The Lipstick Project
An alumna makes the world a little bit more beautiful.
“I saw a need that is worldwide and universal,” Leigh Boyle says. The former Trinity Western University Communications graduate and current TWU pre-med student founded The Lipstick Project in March 2012 after seeing a need not met in Vancouver’s healthcare system. Her society is now a finalist in the Start Something with Alesse campaign, where she has the chance to win $5,000 and a mentor for her project. You can vote daily for The Lipstick Project until February 17th at the link below.
MARS’ HILL: Can you tell us about The Lipstick Project?
LEIGH BOYLE: The Lipstick Project’s mission is to bring light and love to people in hospitals and hospices in Vancouver through the provision of free professional spa services. Basically, our volunteers are professional aestheticians, registered massage therapists, hair stylists, and makeup artists that do their services bedside for people in hospices and hospitals.
MH: What inspired you to start The Lipstick Project?
LB: My friend’s mother passed away in the Fall of 2011 at the North Shore Hospice. He emailed me a little while after she had passed away and said that one of her last requests in her final few days was that she wanted her hair and nails done. It was a hard request to fulfill, getting someone professional to come in and do it, so he told me there was a space in the system for these professional services.
MH: When did it all begin?
LB: In January 2012, I stopped by the hospices to see if it was true that it was an important part of care, since I didn’t really consider that it would be something that someone would want. When I stopped by to ask them, they told me the hospice was rebuilt with a fully equipped hair salon and massage room years ago, but they never use it since they don’t have people who are trained or insured to use it. They built it with the understanding that it is important, but they just don’t use it because they don’t have the right human resources to do so. It started from there, so then we formed a leadership team and registered as a society in British Columbia in March 2012.
MH: How many people are involved in The Lipstick Project?
LB: We have two different sides to the society, operations and on-site volunteers who are actually delivering the services. We are 100% volunteer-based, even our leadership team is made up of volunteers. We have about 30 people right now that are piloting the project in the North Shore Hospice, which is associated with Lions Gate Hospital.
MH: What is the vision for the society?
LB: We are starting it slowly, but the vision is that one day it is part of the healthcare system in Vancouver, in all the different hospitals and hospices. We’d like to branch out to people in different cities all around Canada and the world who would start a chapter of the project in their own city.