Thrive Causemetics & Beauty 2 the Streetz Bring Hope & Confidence to the Homeless

Shirley Raines & Karissa Bodnar at Thrive Causemetics Impact Luncheon. Photo credit: Gabriela DeLeon.

Shirley Raines is the dynamic force of nature behind the local nonprofit organization Beauty 2 the Streetz. This nonprofit group brings the homeless of LA’s Skid Row “dignity through beauty,” as Raines puts it.

Raines suffered years of emotional devastation after her beloved son Demetrius died just days before what should have been his third birthday. She eventually sublimated that pain into bringing aid to the homeless. 

Volunteering in a soup kitchen showed Raines that while food is essential, many homeless people also care about their grooming and appearance. “I took a beating starting this cause, but I never found makeup superficial. A little makeup, a little brows and you can feel more normal. Even if people sleep on the ground in a sleeping bag, they want to feel pretty for themselves and their partner. People scoffed at giving homeless women beauty products. Getting people in housing is beyond me, but I can help people have dignity through beauty.”

In addition to cosmetics, Raines helps provide the homeless with such essentials as hygiene products, gently used clothing and blankets, water, tents, canes, wheelchairs, and more. 

Raines’ hard work has not gone unnoticed. In 2018, she began a partnership with Thrive Causemetics. The LA-based cosmetics company, whose motto is “bigger than beauty,” donates a portion of every product they sell to non-profit organizations that assist women in need. In December, Raines was recognized as 2021’s CNN Hero of the Year for her work helping LA’s homeless.  

Photo credit: Will Tee Yang.

On March 24, Thrive Causemetics honored Raines and Beauty 2 the Streetz at an Impact Luncheon that also launched Thrive’s new Sunproof 3-in-1 Invisible Priming Sunscreen at Redbird in Downtown Los Angeles.

Sunproof is an innovative product that combines SPF 37 with deep moisturizing, plus a makeup primer that helps makeup adhere for up to 16 hours. Loaded with botanical ingredients, Sunproof’s reef-safe formula complies with Hawaii’s strict sunscreen requirements. 

Thrive Causemetic’s many charitable endeavors include launching the Breonna Taylor Endowed Nursing Scholarship at the University of Louisville, donating over 3 million beauty products, and helping more than 10,000 military families. Thrive’s founder and CEO Karissa Bodnar shared, “We’ve donated to nearly 500 charities since 2015. We have donated a lot of sunscreen to the homeless, and Shirley inspired our new sunscreen.”

Raines was thrilled by Thrive’s generous donation of hundreds of bottles of its new sunscreen and Intensive Lip Balm with SPF 24. “Homeless people’s skin is exposed 24 hours every day, so SPF is super important. They want to preserve their beauty. You see so many cracked lips on Skid Row.” 

Before attendees adjoined to an adjacent room to put together bags of sunscreen and other products to give to the nearby homeless population, the Thrive Causemetics team donated $10,000 to Beauty 2 the Streetz. 

You can learn more about Thrive Causemetics here and Beauty 2 the Streetz here.

Karin E. Baker

About Karin E. Baker

Karin E. Baker is a native Angeleno who loves the eateries, history, nature, architecture, and art of her hometown. When not exploring poke shacks in Kona, tascas in Córdoba, and konditoris in Malmö, she writes about food, culture, lifestyle and travel. She obsesses over comma usage and classic films and is always happy to find an excuse to open a bottle of champagne.
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