What Makeup Means to Amanda Nguyen

Amanda Nguyen is a social entrepreneur, activist, and the CEO and founder of Rise Justice Labs, a non-governmental civil rights organization that has helped to pass sexual assault survivor rights in 33 states and counting. We often feature her on The Orcé Edit, as she is one of the most inspiring women we've ever met. Like the powerhouse Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amanda leaves a lasting impression on everyone she meets with her signature red lips.

Read below as we chat with Amanda about what makeup means to her.


At Orce, we believe makeup is often one of the most empowering tools for a woman. What does makeup mean to you? Why do you choose to apply cosmetics?

It’s fun! Makeup is a form of expression. I think of it as art. As a survivor of sexual assault, being able to have agency over even the smallest things can be very empowering. That’s because rape is about taking away agency. So something as small as putting on makeup can feel like a rebellion in a patriarchal world.

Your signature look is flawless complexion with a bold red lip. What is your reason for wearing red lipstick?

I was shopping in a plant store pre-COVID when a woman came up to me and said, “Hey are you Amanda? I love your work and that you wear red lipstick!” I loved this interaction. There are countless times where I’ve felt like I had to look a certain way in order to fit into a room. Then I realized authenticity is freedom. We are multitudes. I like red lipstick and no matter where I am I wear it to be me.

What do you look for in a foundation? What shade are you wearing from Orcé’s collection?

I look for ingredients that make my skin feel good, while still providing light to medium coverage. I wear Orcé's Come Closer Skin Perfecting Serum-Foundation in shade 020 Celaine.

Tell us how to re-create your signature look!

  1. I use Orcé's Skin Perfecting Serum-Foundation in 020 Celaine, it does a great job of providing coverage without being too heavy on my skin.
  2. I created my own lip color at Bite Lip Lab, but I also use the NYX Shine Loud in Rebel & Fenty Beauty Uncensored for the bold red lip.
  3. For my hair, I’ve really practiced “less is more”, so my only recommendation isn’t a product, but to be gentle with your hair and let your hair's natural oils shine.

Shop Amanda's shade here!