Building With Purpose: Elyse Cohen of Rare Beauty


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By USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations and Fred Cook. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Inspired by Selena Gomez’s own mental health journey, Rare Beauty was built with a focus on mental health as the heart of its brand. When Rare Beauty was launched in September 2020, its commitment to truly making a difference through de-stigmatizing mental illness and spreading resources and self-love through their products and programs was evident.

But when the brand was being conceptualized, incorporating social responsibility and community impact into the products and everyday practices of a beauty brand was uncharted territory. Enter Elyse Cohen, Vice President of Social Impact & Inclusion at Rare Beauty. Cohen has championed social impact efforts at even more companies and organizations, most notably working with former First Lady Michelle Obama as the deputy director of the national “Let’s Move!” campaign. And in her time thus far at Rare Beauty, she has helped create the mold for what a purpose-driven beauty brand looks like.

In this episode, Elyse and Fred discuss how Rare Beauty has reached its vision of spreading self-love and mental health resources for all in the age of social media and unrealistic beauty standards. From partnering with an array of mental health nonprofits to donating over $1.2 million in proceeds through the Rare Impact Fund, Elyse describes how Rare Beauty’s everyday operations put social engagement at the forefront of its brand.


Elyse Cohen (@ElyseCohen), VP of Social Impact & Inclusion at Rare Beauty


Fred Cook (@fredcook), Chairman Emeritus of Golin, a global PR firm. Author of “Improvise - Unorthodox Career Advice from an Unlikely CEO” and Director of the USC Center for Public Relations

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23 episodes