Selena Gomez may be the face and brains of Rare Beauty, but the heart of the make-up brand is in Elyse Cohen.
In this week's Java with Jamie, Elyse Cohen, VP of Social Impact and Inclusion, shows us how the company is committed to mental health support and awareness for all.
They grabbed coffee from Philz Coffee, which is just down the street from Rare Beauty headquarters in El Segundo. Cohen ordered a dark roast with almond milk.
"Coffee has the power to transform your day, and the power of community and coming around food and beverage. It's very much like we do at Rare Beauty...it's all a theme!
Cohen has a Master's in public health, communications and marketing from George Washington University and a certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from Johns Hopkins University.
A connection to mental health issues as well as a conversation, via zoom, with Selena Gomez, Cohen is now the vice president of social impact at rare beauty.
"We look as beauty and makeup as a tool for conversations for what makes us unique instead of covering up what we consider flaws. I think if people didn't understand mental health issues before the pandemic they definitely understand it now, absolutely, and what's so crazy is that Selena was launching this bran was well before the pandemic and loneliness was already at an all-time high especially in the Gen Z population as was mental health overall...then the pandemic happen ..it almost gave us the platform and have celebrities and schools talk about it more."
One percent of product sales goes to the foundation with the goal to raise $100 million.
What drew you to this cause?
"A personal story. I think there are so many people, statistically mental health issues are extremely prevalent or you're a caretaker or you yourself have struggled and in my family I've really grown to dive right in over the last 15 years and navigate it in my own way."
She has also navigated other powerful positions including Deputy Director for former first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign as well as senior director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
"Social impact and philanthropy was really instilled in us in a young age. I was raised by a single mom and she always wanted me and my sister to understand what was going on in the world around us."
An "east coaster" at heart, Cohen never thought her journey would bring her to Los Angeles, but she's embracing her new home as she grows in her role.
"There is that culture of vulnerability and being much more open about a lot of things here in la than people are in New York or Washington, D.C. who are really buckled up and even though they talk about it, I don't know that it happens, so it's refreshing for sure."
What's the lesson in that?
"Embrace what comes your way, pencil in that plan but, you have to flexible in that. All of us get knocked down by road blocks. but embrace the good stuff. don't put your heart all into something that could change. Be flexible."
The inaugural Rare Impact Fund Benefit, is being held October 4th in Hollywood with "Only Murders in the Building" co-star Martin Short and music producer Marshmello. The event is sold out, but the organization said you can still donate.
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