women only. After all, we all take care of ourselves regardless of how we identify, and what goes in our shopping carts and bills should not be dictated by attributions enforced by brands.
It's the era of beauty & skin care for absolutely everybody.
Top 5 Gender-Neutral Beauty Brands
1. We Are Fluide
About the brand: "We Are Fluide is a mission-driven beauty brand that creates vegan, cruelty-free and paraben-free cosmetics designed for all skin shades and gender expressions."
Launched in 2018, Fluide disrupted the beauty space by introducing a more inclusionary makeup line. The brand was created because of a co-founder's lived experience of feeling unrepresented as a queer person. You can see their gender-expansive mission exhibited on their website and socials where their lips, eyes, and face products are modeled by individuals and communities that are often considered as an afterthought or used as a token: BIPOC, queer, trans, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary people.
2. Jecca Blac
About the brand: "Jecca Blac's mission is to be a brand that represents all beauty lovers: all expressions, genders, sexualities, abilities, pronouns, shapes and sizes."
It all started in 2015 when the founder Jessica Blacker offered makeup classes in a safe space to people who were transitioning from male to female — something they couldn't find at beauty counters that usually have a cisgender staff. From there she launched a gender-free makeup line so as not to alienate those outside of the trans community. At Jecca Blac, they truly feel that #MakeupHasNoGender.
About the brand: "At Illamasqua we are on a mission to empower all with the confidence to express their true self. [...] Our anti-conformist attitude and irreverent style rejects the conventions of the beauty industry and emboldens the brave."
Marketing maven Julian Kynaston launched this brand back in 2008. An event where he saw makeup being worn by men and women as a part of the alternative scene inspired him. Julian believes in exploring and expressing one's individuality through makeup, and his brand is not one to shy away from complex conversations surrounding race, gender, age, or the environment.
4. Fenty Beauty
About the brand: "[Rihanna] launched a makeup line “so that people everywhere would be included,” focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades."
In a world where diversity in beauty products usually means a limited number of shades that predominantly caters to light skin tone, Fenty Beauty offers an inclusive range of 50 shades. Launched in 2017 to global success, the brand's tagline "Beauty For All" refers not only to inclusivity based on skin tone. They don't discriminate between gender identities either. They have available makeup tutorials for men on their official YouTube channel and they regularly feature male models on their socials as well.
About the brand: "We hope to enable a conversation that’s currently closeted. Men aren’t supposed to care for themselves. We call bullshit. The people who depend on you and care about you want you to. To do the most good, you must be well."
Hims is a men's personal wellness brand that offers everything from hair products to vitamin supplements. In their skin care line, you'll find the beauty product called The Blur Stick — the concealer they developed with baseball star A-Rod. They aim to help men feel no shame in wanting to touch up their complexion and look good.
Top 5 Gender-Neutral Skin Care Brands
1. Non Gender Specific
About the brand: "It all began with an idea to transform the shopping experience into something with zero gender boundaries. It turned into a global movement."
With his 'neutral' view of the world, Non Gender Specific founder Andrew Glass' frustrations over the skin care industry prompted him to build a company with no gender boundaries. His brand is not only known for being genderless, but it's also beloved for simplifying beauty routines by creating multifunctional products. Case in point, so far they've already sold more than 200,000 bottles of their Everyday Serum that contains over 17 all-natural ingredients targeting multiple skin issues.
2. NOTO Botanics
About the brand: "Noto is a multi-use gender fluid clean cosmetic line. [...] Noto celebrates the authentic and diverse layers of what self-expression and beauty can mean."
Leading industry makeup artist, Gloria Noto, launched her skin care line in 2016 to celebrate the identities she felt she wasn't seeing in the clean beauty industry: queer bodies, non-binary bodies, trans bodies, and more BIPOC bodies. She believes it's misleading to market to one gender because everyone wants beautiful skin.
About the brand: "Formulated with sensitive skin in mind, MALIN+GOETZ products are suitable for all skin types and genders and are locally-made in the New York area to limit our carbon footprint."
The founding couple, Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz, pride their skin care brand for being gender neutral since 2004. The inclusive concept of the apothecary inspired their approach, with its gender-neutral products and quality formulations that worked for just about everyone. It also helped that they're from New York — one of the most diverse cities in the world.
4. Ursa Major
About the brand: "For all genders and skin types. The days of “grooming” and “beauty” are over. Skin is skin."
Co-founded by Oliver Sweatman and Emily Doyle in 2009, Ursa Major is lauded for being one of the first plastic negative, clean skin care brands. Their forest-infused, adventure-inspired, genderless skin care line includes eco-friendly face, body, and even hair products. Oliver believes that most products can be shared by any gender. That's why they aim to nourish the skin through healthier products in a non-gendered way.
5. Fenty Skin
About the brand: "Fenty Skin is skin care uncomplicated. [...] It’s all designed to complement Fenty Beauty makeup, and has been tested on all skin types and tones. It’s for everyone, even the fellas."
For Bad Gal Riri, no matter who you are, you deserve to have great skin. Fenty Skin continues the disruptive approach that made Fenty Beauty a household name. It's clean, cruelty-free, and promotes greater diversity by catering to all genders, ages, and skin tones. Fenty Skin's previous campaigns featured rappers Lil Nas X and A$AP Rocky.
Proudly Flying the Pride Flag
During the month of June, you'll normally see colorful rainbow flags flown everywhere. They're proudly displayed as a symbol of LGBTQ+ pride.
A little history lesson: Gilbert Baker designed the OG pride flag in 1978. It has eight colored stripes, with each color representing an aspect of the LGBTQ+ movement.
Original 8-color Flag. Image by Gilbert Baker Foundation.
Why rainbow colors? In his memoir, Rainbow Warrior, Gilbert recounted the dance night out at Winterland Ballroom that inspired his design. "Dance fused us, magical and cleansing. We were all in a swirl of color and light. It was like a rainbow. A rainbow. That’s the moment when I knew exactly what kind of flag I would make," he said.
Dip the Rainbow
Want to wear your pride through your dip nails? (We're also looking at you, dippers who do male menicures.) Let's take inspiration from the various versions of the pride flag. FYI: The Gilbert Baker creation has been updated numerous times to make sure different communities and causes are represented.
Here’s a few pride rainbow nails color palette.
Gilbert Baker Pride Flag: The first rainbow flag was created at the urging of Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S.
From Dipwell's Classic Dip Powder Collection: CL08 (Fuchsia Pink), CL06 (Scarlet Red), CL15 (Monarch Orange), CL71 (Pine Green), CL07 (Glittery Lilac), CL70 (Royal Blue), CL46 (Glittery Turquoise), and CL66 (Sunflower Yellow)
Transgender Flag: “ The stripes at the top and bottom are light blue, the traditional color for baby boys. The stripes next to them are pink, the traditional color for baby girls. The stripe in the middle is white, for those who are intersex, transitioning or consider themselves having a neutral or undefined gender,” said Monica Helms, the transgender activist who designed the flag in 1999.
Pansexual Flag: @eviejasper created this flag back in 2010. Why these colors? They said, "Pink and blue, because of their gendered traditions, and yellow, a generally non-gendered colour, to represent nonbinary folks etc."
Bisexual Flag: Designed by Michael Page in 1998. He explained, “The pink color represents sexual attraction to the same sex only (gay and lesbian). The blue represents sexual attraction to the opposite sex only (straight) and the resultant overlap color purple represents sexual attraction to both sexes (bi)."
Genderqueer Flag: Marilyn Roxie created this flag in 2011. She chose lavender to represent androgynes and androgyny, white to represent agender identity, and green to represent nonbinary people.
Those are just some iterations of the pride flag. For a more comprehensive list, check these 30 different pride flags and their meaning.
Show Your Pride (and Your LGBTQ+ nails)
Whether you're a member of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally who wants to show support, snap a pic of your pride acrylic nails and share it with your fellow dippers. You can find them at DipWell's Dipper Club on Facebook or @dipwellnails on Instagram. Don't forget to use our official hashtag: #DoYouDipWell.