Pride season is all about the colors, honey! While every year there’s a righteous debate about the involvement (and motivation) of corporations during the month of June, it’s always important to magnify companies who are doing it the right way. Enter Morphe.
The beauty brand recently teamed up with The Trevor Project, creating a limited-edition collection called Live With Love. A full 100 percent of the collection’s proceeds go to help the organization’s suicide prevention and crisis intervention services for LGBTQ+ youth, a group more likely to self-harm and experience bullying than their straight and cisgender counterparts. This is only the latest Pride partnership for the brand, which has raised $895,000 for LGBTQ+ youth and students over the years. To make things even more perfect, the company brought in Broadway and music-fashion star Todrick Hall, who opened up about finding his own true colors.
“I’ve been a fan of Morphe for years,” says Hall, who is gearing up to debut new music this summer. “I feel like more than ever people want to be motivated and want to be uplifted. They want to be reminded how beautiful they are. So for me to be doing my first collaboration with a beauty company was perfect timing.”
Morphe’s Live With Love collection includes a limited-edition artistry palette that puts a new twist on the fan fave 25L from 2019’s Pride collection. From bright pops of purple to joyful shades of yellow, its vivid vibrant hues are ready for any statement you want to make (names like “Spark Ideas,” “Spread Kindness,” “Use Your Voice,” and “Be Heard” are among the shade names).
The collection also includes an eye brush set with a set of seven synthetic brushes for blending shades to perfection as well as a sleek hand mirror to piece it all together.
For the performer-turned-activist, having fun with makeup is about more than colors and brushes and shades. It’s about expression and the search for identity.
“I think expression is truly being the version of yourself, who you are, the version of yourself that you want to be, and the version of yourself that makes you feel the most fabulous,” Hall explains. “I think a lot of people are under the strong misconception that makeup makes you beautiful, but I think that makeup just enhances you — and it’s a cool thing. It helps you express things that your natural skin tones could never express.”
“I think it’s something to enhance you so you can fully express who you are,” he continues. “I don’t think I realized that growing up. I thought makeup was for one certain thing, and now I know it to be something completely different.”
Growing up in Plainview, Texas, Hall remembers being bullied by both his male and female peers for being too feminine, which created an internal battle between doing what he loved — dancing and cheerleading — or giving in to the pressure and skipping those things that gave him joy.
“It was very strange for me to be the only Black person, the only boy in a dance studio where girls didn’t want me there, and where people didn’t want me at the school,” he recalls. “But when the music turned on, there was a fire that was undeniable inside of me. I don’t know how to explain it. It was like nobody else existed.”
Hall found oasis at home. “I had a family that shielded me from so many things,” he says, “which is why I like to be that support system for so many kids — a lot of kids who don’t get supported at school, don’t get supported in their extracurricular activities, if they have one, and those who don’t feel support at home either. Those are the kids that really tug at my heartstrings and that I try to reach with my music. I try to write lyrics in my songs that inspire those kids or make them feel confident or make them feel like they can escape and that they can be anything they want to be.”
This story is part of Out's 2021 Pride Issue. The issue is out on newsstands on June 1, 2021. To get your own copy directly, support queer media and subscribe — or download yours for Amazon, Kindle, Nook, or Apple News.